Led by their own, the UCSB water-ski team has a lot to be proud of.

With the absence of a coach, President Scot Class, Vice President Colby Peterson and Secretary Mike Buckle now hold all the responsibility that goes along with running a team.

The Gaucho squad is well into its 2000-2001 season. It traveled to Sacramento State for regionals the weekend of Sept. 29, taking 10th at that event. Santa Barbara then made its way up to Chico State, where the team captured 7th overall in the tournament, with Buckle riding his way to a first-place finish in the men’s trick event. This past weekend, the Gauchos competed in October Fest, hosted by UCSD. A first-place finish for the women’s quad in the jump event highlighted the tourney, with Jenni Howell placing second individually. Buckle claimed second in trick, and Class was ranked in the top 10 in the slalom event.

At each tournament the Gauchos attend, there are five men and five women for each event: trick, slalom and jump. Under the National Collegiate Water-ski Association, Santa Barbara is a part of the Western Collegiate Water-ski Association, which also includes teams such as Western Washington, UCSD, Long Beach State and UCLA, to name a few.

The team currently has 35 members. Returnees for Santa Barbara include seniors Class and Peterson, junior Buckle, and sophomores Stephen Dean, Matt Bettencourt and Lindsay Kohn. With the arrival of new recruits, sophomores Brad Jones and Chris Heidrich, and freshmen Jessica Ford, Stacy Heart, Shelly Barnes and Seth Weingarten, the Gauchos are looking for nothing but success this season.

“Our newcomers have definite potential to do well this season,” Class said.”

One of the accomplishments that UCSB has under its belt from last season includes the success at the fourth annual Paradise Found Tournament last spring.

“It was our first time as leaders of the group and we had little experience from previous years. We ended up making a lot more money than expected and it was just a really good time and everything ran smoothly,” Class said.

Although it was not one of their stronger years as far as performance goes, the Gauchos had a record number of participants last season.

“We get along really well and we do a lot, socially, together,” Class said. “We are like family and last year held a lot of good times.”

Class is looking to get more of the younger members more familiar with the boat and boating procedures, so more members can go to the lake and practice on their own. Right now, the Gauchos practice on weekends, but Class would like members to be able to practice more during the week. UCSB will compete in a total of 7 events this year, plus all-stars and nationals, most of which take place in the spring.

Santa Barbara welcomes new members of all experience levels throughout the year. The squad holds weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in Girvetz Hall 2129.