May 3, 2006
SATURDAY, MAY 6 --
Washington Crew hosts the Windermere Cup Regatta (KJR, AM 950 Radio)
10:20 a.m. / Lake Washington Montlake Cut / Seattle, Wash.
A return engagement for the Russian Rowing Federation highlights the field assembled by Windermere Real Estate and the University of Washington for the 2006 edition of the Windermere Cup regatta. The 20th-annual Windermere Cup takes place Saturday, May 6 at 10:20 a.m. on the Montlake Cut to start the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day festivities. The crew races will be broadcast live in the Puget Sound area on KJR Radio (AM 950). The two feature races include eight-oared crews from Russia making their first visit to Seattle since 1996. At the inaugural Windermere Cup in 1987, crews representing the Soviet Union captured the men's and women's trophies during the first regatta sponsored by Windermere Real Estate. There are 19 events on this year's racing schedule, including events for masters and junior crews.
Competing against seventh-ranked Washington in the men's varsity eight-oared race are No. 14 Michigan and the complete Russian National Team that finished sixth at the 2005 World Championships. Two other visiting teams, Orange Coast College and Oregon State, will compete in the Erickson Cup for second-varsity boats, and the freshman eight race. Joining the 10th-ranked Washington women's varsity eight are No.19 Central Florida and the national team from Russia. This is the inaugural opening day appearance for the Golden Knights of Central Florida, their first opportunity to row the unique 2,000-meter Lake Washington course through the Montlake Cut. Gonzaga and Western Washington join Washington in the Cascade Cup for second varsity women while Washington State and WWU are slated to row in the novice eight race.
Rowing results, race recaps and video of the finishes will be available Saturday afternoon on the official Washington Athletic Department website at: www.gohuskies.com
Saturday's Windermere Cup races will be broadcast live in the Puget Sound area on Husky Sports flagship station KJR (AM-950). Radio coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs until noon. KJR's Bob Rondeau calls the action with color commentary from UW women's head coach Eleanor McElvaine. KJR's Elise Woodward provides finish-line coverage and Dick Fain is on the course in the follow boat.
The Montlake Course
The starting line for the Huskies' home regattas is on Lake Washington, parallel to the Evergreen Point floating bridge. The course runs from east to west through the Montlake Cut to the finish line near the mouth of Portage Bay at the west end of Montlake Cut. A good view of the racecourse is available along either side of the Montlake Cut, or from above on the Montlake Bridge.
Where to Watch
Spectators are encouraged to view the May 6 Windermere Cup races from the shores of the Montlake Cut or from above on the Montlake Bridge. This is a free community event with parking available at surrounding University of Washington lots. The Montlake Bridge will be closed to car and pedestrian traffic from 9:40 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The races begin at 10:20 a.m. followed by the boat parade.
Opening Day Events
The Windermere Cup races are the headline events of the 37th-annual Opening Day Regatta 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 beginning 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 Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day Boat Parade. The theme for this year's boat parade is "Caribbean Carnival," featuring more than 20 classes of boats adorned with tropical decoration. The Windermere Cup regatta, along with the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day Boat Parade, combine to mark the beginning of the region's much-anticipated boating season with one of Seattle's largest free public events. Huge crowds annually line the shores of "The Cut" and position their boats along the racing and parade course to witness the stirring displays of competition and pageantry.
When the Husky varsity eights take the water this weekend they will be vying for the engraved crystal Windermere Cup trophy. On the men's side the Huskies captured the Windermere Cup the last four years and have won it 14 of the past 15 years. The Czech Republic won the women's Windermere Cup last year after Washington won in 2004. The UW women have claimed 11 of the last 14 trophies. The second varsity eights will be competing for the Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup, renamed in 2002 to honor Husky Hall of Fame rower and coach Dick Erickson. As an oarsman, he lettered from 1956-58 and then coached the UW freshmen men from 1964-67. Erickson served as head varsity men's coach from 1968-87, leading the Huskies to 15 Pacific Coast championships, the 1970 IRA championship and a national championship in 1984. After retiring from coaching, Erickson served as UW's athletic facilities manager until his death in 2001. The Washington second varsity women 13 of the 14 titles since Windermere began sponsoring the Cascade Cup in 1992, falling in 2004 against Washington State. The Husky men also won 13 of 14 Cascade Cup trophies as Nottinghamshire (England) won in 1998.
The Men's Field
> Michigan -- The 14th-ranked Wolverines' varsity eight crew makes its first Windermere Cup appearance ... Michigan finished fifth in the petite final at the 2005 IRA championships, placing 11th overall ... The Wolverines are coached by Gregg Hartsuff.
> Russia -- The boat competing Saturday is the National Team, featuring the same crew that represented Russia at the 2005 World Championships in Gifu, Japan and placed sixth in the men's eights ... The Russian Rowing Federation sends a crew to the Windermere Cup for the third time ... A crew from the Soviet Union competed at the inaugural Windermere Cup in 1987 and defeated Washington in a match race ... The Huskies avenged that loss in 1996, winning the Windermere Cup over Yale and Russia.
> Washington -- The Huskies' No. 7 ranked varsity eight has a 3-2 record ... UW's losses came against No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 California ... Varsity eight placed fourth at the 2005 IRA championships ... Rowers Ante Kusurin and Aljosa Corovic are the only two returnees from UW's victorious 2005 Windermere Cup crew.
The Women's Field
> Central Florida -- The Golden Knights are listed No. 19 in this week's coaches poll ... Central Florida makes its first appearance in the Windermere Cup ... The trip out West is the second this season for the Knights, who suffered narrow losses to Stanford, UCLA and Washington State in the Bay Area ... In her third year as head coach at UCF is Leeanne Crain, a former rower (1985-88) and assistant coach (1990-92) at UCLA.
> Russia -- The eight-oared crew racing Saturday is the National Team ... Five of the eight rowers represented Russia at the 2006 World Championships in Kifu, Japan ... They placed second in the "B" final at the Worlds ... Saturday marks the third appearance of a Russian crew at the Windermere Cup ... A crew from the Soviet Union won the inaugural Windermere race in 1987, defeating Washington and California ... The Huskies avenged that loss in 1996, winning the Windermere Cup over Russia and Yale.
> Washington -- The varsity eight is ranked No. 10 and has a 4-3 record ... UW's losses came against No. 2 California, No 4 Ohio State and No. 8 Washington State ... Huskies' top boat placed 12th at the 2005 NCAA Championships ... Six rowers from last year's Windermere Cup runner-up crew are expected in the varsity eight boat Saturday.
Windermere Real Estate & Rowing
Windermere's heritage of supporting collegiate crew racing began 20 years ago when the company sponsored the first annual Windermere Cup regatta in Seattle. Held in partnership with the University of Washington, the Windermere Cup has become one of the largest community events in Seattle, welcoming national and international crews for exciting competition while commencing the official opening day of boating season for the waters of the Puget Sound. In 2003, Windermere expanded its involvement with the sport and launched, in conjunction with Stanford University, the Windermere Real Estate Rowing Classic at Redwood Shores, Redwood City, Calif.
About Windermere Real Estate
Windermere Real Estate is the largest residential real estate brand in the Western United States with more than 285 offices and 8,000 agents in nine Western states and British Columbia. Windermere has redefined the way real estate is practiced through its industry-leading tools and technologies and a demonstrated commitment to the communities it serves. For more information visit the company website at: www.windermere.com.
Quoting the Husky Coaches on the Windermere Cup
Washington men's coach Bob Ernst --"It's awesome. We are pleased to have the Russians come to represent their region of the world for the 20th anniversary of the Windermere Cup. From the guys' side, Michigan has one of the best emerging programs in the country. If you are not right on your game, they are going to kick you. We're also excited to have Orange Coast coming for the Erickson Cup (second varsity) and freshman race. They have, by far, the best community college program in the country. They've always got great athletes and great recruit prospects. Maybe they will come up here, see Seattle and think that it's a nice place to be for a couple years. We've certainly gotten some great athletes to come from Orange Coast from time-to-time. Even a coach once. We've been able to provide absolutely great international crews every year. People wonder, I think, how come we've won so many times. There's no question about the fact that it's really hard to make a trip as far as a lot of these countries are making to come here. The whole atmosphere is so atypical of a legitimate sports competition. It's not the Olympics and it's not anything like the world championships. It's more like Mardi Gras with a rowing race. It's just awesome. I tell you what, if you went to every single athlete and coach that's ever been here for the Windermere Cup, you would be really hard-pressed to find one who would say it wasn't worth the trip. It's the championship time of year for our crews and we want the best competition. We want to know that we've got to be on our game or we're not going to win that thing."
Washington women's coach Eleanor McElvaine -- "The invitation to the Russians is a historical, monumental celebration of this incredible run that Windermere has had sponsoring this event. We are so excited to celebrate the last 20 years by going back and having that initial team come back and visit. We're very excited for the whole event, to have them here. Central Florida was a bit unknown when I made the invitation. I know the coach there, but their program is very new. What's really exciting is to see through their recent results is they are very good. That's great for us because you have to line up against really good teams and give it your best to get better. This is a team that won't take anything less than that. It's just a great testament to that company. It's a common culture for a company to have a brand and a sense of identity that they bring their particular business and their particular community. The Windermere Cup event is a great visual for how that can work for a corporation, how they can really get committed to doing something with excellence. It shows in the quality of the event. We probably see more of it behind the scenes because it has to do with how they treat the athletes. The athletes that compete in the Windermere Cup feel that they are the most important athletes in Seattle on that day. That's just awesome."
About the UW Men
The Husky men are ranked No. 7 in the national poll. The varsity eight has wins over current No. 9 Northeastern, No. 16 Penn and No. 18 Oregon State to its credit and lost races to No. 2 California and No. 3 Stanford. UW's varsity eight was the 2005 Pac-10 runner-up and placed fourth at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships. Four rowers return last year's IRA varsity eight crew: seniors Ante Kusurin (Zagreb, Croatia), Kiel Petersen (Poulsbo, Wash.), Colin Phillips (Coronado, Calif.) and junior Aljosa Corovic (Belgrade, Serbia). Also returning are two rowers from the 2005 national champion junior varsity eight and four members of the Huskies' national champion open four crew. Challenging for positions in the varsity boats are members of last year's freshman eight that earned the bronze medal at the 2005 IRA regatta.
About the UW Women
The Washington women's varsity eight is ranked 10th in the current coaches poll. UW opened the season with wins over then 20th-ranked Boston University and Syracuse, but has since lost to No. 5 Ohio State and No. 2 California. The Huskies placed ninth in the team competition at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Five rowers return from UW's varsity eight crew that placed 12th at the NCAA regatta: seniors Marah Connole (Helena, Mt.), Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) and Allison DePalma (San Jose, Calif.) along with juniors Kara Farqharson (Mississauga, Ontario) and Courtney Plitt (Mill Creek, Wash./Jackson HS). Also returning are six members of the junior varsity eight that won the 2005 NCAA petite final. Senior Erin Lee (Kenmore, Wash./Inglemoor HS) is the lone returning rower from UW's silver medal varsity four crew. An infusion of talent joins the varsity in the form of a cadre of sophomores who led the novice eight to the 2005 Pac-10 championship.
The Men's Staff
Bob Ernst is in his 32nd season on staff, his 19th as the men's head coach. Ernst seeks to direct the Huskies' varsity eight to their first national championship since 1997. Serving as the men's freshman coach for the second season is Michael Callahan, a former Husky rower (1993-96) who was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.
The Women's Staff
Eleanor McElvaine is in her third year as the women's head coach after serving 13 seasons as an assistant coach. The entire women's staff returns, including third-year assistants Sean Mulligan, who is the assistant varsity coach, and Erica Schwab, the novice women's coach. All staff members are former UW crew competitors, including varsity intern Mary Whipple and novice intern Ilia Ash. Whipple was the coxswain for the silver-medal winning U.S. women's eight at the 2004 Olympics.
Next Week's Rowing Schedule
Sunday, May 14 - Pac-10 Rowing Championships
7:00 a.m. / Lake Natoma / Rancho Cordova, Calif.