The University of Washington rowing programs expect strong competition from the visiting Chinese rowers amid the passion and pageantry of Saturday’s Windermere Cup and the opening day of boating season in Seattle.
Michael Callahan, the University of Washington men’s coach, perhaps summed up best the significance of the annual Windermere Cup.
“It’s our Kentucky Derby,” Callahan said at a Thursday news conference. “It’s a rite of passage, the opening of spring and the boating season.”
Hours before Saturday’s famed horse race takes place in Louisville, Ky., the annual tradition of the opening day of boating season will be celebrated at Montlake, capped by the University of Washington crews taking on Shanghai men’s and women’s High-Performance Rowing teams from China.
Windermere Cup schedule
Cinco de Mayo celebration on the Montlake Cut, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will feature live music from Spike and the Impalers, food trucks, a beer garden, and more. Tickets must be purchased online in advance at http://windermerecutparty.brownpapertickets.com.
Races begin at 10:20 a.m. with the Windermere Cup races at 11:40 and 11:50.
With boats and spectators lining the competition course, and also looking down from the Montlake Bridge, it’s like rowing in a stadium, said UW women’s coach Yasmin Farooq.
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