While Cal students may feel that they need a boat to traverse all the rain that has been pouring down in Berkeley, the actual rowing begins this weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic, where Cal men’s and women’s crew teams will kick off their spring seasons.
This renowned regatta, which takes place on the waters of Mission Bay Park, consists of teams ranging from the high school level all the way to Olympic-caliber talent. Additionally, clubs from four different countries as well as universities from nearly every state in the U.S. will be represented.
Cal will compete in four women’s races and six men’s races, as both teams are eager to get off to a hot start this spring.
The men’s team finished off its fall campaign at Lake Natoma with desirable results, recording top-three finishes in both the open four and open eight races. With this season being the last for revered head coach Mike Teti before he departs for the U.S. national team, the team will be seeking to capitalize on the little time it has left with one of rowing’s all-time greats.
The Bears’ men’s team will lean on its group of 11 seniors to lead it throughout the opening weekend. This veteran core includes California native Alex Wallis, who bowed the men’s varsity eight to an undefeated season in seven regattas during his junior season.
The women’s team, coached by UC Berkeley graduate Al Acosta, is also kicking off its season at this event after piecing together another strong fall season.
The Bears will rely on German sophomore Juliane Faralisch, who was named Pac-12 Rowing Newcomer of the Year in 2017, to provide them with guidance against a variety of competition.
Even though she is among the younger rowers of the team, Faralisch has spent plenty of time with Germany’s national team and should continue to be a major contributor this spring season.
Though clubs will just be getting their initial tastes of the spring competition, the San Diego Classic stands as one of the larger regattas in the nation, so the Bears have an opportunity to prove themselves against elite competition early.
All signs are shaping up for it to be a successful weekend, but with Cal’s elevated rowing reputation, expectations will be high right off the bat.
Shailin Singh covers crew. Contact him at