Seattle’s annual celebration of rowing and boating returns Saturday with the regatta at the Montlake Cut.

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Women’s Windermere Cup, 11:40 a.m.: UW varsity eight, Cambridge University (England), University of San Diego.

Men’s Windermere Cup, 11:55 a.m.: UW varsity eight, Russian under-23 national team, Stanford University.

Award ceremonies on north bank of Montlake Cut.

Admission: Free.

Parking: $15 (E-12, S-1 lots).

Broadcast (delayed): 11 a.m. May 14, Pac-12 Network Washington.

 

Map of the Windermere Cup course and its surroundings.
Map of the Windermere Cup course and its surroundings.

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About the teams: Originally, the Cuban men’s national team was slated to row at this year’s Cup. UW men’s coach Michael Callahan said that too many international events during an Olympic year led Cuba to pull out.

So the UW invited Russia, which competed in the first Windermere Cup (as the Soviet Union), the 10th, the 20th and now the 30th. Russia’s U-23 crew placed third at the 2015 U-23 world championships.

Close-up of the area around the Windermere Cup finish line.
Close-up of the area around the Windermere Cup finish line.

“They’re elite rowers, many of them probably going to the 2020 Olympics,” Callahan said. “They’re being groomed to make that jump in the next four years.”

UW, winner of five straight men’s national championships, has lost its last two Windermere Cup races to New Zealand and Great Britain. “We’ve used the high level of competition in those races to elevate our abilities late in the season,” Callahan said. “We know we have tough competition, so we rise to it.”

UW, which lost at California by a half-second two weeks ago, is ranked No. 3 in the latest men’s poll. Stanford is No. 15.

The Cambridge women, rowing for one of England’s historic rowing programs, are making their fourth Windermere Cup appearance, last rowing in Seattle in 2011.

The UW women rank No. 4 nationally. USD is one of four teams receiving votes but outside the top 20. The UW women have won their last nine Windermere Cup races.

“As a Seattle native, I’m really proud to be a part of the event this year,” Conor Bullis, UW’s interim women’s head coach, said Thursday. “I’m excited for all the events that will race down the course — we have a lot of crews in a lot of different events. But I’m most excited for the Windermere Cup.”

The goal has remained the same for the UW women’s crew team even through a coaching change: win the Windermere Cup, Pac-12s and the NCAA championship. (Katie G. Cotterill / The Seattle Times)
The UW men’s crew team has tough competition in Russia and Pac-12 rival Stanford at this year’s Windermere Cup. (Katie G. Cotterill / The Seattle Times)