Orange Coast College men and women’s crew faced off against the seasoned UC Irvine crew teams for the Collins Cup on Saturday. The Anteaters took first place after a series of races in which the men’s and women’s teams competed for victory. 

The Collins Cup is an annual dual between OCC and UC Irvine in honor of Budge and Carol Collins, who have supported the crew programs at both colleges for over 20 years.

The only victorious team in Saturday’s races were the Pirates’ Novice 4 women’s team. The women’s team started off the race strong, establishing a large lead right out of the starting line before winning with ease nearly two minutes ahead of  the Anteaters crossing the finish line. 

“In the Novice 4, there wasn’t much competition,” said OCC women’s assistant coach Alyssa Hartel. “The varsity gave a good run, and there was a lot to learn from it.”

The rest of OCC’s crew teams showed out strong, but ultimately lost to the more experienced, four-year UC Irvine crews. 

“Today was good,” Men’s Crew head coach Cam Brown said. “There were some really tough races in there, and some really good races. Really, today’s competition highlights the theme of this season, and that’s getting more experience after a couple years off.”

Both the women’s and men’s crew are competing for their first season after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Next, the women’s and men’s teams will begin preparing for their regional competitions in Sacramento later this month. Brown and Hartel said Saturday’s race was a positive indicator for how the Pirates will measure up against competition from around the state.

“We’ll get back to practice and keep fighting,” Brown said. 

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