"The Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best known regatta in the world and it holds a unique place in the respect and affection of all oarsmen. Founded in 1839, it is famous both as a great sporting occasion and a social event; and people travel from all over the world to attend, either as competitors or as spectators. Winning an event at Henley has always been considered one of the greatest achievements of an oarsmanis rowing career, even amongst those who have become world champions; and an oarsman's rowing life is not complete if he has not rowed at Henley."
"Unlike all other major international regattas, racing at Henley is on a knock-out basis, with crews rowing two abreast over a course which is one mile, 550 yards (2,122 meters) long. Naturally, the tactics in such races are different from racing six abreast; but oarsmen who row almost all their serious races six abreast over 2,0000 meter courses have found that the variety of racing at Henley adds greatly to the interest and enjoyment of their regatta season."
Henley Royal Regatta
Washington made its first appearance at Henley in 1958, with coach Al Ulbrickson, and lost to a crew from the Soviet Union in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup. Soviet rowing officials invited Washington for a rematch in Moscow, where the Huskies won.
It was another 15 years before Washington returned to Henley, this time with coach Dick Erickson. The Huskies again lost to the Soviet eight in the 1973 Grand Challenge event.
In 1977, Erickson brought the Huskies back to Henley and Washington became the first U.S. crew in 18 years to win the Grand Challenge when it beat the British national crew by a length.
They made another trip in 1978, when the junior varsity won the Ladies Plate and the varsity lost to a Bulgarian crew.
In recent years, coach Bob Ernst has taken UW crews to Henley in 1991, '95 and again in '97. The '97 varsity and junior varsity went to Henley on the heels of an IRA Championship that completed undefeated seasons for both crews.
The varsity entered in the Ladies Plate, and advanced the grand final with victories over Australiais Melbourne University in the first heat and Oxfordis Isis Boat Club in the semi-finals. They provided a thrilling race for spectators in the grand final, the closest match of the regatta, before losing to the British National Lightweight crew by one foot.
The junior varsity had a bye through the first round heats and then was defeated in the quarterfinals by the Goldie Crew, made of Cambridge University rowers, in the quarterfinals of the Temple Challenge Cup.