Washington Crew Opens the Season Against Themselves

March 22, 2007

Seattle, Wash. - The University of Washington crew program will begin its 104th season of intercollegiate competition this year, but to kick off the new season, the Huskies will race themselves in a battle for shellhouse bragging rights at the 106th-annual Class Day Regatta, Saturday, Mar. 24 at 10 a.m. on the Montlake Cut.

The Class Day Regatta, which annually signals the start of UW's spring racing season, features four races. The tradition began in 1901 two years before Washington's first-ever intercollegiate race against California on June 3, 1903 (UW defeated Cal by three boat lengths in a four-oared event over a 1 1/2-mile Lake Washington Course).

This year's competition will start with a women's varsity-novice challenge and men's varsity-freshmen challenge followed by the featured races between the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes. Crews are comprised of rowers from the same class, with the fastest men's eight from each class competing for the George M. Varnell Cup and the women's eights vying for the Seattle Times Cup.

Last year, the juniors (Class of 2007) won the women's race in a time of 6:32. Six rowers from last year's winning crew will be part of the senior entry this season that will look to defend its title.

For the first time since 1947, the freshman entry snagged the men's title in 2006, besting the senior crew by just four-tenths of a second completing the 2,000-meter course in 5-minutes, 47.5 seconds. This year's sophomore entry, coxed by Katelin Snyder and crewed by seven of the same rowers as last season, will look to repeat what the Class of 1950 accomplished, defending their Class Day title every year during their tenure at UW.

Washington will officially opens the 2007 season next weekend, competing at the Husky Invitational, Saturday, March 31 on Montlake Cut.

The starting line for the Huskies' home regattas is on Lake Washington, parallel to the Evergreen Point floating bridge. The course runs from east to west through the Montlake Cut to the finish line near the mouth of Portage Bay at the west end of Montlake Cut. A good view of the race course is available along either side of Montlake Cut, or from the Montlake Bridge.

Class Day Schedule (all races 2,000 meters):
10:00 a.m. -- Women's Varsity-Novice Challenge
10:10 a.m. -- Men's Varsity-Novice Challenge
10:20 a.m. -- The Seattle Times Women's Eight
10:30 a.m. -- George M. Varnell Men's Eight