22 Apr 2005 11:41:42
Henry Law
UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

(Googled in the archives without finding clear answers)

1. How long is the race? Some things I've read suggest it's
a standard 2K, others seem to imply that it's longer.

2. Is it always at the same venue?

3. How much of a crowd puller is it? In the UK rowing generally
only attracts rowers, with the single exception of "The Boat
Race".

4. Is this the US equivalent of the The Boat Race? Or is that
Yale-Harvard? Or are they respectively Boat Race West and
Boat Race East?

5. If 4b is correct then is there a SuperBowl between the two
winners? (And does it have commercials at half time and
wardrobe malfunctions? No, wait, don't answer that)


22 Apr 2005 13:44:48
Kieran
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

Henry Law wrote:
> (Googled in the archives without finding clear answers)
>
> 1. How long is the race? Some things I've read suggest it's
> a standard 2K, others seem to imply that it's longer.

I'm not sure about the entire history of duels between UW and Cal, but
in recent history, it is generally a 2k race, if anything a bit shorter,
esp. if it were held at Redwood shores, which they "say" is 2k... I
wouldn't be surprised if it's really a few meters short, since there's
risk of running into rocks about 10m past the finish line.

>
> 2. Is it always at the same venue?

Don't think so... I know they race at Redwood Shores (closer to
Stanford's home turf, really) sometimes, but I'm sure they've also raced
at the Oakland Estuary, and up in Seattle at "the cut" on Lake
Washington (I think).

>
> 3. How much of a crowd puller is it? In the UK rowing generally
> only attracts rowers, with the single exception of "The Boat
> Race".

Probalby mostly rowing fans, with some local college sports fans too,
but it wouldn't draw much of a "lay-person" crowd normally. Maybe more
than a duel between WSU and UC Davis would, but not on the order of "The
Boatrace" in the UK, or Head of the Charles, or Harvard/Yale.

>
> 4. Is this the US equivalent of the The Boat Race? Or is that
> Yale-Harvard? Or are they respectively Boat Race West and
> Boat Race East?

Your question make me think that West Coast rowing is finally gaining
ground in noteriety (at least abroad!) on East Coast rowing! :^)

The Harvard/Yale race is the US equivalent to the UK's "boatrace". It
has the distinction of claiming itself as the "fist" intercollegiate
sports competition in the USA. The main event, between the two varsity
8+'s is about four miles long, IIRC. This event draws more of a
non-rower crowd, but again, not as much as the UK version, nor as much
as the head of the Charles.

HOWEVER, in recent years, Yale has been quite off the mark, so the
Cal/UW race would probably be more entertaining (closer competition).

A Cal/Harvard race would be very fun too (or UW/Harv). Or a four-way
even! ;^)

> 5. If 4b is correct then is there a SuperBowl between the two
> winners? (And does it have commercials at half time and
> wardrobe malfunctions? No, wait, don't answer that)

The IRA regatta in June is not a duel event, but it does pit all the top
crews in the US against each other, and you will usually see Harvard,
Cal, UW, and Yale in the final, although not always all four. IRA is
the National Championship for Men's rowing (and many women's events too,
but NCAA takes most of that cake now.)

These are by no means the best four crews in the country. Unlike in the
UK, there isn't a "big two" of rowing universities (at least it seems
like there are only two "big" universities in the UK for rowing... I
know there are more, but they don't seem to make the headlines as much.)

Princeton Heavy Men are at the top of the polls right now, IIRC, and
they are not part of either duel mentioned above. On the west, Stanford
is also making an impressive "comeback" in recent years. They have some
good speed this year.

-Kieran


22 Apr 2005 15:38:05
Neil Wallace
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

Kieran wrote:
> A Cal/Harvard race would be very fun too (or UW/Harv). Or a four-way
> even! ;^)

thinking outside the box.........

How about a 6 way.
Oxford / Cambridge / Harvard / Yale / Cal / UW !

(not on multi lane though.... some TV friendly format)




22 Apr 2005 07:58:45
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

This was done a few times in the late 80's in Victoria Canada.

Oxford Camb, ULBC, Brown Harvard Yale Calgary Navy Washington UBC and a
few others.

500 meters Saturday 2k Sunday.



22 Apr 2005 16:36:19
Henry Law
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 13:44:48 GMT, Kieran <kc_news@sonic.net > wrote:

>I'm not sure about the entire history of duels between UW and Cal, but

Thanks for the very full reply.

>These are by no means the best four crews in the country. Unlike in the
>UK, there isn't a "big two" of rowing universities (at least it seems
>like there are only two "big" universities in the UK for rowing... I
>know there are more, but they don't seem to make the headlines as much.)

Even though I speak as an Oxford supporter I have to acknowledge that
it's not at all clear or generally agreed that Oxford and Cambridge
are the premier rowing universities in the UK; but they are as far as
headlines - and therefore the non-rowing crowd - are concerned. And
assessing their relative prowess is further complicated by the fact
that the OURC and CURC crews peak for a long race in March and then
essentially pack it in, while most of the others peak for 2K races in
the summer.

There is also the fact that the blue boats attract elite oarsmen from
overseas who are not interested in general inter-collegiate rowing.
(Let's not revisit the "ringers" debate; the fact is that for the most
part they come to concentrate on the Boat Race and after that they're
probably working very hard to make up for lost time.)

Certainly one would have to include Oxford Brookes (a totally
different organisation from Oxford University, in case anyone didn't
already know) and Imperial College in the list of the best, and there
are others who are there or thereabouts, certainly some years.


22 Apr 2005 08:42:22
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


>
> These are by no means the best four crews in the country. Unlike in
the
> UK, there isn't a "big two" of rowing universities (at least it seems

> like there are only two "big" universities in the UK for rowing... I
> know there are more, but they don't seem to make the headlines as
much.)

This is the wrong impression that the boat race gives. Oxford and
Cambridge peak for one race in March when other crews University and
non University are still training for the summer. Therefore they seem
much faster but in reality are not. Occasionally they are not bad and
this year they were very good but ULBC, Imperial, Brooks etc are often
up with them or faster.

Aslo its necessary to understand, and Brits often do not know this,
that the US crews are undergrads where as the Oxbridge boats are
significantly older in many cases. When the other UK crews put out
undergrads they are often racing 3-4 year older crews.

As an example ULBC and Imperial College have both won the Grand
Challenge at Henley in the 90's. Which is pretty impressive. UL did it
with their best 2 or 3 off in National Team boats.



22 Apr 2005 08:45:38
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

Henry

Not the rigers debate, but as I said elsewhere. Harvard can only boat
undergrads in their boat as I undrstand it.



22 Apr 2005 10:16:54
Mike Sullivan
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

You've got some good accurate answers already, I'll just add on.

"Henry Law" <lawshouse.public@btconnect.com > wrote in message
news:0vkh611481kabp91i8ia6s6lsd5ocgqi2n@4ax.com...
> (Googled in the archives without finding clear answers)
>
> 1. How long is the race? Some things I've read suggest it's
> a standard 2K, others seem to imply that it's longer.

~ 2K I've never been sure that the Estuary
or the Montlake cut is exactly 2K, and Redwood Shores
is definitely no longer than 1950, I suspect a lot
shorter than that.

(ah so THAT'S why the 5:45 times!)

>
> 2. Is it always at the same venue?

It's the most fun at the Estuary or Cut because you get
to watch the coaches accuse each other of cheating...

:^)

Really, Ky Ebright was notorious in the 40s and 50s
for adjusting starting lines and finish line angles to
Cal's best advantage.

>
> 3. How much of a crowd puller is it? In the UK rowing generally
> only attracts rowers, with the single exception of "The Boat
> Race".

True here as well.

>
> 4. Is this the US equivalent of the The Boat Race? Or is that
> Yale-Harvard? Or are they respectively Boat Race West and
> Boat Race East?

No. Competitively, the UW/Cal race is more often tighter and better racing
than the US Boat Race. The traditions, investment, and spectacle
of Harvard/Yale make UW/Cal look quite provincial however.

That being said, Cal/UW is surely a race to watch, especially
in the last 10 years and in the next years to come while Ernst
and Gladstone are running the show.

The race schedules of Harvard and Yale are built around their
boat race. When they finish classes and finals end of May, they
head off to rowing camps, full boathouses with dorms right on
the Thames (in Conn of course) and train for the two weeks before
the regatta. When we tried having collegiate nationals years back,
we had to schedule around Harvard/Yale. Harvard or Yale will
only attend the IRA if they know they can beat the other in the
Boat Race, and if they have a shot at winning the whole thing,
like Harvard did last year. The H/Y boat race is 4 miles, I think
it's the best pure amateur athletic event in the United States
and envy the athletes who've participated.


>
> 5. If 4b is correct then is there a SuperBowl between the two
> winners? (And does it have commercials at half time and
> wardrobe malfunctions? No, wait, don't answer that)

The IRA is generally considered to be the men's collegiate
national champion, though, as I said years ago we had a
collegiate nationals in Cincinatti where the top crews were
invited for a 'super bowl' of sorts. It was invitation only and
everybody was funded.

There have been years where Harvard/Yale were the top
two crews in the country, someone like Penn or UW would
win the IRA, declare themselves national champions even
though Harvard AND Yale clocked them at some time during
the season. Meanwhile, H/Y would be racing neck and neck
barely a few seats separation for 20 minutes.

My favorite H/Y story was the 1948 Harvard Crew had to
prepare for the Yale race, was the fastest crew in the country,
so couldn't be properly prepared for the Oly Trials. They tried
to get the race re-scheduled but H/Y was considered more
important than the Olys.

Frankly, I support that perspective, given the nature of the Olys
now.
Mike




22 Apr 2005 10:27:09
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

5.45? I would expect Cal to do that over a flat 2k. Harvard certainly
could last year. I do not think a short course is needed.

"Given the nature of the Olympics?"

Most of the best athletes ONLY see the Olympics as their
interest/Priority....Redgrave, Pinsent Tompkins and Gin etc etc. So
that comment needs an explantion.



22 Apr 2005 10:59:53
Mike Sullivan
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


<anton2468@aol.com > wrote in message
news:1114190829.388568.91470@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> 5.45? I would expect Cal to do that over a flat 2k. Harvard certainly
> could last year. I do not think a short course is needed.

And Cal could a couple years back as well. But lots of
colleges are hitting those times on the Redwood Shores
course.

>
> "Given the nature of the Olympics?"
>
> Most of the best athletes ONLY see the Olympics as their
> interest/Priority....Redgrave, Pinsent Tompkins and Gin etc etc. So
> that comment needs an explantion.
>

Sure.

The Olys are evolving to be driven by television rather than
the Olympic ideals. I have little doubt that Redgrave et al
would be just as great champions if they'd raced in the 50s
and 60s eras as now. But TV money is driving things. Money
talks, amateur 'ideals' walk. We have already changed rowing
standards, IMO, by changing the Oly events for including
more countries (lightweights). We've already had hints of
things to come, shorter courses, fewer events, spectator
friendly events.

Remember the discussion here on RSR after Xeno
dropped out of the trials? Why did he do that again?
One of the things he mentioned was financial hardship, he
has kids to take care of. When he raced for the Swiss
he made six figures.

I have no problem with shorter events, longer events, circle
races, eyelid glitter and tricks in singles, relays, whatEVER,
but not in the Olympic or Worlds venue. There, it's the very
best over 2k no matter how big or small or old you are.

If the IOC wants to force rowing to change for the Olys,
there's not going to be a hell of a lot we can do about it,
and frankly rowing is a pain in the ass to Olympic organizers.

Shall we have a betting pool here on RSR for which Olys
has 1000 meter race instead of 2000? Heck, we've already
got precedence, we raced the women 1000 for 3 Olys!

I guarantee you if somebody is rich enough and cares
enough to give millions and millions to the IOC or to
a local organizing committee, you'll see Masters events
in the real Olympics. 'scuse me while I go puke.

To me, the Olympic regatta is still the premier regatta,
but it's not the greatest tradition in rowing, and the great
traditions in rowing have an incredible amount of intrinisic
competitive value that continues to build great rowers
and great rowing.

Does anybody care who won lightweight events at
the Olys besides other lightweights?

There are a lot of rowers who've never rowed at Oxford,
Cambridge, Harvard, or Yale, who know who won those
races.

Mike




22 Apr 2005 11:18:42
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?



>
> Remember the discussion here on RSR after Xeno
> dropped out of the trials? Why did he do that again?
> One of the things he mentioned was financial hardship, he
> has kids to take care of. When he raced for the Swiss
> he made six figures.

Remember in the 50's and 60's you could work and row. Its very very
hard to do this now. So Xeno was not being mercinary, he was saying
that to feed his family he had to run his business and he could not be
away from it for so long. He was saying without financial help, the
current high permace required is impossible and therefore he could not
go. Xeno did not live like a King, those 6 figures allowed him to win.
Don not paint Xeno as some sort of mercinary, he is most certainly not.

> Does anybody care who won lightweight events at
> the Olys besides other lightweights?

Yes
>
> There are a lot of rowers who've never rowed at Oxford,
> Cambridge, Harvard, or Yale, who know who won those
> races.

I think youre a tad out of touch. Almost anyone in those boats will
tell you who won Lightweight Olympic events.



22 Apr 2005 12:50:14
Mike Sullivan
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


<anton2468@aol.com > wrote in message
news:1114193922.599920.306480@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> >
> > Remember the discussion here on RSR after Xeno
> > dropped out of the trials? Why did he do that again?
> > One of the things he mentioned was financial hardship, he
> > has kids to take care of. When he raced for the Swiss
> > he made six figures.
>
> Remember in the 50's and 60's you could work and row. Its very very
> hard to do this now. So Xeno was not being mercinary, he was saying
> that to feed his family he had to run his business and he could not be
> away from it for so long. He was saying without financial help, the
> current high permace required is impossible and therefore he could not
> go. Xeno did not live like a King, those 6 figures allowed him to win.
> Don not paint Xeno as some sort of mercinary, he is most certainly not.

I would not use the term 'mercenary', but you make my point.
From a gross perspective, who is paying for athletes
now to be competitive in the Olys, and what do they
want for it? It's about entertainment, advertising, and
in some cases still - nationalism.

People dropped out of training in the 50s and 60s for
financial and family reasons, as well, so it's not new
and it's not mercenary.

People drop out of college crews because they aren't
getting the grades they hope to get to go on to the
grad school they desire.

The difference is that you're making a choice to organize
your priorities so that you can compete at a high level rather
than competing at a high level because you are being paid
strictly to do that. I got no personal problem with an athlete
being paid professionally to row, go for it if you're good
enough and pretty enough. The intrinsic quality of the rowing and
the athletic experience for the athlete, and the appreciation
of the performance by their peers is not increased by
getting paid, however, the ones who have jobs or school
demands perform at the same level in these two
traditional venues.

So back to the original comment of mine that
caused your question:

"My favorite H/Y story was the 1948 Harvard Crew had to
prepare for the Yale race, was the fastest crew in the country,
so couldn't be properly prepared for the Oly Trials. They tried
to get the race re-scheduled but H/Y was considered more
important than the Olys.

Frankly, I support that perspective, given the nature of the Olys
now."

The Olympics and the H/Y or O/C races are unique and
wonderful opportunities for a select few in life. There's
not much difference in the athletic levels, commitment, and
rowing performance between the racers in the two
ancient collegiate events and all but the very top creme
of the Olympic regatta. The two college races have a
longer history by 50 years than the Olympic regatta, and
in 50 years when the Oly regatta has changed radically
to resemble WWF (World Wrestling Federation),
it will be a far richer history. The biggeset reason the
Olys have the prestige is due to the marketing - largely
nationalistic during the cold war, and corporate now.

go Brits, BUY NIKE!

I don't claim the college regattas to be more important
than the Olys, just that to choose them qualitatively over
the Olys to race in is not only defendable, but admirable.

Some years from now there'll be two terms for
rowers, rowers and rowhores...

>
> > Does anybody care who won lightweight events at
> > the Olys besides other lightweights?
>
> Yes

That's one!

> >
> > There are a lot of rowers who've never rowed at Oxford,
> > Cambridge, Harvard, or Yale, who know who won those
> > races.
>
> I think youre a tad out of touch. Almost anyone in those boats will

I'm WAAYY out of touch, I think it's intentional.

Mike




22 Apr 2005 13:03:16
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

" It's about entertainment, advertising, and
in some cases still - nationalism"

And the boat race is not?? ITV? Sponsors? TV?



22 Apr 2005 13:52:14
Mike Sullivan
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


<anton2468@aol.com > wrote in message
news:1114200196.317717.149780@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> " It's about entertainment, advertising, and
> in some cases still - nationalism"
>
> And the boat race is not?? ITV? Sponsors? TV?

Yes, I heard about all the TV coverage this year!

What was the sponsorship, $15k to put up a banner?

There are regattas here that garner a great deal of competitive
interest because of the quality of the competition, the San
Diego Crew Classic for one, and lately the Windermere
race as well here in Redwood City. Windermere pays to
fly the teams here and hotel them, I don't think they put up
the complete bill, but subsidize the major guys.

Same is true of the Classic, crews get travel money to
come out.

If they didn't, the Classic would be the San Diego Regatta
again with San Diego schools, Irvine, and Loyola. The
Windermere would just blow away in the breeze.

If you took the sponsorship out of O/C, it would still be
the same competitive regatta with great deal of drama,
interest, and outstanding rowing.

Rowing does have intrinsic value, you know... It's
not all about the cute outfits and sports drinks!

Mike




22 Apr 2005 14:14:39
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


>
> Yes, I heard about all the TV coverage this year!

Its been going on for a while and they have had a number of high
profile sponsors.



> If you took the sponsorship out of O/C, it would still be
> the same competitive regatta with great deal of drama,
> interest, and outstanding rowing.

Mike...don't want to be provocative but...

I totally disagree with that. Firstly although this year was top class
some crews recently have been real bashers and have won!!
Also you have to question if the Barney Williams's and all the Germans
would turn up if the training camps were in Pangbourne the coaches were
not world class and there was no kit/new boats good equipment, food
during training and all the bits and pieces that make a up currently
almost a professional operation.

It would lose its TV appeal if it were a bunch of public schoolboy
undergrads rushing up and down the slide, which it has been in the pre
sponsor days.

Sport will always graduate towards Money if it is watchable and will
always gather sponsors. one thing leads to another.



22 Apr 2005 22:28:40
Jon Anderson
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

Mike Sullivan wrote:
> What was the sponsorship, $15k to put up a banner?

It doesn't work like that. The sponsor got their name put everywhere -
on banners, on the backing board, on bits of kit etc.
There were fewer banners along the course this year than last year I think.

Jon
--
Durge: jon@durge.org http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: accounts@rowing.org.uk http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


22 Apr 2005 22:56:21
Kieran
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?

Mike Sullivan wrote:
> You've got some good accurate answers already, I'll just add on.
>
> "Henry Law" <lawshouse.public@btconnect.com> wrote in message
> news:0vkh611481kabp91i8ia6s6lsd5ocgqi2n@4ax.com...
>
>>(Googled in the archives without finding clear answers)
>>
>>1. How long is the race? Some things I've read suggest it's
>> a standard 2K, others seem to imply that it's longer.
>
>
> ~ 2K I've never been sure that the Estuary
> or the Montlake cut is exactly 2K, and Redwood Shores
> is definitely no longer than 1950, I suspect a lot
> shorter than that.
>
> (ah so THAT'S why the 5:45 times!)

"Definitely?" I would disagree with that. No way is that course more
than five strokes short of 2k. The way I've had it explained, is that
Redwood Shores can accommodate a full 2k, but that it is usually either
intentionally made shorter for safety, or the refs simply stop the race
(and timepiece) early with the horn, especially if it is not close.

We raced Stanford there once, (1995 I think) lost by a seat or so, and
we were moving on them at the end. I distinctly remember that race as
bringing us closer to the rocks than any other race at that venue. That
was also one of our best races that season, and the time for it, as I
really was not much faster than anything else we'd done to date.

I'd say you get fast times there because a) it is usually cut short, and
b) it is a very protected course, so it's usually (often) flat/windless,
especially the first 1km.

Maybe since the 90's they've shortened it even further, for safety. But
when we raced there, it was darn near 2k.

> Harvard or Yale will
> only attend the IRA if they know they can beat the other in the
> Boat Race, and if they have a shot at winning the whole thing,
> like Harvard did last year.

I read an article about H&Y attending IRA last year, and IIRC, it was
the Yale coach who decided to go; Harry didn't want to, but since Yale
was going, and Harry was confident H could beat Yale at the boatrace
regardless, H went to IRA also (even playing field and all that.) I
figure as long as the races are not on the same day, they've got no
reason not to do both. So what if they don't train properly for the
4-miler? At least they'd both be at an equal disadvantage.

-Kieran


22 Apr 2005 15:56:45
Mike Sullivan
Re: UW-Cal race tomorrow - some information for foreigners?


<anton2468@aol.com > wrote in message
news:1114204479.848697.321850@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> >
> > Yes, I heard about all the TV coverage this year!
>
> Its been going on for a while and they have had a number of high
> profile sponsors.
>
>
>
> > If you took the sponsorship out of O/C, it would still be
> > the same competitive regatta with great deal of drama,
> > interest, and outstanding rowing.
>
> Mike...don't want to be provocative but...

sure you do, I do!

>
> I totally disagree with that. Firstly although this year was top class
> some crews recently have been real bashers and have won!!
> Also you have to question if the Barney Williams's and all the Germans
> would turn up if the training camps were in Pangbourne the coaches were
> not world class and there was no kit/new boats good equipment, food
> during training and all the bits and pieces that make a up currently
> almost a professional operation.

This was the gist of the thread about this race earlier,
whether these guys were simply 'hired guns'. One
can have a professional operation in a pure amateur
sport, and 'sponsor' could be replaced with 'donor'.

This is how H/Y do it. Alums donate money to run their
programs and put the athletes up at Red Top and Gales
Ferry for the fortnight of training and racing. Alumni contribution
runs all the top collegiate men's rowing programs in the US.

So I won't answer the above because I'm too ignorant of O/C
but in the H/Y race, there have been stirring competitive races
for more than 100 years, and some stinkers thrown in as well.

>
> It would lose its TV appeal if it were a bunch of public schoolboy
> undergrads rushing up and down the slide, which it has been in the pre
> sponsor days.

Rowing has zero TV appeal here. I don't care how you package it.
If you want to make Rowing appealing to the American spectator,
better put a betting line on it. It's the only difference between rowing
and horse racing.

Was O/C sponsored in 1975? Al Shealy and Dick Cashin at Oxford
were hardly public schoolboy undergrads rushing up and down the
slide, they were World Champions in the US eight.

>
> Sport will always graduate towards Money if it is watchable and will
> always gather sponsors. one thing leads to another.
>

Right, that's the part we have to watch out for.

Sponsorship wants it's reward, it's got to get what it pays for.
If Rowing doesn't deliver, sponsors will push to either change
it to make it more appealling, or withdraw. It's happened
in the past and will happen again.

And, yes, I was being facetious about the $15k banner

Mike