Competing against a program that collected more Olympic medals (nine) than any other country at the 2012 Games in London, Washington’s varsity boats earned a split Saturday in the 28th annual Windermere Cup on Montlake Cut.
The men, ranked No. 1 in college rowing, lost to Great Britain’s heavyweight eight by six seats, unable to keep pace with Great Britain’s vigorous pace over the final 500 meters. Great Britain hit the finish line in 5 minutes, 54 seconds, two seconds quicker than UW.
Meanwhile, UW’s sixth-ranked women used a steady pace all 2,000 meters to outlast the Great Britain eight and win in 6:27.9, one length ahead of Britain (6:32.3).
“I knew Great Britain was going to bring really great athletes here,” said Bob Ernst, who coaches UW’s women and has witnessed all 28 Windermere Cups in his 40 years with the program. “These were some of the most competitive races that I’ve seen.”
Both the UW men and women last lost Windermere Cups in 2006 when both fell to rowers from the Russian national team.
This year, the Huskies’ men’s crew was facing a mature, experienced crew. Great Britain men’s coach, Rob Dauncey, said his crew included rowers ranked seventh to 15th on his 30-man roster with an age range of 23 to 29. Though Washington held an early lead, the Huskies could not equal Great Britain’s finishing kick.
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