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Oakland Strokes kicked off its 2019 racing season by hosting the 2-day Faultline Faceoff at San Pablo Reservoir on February 23-24th. With teams representing the entire Southwest region, Faultline Faceoff has grown into one of the largest junior regattas on the west coast! A big thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make this event successful!
A big thank you to our parents who took great photos from the weekend:
Both the men’s and women’s teams traveled this past weekend to two of the larger head races in the country — the men raced at Head of the Lake in Seattle, WA and the women raced at Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, TN.
The women entered a number of events over the weekend at Head of the Hooch, including 2 Women’s Youth 8+s, 2 Women’s Youth 4+s, a Women’s Lightweight 8+, and a Women’s Lightweight 4+, with the Lightweight 8+ winning Gold! You can see all results over on HereNow.
Congratulations to both of our teams on some great racing in fast fields!
For High School rowers, there is nothing quite like racing at the Head of the Charles regatta. Held on the same stretch of the Charles River in Boston every Fall since 1965, the Head of the Charles regatta is the largest event in the world. This year the two day regatta was held on October 20th and 21st amidst brisk temperatures and swirling winds. Despite the weather, it attracts Olympians, world champions and international athletes of all ages. As noted by’ Men’s Head Coach Brian de Regt, the regatta is “our only opportunity to race against the best schools and junior clubs from around the world. The course is challenging both in distance and layout.”
Many crews are excited just to have the chance to row at the Head of the Charles. However, for the past several years the youth rowers from the Oakland Strokes have been competing for victories in the Youth Eight event. In a race where the finishing in the top ten is considered an accomplishment, the Strokes’ four victories in the Men’s and Women’s Youth Eights the last six years puts them in rare company.
For this year’s squad Coach de Regt pulled from his 2018 National Championship crews, including from the Gold Medalist Lightweight Eight and Silver Medalist Varsity Eight. Their experience paid off, battling the conditions to finish fifth out of the 85 entries. Despite not having the cleanest run down the course, the Strokes finished well ahead of their Californian rivals from Marin, Norcal (Redwood City), and Los Gatos.
The Men’s Youth 8+ boat was comprised of Ryan Tripp (Piedmont HS), Adrian Layer (Piedmont HS), John Mark Ozaeta (Miramonte HS), Matthew Boranian (Head-Royce), Richard Reid (St. Joseph Notre Dame Alameda), Andrew Simpson (Berkeley HS), Andrew Stoddard (Piedmont HS), Carter Young (San Ramon Valley HS), and coxswain Audrey Gates (Miramonte HS).
The Oakland Strokes are a rowing club for High School and Middle School students. The Strokes have won 19 National championships since their inception in 1974. Most Strokes athletes have never rowed before joining, and in a few years many are competing at the national level.
Oakland Strokes is still welcoming new middle school and high school rowers for this season. Interested families can attend their Open House on November 10th from 11am-12pm at Tidewater Boathouse in Oakland and learn more at OaklandStrokes.org.
The many hours of training, early mornings and grueling land and water workouts paid off this weekend for the Oakland Strokes Rowing Program as they put on a powerful performance to take a record breaking 18 medals, and advance a total of 7 boats to the USRowing Junior National Championships.
The Varsity Women’s team put on a commanding performance to medal in every event they entered. This performance, combined with the success of the Women’s Novice team led to a win the Women’s Team Points Trophy by a convincing margin over cross bay rivals Marin.
The Varsity Women’s Head Coach, Allison Dobb Ray, Associate Women’s Head Coach Anita Sarrett and Strength Coach Frank Clayton were clearly delighted with the outcome of the team effort.
“We are so proud of the Varsity Women and their performances over the weekend. It’s exciting to have so many boats moving onto Nationals! I am most proud of the team performance - winning the points trophy speaks to the strength of our team and the team culture the team has worked so hard to build.”
The longstanding rivalries in the Varsity Men’s programs made for some intense races, with Newport, Marin, Capital and Oakland battling it out in nail biting finishes. The determination of the Oakland Men prevailed, allowing them to qualify three of their boats for Nationals and set the stage for some fierce competition in Sacramento in June.
As the Varsity Men’s Head Coach, Brian De Regt noted, "We're very pleased with how the boys handled themselves through the season and rose to the occasion when it mattered most. Watching the JV8+ overcome regular season losses to Capital and Newport to win the Championships in a commanding fashion was the highlight, but the most gratifying part of the weekend was watching our athletes learn what can happen when they fully buy into the process, and discover just how much they're capable of."
As ‘no-cut’ program, the success of the Oakland Strokes program is a testament to the commitment and work of the coaching staff at both Novice and Varsity levels. Established in 1974, the Oakland Strokes rowing club welcomes middle and high school students from across the Bay Area. Many of the athletes who are heading their first, second - or even third - National championships had no rowing experience before joining the Strokes. Instead, most come through one of the summer ‘Learn to Row’ sessions or joined as novices in the Fall. The team heading to Nationals has an eclectic mix of athletes - some who have rowed since middle school, while others joined the program as High School Juniors.
What unites them / what makes the program so special, according to Managing Director Dana Hooper, is the transformative power of rowing. “ Rowing rewards hard work more than any other sport I have seen. It is a sport that allows a diverse group of young men and women to come together and learn to work as one, and ultimately achieve goals that are greater than they ever could have achieved individually.”
Meanwhile, for the top athletes on the Varsity teams, the real work is just beginning. There are blisters to bind, oars to unload, and boats to launch as they start the next stage of their journey to the National stage.
The Oakland Strokes traveled to Southern California for the first ever running of this event. Held on the lake planned as the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics course, this event featured great racing by the Strokes!
The San Diego Crew Classic came a bit early this year, nonetheless the Strokes came prepared to race the fastest crews on the west coast, with a few from across the country for good measure. Regarded by many as the first major regatta of the year, the San Diego Crew Classic brings together thousands of athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States to participate in this premier rowing event. The Strokes sent five Varsity and two Novice crews south to San Diego to compete.
Standout results include silver medals in the Men’s JV8+ and Women’s Novice 8+, bronze medal finishes in the Men’s Varsity 8+, Women’s Varsity 8+s, and Men’s Novice 8+, and grand final appearances by the Men’s Lightweight 8+ and Women’s JV8+.