May 3, 2003
Seattle, Wash.; Montlake Cut
Washington Men's Head Coach
"They were tough conditions today. But you know what, it's like this more often than not. If you come out here and you're hoping for really good race conditions, you're kidding yourself. If you're reluctant and you're not willing to risk a fingernail or two, you're going to lose for sure. It's really rough at the start on this race course."
On Washington's varsity eight
"It was a pretty good row. They did what they had to do. They got a decent start, settled down and just sort of pushed the boat down the course. We're training to race 36 or 37 right now. That's what it takes to be competitive.
"The guys needed a little confidence boost. They went out there today and they've lost three races so far this year, albeit against the best crews in the country. We want to see if we can have a chance at beating these other guys at the end of the season, specifically Cal and Wisconsin. With young guys, they need some confidence and they need to have a good race. They need to be a little bit more successful. I don't think they thought it was a slam dunk at all, particularly at the starting line.
On completely changing the varsity eight lineup this week
"It was good. I plan on doing some more tinkering. We have time to do that right now. That's exactly where you want to be with young guys. You have to be able to have some choices and some options."
Washington Men's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"It was a good piece. We needed to win one. We needed to build up our confidence. This was a great low pressure situation to do it. We knew we were racing extremely fast teams but this race doesn't really count towards national rankings, so it was a pressure-free situation against some really, really good competition.
"We had a good start, the best start we've had so far, especially for the rough water. Then we just focused on settling right down into base and focusing on our own race. I didn't look out of the boat once until 1,000-meters down, to make sure we were rowing our own race, make sure we had our technique on. At 1,000-meters I looked around and then we just focused on putting more and more seats on them."
On this week's lineup changes
"Well, it certainly shows guys that nobody's seat is guaranteed and everybody has to perform if they want to hold onto their seat. It took us a little while to get used to it. We had a few shaky practices but the more miles we put in the lineup, the more comfortable you get."
Washington Women's Head Coach
"We had a little lead to begin with, by a few seats, and when we settled down to race pace, they were a little bit longer, a little bit more aggressive, more powerful. Their experience showed in the middle part of the race. I think our crew has a lot of confidence in their sprint. This was a little bit similar to our San Diego race, where in the middle part of the race, you're rowing along and then you have to attack in the last 500. I think they felt they could have attacked a little bit sooner. It was a great crew that beat us today. Our goal is to try and use that to propel us to a better performance at Pac-10s and at nationals.
"I thought we looked a little bit tired, but sometimes you look that way when you're trying to catch up. It's surprising how great you can look when you're in the lead and maybe not so good when you're not leading.
"I told them to congratulate Belarus. They rowed a great race today and that's what our sport is about."
Washington Women's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"They were an excellent crew, a very technical and very fast crew. We actually beat them off the line. We were up about three seats off the start and into our 20-high and sub-settle. We settled it down and found a good rhythm and they found a good rhythm as well. About 400-meters in, they started edging back up on us and they pulled up even with us and kept charging. We hit it hard, we fought hard and rowed our own race. I think we had a really good race. There are some points that we can excel a bit better on, but overall we rowed a good race. Belarus was a really good competitor. They were strong today.
United States Coxswain
"When you get an opportunity to race against the defending world champions you really just want to come with your best performance. They got the lead early and were sort of holding it on us. Somewhere just past halfway we broke a little bit on them and got a little bit of a lead. Then it stayed like that the rest of the way. For most of the way it was back-and-forth, neck-and-neck and they seemed to have advantage.
"I consider this like a preseason game and I don't think there are any upsets in preseason. It was just two crews coming out trying to get some racing experience. It's early, months before the world championships.
"This is my fourth trip to the Montlake Cut. Either seven or eight out of the nine guys had actually raced here before so everybody knew what it was going to be like. The only thing we weren't prepared for was that this seemed like a pro-USA crowd, so when we came under that bridge (Montlake Bridge), man it was loud. It was louder than I've ever heard it, so it was fantastic.
"This place is loud. Part of the reason why is that at the World Championships and the Olympics you are out in the middle of a lake and the fans on the side. Here, everybody's got the front row seat. Obviously, this is a city with good rowing fans. It was nice and loud and it definitely got us fired up."
Canada No. 3 seat
Former University of Washington rower from 1998-2001
"Any loss is disappointing. There is a unique relationship between crews when you are the defending champion. I think the United States took huge advantage of that aspect of the relationship between the two crews. They really capitalized on wanting to take down the defending champions. They were successful in doing that.
"It's May 3 and the World Championships are the last week of August. This is motivation. Losing a race is the greatest motivation there is. They did a great job and beat us very well. We're not going to walk around with our heads down, but we're definitely disappointed. We expected more from ourselves today and we have to go back to Victoria and work harder than we have."
Belarus National Team Technical Director
"I don't really have words to describe the excitement. It's overwhelming. To see so many people and so many eights all at once gives me goose-bumps. The girls just had an extreme amount of pleasure and lots of fun. Several of them had never left Belarus before. This is all very exciting. Their parents were a little bit concerned about going to America and all these things, but they have been called and told that the welcome has been really exceptional. We would have liked to have done a little better, but we feel good about the race."
Belarus stroke (No. 8 seat)
"I have so much emotion about the welcome we received. The friendliness of the local team was really wonderful. We had really worthy opponents and it felt good to compete against them."
President of the Polish Rowing Federation
"It is amazing that so many people watch this event. I have been at many events in my lifetime and only the Henley Regatta is so big and has so many people watching. It's very important for our athletes to be here and to see how popular rowing is in America."