The rivalries resume.
Washington and California began competing in men’s crew races in 1903, meeting 108 times and not missing a season from 1947 until last year.
Coronavirus wiped out the crew season last year, forcing not only the cancellation of the UW-Cal dual but also the Windermere Cup, the highlight of Opening Day — the start of boating season that draws huge crowds to the Montlake Cut.
This year, the two events are being combined with the California men’s and women’s crews competing Saturday in an abbreviated Windermere Cup, with fans asked not to attend and instead watch the races via livestream at GoHuskies.com/Live.
“Considering the situation with COVID, for us to be able to pull off this regatta and have Cal be here, was the best possible situation that we could have,” said UW women’s coach Yaz Farooq. “It just really makes the season feel 100% real.”
The Huskies traditionally bring in powerful international teams to row in the Windermere Cup. But the races this year should still be competitive, with the UW men ranked No. 1 in the nation and the Bears No. 2. The UW women are ranked No. 1, and Cal is No. 5.
The men’s Windermere Cup is at 9:50 a.m. The women’s Windermere Cup, the final of eight races, is at 10:10.
“No season is complete without racing against California; it’s our hallmark event,” said UW men’s coach Michael Callahan. “To do it again, on this particlar weekend … it’s super special. It’s May now, and I think everyone is very excited to race and have some normalcy in some ways.
“Our students have earned it too. They’ve worked really hard and what we’ve asked them to do, training-wise and lifestyle-wise, this is the payoff: to race against a really good team and see where you stack up right now. I know our team is super excited.”
Washington leads the men’s series 75-32-1. The UW and Cal women first met in 1977, and did not miss a year until 2020. The Huskies lead the series 23-20.
“Racing Cal is our most anticipated race of the year against another NCAA team,” said Farooq, whose team is the defending national champion. “We look forward to knowing that we’re going to push one another to our fullest. It’s going to be the hardest thing we have done this year, so far.”
Lanes were drawn Thursday for the second varsity races (Cascade Cups) and first varsity races (Windermere Cups).
Washington has lane one in the men’s Cascade Cup and California has lane one in the men’s Windermere Cup. Cal has lane one in the women’s Cascade Cup and UW has lane one in the women’s Windermere Cup.
The schedule of events: 8:45 a.m. — men’s open event; 8:52 — women’s open event; 8:59 — men’s collegiate 3v8+; 9:06 — women’s collegiate 3v8+/novice 8+; 9:13 — men’s collegiate v4+; 9:20 — women’s collegiate v4+; 9:30 — men’s Cascade Cup; 9:40 — women’s Cascade Cup; 9:55 — men’s Windermere Cup; 10:10 — women’s Windermere Cup,