March 17, 2006
SEATTLE - The University of Washington opens its 103rd season of intercollegiate crew competition with an even longer running tradition. The Huskies open the 2006 season with their 105th-annual Class Day Regatta, Sunday, Mar. 19 at 10 a.m. on the Montlake Cut.
Class day racing started in 1901, two years before Washington hosted California on June 3, 1903 for the school's inaugural intercollegiate race. UW defeated Cal by three boat lengths in a four-oared event over a 1 1/2-mile Lake Washington Course.
The Class Day Regatta, which annually signals the start of UW's spring racing season, features four races.
On the docket are a women's varsity-novice challenge and men's varsity-freshmen challenge followed by competition between the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes. Crews are comprised of rowers from the same class, with the fastest men's eight from each class competing for the George M. Varnell Cup and the women's eights vying for the Seattle Times Cup.
Last year's Class Day Regatta featured a win by the junior boat in the women's race. That group returns to defend its Class Day title, this year as the senior entry. Coxswain Eva Anderson and seven rowers from last season's victorious crew compete in the senior shell.
The seniors won the men's title at the 2005 Class Day event, posting a three second win over the freshmen. That runner-up crew vies for this year's first-place position as a sophomore crew.
The Huskies field an especially strong freshmen men's crew this season. The men's Class Day championship has not been claimed by a freshman crew since 1948.
Washington officially opens the 2005 season next weekend, competing at the Windermere Crew Classic, Mar. 25-26 at Redwood Shores in Belmont, Calif.
THE MONTLAKE COURSE
The starting line for the Huskies' home regattas is on Lake Washington, parallel to the Evergreen Point floating bridge. The course runs from east to west through the Montlake Cut to the finish line near the mouth of Portage Bay at the west end of Montlake Cut. A good view of the race course is available along either side of Montlake Cut, or from the Montlake Bridge.
Class Day Schedule (all races 2,000 meters)
10:00 a.m. -- Women's Varsity-Novice Challenge
10:10 a.m. -- Men's Varsity-Novice Challenge
10:20 a.m. -- The Seattle Times Women's Eight
10:30 a.m. -- George M. Varnell Men's Eight