April 19, 2012
Setting the Scene: Huskies Travel To Bay For Battle With Archrival Cal
On the West Coast, there is no bigger rivalry in college rowing than Washington vs. California. The dual shifts this year to Belmont, Calif., as Huskies will attempt to take down their archrivals on the 2,000-meter course at Redwood Shores. The 101st Cal Dual will feature four races (V8, 2V8, F/N8 and V4) and will begin at 9 a.m. PST. On the men's side, the Huskies are No. 1 in the nation and the defending National Champions. The Golden Bears are No. 3 in the country, and poise the biggest threat to date of dealing the Huskies their first loss of the season. The two programs battle annually for the Schoch Cup. On the women's side, the No. 2 Huskies are looking to defeat Cal (ranked third) for the first time in dual action since the 2003 season.
The official Twitter page of the Husky Crew will also have live in-race updates: http://Twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. A full recap of the races will be available on GoHuskies.com afterward.
9:00 a.m. Men's Varsity Four
9:10 a.m. Women's Novice Eight
9:20 a.m. Men's Freshmen Eight
9:30 a.m. Women's Varsity Four
9:40 a.m. Men's Second Varsity Eight
9:50 a.m. Women's Second Varsity Eight
10:05 a.m. Men's Varsity Eight
10:20 a.m. Women's Varsity Eight
About The UW Coaching Staff
Michael Callahan is beginning his fifth year as steward of the Husky men's crew program. The UW alum coached his team to a fifth consecutive Ten Eyck Championship, a first in collegiate rowing. In 2011, Washington won all but one IRA race to capture its 14th National Championship, and the third in five years for the program. 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. Now in his fifth season at UW, McGee has led the Grunties (as freshmen are known in Husky parlance) to two IRA Gold Medals and two Silver Medals.
The women's team is coached by the legendary Bob Ernst, who made the switch in 2007 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 aslo has significant Olympics and International experience and has been invloved with some facet of the UW program since 1974. In 1984, he coached the Gold Medal winning eight in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In his first season at Washington, Conor Bullis manages all coaching duties for the women's novice rowers.
Quest For The Cup
The men's varsity eight winner takes home the Schoch Cup, named after Washington legend Delos Schoch, who lettered three years (1934-36) as a Husky oarsman. Washington currently leads the varsity series 70-29-1 and has won the last five varsity eight duals. Last year, the Huskies won three of four races against the Golden Bears on the Montlake Cup. The women's varsity eight victor receives the Simpson Cup. The trophy was donated in 2003 by longtime Husky Crew supporters Hunter and Dottie Simpson, whose daughter Anne rowed at Cal. The Simpson Cup replaces the Big Oar trophy that was retired in 2002 after 22 years. Overall, the Huskies lead the women's dual series 22-13 despite losing the last eight races, including a clean sweep last year in Seattle.
The University of California is a fellow Pac-12 member and located in Berkeley, Calif. The Golden Bear men returned from a two-week break to dominate the Stanford Invitational last weekend, taking 2 of 3 races against fifth-ranked Wisconsin, including wins by the varsity eight and the freshmen eight. The Cal frosh were particularly dominant, taking down a powerful Wisco crew by more than 18 seconds (6:01.00 to 6:18.5).
The California women are also third in the nation, and will be looking to win their ninth straight against the Huskies. Cal is coming off a strong weekend at the Lake Natoma Invitational. The Golden Bears varsity eight went 3 for 3 against fast competition, taking down Stanford and Wisconsin on the 2,000-meter course outside of Sacramento. The Cal 2V8, V4 and N8 were also victorious in the Grand Finals, with the closest race a one-second win by the Golden Bears freshmen over Wisconsin.
Scouting The Huskies
The No. 1 Husky men are undefeated on the season, having picked up wins over No. 4 Brown and No. 9 Stanford. The closest margin for the Washington varsity eight came in a six-second win over the Bears, where rainy/windy conditions slowed times on the Montlake Course. Nevertheless, every Husky boat has won by at least open water this season. For the No. 2 Husky women, the season started on a high note after Washington had a successful run at the San Diego Crew Classic, making the finals in all four categories. Additionally, the UW women are undefeated against Pac-12 competition, having beaten Cal and Stanford at the SDCC, and then defeating cross-state rival Washington State in the Apple Cup Dual on April 7.
The Washington men are coming off the 14th National Championship season in program history, defeating Harvard and California at the season-ending IRAs last June. The Huskies also won the program's fifth straight Ten Eyck Trophy for the overall team championship, a feat never before accomplished in collegiate rowing. Washington's women's program, meanwhile, finished eighth at the NCAA Championships last May at Lake Natoma.
Last Time Out
Both the primary men's and women's boats at Washington had last weekend off. A handful of Husky crews (3V8, V4, 2F8 and F4) did race Western Washington on the Montlake Cut, with the Huskies sweeping all four races against the Vikings. One unique aspect about the dual was that everything had to be rowed backwards through the Cut, with the races finishing near the 520 Floating Bridge in Lake Washington.
Redwood Shores is a 76-acre lagoon that was developed in the 1960s as part of a planned suburban development southeast of San Francisco. Because of limited lane allowances, all races are held "Henley-style," i.e. one-on-one boat racing. The Huskies and the Golden Bears have historically split this dual in California at either the Redwood Shores (recently) and the Oakland Estuary.
Windermere Cup Highlighted By Visit From Argentines
The 26th anniversary of the Windermere Cup brings some added flair to the Montlake Cut this year. Argentina is one of several noteworthy programs to race the Washington men's and women's crew programs in Seattle on May 5 beginning at 10 a.m. In addition to Argentina will be Virginia (men), Oregon State (men) and Gonzaga University (women).
With its reputation as one of the premier rowing events in the world, the Windermere Cup has a long-established tradition of attracting the best programs to Seattle. The tradition began with the World Champion Soviet Union crews in 1987 as part of the community's effort to highlight the unique racing venue the Montlake Cut offers rowing.
The event is held in conjunction with the Seattle Yacht Club and sponsored by Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate, the largest regional real estate company on the West Coast. The free event binds the Seattle community to the sport and is one of the preeminent sporting events the city offers. Last year, tens of thousands of fans lined the Montlake Cut to watch Washington sweep all four marquee races.