FELLSMERE, Fla. – The Columbia women’s rowing team opened the season Saturday morning at the Governor’s Cup on Canal 54 in Fellsmere, Fla. sweeping the three-race event. The regatta took place under great conditions, with no wind and calm water.

In the varsity eights event, the Lions captured an 11-second victory over Barry, crossing the finish line in a time of 6:40.3. Host Florida Tech finished third, just under 40 seconds back of the Lions.

The varsity fours race was a much closer affair, with Columbia edging out Barry by 3.8 seconds for the win. The Lions’ time of 7:49.6 was also just seven seconds better than FIT.

The Lions and Panthers were the only two teams to compete in the freshman/novice fours+ race, with Columbia notching a dominant win with a time of 8:18.2, a full 1:12 better than FIT.

"All three of our crews had strong showings," head coach Scott Ramsey said. "We had solid pieces, were out early, and rowed well in the body of the races."

While the varsity eights race for the Governor's Cup was an easy effort for the Lion varsity, the the varsity fours was much closer. Columbia got off first to a good start, struggled a bit in the first half, but then pulled away in the third 500. Ramsey noted they would need to go faster in the body of their races, and to be stronger in the body and the sprint.

The combined varsity fours and novice fours race serve to expose those crews to varsity racing. "It was," Ramsey noted, "a good time to get experience."

Women's rowing was the only one of Columbia's three rowing programs to spend the spring break in Florida this year.

"I was glad to be there," Ramsey said. "We had great weather all week and made a lot of progress as a team. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to row two camps here every year."

Columbia is next on the water Saturday, March 29, taking part in the Connell Cup in Derby, Conn. The Lions will be going up against Penn and Yale.

Today's results:

The Governor's Cup
Columbia, Florida Tech, Barry
March 22, 2014
Canal 54, Fellsmere, Fla.

Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:40.3
2. Barry, 6:51.3
3. Florida Tech (FIT), 7:20.0

Varsity Fours
1. Columbia, 7:49.6
2. Barry, 7:53.4
3. FIT, 7:56.8

Freshman/Novice Fours
1. Columbia, 8:18.2
2. FIT, 9:30.2

Today's Boatings in the Governor's Cup

Varsity Eight
Aneesha Baliga, cox; Karli McMenamin, stroke; Emerald Smith, 7; Colleen Condon, 6; Jocelyn Bohn, 5; Madeline O'Brien, 4; Kellie Solowski, 3; Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, 2; Lottie Galliano, bow

Second Varsity Four
Samantha Caballero, cox; India Knight, stroke; Kaitlyn Loftus, 3; Alexandra Swift, 2; Hayley Weil, bow
Freshman/Novice Four
Allison Lavine, cox; Lilly Mudge, stroke; Kelsey Lynch, 3; Elena McGahey, 2; Isabella Illari, bow