This year UCSB’s rowing team can look forward to something else besides daily practices that begin at 6 in the morning. 2003-04 will mark the 40th anniversary of the program.
“It’s a big occassion,” Men’s Head Coach Rick Brown said. “It definitely says something about the people in our program.”
Rowing will celebrate with its annual Parents Weekend from Oct. 17-19 at Santa Barbara’s practice site, Lake Cachuma. Parents of both the seasoned veterans and prospective rookies will be able to get a look at exactly what rowing at Santa Barbara entails.
“They may know that we get up at 5:15 in the morning just to get there, but this will allow them to see just what we do once we’re there,” Brown said.
Practicing six days a week from 6 to 8 in the morning is expected out of the student athletes. Rowers make it to class by nine, and will often participate in two-a-day sessions involving dry land conditioning.
Four decades of Gaucho rowers have gone through this grueling routine, so everybody should have something to talk about at the team’s big 40th anniversary celebration during the weekend of Feb. 20-21. Alumni from all over the country will attend the two-day event. The first day will take place at Lake Cachuma, where alumni can get back into the boats and reminisce with former athletes about their careers at UCSB. The following night will feature members from every decade of the program speaking at a dinner on campus.
UCSB has a rich history in rowing. Current Stanford Women’s Head Coach Aimee Baker and UCLA Men’s Head Coach Erinn McMahan are both former UCSB rowers. Amy Fuller, a ten-time national team standby and member of three USA Olympic squads, is perhaps the most prolific and successful female rower in the history of the sport. The former Gaucho is also coaching at UCLA alongside alumnus McMahan.
“We’ve produced some great rowers, and they’ve been very successful in life,” Brown saud.
UCSB rowing began in 1964, but did not begin racing until the following season. Mike Treman was one of the original 15 members who put together the funds to purchase the first boat. Treman eventually became UCSB’s first coach and currently practices as a lawyer living in the Santa Barbara area. From its inception the rowing team has worked under the auspices of UCSB’s Recreational Sports program as a member of Club Sports.
“We’ve had tremendous support from this university,” current program director and UCSB Women’s Head Coach Mike Homes said. “We exist thanks to both our athletes and the students here who have supported us through the years. Even though I’m biased, I really believe we have the best people from this school in our program.”
Though an exact number is hard to come by, an estimated two thousand students have rowed for the school. This year’s squad will carry more than a hundred athletes to the Newport Fall Regatta on Nov. 2, the team’s first full event. The Head of the American race in Sacramento, featuring varsity athletes only, is scheduled for Oct. 25. Prospective rowers are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.