Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend Racing Reports: The 25th Windermere Cup, ECACs, and SW and Central Junior Regionals

The Windermere Cup, 2011

Despite choppy conditions and gusting winds in Seattle last Saturday, the 25th Windermere Cup went off without a hitch, and saw both the Husky men's and women's squads score solid wins against talented opponents in Cambridge, Stanford, and Oklahoma. The Husky men are looking to be clear favorites for this year's edition of the IRA, as they defeated a very strong Stanford crew (featuring several U23 medalists as well as a 2010 junior world champion) by roughly 12.5 seconds, with the composite crew from Cambridge trailing. CUBC had a good showing, however, considering the circumstances, as they came together as a crew for the first time at the regatta (a combination lineup mixing Blue Boat and Goldie oarsmen), and evidently enjoyed themselves (click here for Peter Marsland's take on the event).

The margin over Stanford is consistent with the results from the Cal v. Stanford Dual at Redwood Shores just over a week ago. While it's never safe to play the margins game, so far it looks like Washington has been consistently 3 seconds up on Cal, with Cal roughly 9 seconds up on Stanford. We'll see this weekend at Lake Natoma whether Cal can gain ground on the Huskies, and whether the Cardinal will continue to gain speed now that they have their Head Coach back (Craig Amerkhanian having missed three months of the season earlier this year).

The UW women won in convincing fashion, having invited an up and coming Sooners squad, following Oklahoma's second place finish at the Big 12 Championships – an event dominated by current No. 15 Texas. The CUWBC entry, which featured a similar mixture of athletes to that of the CUBC lineup, fought well, but found the competition quite tough, finishing in third place. According to the Associated Press, there were some 40,000 spectators lining the course.

ECACs/NIRCs in Worcester, MA

On the men's side, Michigan showed that they have both speed and depth once again this year, taking first place in the Varsity 8, and edging out last year's champion, Williams, in the process. Michigan also medaled in the Frosh 8, 2V, 3V, and Open 4, taking home the points trophy. Clearly, Head Coach Greg Hartsuff had his team well prepared, as the Wolverine V8 executed their race plan over the weekend and placed themselves firmly in contention for the top spot at Dad Vails. In the Second Varsity 8, Williams edged out Michigan for first place, capping off an undefeated season and marking the first win for the Ephs in that event at ECACs in the program's history. Bucknell's Frosh 8 out-dueled the Wolverines for the gold medal, and will also look to be a top contender at Dad Vails this weekend. Boston College faded after their triumph in the Frosh 8 a week ago at NERCs (though it's difficult to tell what happened, as they again posted the fastest time in the heats), while Ithaca came out of nowhere to upset Trinity and Williams for the bronze.

The Williams women yet again dominated, winning the Varsity 8, 2V, 3V, and Frosh 8s, and taking home the points trophy on the women's side. The win caps off another strong season, with women from Williams having taken home the points trophy at NERCs a week earlier. Brad Hemmerly has done well, continuing right where Justin Moore (now at Syracuse) left off – the Ephs are looking to win their sixth NCAA DIII Championship title in a row (seventh overall, with their first coming in 2002), and appear to be on pace to do just that in Sacramento later this month. Bates had a strong showing as well, taking second behind Williams in both the V8 and 2V events, while Trinity took second in the Frosh 8 category.

USRowing SW Junior Regionals (CA) and Central Youth Championships (OK)

The Marin juniors showed that they are the class of the West this season, with Graham Willoughby's men's squad taking home top honors in the Varsity 8, 2V, 3V, Lightweight 8, Novice 8, 2N8, Varsity 4+, and Lightweight 4+. The Marin women, coached by Sandy Armstrong, took first in the Varsity 8, 2V, Varsity 4, and 2- (where MRA entries finished first and second). On the sculling side, the Long Beach junior men's squad, under new Head Coach Nick D'Antoni, had a strong showing, winning the 1x, 2x, and 4x events. Marina AC also had strong performances in the men's Lightweight 8 and Lightweight 4+ categories taking home the silver in each event, while the Oakland women's novice squad took first in both the 8 and the 4+.

In Oklahoma, the Chesapeake Junior team (OKC) had a very strong showing, winning the men's and women's Varsity 8 events, qualifying seven boats for USRowing Youth Nationals (June 10-12 in Oak Ridge, TN), and taking home the points trophies on both the men's and women's sides. Our thanks to Sherry Andrusiak for keeping us posted as OKC's Riversport programs continue to develop. For the full press release on RowingNews.com, click here.

Congrats to all who raced so well over the weekend!

Also coming this week to RR – Aberdeen Dad Vails, 2011: Preview and Predictions. It's a very tight field this year, but there are a few crews that we think might just have what it takes to come out on top this weekend in Philly. We'll also have some thoughts on Sprints and Pac-10s, coming up this weekend as well. Don't touch that dial.

-RR

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