Updated: Sep 21
It started with an email from Jane Ritchey, who was at the Jan 5 memorial with a custom lightweight coxed quad, the Lucy Pocock Stillwell, built by Stan and named after his aunt Lucy. Her crew was slated to row the shell in a special memorial service The idea was to honor Stan Pocock on the historical Opening Day after the Windermere Cup.
Jane writes -I am writing to let you know that the Opening Day Wooden Pocock tribute is now set for May 2nd in the Montlake Cut.
“Lucy’s” crew for the Opening Day Stan Pocock memorial, included Lucy’s granddaughter Heidi Danilchik, who wore the official Thames Pocock family colors .
Heidi sat in the cox seat. The wreath she carried was for her cousin Stan. It was placed in the empty stroke seat as a place of honor. Jane Ritchey, Marilyn Goo and Nancy Egaas (all lightweight rowers) rowed from the other three seats.
Opening Day Parade
Then the word from Parade Director Bruce Campbell
We will need to stage the boats near the Parade Director’s boat at the west end of the Cut. The boats will need to start eastbound shortly after the end of the final race.
(photo credit: Windermere Real Estate/Windermere Cup)
Then an email from Buckley
Who wants to row in a wooden Pocock on Opening Day in Seattle May 2 as a tribute to Stan Pocock?
Fast forward to May 1 and off we go! Click for more photos
We arrived at The beautiful Pocock Center on a sunny windy day and rigged the boats (more photos here)
We took some snappies., launched the boats and headed to the waiting area where we waited….and waited (more pics here)
We waited…and waited…and waited..for 3 hours, passing time taking Sunday Selfies and listening to the UW Marching Band Tubas play a stirring rendition of “I’m Your Boogie Man” – All the while the cox’s never stopped maneuvering, keeping us from being blown into shore and each other More photos here
We were around the corner (left in photo below) in a position to see the last 2 strokes of each crew before they crossed the finish line. We cheered for those whose blade or uniform colors we recognized. All the boats were herded into a logjam behind us, waiting until the regatta was over, and after our tiny little parade so they could race back to the Conibear Shellhouse and get their boats and themselves out of there in time for Saturday date night.
Ancient Mariners (in red) leading the way (from their Facebook page)
Finally the big race! The New Zealand men’s national team, winner of the past two under-23 World Championships, surprised no one by defeating the Washington varsity eight in the marquee event of the 21-race regatta, winning in 5 minutes 43.4 seconds, seven seats ahead of the Huskies (5:45.8). No shame in that – the Dawgs did great.
At last it was our turn to go!
We finally got a row in for about 3/4 of 2000 meters through a tunnel of cheers and air horns, being chased and mowed down by the elite rowers from the regatta, including the Kiwi Olympic athletes – What an HONOR!! – John Collins had a Husky moment , taking up the stroke rate to his old Go Purple Win Gold days, and for a minute there we all gave it the old college try – but the armada caught up with us very quickly, despite spotting us a headstart and an afternoon nap.
The 2015 Windermere Cup brings the some of the best crew team in the world to the Montlake Cut and the University of Washington for a day of racing. The Windermere Cup kicks off opening day of the boating season and other festivities that the Seattle Yacht Club host. (Joshua Lewis / Seattle Refined)
Back to the Conibear dock amid a traffic jam of quads and 8s’ that were being levitated out of the water by nimble young athletes. I felt like a gaffed tuna getting out of the boat and flopping onto the dock.
I was sent into the fleet of elite rowers at Conibear to get help lifting the boats out of the water.. Luckily they were all gentlemen – I pulled the “little old lady” card and that did the trick. Soon all our boats were hoisted out of the water, into the slings and onto the trailers by tall young men whose graciousness off the water was just as impressive as their performance on the water.
UW Huskies vs. Oregon State Beavers? No Contest…They all scored big points with us.