Oct. 8, 2010
SEATTLE - The Washington men's and women's crew teams announced their 2010-11 schedules and as always, the Huskies face a difficult slate of opponents.
Once again, the season officially begins on the East Coast as Washington will send both of its top eight-oared boats to the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston on Oct. 24. Last year, the Huskies were the second collegiate team in both classifications to cross the finish line of the 5,000-meter race.
When the Huskies return to Seattle they'll conclude the fall portion of their schedule with the annual Head of the Lake Regatta on Nov. 7.
The spring racing schedule begins with Washington's Class Day Regatta on March 26, a race that always signals the kickoff to the sprint season. The juniors are the defending men's champions, breaking a two-year reign from the Grunties (freshmen in UW parlance), while the seniors lifted the trophy for the women's side.
On April 2, the men's team will host the Husky Open, where the third and fourth-varsity eight boats will compete.
A highlight for the women's team that weekend will be a return to the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic on April 2-3, one of the preeminent spring regattas the sport offers.
"It's going to be exciting," said women's coach and rowing director Bob Ernst. "It's always fun to be going back to the Crew Classic. The kids are really excited for it. In terms of the whole schedule, no question we'll have to be prepared for the high level of talent in the Pac-10."
Pac-10 competition greets the Huskies on April 9 as the men's rowing program will take to the road to face Oregon State at Dexter Lake. The Huskies will dispatch five of their top boats (V8, 2V8, 1F, 2F & V4) to Oregon's Willamette Valley to race against one of the tougher opponents in the conference. On the same date, the third and fourth men's varsity boats will combat Washington State - a club program - on the Snake River in Pullman.
Meanwhile, the women's program will also combat their rivals from Pullman in rowing's version of the Apple Cup on the Palouse.
The Huskies will then have two weeks off to prepare for the Cal Dual, which will be raced on the Montlake Cut on April 23. Washington is looking to win the varsity 8+ race for the fifth year in a row, and has the added motivation of revenge given the finish to the 2010 IRA Championships on the Cooper River.
The hallmark item on the schedule is the Windermere Cup on May 7 - a celebration of rowing that annually takes place in front of 40,000 fans along the Montlake Cut. Washington races against the best the world has to offer. In front of a spirited crowd last season, UW swept Oxford and Syracuse. That race marks the end of the regular season, as the Huskies take off to Lake Natoma in California for the Pac-10 championships, where the men are the defending champions.
Then it's time for each team's respective National Championships. Should they qualify the women will head back to Lake Natoma on May 27-29 for the NCAAs, eager to improve on their 10th place finish from last season.
Finally, the IRA Championships comes into view for the men on June 2, 3 & 4 at their traditional home in Camden, N.J. The men's team will be looking to secure their fifth straight Ten Eyck Trophy, something that has never been accomplished in collegiate rowing.