March 19, 2003
SEATTLE - Windermere Real Estate and the University of Washington have assembled a spectacular field for the 2003 Windermere Cup regatta, including a dual race between the world champion men's eight from Canada and the United States' National Team. The 17th-annual Windermere Cup takes place Saturday, May 3 at 10:20 a.m. on the Montlake Cut to start the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day festivities.
Rowing against host Washington in the men's eight-oared race are Poland's national team and Northeastern University from Boston, Mass. Joining the NCAA champion Washington women's eight are a national team from Belarus along with the University of Notre Dame. This is the inaugural Windermere Cup appearance for all of those visiting crews, their first opportunity to row the unique 2,000-meter Lake Washington course through the Montlake Cut that is annually lined with thousands of spectators in boats and on shore.
"Windermere's ethic is to make the best show you possibly can. As far as rowing is concerned, we're doing that," remarked Washington men's coach Bob Ernst. "This year's field is super-special.
"The crew from Poland is their national team. It's going to be their guys who are preparing for the Olympics. We're really excited about that. Northeastern had a really strong showing last year, particularly through the dual-meet season."
The Polish National Team placed fifth in the "B" final at the 2003 World Championships. Their success in recent junior competitions is a sign that Poland is one of the up-and-coming crews in international rowing. Northeastern placed second in the petite final at the 2002 IRA Championships, finishing eighth overall in the men's eights.
The Windermere Cup women's field is also loaded with quality competition.
"Belarus has been an international power in women's rowing for a few years now and we couldn't be luckier to have them come and provide competition for us," said Washington women's coach Jan Harville. "Belarus is also great to have because of the cultural exchange which is a big part of what the Windermere Cup is about.
"Notre Dame is an example of a relatively new women's program that is going at it 100 percent. They jumped in full-fledged with a real commitment to their program. They are certainly a high-quality university fielding a high-quality rowing team."
Belarus finished fifth among women's eight competitors at the 2003 World Championships. Notre Dame finished 13th in the final 2002 rankings after qualifying a boat in the varsity eight event at the NCAA Championships.
"We're bringing the world champions too," Ernst adds about the Windermere Challenge Cup race between the men's national teams from Canada and the U.S. "That's going to be like two international heavyweights duking it out. Between those two, they have won four gold medals at the last six World Championships."
Canada claimed its first world title in the men's eight event, Sept. 22, 2003 in Seville, Spain. The U.S. placed third at the 2002 world championships after winning three straight gold medals between 1997-99.
This year marks the second annual "Dick Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup" in honor of the legendary Husky rowing coach who passed away in 2001. The men's Cascade Cup features Washington's junior varsity eight crew racing against Oregon State and Northeastern.
In the women's Cascade Cup, the UW junior varsity eight meets Oregon State, Notre Dame and Washington State.
The University of Washington is celebrating its 100th year of Husky Crew. Several special centennial functions are planned, including a 100-year Anniversary banquet on Thursday, May 1 that features appearances by UW numerous rowing legends.
"Windermere Real Estate has been a proud sponsor of the Windermere Cup for the past 17 years," said Geoff Wood, President of Windermere Real Estate. "This year is especially significant as we pay tribute to the University of Washington's 100-year commitment to the inspiring sport of crew."
The Windermere Cup races are the feature event of the 34th-annual Opening Day Regatta on Lake Washington's Montlake Cut and are held in conjunction with the Seattle Yacht Club's annual celebration of the opening of yachting season. The Opening Day Regatta has been a traditional part of the ceremonies surrounding the opening of yachting season since 1970, and the women's intercollegiate races were added to the schedule in 1976. The regatta is the preliminary event to the yacht club parade, sponsored annually by the Seattle Yacht Club. Thousands of spectators annually line the cut, both on land and water, to enjoy the festivities.
The Washington men's and women's varsity eights have each won 11 Windermere Cup titles. The Husky men captured 11 of the last 12 Windermere Cup championships while the women's varsity eight has won four in a row and 10 of the last 11.
Washington opens its 2003 season with the annual Class Day festivities March 29 on the Montlake Cut. The day is a celebration of the start of the racing season and features each class of rowers - freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors - racing against one another. Washington then officially opens the season with its annual trek to the San Diego Crew Classic, April 5-6.
Windermere Cup/Opening Day Featured Races
Men's Windermere Cup
Poland, Northeastern University, University of Washington.
Women's Windermere Cup
Belarus, University of Notre Dame, University of Washington
Windermere Challenge Cup
Canadian Men's National Team, United States Men's National Team
Men's Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup
Oregon State University, Northeastern University, University of Washington.
Women's Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup
Oregon State University, University of Notre Dame, Washington State University, University of Washington
About Windermere Real Estate Windermere Real Estate in its 17th year as title sponsor of the Windermere Cup Regatta. Windermere Real estate is the leading residential real estate network in the West with nearly 6,000 associates and more than 200 offices serving neighborhoods in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Windermere Real Estate values the University of Washington's contribution to the academic and athletic success of its students and views rowing as the perfect expression of these pursuits. The company's Web site is highly regarded as one of the leading real estate Web sites in the country in terms of customer usability and design: www.windermere.com