CALIFORNIA LIGHTWEIGHT CREW
WELCOME TABLE OF CONTENTS
Welcome to the second annual edition of the newsletter. This has been a State of the Team
very eventful and exciting year for the program as you will see below. For State of the Team – Ariel Ravid 1
the over-all state of the program, check out the “State of the Team” address Cal Men: First in the West – Rich Lapachet 1
by Ariel Ravid, next year’s president elect. The men’s and women’s results Novice Men: Adversity to Victory – Al Chase 2
are summarized by the respective coaches immediately after that. For those Cal Women: Racing on the East – Rich Wendling 2
of you who are not in touch with the program by email, there is a lot to
catch up on. After you get the scoops on boat speed, be sure to read the Perspectives:
alumni section for information on what’s happened over the last few years. The Senior Perspective – Greg Moe 3
This newsletter is available in color on the team website, Addicted – Ashley Conneley 3
Alumni Involvement 3
Almuni Day 2005 4
Alumni Fall Meeting 4
Send Them East 5
Boathouse Situation 6
Fall 2005 Racing Schedule 6
Against a field of 17, the Cal varsity
We are at a turning point in the history of the lightweight 8+ again finished 5th in the grand
California Lightweight Crew. With continued final. The Bears would be unchallenged for the
STATE OF THE TEAM expansion of the team’s membership, the PCRC trophy (Pacific Coast Rowing
Ariel Ravid acquisition of new equipment, and the Championships) and so they would seek
Team President Elect 2005-2006 continued leadership by the coaching staff, we competition on the east coast.
hope to cement the program as a serious
During the 2004-2005 season, California contender at the national level. On behalf of all The varsity finally stepped on the scale at the
Lightweight Crew continued to expand, as has the athletes and coaches, thank you for Dad Vail regatta in Philadelphia where they
been the trend for the past couple of years. At supporting California raced a highly respected Boston College crew.
points during the year, the team held close to Lightweight Crew. The Bears finished second to BC only to be
70 athletes, with a larger part of this growth disqualified for having veered from their lane.
coming from the relatively young women’s In the bigger picture, however, this event will
squad. The team operated on a budget of over be remembered for Scott Laio, the Boston
$70,000 for the year, this being composed of College bowman who died from an apparent
member’s dues of $1,000 per rower, team heart attack moments after crossing the finish
fundraising, and generous alumni donations. CAL MEN: line.
NUMBER ONE IN THE WEST,
This season witnessed success of the program NUMBER NINE AT IRA NATIONALS Following the team's return from Philadelphia,
on a national level, including trips to Head of Rich Lapachet the team held a meeting to decide whether to
the Charles, Windermere Crew Classic, the Men’s Head Coach apply for the IRA regatta (Intercollegiate
Dad Vail Regatta, and the IRA. By finishing Rowing Association regatta, aka the national
third in the petit final at National To say that the 2004-05 season was much like championships). Once the decision was made
Championships, the men’s varsity 8+ any other year could not be further from the to attend, the crew returned to training with
established the program as the premiere club truth. Every year we face adversity, yet this much improved focus. At IRA, the Golden
lightweight crew team in the country. Through year it seemed we faced still more than usual. Bears finished third in the petite final (9th
attending and successfully competing in these Despite training out of the dry storage lot by overall) behind Rutgers and Columbia, while
regattas we hope to show that there is a place the Richmond Marina, the team's goal was to besting the top club teams in the nation –
for men’s and women’s lightweight crew on the make a successful bid at the IRA regatta. Delaware, Boston College, and Ohio State.
With early wins over heavyweight crews from Congratulations are particularly in order to Sam
While the team saw success on a national level, UC Davis and Sacramento State in the spring, Saylor, Saul Jackman, Greg Moe, and
there were many new and continuing hardships the season was off to a promising start. One Raymond Chetty, who have all remained on the
faced at home. In the fall, the squads were goal of the team was to win the team's first San team for four years. The results attained by this
effectively split when Jack London Aquatic Diego Crew Classic title since 1975. However, year's varsity would not have been possible
Center (JLAC) decided not to renew the men’s the collegiate men's lightweight event was without such commitment by the seniors, the
lease. Faced with the possibility of not having canceled due to lack of entries. Instead, the rest of the team, and support from our alumni.
a place to store boats, the team rented space at a team competed in the heavyweight Men's Cal
dry boat storage facility in Richmond where the Cup event, finishing 5th out of 19 teams. At
men rowed from all year. As this problem is WIRA (Western Intercollegiate Rowing
yet to be solved, the coaches are working very Association) championships the men were the
hard to rectify the situation, and we will be sure lone entrant in the lightweight 8+ event and yet
to keep you updated on any new developments. again raced in the open weight category.
PCRC (Pacific Coast Rowing Championships)
regattas this year were a final only race that
NOVICE MEN saw the team place a respectful fourth.
OVERCOMING ADVERSITY TO CAL WOMEN:
VICTORY VARSITY TRAVEL EAST For the first time this year we held our awards
Al Chase NOVICE BEAT STANFORD banquet immediately after the WIRA
Novice Men’s Coach Rich Wendling Championship. Once racing was done we
Women’s Head Coach grilled food at the waterside tent, gave out the
With just eight rowers in the squad for the awards and listened to some good speeches – a
spring races, two of whom had joined in Wow! Hard to believe that another season has very good time was had by all. This year’s
January, the novice men made up for lack of just concluded. The Golden Bears finished the awards winners were: Most Inspirational-
depth with hard work, effective technique and season ranked 14th in the country. This year Jessica Nance, Best overall coxswain-Michelle
immense determination. Their only lightweight we also saw a deeper competition field as UC Cheng, Best Novice Rower-Karen Lu and Best
event at WIRA was the novice lightweight 4+. Santa Barbara and LMU both fielded Varsity Rower Brittany Davis. Congratulations
They fought down the course, staying about lightweight crews. to all.
half a length down on the first place boat
almost all the way. The close second place was At the annual Cal-Stanford duel in March the Next season looks to be yet another good one
a heartbreaker, but they used the experience to novice 8 again claimed victory over Stanford for the Golden Bears. The returning varsity
their advantage at PCRC's where they capped for the second year in a row. This time, women and the core of the novices group will
off a good year on a very high note, winning unfortunately, Stanford still had the edge in the make for a much stronger and faster team next
both their races. In the novice lightweight 8+ varsity 8 and took the gold home. We were season. They will combine as a squad with lots
they clocked a 6:33, cruising over the finish also invited back this season to race in the of confidence, belief and a very strong work
line without a sprint in order to save energy for Windermere Cup and unlike last year, this time ethic. We are also looking forward to all the
the next race. Less than an hour later, in the we raced both the V8 and JV8. The two boat walk-ons in the fall that will comprise yet
novice lightweight 4+ event, our stern four had race format of Windemere was an awesome another fast novice team.
a race very similar to their race at WIRA except experience for the team. The V8 raced San
this time they were the ones who pulled away. Diego State, Georgetown and Princeton while We’d like to thank all our supporters and
They held about a half a length lead over UC the JV 8 raced against Wisconsin, Stanford and friends of Cal Lightweight Crew for making
Davis nearly the entire race, then walked away Princeton. It is worth noting that the JV8 was this another successful season. The team and
in the sprint for a highly satisfying win. really our novice eight. Both boats raced coaching staff really appreciate all your efforts.
incredibly hard with tremendous effort and We look forward to seeing you all next season.
confidence and made the team very proud that
weekend. Especially exciting was racing head GO BEARS!
to head with Princeton, the number team in the
country at the time.
At San Diego Crew Classic, the V8 raced a
hard battle but was edged out by LMU at the
end of the race and missed the grand final for
the first time in two years. However, the team
did rebound the next day to win the petite final.
Both the WIRA (Western Intercollegiate
Rowing Association championships) and
stronger. I am amazed at the dedication that I
discovered in all of my teammates. Most
people do not realize that our team is a group of
THE SENIOR PERSPECTIVE kids that pay their own way to wake up at 4:30
by Greg Moe in the morning, to sit in a boat, take erg tests,
varsity men 2001-2005 and work out twice a day.
The team has come a long way since I arrived The women’s team is growing stronger every
as a freshman. My novice year, I witnessed the year. If we can keep attracting girls to the team
first Cal Lightweights PCRC's victory in a long that have as much dedication as those during
time. Ever since that time, the team has gotten this past season, the team will continue making
bigger, stronger and faster. I sat bow in the a name for ourselves. We are also excited to
2003 IRA's boat which placed last in the add a new woman to our coaching staff who is
competition. Although it was an embarrassing a recent graduate of UC Davis. The women’s
performance, it opened my eyes to the speed of team has much potential and we are full of
east coast crews and what it would take to determination to realize it in the coming
compete with them. season.
by Ashley Connelly
I then spent the next two years as president of varsity women, 2005
the team, working to bring up the team's and
my own standards of rowing. I knew it would Before a race I would tell my pair, “If you pull
take an exceptionally dedicated group of guys harder than me, I’ll pull harder than you.” Your
to be fast on a national scale. We've gone heart is racing at the start line, during a power
through many hard times as a crew, but I like to 10 you would feel the surge in power and
think that only made us closer and faster. anticipate the final 250 meters when you could
hear the muffled “Go Bears” on the shore as
I've never been with such a dedicated group of your boat aims to cross the finish line.
guys so focused on achieving the same goal.
What we were able to achieve makes me
incredibly proud to be a part of it all, and I will
treasure my time as a lightweight rower at Cal
forever. Addicted. That is how a person feels when they
are part of our crew team. You are addicted to
the power, the strength, the commitment, the
dedication that comes with the sport. You are
addicted to the rush at the start line, the ALUMNI INVOLVEMENT
excitement of walking a boat, the glory of
winning. The varsity women’s team may not
have had the season that many of us would With this second edition of the team newsletter
have wanted, but the girls that finished the and the second annual Alumni Day held this
season were addicted to the sport. At times we past March, the alumni effort is moving along.
felt like we were out of our league racing Every month an alumnus or two stumble on the
against top-notch teams – we were constantly team’s website and subsequently end up on the
humbled. But that made our team so much ever-growing alumni email list. This past fall,
when the team was first dealing with its boat was the only boat without a current team
housing crisis (see “Boathouse Situation” member filling in. Also, the ambiguity in the
article), the email list was very useful in getting “70s-80s” column of ten names for nine seats
timely advice and perspective. When the ALUMNI DAY 2005 was the result of messy notes taken during the
varsity men came in 9th at the IRA national event.
championships, the list allowed alumni to
immediately show their support by pledging Despite a tropical storm passing earlier in the Almost $5000 was raised to send the team to
over $4,000 for next year’s travel to the east day, the second annual Alumni Day on March the IRA national championships this year. The
coast (see “Fundraising” article). This sum will 19th 2005 went off very well. Together with “Top Donor Boat” medals were won by the
now be used as a great starting point for next their friends and family, over thirty alumni “1970s-1980s Decades” boat for raising $1540.
year’s Alumni Day fundraising (see “Alumni helped cement this as an annual tradition. A belated $1000 donation from Miles Cooper,
Day” article). Though turnout was not expected to match that as well as a number of smaller checks mailed,
of the 2004 event, attendance increased from helped to bring the total to over $6000. As you
To help determine what the alumni would like both the post 2000 and the 1970’s eras. The can tell from the team results summarized
to happen, a meeting between several alumni event was again held on the second floor of the above, the money was well spent.
and the team took place on October 31st of Jack London Aquatic Center (JLAC) and the
2004. While the complete notes are available race started at Coast Guard Island and ended at Mark your calendars! The third annual Alumni
at www.cal-ligthweights.org/alumni.htm, some JLAC. Day will take place on Saturday, March 18th
excerpts are presented in the article “Alumni 2006 at the Oakland Estuary. Please make sure
Fall Meeting.” The weather cleared up just in time for the you are on the alumni email list for detailed
"1990s Decade" boat to win the 1000 meter information.
The emotional support you can show by Alumni Challenge Cup. Coming in second and
attending team events is just as important as the third were the "2000 Decade" and the "1970s- You can view both the 2004 and 2005 Alumni
financial contributions. Check out the team’s 1980s Decades" boats, respectively. The Day slide shows from the alumni section of the
tentative 2005-2006 calendar at the end of the lineups were (not in perfect seating order): team webpage, www.cal-lightweight.org
“1990’s “2000 Decade” “70s-80s
A. Davidovitz S. Josefowitz Dan Bach
Kevin Scully Stuart Sievers G. Serventi
Matthew White H. McFarlane T. Ahlering ALUMNI FALL MEETING
Virgil Curtis Igor Pesenson S. Azevedo
Rich Lee S. Saylor (CR) Robert Gunn To help determine what the alumni and the
Ian Formigle Evan Morris T. Grossman team would like to see in an organizing effort a
A. Ravid (CR) Chris Ling Dan Allari
meeting between representatives from both
took place on October 31st of 2004. You can
C. Tharp (CR) Greg Moe (CR) R.Alexander
view the complete notes online at www.cal-
Lori Lee Megan Klein Tom Tiffany ligthweights.org/alumni.htm or read the
Above: Alumni Day 2005 boats
With beers in hand a consensus was reached
Notation ‘CR’ denotes current rowers who and the consensus was: the alumni would first
filled in. Please note that the “1970s-1980s”
like to see the organizational effort prove itself two or so alumni communications per year. the Head of the Charles Regatta. The entire
over time. There is still a lot of, not undue, And, of course, to give venue to the 2% of trip was generously paid for by a loyal team
suspicion that it might disappear as suddenly as overactive alums, there should be an annual patron and as a result alumni moneys raised in
it came about. Until people are convinced that planning meeting in October of every year. the spring went almost exclusively to cover the
semblance of an alumni organization is here to The 2005 Alumni Fall Organizational men’s travel. However, although the men
stay more ambitious ideas are doomed. Holding Meeting will be Sunday, October 30th, 2005. could not have made the trips without the extra
the annual alumni day for three or four years in The idea is still to meet over beers in the bay $6,000, they still had to pay for part of the cost
a row appeared to be a good first step in area, though the idea of a phone conference is out of their own pockets.
earning this trust. According to Jerry Serventi, being entertained.
98% of alumni are not interested in more than Following their stellar performance at the IRA
one event per year, if that. Once there is national championships, alumni enthusiasm
confidence in the stability of the organization, peaked. After all, if our program comes in just
it will become possible to strategize on a longer one second behind such fully cash loaded
time scale. The 2% of the over-enthusiastic programs as Columbia University, just imagine
alums will step out of the shadows and lead the SEND THEM EAST what they could do with serious support. It was
way… or something like that. The beer was resolved that in spring 2006, the goal of the
particularly good. program should be to send its boats east
Although 60% of the annual budget comes without penny counting. To achieve this the
Jeremy Fish pointed out that alums want from student fees, alumni fundraising of the following alumni have pledged and sent it
specific fundraising goals so that they can look last few years has been a great help to the funds so far,
forward to a letter saying “your donation program. The proceeds from the 2004 alumni
allowed us to do such and such.” It was day padded last year’s budget and helped the Up to $400 $400 - $1000 $1000
suggested to set up an ability to accept credit varsity men purchase their second racing shell Eric Scriven 80s S. Seivers 00s R. Gunn 80s
card donations on the team’s web site. This in two years. During the October 2004 meeting D. Van Vuren 70s Jeremy Fish 80s
was judged to be a good idea as it would allow the issue of west coast competition was brought
people to click on different icons, each up. While the pacific coast is slowly increasing D. Carmack 80s Tom Moyer 80s
associated with a different fundraising cause its roster of women’s lightweight programs, the
and linked to separate Swiss bank accounts to Ian Formigle 90s Scott Brady 80s
opposite is happening with men’s programs.
make tracking easier. One would be for To enable the program to get faster, and to give H. Wang 90s R. LeClair 00s
sending the teams to nationals, one for “a new alumni effort a tangible goal, it was decided
boat every three years” campaign, one for the that donations from the 2005 alumni day were E. Kaneko 90s
Martz fund (the endowment), one to endow a to be earmarked for East Coast team travel.
coaching position, etc. The possibilities This turned out to be vital – the varsity boat These funds provide a solid start for next year’s
seemed truly endless. Unfortunately, it was was unchallenged at the Pacific Coast fundraising before the season has even started.
later realized that although the university boasts Championships and ended up making two trips Please consider joining them in enabling the
of one of the best computer science to the east coast. Following the disappointing program to reach its potential. Enclosed you
departments in the country, it does not have the disqualification from second place at the Dad should find a form you can fill out and mail in
ability to process donations on line. The Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, the program came with your tax-deductible contribution.
implication is that any donations would not be back to get third at the IRA petite finals three
tax deductible and hence the idea was not as weeks later. For those who supported your team this year
hot as we thought.
and have any questions about your donations,
Although the lady bears did not venture east in please feel free to email Igor Pesenson at
It was also noted that to avoid upsetting people the spring, they did so in the fall with a trip to firstname.lastname@example.org . Although the
and their inboxes, we should for now stick to
university has been very slow in processing
donations as of late, all of you should have In the long term, there is reason to be
received a thank you letter and a tax receipt for optimistic. The Oakland Strokes, who our
your records. program has had a very good relationship for THANK YOU
ten years, have received a multi-million dollar
grant from the state to build a new boathouse. Thank you for taking the time to read this first
The boathouse will be located on the Oakland printed edition of the newsletter. We hope we
side of the estuary, south of the High Street are making headway towards supporting the
Bridge. They have expressly asked the Cal team while providing a venue for alumni to
Lightweights to join them in their new home stay in touch. Just as you are interested in who
BOATHOUSE SITUATION and the team has every intention of doing so. the current athletes are, they are interested in
However, projected move in date will you, the foundations of this program. To prove
realistically be in Fall 2007. Until then, other to them that however sad, there is life after
As you might already know, the team is facing arrangements will have to be found. crew, consider writing a paragraph or two
a difficult housing situation. Since the about yourself for the next newsletter. Email
demolition of the old Oakland Strokes your thoughts, suggestions, or complaints to
boathouse in 2000, the team had been rowing email@example.com .
out of the Jack London Aquatic Center (JLAC)
on the Oakland Estuary. Despite high rent, the
facility provided a comfortable and respectable FALL 2005 RACING SCHEDULE
home for the team.
This is a tentative fall race schedule for the
In August 2004, with a space a significant program. You can also view it from the team’s
concern, JLAC decided to only house our website. If you plan to attend any of these,
women’s program. After a frantic search, the please double check the details by email.
men located a 70’x30’ space for rent in an open
dirt parking lot in the Richmond marina. Oct. 22,23 Head of the Charles (women)
Although one could not judge this from their Oct. 29 Head of the American, Sac.
results, they proceeded to row the entire 2004- Oct. 30 Alumni Fall Meeting
2005 season out of this uncovered, unpaved, Nov. 5 USC Men’s Club Eights (men)
unlit site. The on-going search by the team Nov. 6 Newport Fall Regatta (both)
officers for a roof for the 2005-2006 season has
just been put into more urgent terms: the city of March 18 Alumni Day 2006
Richmond has sold the parking lot and the team
will have to vacate it by December 2005. All alumni events are coordinated via email –
please make sure you are on the alumni email
The tactile problems such as protecting list to receive further details. Email
equipment from the elements and cold, wet, firstname.lastname@example.org
dark February mornings are not the only issues
with the current set up. The administrative
challenge of running an effectively split
program was stressful for both the officers and
the coaching staff.