May. 2, 2005
The Washington men's and women's rowing teams host the annual Windermere Cup regatta, Saturday, May 7. Racing begins at 10:20 a.m. on the Montlake Cut. The Huskies are joined by elite competition from Cornell University and the national teams from the Czech Republic.
The Windermere Cup is a spectacle unrivaled in collegiate crew. It is among the premier regattas in the sport of rowing with thousands of spectators lining both sides of the course for its entire 2,000-meter length.
Junior Marah Connole (Helena, Mont.) spent a few minutes with GoHuskies.com, talking about the season and describing her thoughts on the upcoming Windermere Cup.
GoHuskies.com: How has the year been going so far?
Marah Connole: "At the beginning we were really confident. We had some really good workouts, some really good practices, some really good pieces. In our first races we struggled a little bit to find what we had brought from practice. So, that was a little bit tough. We had a good win at WSU and had a disappointing race at Cal. Last week at practice we really worked on being more aggressive. We came back and showed a good first step in our race Saturday against OSU."
Gohuskies.com: How much of a confidence builder is it to get rewarded for your hard work with a win against Oregon State?
MC: "It's huge. Confidence is so big. If you come in and don't have anything to build off of, that takes you down in a race. Confidence is huge. To win the race over OSU and to actually have a good race that will bring us into Windermere Cup and we can show them even more."
Gohuskies.com: You are in a stretch of five straight weekends with high-level races. Do you enjoy that or would you rather have a week off in there somewhere?
MC: "It's hard, but we worked all fall and all winter so hard. This is the big time. This is what we we've been waiting for, what we've been training for. It's intense, not as long of workouts as we do in the winter. We can handle it. We worked all year for this just preparing for this stretch of intense racing."
Gohuskies.com: "What are your thoughts coming into Windermere Cup week?
MC: "I'm excited. I love the competition. I love the crowds. It's kind of the Husky rowing time to shine in the Seattle community so it's exciting."
Gohuskies.com: "What do you remember from the first time you raced in the Windermere Cup regatta?
MC: "It was unbelievable. I was a novice and we were in the first novice race. The crowds are amazing. It's a different feeling when you are racing and everyone is cheering and you can't even hear your coxswain. You are just going for it because the crowd is just pumping you up and there is adrenaline flowing. It's just really intense and you are going for it."
Gohuskies.com: What makes the Windermere Cup so unique?
MC: "I think it's because you can get people that normally don't watch rowing, they come to watch the Windermere Cup. They kind of get a little glimpse about what Husky rowing is about, what the tradition is about. They see how hard we work and kind of appreciate us for what we do. It's cool to have everyone so close to you. The boats are right there. Everyone is on the boats and everyone is on The Cut and it's like you can hear them right there."
Gohuskies.com: You might know a little bit about the Cornell women's crew, but probably don't know much about the Czech Republic National Team. How do you prepare during the week when you don't know how good your opposition is?
MC: "This is kind of what we do for other races as well. We go out like it's another race, another piece, another practice, but this time the intensity is up. We go out there ready to race anyone, no matter who they are. We keep our heads in the boat. We don't want to be thinking about how the other team did last week or what they are ranked, that's not a good way to go about racing another team. We want to keep our focus on our boat and it keeps us intense and going in the right direction."