Bragging Rights at Stake in Class Day Regatta

March 25, 2005

SEATTLE - The University of Washington begins its 102nd season of intercollegiate crew competition with an even longer running tradition. The Huskies open the 2005 season with their 104th-annual Class Day Regatta, Saturday, Mar. 26 at 10 a.m. on the Montlake Cut.

Class day racing started in 1901, two years before Washington hosted California on June 3, 1903 for the school's inaugural intercollegiate race. UW defeated Cal by three boat lengths in a four-oared event over a 1 1/2-mile Lake Washington Course.

The Class Day Regatta, which annually signals the start of UW's spring racing season, features a varsity-novice challenge followed by competition 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's Class Day Regatta featured a sweep of the main events by the senior classes. The senior men won by six seconds over the junior crew. The senior women were five-second victors over the sophomore entry.

Washington officially opens the 2004 season next Saturday, April 2 as host of the annual Husky Invitational on the Montlake Cut.

Eleanor McElvaine is in her second season as head coach of the Washington women's team. She guided the Huskies to a fifth-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Championships. The Huskies' varsity four collected the silver medal at nationals.

Six rowers return from last year's women's varsity eight crew that won the petite final at the NCAA regatta.

The Husky men are coached for the 18th season by Bob Ernst. He directed the varsity eight to back-to-back Pac-10 championships. The Huskies' junior varsity and varsity four crews won gold medals at last year's IRA Championships.

Five rowers return from last year's varsity eight crew that captured the silver medal at the national championship regatta last spring.

The Montlake Course
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

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