2008 Moscow Race of Champions - Alumni

Article on John Sayre, 1/28/09:  Skagit County's News and Information Source | goskagit.com

9/6:  Husky Alums finish 3rd.  The crew drew the far outside lane (5) and after the first wide inside turn, about 1000m into the race, had fallen significantly behind Italy and Russia (in lanes 1 and 2).  Italy continued to push, rowing an exceptionally strong race throughout, and finished ahead of the field, the finish as follows:  Italy; Russia; Washington; Cambridge; France.

From Len:  "After the race there was a wonderful ceremony celebrating the 1958 Oarsmen from the US and Russia.  They were all given special commemorative medals marking the 50th anniversary.  Only one of the Leningrad Trud Club members was present, Yaroslav Chiorstvy, the 5 seat.  He and Chuck Alm had a great reunion and talked for hours.  We will see him again in St. Petersburg tomorrow..."

9/5 More photos, thank you Lenny:

Christening the Swiftsure II In Moscow, Vyacheslav Ivanov, '56, '60, '64 Olympic Sculling Champion, with John Sayre, 1960 Olympic Champion 4- Toby Diplomacy

9/5 2:00 pm pdt update:  Notes from Lenny O'Donnell, in Moscow filming the alumni team:

After a grueling 18 hour trip, all members of the 2008 Husky Alumni Moscow Crew arrived tired and stiff in Moscow on Wednesday morning , September 3. On the long drive from the airport to the hotel, we drove by the Khimkinskoe reservoir, the site of the 1958 race; a fitting beginning to the venture.  Chuck Alm and John Sayre could not believe how much the city had changed in 50 years.  The area around the reservoir was essentially undeveloped back then, with only a few houses interspersed among the trees on either side of the main access road.  Today there are giant, dilapidated apartment buildings from the Soviet era and ongoing construction on a massive scale on both sides of the road, which is now one of the main arterials in Moscow.  In 1958, it took 25 minutes for the crew to drive out to the isolated boathouse over empty roads.  Today, the traffic is completely gridlocked on this route: it took about an hour and a half to cover the same distance.
After check-in and lunch, the crew proceeded to the launch site on the finish line of the race on the Moscow river.  They picked the best boat available, but it was a challenge to rig.  And it was small.  They didn't have time to finish rigging it out and had to return to the hotel without getting on the water.
That evening was a reception and ceremony inaugurating the regatta, with many speeches and the presentation of the permanent "Golden Boat" trophy back to the sponsors by Mike Callahan.  Several Russian oarsmen from the 1950's were present, including 3-time Olympic gold medalist single sculler Vyacheslav Ivanov.  He and Chuck Alm and John Sayre recognized each other immediately: Ivanov competed in the single sculls at Henley and in Moscow in 1958, and they met each other again when they all rowed in the 1960 Olympics.  They had a great reunion.  The sponsors of the regatta, JSA Sports Marketing, and the race sponsors staged a truly memorable event.  Our Russian hosts have certainly continued the tradition of magnificent hospitality that began in 1958.
Thursday was devoted to rigging the Vespoli shell and finally getting out on the water.  The training this year all takes place on the Moscow river over the course of the race.  The conditions are challenging.  The river is a huge cement-lined channel, not unlike the Montlake Cut only ten times as wide, miles and miles long, and full of boat traffic featuring barges the size of aircraft carriers and tour ships that make the water a constant challenge.  Bailing water out of the boat was continuous.
Later in the day, the draw was made.  The Huskies will be in the outside lane - five - next to main rival and last year's runner-up Cambridge.  The interior three lanes will be occupied by collegiate crews from Russia, Italy, and France.
Friday morning the Huskies took to the water and the water was taken in again by the shell.  After their workout, John Sayre hopped in the stroke seat and took the eight out for a short turn down the river.  Chuck Alm would have joined him but he had knee surgery this year.  Sayre, the Husky Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist, looked right at home leading the Husky eight, dipping his oar in Russian water for the first in 50 years.  After an impromptu tour the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, and Moscow University, the crew took to the water again for a workout and a practice start with the other crews.  Once again, the water was rough; the bow four came back drenched.  The Moscow River will probably be as big an opponent as the other crews on race day.
After the workout, Mike Callahan gathered the group and dedicated the borrowed Filippi, dubbing it the "Swiftsure II," which was tattooed with ornate black electric tape.  John Sayre and Chuck Alm poured a bottle of champagne over the bow to christen it.
On Saturday the Huskies will go out for a morning row, then chill before the race, which is scheduled to go off at 7:50 p.m. Moscow time.

Photos Friday, 9/5 - thank you Kiel Peterson and Lenny O'Donnell

    John Sayre '58 in the stroke seat Left to right:  Kiel Peterson, Lenny O'Donnell (video/photographer), John Sayre '58, Heath Allen, Drew Fowler, Kyle Larson, David Worley, Micah Perrin (cox), Andrew Beaton, Tad McCrea, Toby Dankbaar, Ben Fletcher, Steve Full, Chuck Alm '58, Michael Callahan
      Christening the Swiftsure II
Beaton and Sayre      


Husky Alums on the Moscow River, September 3, 2008 With the Kremlin in the background, Huskies out for a spin on the river

Photos - thank you Kiel Peterson

On Saturday, September 6th, a group of recent UW alums will defend the Moscow Race of Champions ("Golden Boat" Race) title won last year by the UW varsity.  They will face four other teams (one more than last year), including host Russia and teams from France (H.S.C. Paris), Italy (Universita Degli Studi Di Pavia), and Great Britain (Cambridge).  All of these teams will likely field international (elite) athletes in their crews.  The race is being held at 7:50pm Moscow time (approx 8:50 a.m. Seattle time on the 6th).

More information (in translated Russian) is here: Program of the Moscow International Regatta 2008

From Kiel, 9/5:

Some Highlights:
bulletBanquets to honor members of 1958 crews, John and Chuck got to interact with opponents from the original race in 1958.
bulletJohn Sayre, stroke of the '58 crew and Olympic gold medalist (1960 Rome, 4-), stroked the Husky Alum 8 in practice.
Photos to follow.  John is still in heavy contention for a seat in the boat.  Update:  guys, stop emailing, he's kidding!

The race is expected to be +/- 3.5 km (depending on conditions).


Here is a map of Moscow and our best guess on the route of the course - starting at the green dot in the lower left corner, finishing at the red dot near the center.  That distance is about 4k, and the purported distance of the race is 3.5k, so give or take some there.




More on the '58 crew here - The History:  1950's

The Centennial Project:  John Sayre describes the 1958 race as you listen to the original play by play given by a young Keith Jackson -  Video:  Huskies win in Moscow in 1958

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