July 3, 2010
» Temple Cup Results
» GoHuskies: Washington Advances To Quarterfinals
» Henley Opener A Success For Dawgs
» GoHuskies: Washington Frosh To Race At Henley
» GoHuskies: Crew Helps Taft Broaden Horizons
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England - An all-American matchup at the Henley Royal Regatta provided one of the stiffest tests for Washington. But in the end, the rowers from Harvard suffered the same fate - a loss - as every other boat to face UW in head-to-head competition on the River Thames.
With their strong performance in the semifinals of the Temple Cup on Saturday, the Huskies now advance to the championship race, where they'll face Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging, a strong crew from the Netherlands. Washington now has the opportunity to complete a dream season - a Henley title to go along with its IRA National Championship.
The Huskies led Harvard from the onset, testing the Crimson's fitness level as they reached the barrier - the first progress marker at Henley - with a time of 1:47, which equaled a Temple Cup record. But it wasn't until the final 500 meters that the Huskies were able to extend their lead to open water over Harvard, finishing in a time of 6:18, four seconds off the record on the 2,112-meter course.
This was the plan all along.
"I told the guys that it would take the entire course to wear them down," said freshman coach Luke McGee. "So the focus was to really just row our race and put together the complete effort."
In the run-up to the Henley championship, the Huskies have defeated crews from the UK (Warwick), Japan (Nihon), Canada (Victoria) and now the United States. Now they'll need to do the same against a Dutch crew who has also pieced together four consecutive wins. Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging reached the final with a slim, ½ boat win over Queens University, a Northern Ireland crew.
"They race very hard in the middle of the course and are another well drilled, race-experienced crew," McGee said. "That is what you get at this point of the race." Harvard and Washington had already met this season when they raced in the Grand Finals of the IRA Championships in Cherry Hill, N.J., in June. The victorious Huskies finished six seconds ahead of the Crimson, who were fifth overall.
Regardless of what happens in the final, the Huskies have assured themselves of their best-ever finish at the Temple Cup. Washington last raced in the competition in 1997, making the quarterfinals.