The UCSB novice rowing teams joined their varsity crews in the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival this weekend at Newport Beach. This was an action-filled weekend for all the crews, starting with Parent’s and Alumni Day on Saturday featuring the official dedication of three new Gaucho racing shells and culminating with a strong performance in the Newport regatta.

The varsity men’s crew raced two open-weight four-man boats and one open-weight eight, while the women entered two eight-man boats and one four, and both teams picked up from where they left off last year.

Of the 21 teams at the Newport Regatta, the men’s open-weight four-man crews cruised into fourth with a time of 17:42 and 16th with a time of 19:24. The men found themselves with very inconsistent results, compared to the past weekend’s regatta.

“There were a variety of different reasons why the results did not match,” men’s varsity Head Coach Derek Updegraff said. “It was just not as clean of a race as last week.”

The men encountered everything from equipment failure to collisions with officials and problems with other teams giving the right of way.

“Seeing the combination of all the events and equipment problems and still finishing fourth is an incredible feat,” Updegraff said.

For the women, the race was pretty similar to last week’s performance: The two women’s eights received eighth and 19th places of the 23 crews with the times of 18:03 and 19:38, respectively. The women’s four took eighth place out of 13 boats.

“All the boats rowed very soundly,” women’s varsity Head Coach Mike Homes said. “This regatta went pretty well. The girls showed a definite improvement over last week.”

The team agreed that this was a solid precursor for the racing season ahead.

“We did equally well as we did last year,” varsity rower Irene Ancheta said. “It shows us that we have the power and talent to be the best in spring.”

Holmes agreed that the future of this crew is very strong and sees this race as proof of their determination.

“This was a good race for the girls,” Holmes said. “I am very happy with how they did.”

The entire team will travel to San Diego next weekend to compete in their final regatta of the fall season, the annual San Diego Fall Crew Classic.