SEATTLE – It was a beautiful, clear day down on the water at this year’s Head of the Lake regatta. The amazing event, put on by the Lake Washington Rowing Club and the University of Washington, and weather was the perfect setting to highlight the thriving rowing community in the Seattle area.
It was not a bad day for the Huskies as they closed out their fall competitive season, either.
Out of the eight races that at least one UW boat competed in, they won six and finished second and third in the others. The Dawgs won the Men’s Collegiate Varsity, Junior Varsity and third 8+ as well as the Champs 4+ and the Women’s Varsity and JV 8+.
In the men’s varsity 8+ race, the Huskies (15:33.614) crossed the finish almost 31 seconds ahead of the next closest crew, the Oregon State Beavers. The crew then split up into two 4+ boats where they finished first (17:23.484) and second (17:34.770).
Head coach Michael Callahan said, “The varsity boat is really youthful and excited right now. Only having one senior among seven sophomores and juniors really makes for a lot of energy. It’s really exciting to see what these guys can do and how much they’re going to grow in one year. There’s a lot of opportunity for them and I really like how they’ve responded in the past couple of weeks.”
The other men’s crews also did extremely well on Sunday morning. The JV 8+ finished more than 46 seconds in front of the Beavers, also.
“We’ve definitely picked up momentum from our first race,” Callahan continued, “and the guys have really responded to the training and goals we’ve set for them, so we’re looking forward to the next stage. Today really ran well. I think everyone raced really well and really competitively. It was good to see everyone competing in all of the events at a very strong level.”
The varsity women’s crew beat two conference foes, Washington State and Stanford, with a time of 17:42.743. Both the Cougars and the Cardinal were competitors in last year’s NCAA Championships.
The JV (17:54.800) also beat the Cougars, by nearly 30 seconds.
“It was great for both the women’s JV and varsity to win against good, credible competition today,” head coach Bob Ernst said. “When you’re racing on your home course you really want to win as big as you can, especially with so many fans of the sport here in Seattle, it was also a really beautiful day. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the event put on here by Lake Washington Rowing Club. They’re organization and they’re productive today was really, really good. We were lucky to have such a great day.”
The women’s third eight (18:50.573) came in just ten seconds behind conference rival WSU to finish second. The Cougars also took home top honors in the women’s 4+ race right in front of Stanford. UW rounded out the top three of that race with a time of 20:00.619.
The teams will now turn to focus on training and school in preparation for their spring season that will kick off on March 29 at 10:00 am PT with the annual Class Day intrasquad regatta.