Oxford, London 2009
This is the page that will follow the men's V8 as they travel to London 2/27
- 3/1 to train with the Oxford rowing team prior to the Boat Race. This
page will also cover the Boat Race Sunday, March 29th, 2009.
3/29 - Oxford wins the Boat Race - Congratulations Ante and the Dark
Oxford's heavy crew hit back - The Independent
Kusurin thrilled with victory over rivals
The Press Association: Oxford win Boat Race
Oxford Power Home
After Primeval Push By Cambridge Fails
Ante Kusurin Pictures - Oxford University Fixture - Zimbio
World Rowing - Olympic Medalists Join Oxford
Videos posted to youtube, 3/3:
3/3 Thank you Michael:
||Left to right back row: Coach
Callahan, Anthony, Jesse, Hans, Max, Simon, BJ, Will, Rob; Front row: Ante,
3/2 Row2k -
v. Washington Fixture
Huskies | UW men's eight makes history on the Thames | Seattle Times Newspaper
Men's Varsity Crew Makes History -
become the first American university eight to race Oxford on the Boat Race
Callahan: "We're so thankful to Oxford for having us come over to do
this. They were great hosts and we hope we were able to help them prepare
for the Boat Race. We feel like we learned a lot about boat racing here and
I believe strongly that they helped us prepare for our ultimate goal at the
end of the season. And to be the first American university eight to race
here is a great thing, both for our program at Washington and for the entire
Dwight; 3/2 2:00 p.m. pst Final Post
Our Oxford / London endeavor was one of those experiences that had a
multitude of successes.
One could say that in any highly charged competition pitting skilled athletes
against one another the conclusion is simple...the winner reaps the spoils.
So, we certainly "tip our hat" to an extraordinary group of young Oxford
athletes. They are fit, they are medalists in the Olympics, they are hungry
for their arch rival Cambridge and most importantly they represent what
athletics is all about: the firm handshake in the boat house after the race,
the sharing of food and stories and the polish of being gentlemen.
Yet, one could say the vanquished Huskies head home with their Dawg tails
tucked between their legs. Not so...our Huskies fought two races and while the
finish line came quicker for Oxford, our Dawgs were competitors. This was a
phenomenal experience in which race savvy was expanded and battle tested
oarsmen and coxswain came out smarter.
We are using this international test as a stepping stone to our next
collegiate challenges. We deeply thank Oxford for the incredible opportunity
to broaded the scope of our grand UW Husky rowing tradition.
Dwight; 3/1 9:30 a.m. pst
At the boathouse the Huskies are all smiles and feeling good. The are NOT
down at all. Michael has kept them in good focus and truly using this as a very
good learning experience.
Honestly, these pieces and particularly the 2nd piece showed toughness on our
Dwight; 3/1 8:30 a.m. pst
Needing some perspective on this very confident Oxford crew...poised and
aggressive...they have 5 Olympians from Beijing and 3 were on the medal stand.
Ante is stroking and I must mention...he's a Dawg at heart.
Dwight; 3/1 8:15 a.m. pst
Very aggressive racing and some redemption for Dawgs. Although Oxford won the
2nd and final piece, the Dawgs stayed in the heat of the battle, also fought
with a great deal of clashing oars and many referee warnings to both
crews...final margin: Oxford with less than a deck-length of open water.
Dwight; 3/1 7:55 a.m. pst
After a false start charged to the Dawgs, there was a re-start of the first
We opened up a lead of several seats. Both coxes were being very
aggressive...lots (LOTS) of clashing oars and referree warnings to both boats.
The outcome was determined mid-way through the piece and Oxford won with a
comfortable 2-3 boat lengths of open water.
Next start in 10 minutes
Dwight; 3/1 6:30 a.m. pst
Everyone is at the race course. It is now 2:30PM and the two boats need to be
at the starting line in 55 minutes for a 3:30 start.
The coin toss used to select the side of the river was won by Oxford. They chose
the Surrey side which means we have the Essex side.
According to Luke...the side of the river is not a key determinant of the
The weather is gray and cool with only a whisper of wind...aka good racing
The Dawgs are in very good spirits and "ready to race".
More to follow as my time allows.
Dwight; 2/28 7:30 a.m. pst (Note: London time is 8 hours ahead i.e.
3:30 pm London)
In the life of a rowing team one needs the agility of a ballet dancer to make
the rowing shell tip-toe across the water appearing effortless. But also, one
needs the ability to put eight "blokes" of above average size, a cox, three
coaches, a history professor, a funky blog-writer and a pile of luggage into
an 11 person van...if you do the quick math and check out one of the candid
photos attached you will see we have bonded. This was the cozy trip from
Oxford to London where we will now call home until after the race tomorrow.
On to race preparation...Our Dawgs significantly increased their race plan and
river knowledge today. The 90 minute water time today covered the entire
Recalling, our Huskies will race twice tomorrow in what is called a
"fixture". These fixtures are the means by which the Oxford crew get serious
competition to race as they (Oxford) get their boat speed ready for "The Boat
Race"...which is the Oxford - Cambridge grand show down. To put the historic
meaning in perspective, this year will be the 179th running of The Boat Race.
When you row at Oxford or Cambridge...the outcome of The Boat Race becomes
your rowing identity. What this means to our Huskies is that Oxford is
seriously training and they would like nothing better than to bring a powerful
USA team to their home course and to give them an "English Spanking".
So, tomorrow will find our Dawgs in two races. The first race will be from the
start to approximately the mid-point of the long (4.5 mile Thames course)
where the boats will stop. Then after a short break, they will line-up again
at this mid-point and race to the ultimate finish line of the long course.
Dwight; 2/27 11:30 a.m. pst
The day started with Coach McGee leading the way. Luke McGee is our Freshman
Coach but on this trip he is using his tour guide skills. Luke is a former
Oxford student and member of the Oxford Crew. He knows his way around the
quaint town and has great knowledge to pass on to the team regarding the race
On the tour one mystery remained unsolved...Luke easily lead the way to a
notable college pub claiming he had heard about this place but had never been
there...?? We will solve this puzzle later. The team felt athletic
history as we walked on the running track on which Sir Roger Bannister became
the first person to break the four minute mile barrier in May of 1954. This
had the feeling of British and world grandness.
We then made the hour-plus van ride to the race course in London. The "Tideways"
were calling. The Thames runs right through the heart of London and this
particular section is referred to as The Tideways. Katelin and I were able to
take a small motor launch over the entire course and it was very evident the
tide runs high and deep...several feet of movement in the 2 hours we were on
the river today.
As the crew then boated and rowed for 90 minutes, covering every strategic
turn from start to finish, the confidence began to build.
It bears noting that this course is unlike any other race course in the world
and the Dawgs are fortunate to have the power of our rowers but of equal
importance is having a veteran coxswain. Katelin is a World Champion and with
this pedigree comes steering skills, smarts, and a race-day demeanor which
matches well with the challenges the crew will face on Sunday.
More photos, thank you Carlos:
Dwight; 2/26 4:00 p.m. pst
Arriving in Oxford in the afternoon after the 9 hour non-stop flight ,
the Dawgs now begin their quick preparation for the "History making" journey
pitting the international crew of Oxford University known as "The Blues" along
side our UW Huskies.
Not to miss an opportunity to "learn" history as well as "make" history",
Coach Callahan brought the highly regarded UW History Professor, Ran Hennes
with our team to guide the student athletes on some local short tours of
Oxford and the London area. There will be high level competition on the
Thames combined with history of the English country side.
Showing some yawns from sleep deprivation and multiple time zones, the crew
was able to get to their borrowed shell, and go for a brief swing row near
Oxford. Everyone is getting focused on Sunday's showdown.
The Husky line up consists of:
Cox: Katelyn Snyder
Stroke: Will Crothers
7 Simon Taylor
6 BJ Caron
5 Max Lang
4 Hans Struzyna
3 Rob Gibson
2 Jessie Johnson
Bow Anthony Jacob
Tomorrow will provide the much anticipated practice row on the historic Thames
course near London...approximately 1 hour from Oxford.
As a sub-plot to the racing on Sunday is a former UW rower Ante Kusurin who
will be stroking the Oxford crew. Unlike the college programs in the US,
Oxford typically attracts high level student athletes who have rowed for
various colleges around the world and then followed up their college rowing
with high level academics (Grad School) at Oxford. Consequently Oxford's boat
line up has Ante who competed in the Beijing Olmpics for his home country
Croatia as well as other international rowing legends filling out their "all
star" crew. It is a rowing at a very high level.
Dwight; 2/25 8:30 a.m. pst (4:30 pm London)
Today is 2/25 and the Mighty Dawgs will arrive tomorrow.
So, I was cruising on my bike and watching a local "Bump Race" on the Thames.
The crews shown in my photos are all "Oxford College Crews". As a side note,
unlike our "college" name, Oxford actually consists of many (50+?) "colleges"
all located in this quaint historic town.
So, one can feel the long standing history of rowing around this historic
Oxford College. Many rowers shown in these photos are much less experienced
than most of our athletes rowing at the UW.
The particular "Bump Race" is fascinating...especially for the coxswains. The
format is to start, single file, separated by a mandatory length of rope which
is held by each cox and is tethered to a stake on the shore. This keeps the
distance between boats a uniform length so that when the canon fires to
indicate "start" all crews thrash their way up the river. And while the
"thrash" is quite evident from the less experienced boats, there are top rated
crews that appear comparable to many of our inexperienced college athletes.
Note: the "Blues" which are the notable athletes competing against our Huskies
and then Cambridge, are not involved in this "Bump Race".
Once your boat has literally bumped any part of the shell in front then the
faster crew (yes, the one behind) stops rowing. The idea is by bumping you do
not have to complete the whole length of the course, saving energy and then
the next day the faster boats are moved up in the higher echelon of boats.
This continues for four consecutive days until a winner is determined. This
may be better described by going on line...possibly Googling "Bump
Racing--rowing" for a more accurate description.
The Dawgs are clearly coming to one location in the world that has history and
the feeling of "Rowing Mecca" on its side. One can feel the combination of our
Boston, Head of the Charles, and Philadelphia's Boat House Row and
Washington's Conibear Shell House all around Oxford. Our athletes are so
fortunate to have earned the respect of the Oxford hosts to have been
graciously invited to compete against the premier Oxford team on their home
2/22/09: Longtime Rowing Steward Dwight Phillips '71 will travel this
week to London, and will meet up with the team later as they arrive.
The University College of Dublin will be there as well -
Killorglin plays safe - The Irish Times - Fri, Feb 06, 2009
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
sponsored by Xchanging
GoHuskies: Washington Men's
Varsity Eight To Take On Oxford Sunday :
Huskies cross the pond to race Oxford in a pre-Boat Race fixture
For live updates, Twitter page is here -
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