A good weekend upon the Thames in London for the University of Washington men’s crew was capped Sunday by a triumph in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup (coxed fours) at the Henley Royal Regatta, a first for UW in that competition and the eighth event title in 13 trips to the prestigious tournament.
“Winning (the PAC) is a big honor for our team,” coach Michael Callahan said. “The success we had this weekend goes back to the work these athletes do throughout the year in our boathouse. They trust the process and come out here and perform the best that they can.”
Yale was the opponent in the PAC (fours) as well as Ladies’ Challenge Plate (varsity eight), where the Bulldogs prevailed.
In the PAC, the Huskies fell behind early to Yale but battled consistently. The Bulldogs were up by just a canvas at the first race marker. The Yale lead grew to three-quarters of a length by the quarter-mile mark when Huskies made their move.
At the half mile, the Huskies had cut the lead to one-third a length, and Washington took the lead at the halfway point. Yale battled back, leveling the race at the mile mark, but the Huskies surged ahead and quickly extended the lead to a half-length. UW rowed to victory with a winning margin of one length and a time of 7:13.
The win caps an historic 2015 season in which the Huskies swept all five events at the IRA National Championship, just the third time any team has accomplished the feat. Washington is responsible for all three.
In the eight, the Huskies trailed Yale from the beginning, down a quarter length at the first marker just before a quarter mile. Yale continued to push its lead and reached open water by the time the crews reached the half-mile marker. Yale’s advantage continued to increase and the Huskies were unable to respond, giving Yale their third Ladies’ Challenge Plate in school history.
The PAC triumph is Washington’s first win at Henley since 2012 when many of this year’s seniors won the Temple Challenge Cup as freshmen.
“This is a great way to end a really remarkable season for us,” Callahan said. “These seniors have have given this program all they have and we wish them the best. Our guys should be pround of all they have accomplished.”
HUSKIES WINS AT HENLEY
1977 – Grand Challenge Cup (men’s eight)
1977 – Visitors’ Challenge Cup (men’s coxless four)
1981 – Ladies Challenge Plate (men’s eight)
2000 – Henley Prize (women’s eight)
2003 – Ladies Challenge Plate (men’s eight)
2010 – Temple Challenge Cup (men’s eight)
2012 – Temple Challenge Cup (men’s eight)
2015 – Prince Albert Challenge Cup (men’s coxed four)
Other appearances: 1958, 1973, 1984, 1995, 1997, 2013