April 19, 2004
SEATTLE - Windermere Real Estate and the University of Washington have assembled another sensational field for the 2004 edition of the Windermere Cup regatta, including an appearance by the men's and women's national teams from Italy. The 18th-annual Windermere Cup takes place Saturday, May 1 at 10:20 a.m. on the Montlake Cut to start the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day festivities.
Rowing against fifth-ranked Washington in the men's eight-oared race are Italy's national team and the United States Naval Academy. The Italian men will make their second Windermere Cup appearance as they won the 1989 competition. Italy's delegation is directed by Roberto Blanda, a three-year crew letterman at UW from 1993-95.
Navy, currently ranked No. 7, makes its third Windermere Cup appearance. The Midshipmen, who visited Seattle in 1990 and 2000, are coached for the 30th year by Rick Clothier who has Washington connections. Clothier lettered in 1964 and 1965 as a UW coxswain and spent five years from 1969-73 as the Huskies' freshman and lightweight coach.
"The Windermere Cup field is probably one of the best we've had in years with the Italian National Team and the Naval Academy. That's sensational," exclaimed Washington men's coach Bob Ernst. "This is like a reunion. It's really exciting to see Roberto (Blanda) and Rick Clothier come back."
Joining the 10th-ranked Washington women's eight are the national team from Italy along with Pac-10 rival UCLA. This is the inaugural Windermere Cup appearance for both of those visiting women's crews, their first opportunity to row the unique 2,000-meter Lake Washington course through the Montlake Cut that is annually lined with thousands of spectators in boats and on shore.
"Opening Day will be great with the Italians and UCLA coming," said first-year Washington women's coach Eleanor McElvaine. "That will be a great opportunity to use the hometown crowd to try to take our game up to the next level.
"I'm just really happy that Italy is bringing a women's eight because last time they came out they only brought the men. It's a great thing for Italian rowing that they are bringing their women on a trip like this. I would expect that they are going to be really good."
The Windermere Cup races are the featured events of the 35th-annual Opening Day Regatta and are held in conjunction with the Seattle Yacht Club's annual celebration of the opening of yachting season. Last year there were 18 events on the racing schedule.
The Opening Day Regatta has been a traditional part of the ceremonies surrounding the opening 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 "Games of Summer."
Spectators are encouraged to view the Windermere Cup races from the shores of the Montlake Cut on Saturday, May 1. 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. and are followed by the boat parade.
The Huskies have had extraordinary success in past Windermere Cup races, taking advantage of the home course and vocal support from the large crowds. Washington was victorious in 12 of the last 13 Windermere Cup men's competitions while the UW women won 10 of the last 12 titles.
"For the past 18 years, Windermere Real Estate has proudly sponsored the Windermere Cup and it has been an honor to watch this event evolve into a distinctive Seattle tradition," said Geoff Wood, Windermere Real Estate Chief Executive Officer. "This is a rare occasion that not only unites the residents of the Puget Sound - but gathers people from across the country and world to share in a day of contest and celebration."
For many visiting athletes, the Windermere Cup marks their first visit to the United States and Windermere Real Estate takes pride in providing a unique experience for these participants. As part of its generous sponsorship, Windermere offers transportation and accommodation for visiting teams along with sightseeing trips, mementos, and opportunities to give back to the local community through several programs, including a special visit to Children's Hospital.
2004 Windermere Cup Featured Races
Men's Windermere Cup
Italy, Naval Academy, University of Washington
Women's Windermere Cup
Italy, UCLA, University of Washington
About Windermere Real Estate
Celebrating its 18th year as title sponsor of the Windermere Cup, Windermere Real Estate is the leading residential real estate network in the West with nearly 6,000 agents. Windermere has redefined the way real estate is practiced through its industry-leading agent tools and technologies and its commitment to the communities it serves. The network serves communities in Arizona, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington through more than 225 offices. The company's Web site is highly regarded as one of the leading real estate Web sites in the country in terms of customer usability and design: www.windermere.com