The 100th UW/Cal Dual Regatta

Celebration Friday, 4/22/11

The Washington/California Dual on April 23rd will mark the 100th time these two schools have met on the water.  To celebrate this milestone, the Stewards will be holding an event Friday night, 4/22, at the Duchess to celebrate, and you are invited.  Here are the details:

Who:  All friends, alums and parents of Washington Rowing are invited. 

What:  A celebration of the UW/Cal race.  The first round will be picked up by Howard Lee '84, so get there early!  Old boys start remembering/embellishing your stories.

Where:  The Duchess Tavern, 2827 NE 55th St., Seattle.  Map - The Duchess

When:  Begins at 6 pm

Why:  Because it is one of the best traditions in amateur sport, and it is a good reason to celebrate and see old friends/teammates and hang out at the Duchess again.

How:  Thank you Howard Lee for helping sponsor and organize this event!  Questions?  Contact Howard at

Note:  Please drink responsibly.  We want you there Saturday morning cheering on the Huskies.

The Tradition

The first UW/Cal dual race was held on June 3rd, 1903 in Seattle.  Rowed in wherry fours, the race would be a harbinger of things to come:  it was not perfect.  But it was an intercollegiate race, something the residents of Seattle had been yearning for for years.  And the turnout of fans proved it, the 1.5 mile course at Leschi packed with spectators.

There are eight years, between that race and today, that the UW/Cal race did not happen.  Many of those came in the early years (1906 was cancelled due to the devastating San Francisco earthquake and fire).  There were some years where Stanford and Cal would race off to win the opportunity (and expensive/lengthy travel, often by steamer) to face Washington.  Both World Wars greatly impacted the sport, WWI leading to the suspension of Stanford's program (and almost Cal's, which would have dominoed to the elimination of rowing at Washington;  as it was, women's rowing was not renewed and did not return until the 60's).  There was no Dual Regatta in 1944, 45, or 46 due to WWII.  It took Al Ulbrickson, Ky Ebright and Curly Harris to get the engine re-started after that extended lay-off.

In 1976, the UW and Cal women were facing off, and the tradition expanded.  In fact, that record - 35 years straight of women's dual racing - is one of the longest standing today.  Now combined together, the races feature eight events:  Men's and Women's Varsity 4's, Frosh/Novice 8's, 2V8's and Varsity 8's.

Want to read about some entertaining years?  Check out 1903 here - Washington Rowing History - 1900's;  1914 was a rodeo: Washington Rowing History - 1910's;  1920 and 1927 featured a sinking or two of various vessels: Washington Rowing History - 1920's.  The rest you can ask about at the Celebration Friday night;  you can decide whether the story you hear at the Duchess is historically accurate or not!


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