Washington Men & Czech Women Win Windermere Cup Races
May 7, 2005
SEATTLE - The Washington men's varsity eight crew registered a seven-seat victory and the Czech Republic national team won the women's main event, Saturday at the 19th-annual Windermere Cup Regatta on the Montlake Cut.
The schedule included an exhibition pairs race called the Olympic Challenge Cup. Four members of the United States' eight that won the 2004 Olympic gold medal competed in a match race. The tandem of Bryan Volpenhein and former UW rower Matt Deakin, both serving as intern coaches for the Huskies, posted a winning time of 6-minutes, 48.06-seconds. They edged their former Olympic crewmates Beau Hoopman and Daniel Beery who finished in 6:48.83.
All of the Olympic rowers were impressed with the volume of noise created by the tens of thousands of spectators lining the intimate Montlake course.
"It is a lot like Henley in England, but its more compact, the boats are bigger, and the water is a little bit tougher," Volpenhein explained. "It's a lot of fun, people are really excited and it gets really loud."
The large crowd sandwiched the entire 2,000-meter course both from the shore and in boats for the Opening Day festivities celebrating the start of boating season. Another throng viewed the races from the unique aerial vantage point of the Montlake Bridge that hovers across the Cut, 300 meters from the finish line.
The partisan crowd inspired the Husky crews to win seven of the 10 races in which they were entered.
Washington's fourth-ranked men's varsity eight crew won the men's Windermere Cup trophy for the fourth straight season and the 14th time in the last 15 years. UW owned a one-seat lead over No. 9 Cornell at the 500-meter mark with the Czech Republic under-23 national team another seat back. The Huskies gained two more seats by the midway point and sustained that lead while the Czechs overtook Cornell at the 1,200-meter mark. UW's closing sprint stretched the margin to seven seats at the finish. The Huskies finished in 5:41.70, followed by the Czechs in 5:44.50 and Cornell in 5:49.72.
"We were ahead from stroke one. We settled down into our rhythm and just consistently walked away in the first 1,000," described senior coxswain Stephen Hertzfeld, making his maiden voyage with the Husky varsity eight. He was moved into UW's top crew late in the week after directing the junior varsity during the season's first three regattas. "We took one seat at a time. We never really had a big move where we just took a whole lot."
The Czech Republic women won their second Windermere Cup title in as many tries. A national crew from Czechoslovakia won the women's featured race during a 1991 visit to Seattle. Washington got a fast start and raced to a two-seat lead after 500 meters. The Czechs quickly overtook UW and led by nearly a boat length at the 1,000-meter mark. The margin continued to increase en route to an impressive open-water triumph and a winning time of 6:23.44. The 12th-ranked Huskies finished in 6:32.17 and No. 25 Cornell in 6:39.23.
"The Czech Republic crew was made up of the best girls that they have in the country," said No. 6 seat Sarah Hubbard, a sophomore at UW. "We went out there and tried to stay settled. We had a good start. The start was very aggressive, which is what we needed to do. We got off the water and didn't win, but we are focusing on what we did improve on and what we need to work on."
Washington's junior varsity eight men remained undefeated, walking past Cornell in the final 500 meters to clock a time of 5:49.92. The Big Red finished in 5:54.61 and the Huskies' freshman eight was third in 5:58.03.
UW's second boat, which features three rowers and a coxswain who have appeared in the men's varsity shell at some point this year, notched its seventh straight Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup triumph. It wasn't as easy as the near five-second differential would suggest. The Huskies trailed by half a boat-length three-quarters into the race before covering the final 500 meters seven seconds faster than Cornell.
The Huskies reclaimed the women's Cascade Cup, avenging last season's loss to Washington State that snapped a 13-year winning streak by the UW junior varsity eight from 1991-2003. The Huskies stormed out to the lead and went wire-to-wire to post a winning time of 6:39.72. The Cougars were second in 6:44.25 and Western Washington third in 7:04.11.
Four other Washington crews were victorious, including the men's and women's varsity fours. The men's freshman eight competition was won by Washington's second boat as the top frosh crew raced in the junior varsity event. A Husky crew crossed the finish line first in the men's open eight race.
Gonzaga won the women's novice eight event with a time of 6:57.61, edging second-place Washington (6:58.61) and third-place WSU (7:03.49).
The most impressive performance by a non-collegiate team was turned in by the Lake Washington Rowing Club, a winner of three events. Lake Washington won the women's open eight race among a field that included UW and Western Washington, along with victories in the master's mixed-eight races for 30-year-old and 50-year-old rowers.
The Huskies begin postseason competition next week at the Pac-10 Championships, Sunday, May 15 in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Men's Windermere Cup (Varsity Eight)
Women's Windermere Cup (Varsity Eight)
Olympic Challenge Cup (Coxless Pairs)
Men's Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup (Junior Varsity Eight)
Women's Erickson Memorial Cascade Cup (Junior Varsity Eight)
Men's Freshman Eight
Women's Novice Eight
Boy's Junior Club Eight
Boy's High School Eight
Girl's Junior Club Eight
Girl's High School Eight
Men's Open Eight
Women's Open Eight
Women's Varsity Four
Men's Varsity Four
Women's Coxed Eight (over 60)
Women's Coxed Eight (over 40)
Men's Coxed Eight (over 50)
Mixed Coxed Eight (over 50)
Mixed Coxed Eight (over 30)