Feb. 10, 2012
By Rebekah Ray
Washington Rowing Intern
SEATTLE --The tradition now known as the Class Day Regatta began in 1901. Today, you still see many of the same traditions from the very first Washington Rowing inter-squad races.
Class Day festivities commence in the week prior to the race during Spring Break, with many team and class bonding activities. During this week the boats are not defined by Varsity, Second Varsity Eight or Novice Eight but by their graduating class year. Each class creates a slogan, t-shirt design, paints the sides of the Montlake Cut, and even dishes out a little friendly banter. Class Day is a fun way to culminate training and kick off the spring racing season.
The women's team began competing in the Class Day Regatta in 1976. Shortly after that they joined the men in the Washington Rowing tradition of being inducted into the Varsity Boat Club. In the 34 years that the women have competed in the Class Day festivities bragging rights have stayed with the Senior class 19 times. The juniors trail with 10 wins, sophomores with 4, and freshmen with only 1 win. However, the history of the regatta has shown that there is always room for an upset. In the 2003 Women's Class Day Race, the favored senior class ran into some unexpected weeds and were taken out of the race, opening the race to the sophomore class (Class of 2005) to clench the victory. When bragging rights are on the line the rivalry is intense.
One of the newest Class Day Regatta traditions is the women's alumni race that kicks of the Class Day races on Saturday.
"The Alumni race is a way to share in their excitement for a new rowing season and is an opportunity to meet the current rowers, learn about upcoming races, and hear their stories of Washington rowing," said Washington rowing alumna Denni Nessler, who heads the Class Day Alumni Race.
Now the class rivalries, and bragging rights, continue on many years after graduation. Don't miss the Husky traditions of the Class Day Regatta on March 24. It's an opportunity to be a part of the kickoff to the Washington Rowing spring season and to see which classes gets bragging rights for the year.
Stay tuned for more on the Class Day Regatta, this years intra-squad rivalries, what the freshmen are looking forward to and the upper classes past experiences as we will be getting an inside look with each of this years classes.
If you can't make it into the race check us out on GoHuskies.com and follow us on Twitter at (@UWHuskyCrew) and (@CoachBullis) for results and team updates.
Class Day Activities
VBC Banquet: Conibear Shellhouse - 6pm
Class Day Cruise: Waterfront Activity Center - boarding @ 8am
Class Day Regatta: Montlake Cut - 10am
Class Day BBQ: Conibear Shellhouse - 11am
Class Day Awards: Conibear Shellhouse - 11:30am