The Washington men's and women's rowing teams compete Sunday at the annual Pac-10 Championships on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The Husky men's varsity eight crew won the 2007 conference crown and is seeking its first back-to-back Pac-10 titles since 2003 and 2004.
Sophomore Blaise Didier is one of five rowers in the current varsity eight who did not row in last season's Pac-10 and national championship boat. Didier rowed in UW's freshman eight last year, helping the Huskies place second at the Pac-10 regatta before collecting the bronze medal at the 2007 IRA Championships.
Blaise spent a few minutes this week with GoHuskies.com, talking about the season and the upcoming Pac-10 regatta.
GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts on the season so far?
Blaise Didier: "We're working really hard and I've put my hardest in and I know the other guys have too."
How long did it take you to get adjusted to the new group of rowers in the varsity eight?
BD: "I don't think it really took that long at all. The way Michael [Callahan] does it, we just go in small boats like pairs, fours, eights so we slowly build up to each other."
GoHuskies.com: Before the last race, the Windermere Cup, you broke some equipment during warm-ups. Can you describe what happened prior to the Windermere Cup?
BD: "We were coming back and we were doing a starting piece, warm-up, and I think on the second stroke I snapped the pin so we had to book it back and pick up the other racing shell and race back to the race course."
GoHuskies.com: Have you ever broken a pin before?
BD: "Once in high school."
GoHuskies.com: What would have happened in a situation like that on the road, when you didn't have another shell available?
BD: "I'm not quite sure. Since we were on warm-up and it was so close to start time I'm not sure if they would let us start late or if we'd come back and repair the boat."
GoHuskies.com: How long would it take to repair a broken pin?
BD: "If you were really fast maybe 20 minutes plus time returning and heading out."
GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts on Sunday's Pac-10 Championships?
BD: "I'm excited, it's always fun to test yourself."
GoHuskies.com: Is there any added pressure because Washington is the defending men's varsity eight champions?
BD: "I wasn't in the boat last year so this is hopefully my first one."
GoHuskies.com: Washington's varsity eight has been ranked No. 1 all season. Are the rankings significant to you?
BD: "I personally haven't looked at the rankings at all. I don't do that."
GoHuskies.com: What is your major?
GoHuskies.com: What do you plan to do in the future?
BD: "Hopefully, I'll use the networking that the alumni group has. I want to do some consulting, but if that doesn't work out maybe I'll get my masters and a Ph.D. and start teaching."
GoHuskies.com: Thank you and good luck Sunday.
BD: "Thank you."