Washington Men Row to Henley Championship
July 6, 2003
HENLEY, England - The University of Washington capped its 100th season of rowing in brilliant fashion Sunday.
UW's varsity eight crew registered an impressive open-water victory on the Thames River, defeating Rutgers University to collect the school's first men's trophy in over 20 years at the Henley Royal Regatta.
The Huskies, who captured the Ladies Challenge Plate, last won at Henley in 1981 when the junior varsity was victorious in the same event. The Ladies' Challenge Plate is the second-highest eight-oared event on the Henley docket. The competition involved entries in the highest level of college or club crews that are not national or Olympic teams.
Last year's Ladies Plate winners, Harvard University, followed that victory with an Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship this spring. Washington hopes to replicate that feat at the 2004 IRA Championships, seeking its first varsity eight national title since 1997.
The Huskies went wire-to-wire Sunday, jumping out to an early lead that was steadily extended throughout the race. They crossed the finish line 4 3/4 boat lengths ahead of Rutgers. UW covered the 1-mile, 550-yard (2,112 meter) course in 6-minutes, 24-seconds.
In Friday's opening round, Washington rowed to a convincing 2 1/4 length quarterfinal triumph over a crew comprised of rowers from the Nottingham & Union Rowing Club and the London Rowing Club. UW defeated a combined Moseley Boat Club and Imperial College of London crew by two seats in Saturday's semifinal. Rutgers advanced to the championship race by upsetting Dartmouth University in the semifinal round.
This was the inaugural trip to Henley for the Scarlet Knights while Washington has been a regular visitor. The Huskies last competed at Henley in 1997 when the varsity eight lost by one foot in the Ladies Plate championship race to the Notts County Oxford Brookes crew that served as the British National lightweight eight.
The Washington eight featured seven rowers and coxswain Ryan Marks from the crew that won the 2003 Pac-10 championship and was the runner-up at the IRA Championships. The crew included John Lorton, Marko Petrovic, Brett Newlin, Giuseppe Lanzone, Kyle Larson, Sam Burns and Andy Derrick along with stroke Ian Sawyer who rowed on the UW junior varsity during the season. Sawyer replaced Ante Kusurin who was unable to compete at Henley due to a commitment with the Croatian National Team.
The Huskies rowed in their own boat, "The 101," which was donated by anonymous UW benefactor prior to the 1997 Henley Regatta. The Empacher eight-oared shell is stored at Jesus College in Cambridge and used exclusively by Washington teams training and racing at Henley. It was named in honor of The 101 Club, a Seattle-based amateur sports support organization.
This year marked the 164th renewal of the Henley Royal Regatta that implements a unique match-race format with two boats racing side-by-side. The winner advances to the next round while the loser is eliminated. The Regatta was first held in 1839 and has taken place annually ever since, except during the two World Wars. The popularity and interest in the Regatta has steadily grown, evolving from a single-day event in 1839 to the current five-day format in 1986.
Henley results and other racing information is available at the official regatta website -- Henley Royal Regatta
Ladies Challenge Plate (men's eights)
Sunday, July 6 Results