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UW and Cal face off in collegiate rowing's biggest rivalry

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Sorry Harvard and Yale, but the west wears it better.

UW men race against Cambridge in 2013. Cambridge's women come to Seattle May 7th for the Windermere Cup.
UW men race against Cambridge in 2013. Cambridge's women come to Seattle May 7th for the Windermere Cup.
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

The 2nd ranked men and 7th ranked women of Washington crew were hosted by Cal Saturday in the annual derby in Redwood Shores, California.

Berkeley's 1st ranked women were coming off a strong showing at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Jakebrowningville Folsom on April 17th, where the Varsity 8 and Varsity 4 both beat Brown and Stanford in the final. Cal was unable last weekend to sweep the final however, with Brown's 2V8 (including my pal in the 4 seat) setting a course record for 2nd Varsity 8 at 6:18.94.

Cal's men came into the weekend ranked 4th, but UW arrived eager to avenge last year's Varsity 8 loss to the Golden Bears.

Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to win the day, with Cal's V8, 2V8, and Freshmen boat's all winning their respective races. The varsity eight was the tightest race, with Washington losing by only .5 seconds. Washington's 3rd Varsity 8 beat their Cal opponent by around five seconds, and the Washington Varsity Four beat Cal by a time of 6:18.7 to 6:37.8.

The UW women had somewhat more success, losing in the Varsity 8 by four seconds, but beating the rest of Cal's teams comfortably. The largest margin of victory came in the 3V8, where Washington won by eight whole seconds.

The men head to Gonzaga next week before both they and the women's crew headline the Windermere Cup May 7th against the Stanford men and Russian national team. The women will take on University of San Diego and Cambridge directly before. Both the men and women were originally scheduled to face the Cuban national teams before it was announced in March that Cuba would cancel in order to focus on the Olympics, though some sources have suggested the motivations were more political.