UW Welcomes British Women, Dutch Men To 2022 Windermere Cup
SEATTLE - Washington Rowing, along with Windermere Real Estate, welcomes the Netherland men's and Great Britain women's national teams to the 36th annual Windermere Cup, scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2022.
The Dutch men and British women were scheduled to compete at the regatta in 2020, prior to the cancelation of all college sports that spring. Last year, Washington played host to California, combining the annual UW-Cal Dual regatta with Opening Day and Windermere Cup. In 2022, the full-scale regatta, with all of the accompanying events, is back.
The annual spring rowing event on the Montlake Cut is held in conjunction with the Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day parade, which signals the beginning of boating season in Seattle. The entire event is a joint effort between Washington Rowing, the Seattle Yacht Club and Windermere Real Estate, with Windermere serving as the title sponsor of the main racing event.
"The Windermere Cup on Opening Day is a rite of passage for spring in Seattle," said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. "For the past two years, our community hasn't been able to come together to celebrate due to COVID-19, so we're elated to welcome everyone back down to the shores of the Montlake Cut to be a part of one of the greatest rowing events in the world."
The Dutch men's team will be making its second-ever appearance in the Windermere Cup. In 1994, in the eighth year of the event, the Netherlands finished second to Washington, and ahead of Stanford. The British team will compete in the women's race for the fourth time. A British women's eight won the 1998 Windermere Cup against a UW boat that went on to win the NCAA title. The Brits also competed in the 2002 and 2014 races, finishing third and second, respectively.
The UW and Windermere Real Estate have hosted more than 15 nations over the 35-year history of the regatta.
Both the Netherlands and Great Britain represent two of the elite nations in terms of rowing success in recent years. The Dutch won the bronze medal in the men's eight at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and finished fifth last year in Tokyo. Netherlands crews also won gold in the quad sculls and silver in the double in 2020.
"We are looking forward to the celebrating the start of boating season in the Pacific Northwest with the Opening Day Regatta and the Windermere Cup," said UW men's head coach Michael Callahan. "The Netherlands will pose a considerable challenge for our Huskies between the log booms. We have to thank Windermere Real Estate and the Seattle Yacht Club for supporting the return world-class racing on the Montlake Cut."
The Great Britain women's eight won the silver medal in 2016 and seventh in 2020. The British also won gold in the women's four at 2021 World Rowing Under-23 Championships, with a crew that included current UW rower Holly Dunford.
"Our team is so excited to be able to experience this regatta in the way it's meant to be," said Washington women's head coach Yasmin Farooq. "The last time we raced national caliber rowers from Great Britain was at Henley and that was a race for the ages. The tradition of excellence they bring, makes it that much more special. We're all looking forward to a wonderful event and are grateful to all those who make it happen."
The Washington women enter the 2022 season ranked No. 3 in the nation, having finished in a tie for first (third after the tie-breaker) at the 2021 NCAA Championships, where the Huskies won the second eights and fours finals, and finished third in the first eights.
Washington's men swept all four grand finals at the 2021 IRA Championships, earning the program's 19th national championship.
There will be more information to come on other Opening Day and Windermere Cup-related events, including the annual "Party at the Cut" on Friday night.
Windermere Cup History & Information
The Windermere Cup got its start 35 years ago, in 1987, when Windermere Real Estate founder, John Jacobi, joined up with the University of Washington to create the annual rowing event. They wanted to bring the best team in the world to Seattle's Montlake Cut, which at the time was the Soviet Union. That occasion marked one of the few athletic competitions for the Soviets inside the U.S. in 25 years, since relations were strained during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Union brought both its men's and women's crews and won both races in convincing fashion. After that, the precedent was set for what has become one of the world's premier rowing events, and certainly a staple of Seattle's rowing community.
Washington's men have won the Windermere Cup 26 times in 33 attempts, while the UW women have won 25 out of 34.
This year's event marks the 51st running of the Opening Day regatta, which has included the Windermere Cup for the last 35 years. The 2022 event will include a number of events during the week leading up to race day. The Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day parade through the Montlake Cut will immediately follow the racing. Further details will be announced at a later date. For more information visit windermerecup.com.