May 2, 2011
Setting the Scene: 25th Annual Windermere Cup
Windermere Real Estate, the Seattle Yacht Club and the University of Washington will co-host one of the most unique rowing events in the entire world - the 25th annual Windermere Cup - this Saturday on May 7.
Races are slated to begin at 10:20 am with the featured races with UW beginning at 11:05am. Joining the Huskies in the Windermere Cup races for the Husky men's crew team will be the Light Blues of Cambridge University and Stanford. On the women's side, the Huskies will face off against Cambridge and Oklahoma.
In addition, the event will feature dozens of junior and masters crews from all over the nation and the world.
Windermere Cup On Radio
The event will feature a live stream through Dawg Channel All-Access on GoHuskies.com and a separate broadcast will air live on the radio throughout the Puget Sound region on 950 KJR AM, with play-by-play provided by Bob Rondeau, the legendary voice of Husky football and men's basketball. Also, the race will be broadcast live on a jumbotron at the Steward's Enclosure along the banks of the Montlake Cut.
The official Twitter page of the Husky Crew will also have live in-race updates: http://Twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. Post-race recap and video interviews will be also available on GoHuskies.com. Media covering the race will be able to interview coaches and student athletes on the apron of Conibear Shellhouse after the event.
About The Windermere Cup
The Windermere Cup/Opening Day races are annually attended by thousands of spectators, both on land and in boats along Montlake Cut and Lake Washington. The featured races' sponsorship by Windermere Real Estate, Inc. began in 1987 and draws major national and international crews each year to the Windermere Cup races. The Opening Day Regatta has been a traditional part of the opening of yachting season since 1970 and women's intercollegiate races were added to the schedule in 1976. The Cup itself is European cut-crystal and is roughly 14" tall, weighing a little over seven pounds. The base of the Cup, engraved with the name of each winning crew since 1987, is granite and weighs around 25 pounds.
Huskies Coaching Staff
Michael Callahan is in the middle of his fourth year as steward of the Husky men's crew program. The UW alum coached his team to a fourth consecutive Ten Eyck Championship. In 2009, Washington swept all three races at the IRA Regatta to capture a National Championship, and in the process became the first team to accomplish the feat since the Huskies also did so in 1997. Prior to taking over the men's coaching position, Callahan served for three seasons as the Huskies freshmen coach. A 1996 graduate of the University of Washington, Callahan has also been an active member on the international level, where he's competed and coached. Luke McGee handles the coaching duties for the freshmen, who are coming off back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2009-10.
The women's team is coached by the legendary Bob Ernst, who made the switch after a 20-year stint coaching the men's program. Ernst is no stranger to women's rowing, having shepherded the program to six National Championships from 1981-87. Ernst also has significant Olympics and International experience and has been involved with some facet of the UW program since 1974. In 1984, he coached the Gold Medal winning eight in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Nicole Minett manages all coaching duties for the novice women.
Last Time Out
The Washington Huskies had a week off to rest after a grueling test against archrival California on the Montlake Cut. The men's crew program took three of four races off the Golden Bears, including a win in the varsity eight battle for the Schoch Cup, the 100th edition of the historic rivalry. The second varsity eight and the varsity four also posted wins.
For the women's crew, the race served as an indicator for how fast the Huskies need to be going forward, as Cal swept all four races on the Cut, including the varsity eight dual for the Simpson Cup.
Each year after the Class Day Regatta, the Huskies select two captains to lead their program into the brunt of the spring season. This year, seniors Maxwell Weaver and Kerry Simmonds will represent their boats and sport the star on Washington's traditional white oars.
The Huskies' home course is Montlake Cut, a 2,000-meter sprint that begins from a floating start parallel to the 520 Bridge in Lake Washington and runs east to west through the Montlake Cut and to the finish line near the mouth of Portage Bay in Lake Union.
Scouting The Huskies
Washington is ranked No. 1 in the USRowing/CRCA poll, a mark they solidfied with a win over No. 2 California two weeks ago in Seattle. In the spring's first intercollegiate dual, Washington trounced Oregon State on the road, winning all four races against the ranked Beavers. In the fall, the Huskies went across the country and won at the Head of the Charles, and narrowly missed setting a course record in the process. On the women's side, the Dawgs picked up two wins at the San Diego Crew Classic, and then followed up that performance with a sweep of rival Washington State on the Snake River. Washington could not build off that momentum against Cal, losing all four races on the Montlake Cut to the Golden Bears.
Windermere Cup Field
The quarter-centennial of the Windermere Cup will feature one of the biggest names in the sport of rowing - the Light Blues of Cambridge. The English university is one of the founders of intercollegiate competition within the sport, which traces its origins back to 1856. Both Cambridge and Oxford (who the Huskies raced last year) battle annually on the River Thames in London in the "Boat Race," an event won by Oxford this year in front of 250,000 spectators. The Huskies and Cambridge also met in the 1992 Windermere Cup, with the UW winning the event.
Additional guests include No. 11 Stanford, who will race the UW men's crew program along with the Light Blues. The Cardinal were recently swept by No. 2 California in the Big Row at Redwood Shores, with the varsity eight finishing nine seconds behind the Golden Bears.
On the women's side, Oklahoma is the other featured guest at the Windermere Cup. The Sooners are coming off a second-place finish the Big 12 Championships in Kansas City, falling just shy on points behind No. 15 Texas.
2010 Windermere Cup
Both crews had stellar afternoons in the 24th running of the Windermere Cup, with the men's and women's rowing programs taking down Syracuse and Oxford. The Husky men took control from the onset, edging in front of the Dark Blues and the Orange after the first 250 meters, winning in a time of 5:39.39. The result was similar in the women's bracket, as the Huskies won by 17 seconds over second-place Syracuse with a time of 6:27.51.
Where To Watch
Spectators are encouraged to view the Windermere Cup races from the shores of the Montlake Cut on Saturday, May 7. This is a free community event with parking available at surrounding University of Washington lots. Parking in the large Montlake Lot (E-1) is $7. Please note that the Montlake Bridge will be closed to traffic from 9:40 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The races begin at 10:20 a.m. and are followed by the boat parade. The Montlake Bridge will be raised and remain open during the boat parade.
Summer Camp Selections
Earlier in April, four Husky women were invited to the U23 National Team camp. Seniors Kerry Simmonds and Michelle Darby, junior Erin Lauber and sophomore Madison Culp were all tapped to attend the camp, which will be held in San Diego and Princeton, N.J., this summer. Junior Ariana Tanimoto was put on the wait list. The rowers are competing for spots in the women's 8+ and 4x boats that will race at the FISA U23 World Championships in Amsterdam on July 21-24.