May 1, 2013
|27th Annual Windermere Cup
May 4th 9:55 a.m. | Montlake Cut - Seattle, Wash.
Windermere Cup Full Schedule
Setting the Scene: 27th Annual Windermere Cup
This Saturday, May 4th, the University of Washington, Windermere Real Estate and Seattle Yacht Club partner to co-host one of the most unique rowing events in the entire world: the 27th annual Windermere Cup. Both the Husky men and women have won six straight Windermere Cup titles, including a thorough defeat of last year's invited guest, the Argentina National team. Races are slated to begin at 9:55 am with the featured races beginning at 11:15 am.
Traditionally the event has featured one domestic crew and one international crew; however, this year Windermere has attracted two of the very best domestic crew programs in Ivy League members Dartmouth College and Cornell University. The two schools were originally scheduled for a dual race this weekend, but now both are heading to Seattle for a rare trip West to face the Huskies. This year's edition of Windermere Cup is also unique in that both the men and women will be facing the same two teams in the feature races, whereas in the past they would each face crews from different schools and regions. UW and Windermere have been working hard over the past few years to get two Ivy League schools to come in the same year, so both were excited to be able to make it happen in 2013. In addition, the event will feature dozens of junior and masters crews from all over the nation and the world.
Windermere Cup On Radio
Highlights of the Windermere Cup will be selectively aired on KJR 950 AM during the 9am - 12 p.m. hour. KJR's Dick Fain will be providing updates from the finish line of the Montlake Cut.
The official Twitter page of the Husky Crew will also have live in-race updates: http://www.twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. Post-race recap and quotes will be also available on GoHuskies.com.
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 regatta is the preliminary event to the annual yacht club parade, signaling the beginning of boating season in the Northwest. 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
Rick Gherst handles the coaching duties for the freshmen. Gherst is in his third season on the UW coaching staff, taking over for former freshmen coach Luke McGee who left to take a position with US Rowing.
The women's team is coached by the legendary Conor Bullis manages all coaching duties for the women's novice rowers. Bullis has lead his first Novice 8 boat to an undefeated streak thus far in 2013, including a first place finish at the 2013 San Diego Crew Classic.
Last Time Out
The Washington Huskies are looking to carry over the momentum of last weekend's superb racing to the Windermere Cup races on Saturday. The women's varsity eight earned a historic victory in the Washington-California Dual, beating out California's varsity eight for the first time since 2003 to bring the Simpson Cup back to Seattle. The No. 8 Huskies upset of No. 2 California was an important win heading into the final stretch of the season before the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships.
The men's crew program extended their undefeated streak, gaining their second straight sweep of the Bears on the Montlake Cut, including a win in the varsity eight battle for the Schoch Cup, the 102st edition of the historic rivalry. This win didn't come easy for the No.1 Huskies, as No. 2 California jumped out to early leads in both the varsity and second varsity races. Despite the slow start the Huskies found their rhythm and rowed to victory.
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. During Windermere Cup, the beginning of the course is lined with yachts tied to a log boom as fans cheer for the races coming down
Scouting The Huskies
The Husky men have held the top spot in the USRowing Collegiate Polls all season long and continue to stretch their 2012 undefeated streak well into 2013. This season the Huskies have picked up wins over No. 4 Brown and No. 7 Stanford, and last weekend over the then No. 2 California Golden Bears. California gave the Huskies their toughest test yet, but the Huskies pulled together and captured their fourth sweep of the season to remain undefeated. With the exception of the Varsity Eight races against Brown and California and the second varsity eight race against California, every Husky boat has won by at least open water this season. Last year, the Huskies captured their 15th National Championship, and it was the fashion in which they did so that was most impressive. 2012 was a year of sweeps for the Huskies, starting with the 101st running of the Cal Dual. The Huskies swept Cal, then went on to sweep all finale races in the Pac-12 and IRA Championships. Washington topped it off with their 6th straight Ten Eyk award, given to the team that scores the most overall points. It was as dominating of a season as collegiate rowing has seen in its long and storied history.
For the No. 6 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. The Huskies finished the weekend strong, with the varsity four and second varsity eight earning third place finishes in their respective finals. The novice eights, competing in their first race as collegiate rowers, took first in the grand final of the Women's Novice Eight race, narrowly defeating California by less than a second. Three weeks ago the Huskies defeated cross-state rival Washington State in the Apple Cup Dual on April 12th on the Snake River. After the women's program had a week off from racing, the Huskies varsity eight earned their first win in dual action over No. 2 California since 2003, creating momentum as they get ready for post-season racing. In 2012, the Huskies earned the No. 2 spot at the Pac-12 Championships, their highest finish there since 2006. They went on to finish seventh overall at the NCAA Championships last May in New Jersey.
Windermere Cup Field
Although this year's edition does not feature an international team, the Huskies have attracted two of the very best domestic teams in Darmouth and Cornell from the most historic rowing conference in the country. The Ivy League has a long and storied crew history, with the first races dating back to 1852. Cornell was one of the three Ivy League Schools that founded the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, the oldest collegiate athletic organizing body in the U.S. The Dartmouth men are currently ranked No. 16 in the USRowing Collegiate Poll and are coached by Topher Bordeau, an Ivy League graduate who won three IRA titles as an oarsman at Princeton. Cornell comes to the cut ranked No. 12 in the country. The Big Red are coached by Todd Kennett, a Cornell graduate who raced in a Windermere Cup as an oarsmen for his alma mater. Cornell men's crew is coming off a strong 2012. They defeated Princeton and Yale in the same year for only the third time since 1974, while also finishing fifth overall in the Team Eyck Award race at the 2012 IRA National Championships.
On the women side, the Huskies will be facing foes from the same programs that are coming to take on the men. This is rare for the Windermere Cup, but exciting that entire programs are willing and able to make the trip here for this unique event, especially coming from the East Coast. The Cornell women are No. 15 in the most recent CRCA/ US Rowing Coaches Poll and are led by Hilary Gehman, a six-time member of the U.S. national rowing team and two-time Olympian. Last year, Gehman was named CRCA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year for leading Cornell to its best season in 20 years. The Dartmouth women's program is headed by Wendy Lavash, whom, like their men's coach, is another former Princeton rower. Lavash has mentored several standout rowers that have gone on to compete for the U-23 National Team.
2012 Windermere Cup Recap
The Husky men's and women's crews were at their best at the 26th annual Windermere Cup, dominating international guests Argentina, along with Virginia, Gonzaga, and Oregon State, to cap an exciting morning of racing on the Montlake Cut. Both the Washington men and women won their 6th straight Windermere Cup titles in 2012.
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 9:55 a.m. and are followed by the Seattle Yacht Club boat parade. The Montlake Bridge will be raised and remain open during the boat parade.