CALIFORNIA LIGHTWEIGHT CREW ALUMNI NEWSLETTER

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					                                  CALIFORNIA LIGHTWEIGHT CREW
                                       ALUMNI NEWSLETTER
                                                                       August 2005




                               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
www.cal-lightweights.org
                                                                                 Alumni Updates:
                                                                                 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.
west coast.
                                                     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

                                                                            2
                                                                                                          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.
                                                                       ADDICTED
                                                                   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,

                                                                             3
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
newsletter.
                                                       “1990’s           “2000 Decade”    “70s-80s
                                                       Decade”                            Decade”
                                                       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
                                                                                          Jeremy Fish
                                                                                                        highlights below.
                                                      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”

                                                                             4
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   igorp@cal.berkeley.edu . Although the
and their inboxes, we should for now stick to
                                                                             5
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                                                            igorp@cal.berkeley.edu .
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,          igorp@cal.berkeley.edu
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.

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