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Windermere Cup Post-Race Quotes
Release: 05/01/2004
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Recap| Results

Windermere Cup Regatta
May 1, 2004
Seattle, Wash.; Montlake Cut


Bob Ernst
Washington Men's Head Coach

"I've seen every one of these Windermere Cup Regattas and this is by far the biggest crowd that we've ever had. I'm sure the weather is a big part of it, but the coverage we got this week and the interest in the community and the sponsorship from Windermere it's great. I've never ever seen a crowd anything close to that and they were very verbal, vocal and all that stuff.

"I think they're making decent progress. It's the first time we've raced this line-up, they're making progress, they've got a month.

"In these kind of races you almost have to consider them like a match race. All these coaches have friends all over the place, so they know exactly how we raced last week and all that kind of business. Most of the time in an event like this, you get people who race pretty much flat out to see if they can get ahead of you in the first part of the race to get you rattled or something like that. It was a close race for the first third or half, I thought they did what they were supposed to do. The Navy crew was really game. They always bring tough guys.

"All the guys in the varsity and junior varsity eights are going to come back and start rowing some fours again, so we're going to give them some truth serum and see how they're doing. It's extremely tough competition from here on out, so we have to be really, really good. There's no compromises and no slack."

Greg King
Washington men's varsity eight coxswain

"It's a great race, it's really loud. The rowers can barely hear you going down the course because there's so many people screaming. It's a lot of fun. It's more of a spectacle than a race in a lot of ways, but it was a lot of fun. We want to thank Windermere for giving us our boats and we're glad we could win the race in that boat on their day.

"Navy's a really strong crew and we never go into a race expecting to be up on anybody. We had no idea how fast Italy was going to be. We hadn't heard anything about them, but we went out and rowed a good race.

"The line-up we rowed today we've only been rowing for a few days. We made another switch last week and we're always trying to improve ourselves. We have Oregon State next weekend, so we'll see how fast we can go against them. We have so many powerful guys, so many great rowers right now that it's difficult to say who's going to be where next week."

Italy Men's Head Coach

"It was a good level today on the water. The guys behaved well, they're only 19 and 20 years old and they need to grow up a lot both technically and physiologically. To see the guys at Washington and Navy is a good example for them to see what the real world looks like. Overall, I will bring home a positive experience, not a gold medal, but a positive experience."

Italy men's coxswain

"It was quite an emotion to be in that race, it was something special. The guys put in a tremendous effort but it wasn't enough to match the other crews. They started fast but they couldn't keep up with the rhythm of Washington and Navy.

"The race itself is the best part of the experience. Although we didn't win, to see the spectacle with all those people there shouting and yelling and making noise, the whole landscape was just incredible."

Navy Men's Head Coach

"We were racing for a while. We got off and actually were a little bit ahead after 15 of 20 strokes. At 300 to 400 meters into it we were even. At 500 meters we were only behind one seat. We knew Washington was very strong and in the early part of the second 500 they pushed away a bit and got out half a length. At the 1,000-meter mark it was half a length. That's still okay, so we're in the zone. The problem was that we were rowing a bit higher than we wanted to. Our race plan called for our stroke rate to be at 36 and we were rowing at 38. So, we really didn't have much of base then to push from as we crossed the 1,000. By the time it got to 600 meters to go they had three-quarters of a length. As Washington came up on the bridge they extended it out.

"We're pleased to be here. Washington is rated third this week and they are clearly at least that.

"This was a great experience for us. We came into the home environment for Washington, got into a boat that we were not familiar with and rowed against arguably one of the two best crews in the country. We probably can learn from this.

"Dick (Erickson) and I had an idea for this race. We did the first one. It was done early in the morning and there weren't very many people here. Every time I've come back it's gotten bigger. It's very unique. I can't think of another situation like it where you have all those boats on either side coming down for 1,400 meters and then you have 600 meters like Husky Stadium. It's noisy and it gets louder as you get toward the finish line. I don't think there is anything like that in rowing anywhere much less college rowing. It's marvelous. The people who put this together have a lot to be proud of."

Navy men's varsity eight coxswain

"We were prepared by Coach Clothier just because he's been out here before to this race. It was a great opportunity to race a really fast crew. We knew it was going to be loud and it was very exciting. I don't think it compares to any other race. You can compare it to Henley in England, but even that isn't quite as big. I guess it's as close to playing a varsity football game in college as you can get to in rowing.

"We hung with them for about the first half, but you have to hand it to Washington, they're a very fast, very strong crew."

Eleanor McElvaine
Washington Women's Head Coach

"We did a pretty good job. The girls felt a little bit tired. They were really glad they weren't racing for the national championship today, so I don't think it was the best they have. It wasn't their fastest speed. At the same time, this is a big test for us at Opening Day to race against people we don't know. To race against foreign crews is really important for us when we line up against Princeton and Brown and teams we don't see during the regular season. It was a good performance in front of the biggest crowd they're ever going to face. If they go to the Olympics, they may not row in front of as many people as they did today.

"We had our California race last weekend, so we tapered three days for that race, so we had to do a lot of hard work, work through next week and then taper for Pac-10s. We have to have at least two weeks of really hard work in order to have any kind of tapering.

"It really was completely unexpected. Before the race I would have expected the Italians to be right up there with us. A lot of rowing is racing your best within your boat and the girls were able to do that really well and showed some good speed this time of the season.

"The race doesn't count in our standings, so I'd be surprised if we moved up in the standings. It's more a really important step for us personally to go out there and have that good performance in front of so many fans with such great pressure. To perform well there is a big step for us.

"I think the best performance of the year is yet to come. I think last weekend was a better race for us. There's a big difference between racing when you feel tired and when you feel rested.

"In the Cascade Cup, my hats are off to the Washington State Cougars. They have real tough kids and they were down, but they didn't get discouraged, they fought back and the answer is we need to do some looking at our players and make sure we have the toughest players in our boat. It's not acceptable to have someone come back and walk through you. WSU beat us before, so it's not a complete shock."

Megan Mach
Washington Women's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"It was fun, we all got really excited to uphold a tradition. It's a great race

"How confident can you be going up against people you have never raced against before? We were excited and ready to do our best. It's practice for something you see at nationals. When you race on the West Coast, you start to understand how people race. They understand us, we understand them. When you go to new races it's a whole new ballgame, you have to go in and do your best.

"This is one of the best races I've ever been in. I love it. This is one of the races you look forward to. All of Seattle comes out and it's good to see how supportive everyone is."

Yvonneke Stenken
Washington Women's Varsity Eight

"It was a good race. We were really excited. This was my last home race so I was kind of nostalgic but it was really nice to win and we were really looking to go in and have a really solid race because we're going to Pac-10s in two weeks and we really want to keep building off previous races. I think we did that. We didn't have a really quick, clean start like we like to but we kept with them in the start and then we just settled into our pace and found our rhythm, stayed long and rocked through.

"We're lucky that it's here, we're lucky that it's our program that puts it on and that Seattle is such a welcoming city in terms of rowing. I don't think we look at ourselves as spoiled that it's here but we're really thankful. I don't think we lose sight of the fact that we really are thankful that we get to be a part of this every year. And we're really happy for the crews that get to come because it is a really cool experience and not a lot of people get to come."

Italy Women's Head Coach

"It's been a very positive experience for us. It's the first time we are out of Italy and it has been extremely positive for the women to experience this different level of rowing and they performed decently. There's still a big margin to improve."

Italy Women's Coxswain

"It was very exciting with all the people around. In fact the most difficult thing for us was to not be looking around with our heads too much. We felt famous.

"We were a little bit sorry to come closer, but not win. We don't have an idea if we can win or not because it was just the first race for us with these people. It's the first time out of Italy that a female eight came for a race. We worked to get together because they were all from different cities and so they never get together."

UCLA Women's Head Coach

"We came up here pretty much knowing we were just going to try and better ourselves. It was such a wonderful opportunity. What a beautiful day, and then for my team to be able to race in that venue with that many spectators, go under the bridge with people screaming, I don't think they've ever experienced anything that exciting before. They're just so happy to be here. Before my varsity eight launched, they were getting into the boat and they could hear the spectator route blowing horns and I said, 'You guys, that's the crowd,' and they got so nervous, it was really cute. It's not typical, you never have that type of thing. Even at the Olympic Games you don't have a roar that close to you surrounding you.

"In that varsity eights race there were some steering problems in the first little bit there but it's part of the sport and you've just got to push through it and overcome obstacles and see how you react, that's part of the game so it's just another experience to work from. We had figured we would be within 10 seconds of the UW based on what we've done so far this year and I still think that's a realistic goal for us for the Pac-10s. It's really our second year as a varsity program so we're just building. We're so excited to be invited and as soon as they invited us we just changed our whole schedule around to come up because I wouldn't miss the opportunity to come up here and be a part of it."

UCLA Women's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"I think we were pushing hard from the very beginning. We started higher than we normally would, we had a lot of adrenaline and it was an exciting race to go through. We've never been in such an environment where there's so many people cheering for you, so it was an awesome feeling to just go through that experience.

"We knew there would be a lot of people cheering and being loud and obnoxious but we stayed focused. They were trying to listen to me over what everyone else was doing."

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