Aug. 23, 2007
Race of Champions
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 --
UW Crew vs. Moscow State, Cambridge, Oxford; 8 p.m. RT (9 a.m. PDT)
Moskva River / Moscow, Russia
The University of Washington national champion men's varsity eight crew has been invited to compete in a unique competition, Sept. 1 in Moscow, Russia. Termed the "Race of Champions," the undefeated Huskies will row alongside a field that includes Moscow University, Cambridge University and Oxford University. The 3,500-meter Moskva River course begins at Moscow State University and ends at the Temple of Christ the Savior, passing Red Square and the Kremlin along the way. The race is one of the featured events during the Day of Moscow festivities staged to mark the 860th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Moscow and the 140th anniversary of the creation of the First Imperial Rowing Club in Russia.
The Washington contingent, including nine rowers, one coxswain and two coaches, will depart Seattle on Aug. 29, compete on Sept. 1 and return to Seattle, Sept. 3.
The Washington Men's Varsity Eight
cox - Katelin Snyder (Jr. / Winter Park, Fla. / Winter Park)
stroke - Will Crothers (Jr. / Kingston, Ontario / Kingston C.V.I.)
7 - Heath Allen (Sr. / Durango, Colo. / Durango)
** 6 - Bart-Jan Caron (Jr. / Millbay, B.C. / Shawnigan Lake) or Drew Fowler (Jr. / Kent, Wash. / Kentwood)
*** 5 - Simon Taylor (So. / Hamilton, New Zealand / Hamilton Boy's)
4 - David Worley (Sr. / Oak Harbor, Wash. / Oak Harbor / Washington State)
3 - Steve Full (Sr. / Cumberland, Maine / Tabor Academy)
2 - Jessiah Johnson (Jr. / Mercer Island, Wash. / Mercer Island HS)
bow - Max Lang (Jr. / Lumby, B.C. / Shawnigan Lake School)
The Coaching Staff
Bob Ernst is in his 34th season on staff, the last 20 as the men's head coach. Ernst coached the Husky men to national championships in 1997 and 2007. He is the coordinator for the entire crew program and returned in July to the women's head coaching post he held from 1980-87. Ernst directed the UW women to six national titles and was the head coach for the gold-medal U.S. women's eight at the 1984 Olympics. Assuming the men's head coaching position in July was Michael Callahan, a former Husky rower (1993-96) who was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. Callahan served as the UW men's freshman coach the last three seasons.
Compiling the Crew
Two first-year Huskies broke into the top boat last season, both transfers who first began rowing in 2005. Heath Allen (Durango, Colo.) came from Colorado where he rowed one season, capped by an appearance at the 2006 IRA regatta. David Worley (Oak Harbor, Wash.) came from Washington State where he rowed two years.
Washington's lineup in Moscow will include two new rowers to the varsity eight. Sophomore Simon Taylor joins the crew in place of Rob Gibson, who is representing Canada in a four at the World Championships in Munich. Juniors Bart-Jan Caron and Drew Fowler are both scheduled to travel to Russia. One of them will fill the seat vacated by Aljosa Corovic, the only senior in the national champion crew.
Back in the USSR
Actually it's Russia now, but it was called the USSR when the Huskies last visited. UW's varsity eight was victorious in an historic 1958 race against four Soviet crews, including the Leningrad Trud boat that defeated them earlier that summer at Henley.
Recap of Legendary Race
The 1958 Washington varsity eight crew traveled to England for the Royal Henley Regatta. Prior to their Henley meeting, the U.S. State Department had arranged to send the UW eight to Moscow as the first team to go behind the Iron Curtain. The Huskies fell victim to the Leningrad Trud Rowing Club of the Soviet Union in their attempt to win the Grand Challenge Cup, losing by 1-1/2 boat lengths over the 1-mile, 550-yard course. The Huskies gained their revenge 15 days later in the rematch. Washington won the Moscow Cup, beating the Leningrad Trud crew, and three other Russian crews, by 1-3/4 lengths on the 2,000-meter Khimkinskoe Reservoir course on July 19, 1958. It was one of the greatest upsets in rowing history and legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson was there to call the action for Seattle's KOMO Radio. Jackson's call of the race was the first sports broadcast from the Soviet Union back to the West.
This will be the second time within the last two years that Washington has competed against a crew from Russia. In May 2006, a Russian National Team visited Seattle to compete in the Windermere Cup on May 6, 2006. Ironically, the Russians rowed in UW's "Spirit of `58" shell to defeat the Huskies. That boat was dedicated to the 1958 crew that won the historic race in the USSR.
A Soviet Union crew won the inaugural Windermere Cup race, defeating the Huskies in 1987.
Cambridge crews twice visited Seattle for the Windermere Cup, placing third in 1992 after not finishing in the 1990 race.
Washington is undefeated and won the IRA national championship June 2, its first title since 1997.