UCSB’s club rowing team spent last Sunday at Newport for the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival. The festival is one of the several preseason regattas the Gauchos have scheduled for their 2001-2002 season.

The varsity men’s lightweight eight came in with a time of 15:08, six seconds behind the University of San Diego, good enough for a second place finish. Heading the boat was coxswain Jen Pence. Pence led Dustin Bingham at stroke seat, followed by John Carnwath, Jordan Fong, Steve Daner, Dustin Gibbs, Brian Ralston, Brad Walker and Matt Sullivant at the bow.

The men also entered an open eight boat lead by coxswain Thy Ngo. Eli Smolen headed the stroke seat. Bill Slack, Jay Smith, Jim Moore, Eric Baldwin, Matt Sheitrun, Russell Jensen, Geoff Boyd and Brett Dewey accompanied Smolen. The open eight came in with a time of 16:24 for the day.

“This was not one of our better performances, however we beat Cal-Berkley who we lost to the previous weekend,” Bingham said. “It was a good measure of where [the team] will be this season.”

On Oct. 27, Santa Barbara was in Sacramento for the Head of the America Regatta. The lightweight eight team came in third with a time of 16:42 behind Cal at 16:34, and clinching first was the Marin Rowing Club with its time of 16:10. The open eight for UCSB came in at 16:53 placing the Gauchos in seventh out of the 11 teams. Stanford captured first place in the race.

The women’s team also challenged the waters in Newport last weekend. An ‘A’ team and a ‘B’ team of open eights competed. The ‘A’ team tied for sixth place out of 21 teams with Orange Coast College, coming in at 17:02.

“We were last to the start and ended up racing in a slower bunch of teams,” said Emily Ahn, who sat fifth in the ‘A’ team open eight. “It didn’t help to base how well we were doing during the race.”

Also in the boat with Ahn were coxswain Caitlyn Galloway, Robin Bader, Alison Greene, Gina Pengra, Anna Cohen, Corrine Servis, Katie Stollmeyer and Julie Scanlin at the bow.

The ‘B’ team came in 20 seconds later, finishing in 11th place. Coxswain Amanda Garrison led Deborah Langman at stroke, Oli Waldman, Alexi Lykissas, Courtney Greene, Meghan Dougherty, Rene Inmin, Ali Ferzoco and Ashley Thomas.

Earlier this month the women’s team was in Boston for the Head of the Charles the weekend of Oct. 20. Santa Barbara entered a Club Open weight four, which placed 20th out of 58 teams, and a lightweight eight that came in 11th of 20.

“The race felt good; it was one of the best for a lot of us”, Ahn said.

The Gauchos that raced in Boston, but not in Newport, include Heather Sorge, Marcelle Young and Jody Dunham.

Both the men and the women will travel to San Mateo for the Stanford Fall Regatta the weekend of Nov. 18.

“The men’s heavyweight eight is looking to break up into a heavyweight four as well as a lightweight four,” Coach Nathan Swift said. “It will be more challenging and competitive, and should be successful.”

Coach Sarah Dreger is also hoping for positive results in the upcoming Stanford Fall Regatta.

“So far the team is doing great for being so young and lacking the experience the other teams have,” she said. “Our performance so far this fall shows us that we are on track to do very well in our regular season; our times place us with the top pack in our league.”