April 1, 2012
SAN DIEGO - The conditions on the Mission Bay course were so turbulent, Husky women's crew coach Bob Ernst equated it to rowing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Washington bore the brunt of a fierce crosswind Sunday morning, and struggled to repeat the successes of its first day at the San Diego Crew Classic. The Huskies ended the day third in the battle for the Jessop-Whittier Cup, with their varsity eight finishing behind winner USC and second-place Virginia with a time of 7:10.86. The time clearly reflected how the winds punished crews, particularly those who didn't have access to the buffering of the inside racing lanes.
On the flip side, the Huskies again came out ahead of Pac-12 rivals Cal and Stanford, who finished fourth and sixth respectively in the Grand Final.
"There was some pretty heavy water out there," Ernst said. "I thought we did the best we could do with the conditions."
All in all, the Huskies had a positive experience at the Crew Classic, one of the most-anticipated regattas on the April rowing calendar. Washington made the Grand Finals in all four categories, and picked up valuable racing experience heading into next weekend's Apple Cup Dual with Washington State.
The best racing of the day came in the 2V8 Grand Final. UW initially trailed the pack heading into the 500-meter mark, but made a strong move to reel in boats. Then the Huskies made a slow, steady push to row through boats and finish behind winner UCLA, coming across the 2,000-meter course with a time of 7:19.43. The boat, which was stroked by Elisabeth Odland, rowed smooth and powerful through the choppy current, much to the delight of Ernst.
"There was some fantastic racing by the 2V," Ernst said. "They set themselves for a good race by the first 500, and then rowed through people. They did it with power and finesse."
The sailing wasn't as smooth for the Husky novices, a boat featuring six freshmen rowers who had yet to touch an oar before arriving at Washington. The conditions affected them the most, yet Ernst was pleased how novice coach Conor Bullis and his team made the best of a difficult situation, finishing third with a time of 7:37.28. That was 13 seconds behind first-place California.
The Washington V4 finished sixth in its Grand Final, a race which was won by Virginia in a blistering time of 7:58.12. The Huskies came across in 8:17.17. The Huskies return to Seattle where they'll prepare to host cross-state rival Washington State. The last two races in this series have been won by the visiting crews, which will make for an interesting showdown on the Montlake Cut next Saturday.
Womens Collegiate Varsity Invitational GFinal Jessop-Whittier Cup
1. USC, 7:03.93; 2. Virginia, 7:06.79; 3. Washington, 7:10.86; 4. Cal, 7:15.66; 5. UCLA, 7:18.20; 6. Stanford, 7:18.92
Womens Collegiate 2V GFinal Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy
1. UCLA, 7:14.24; 2. Washington, 7:19.43; 3. Virginia, 7:19.55; 4. Stanford, 7:21.60; 5. Cal, 7:23.64; 6. USC, 7:29.46
Womens Collegiate 4+ GFinal Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup
1. Virginia A, 7:58.12; 2. Washington St., 8:02.23; 3. UCLA, 8:05.35; 4. Tennessee, 8:08.98; 5. USC A, 8:11.79; 6. Washington, 8:17.17
Womens Collegiate Novice GFinal Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Trophy
1. Cal, 7:24.33; 2. UCLA, 7:32.39; 3. Washington, 7:37.28; 4. Minnesota A, 7:38.76; 5. Washington St., 7:41.99; 6. Oklahoma, 7:56.45