May 1, 2004
UCLA Women's Head Coach
"We came up here pretty much knowing we were just going to try and better ourselves. It was such a wonderful opportunity. What a beautiful day, and then for my team to be able to race in that venue with that many spectators, go under the bridge with people screaming, I don't think they've ever experienced anything that exciting before. They're just so happy to be here. Before my varsity eight launched, they were getting into the boat and they could hear the spectator route blowing horns and I said, 'You guys, that's the crowd,' and they got so nervous, it was really cute. It's not typical, you never have that type of thing. Even at the Olympic Games you don't have a roar that close to you surrounding you.
"In that varsity eights race there were some steering problems in the first little bit there but it's part of the sport and you've just got to push through it and overcome obstacles and see how you react, that's part of the game so it's just another experience to work from. We had figured we would be within 10 seconds of the UW based on what we've done so far this year and I still think that's a realistic goal for us for the Pac-10s. It's really our second year as a varsity program so we're just building. We're so excited to be invited and as soon as they invited us we just changed our whole schedule around to come up because I wouldn't miss the opportunity to come up here and be a part of it."
UCLA Women's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"I think we were pushing hard from the very beginning. We started higher than we normally would, we had a lot of adrenaline and it was an exciting race to go through. We've never been in such an environment where there's so many people cheering for you, so it was an awesome feeling to just go through that experience.
"We knew there would be a lot of people cheering and being loud and obnoxious but we stayed focused. They were trying to listen to me over what everyone else was doing."
Washington Women's Head Coach
"We did a pretty good job. The girls felt a little bit tired. They were really glad they weren't racing for the national championship today, so I don't think it was the best they have. It wasn't their fastest speed. At the same time, this is a big test for us at Opening Day to race against people we don't know. To race against foreign crews is really important for us when we line up against Princeton and Brown and teams we don't see during the regular season. It was a good performance in front of the biggest crowd they're ever going to face. If they go to the Olympics, they may not row in front of as many people as they did today.
"We had our California race last weekend, so we tapered three days for that race, so we had to do a lot of hard work, work through next week and then taper for Pac-10s. We have to have at least two weeks of really hard work in order to have any kind of tapering.
"It really was completely unexpected. Before the race I would have expected the Italians to be right up there with us. A lot of rowing is racing your best within your boat and the girls were able to do that really well and showed some good speed this time of the season.
"The race doesn't count in our standings, so I'd be surprised if we moved up in the standings. It's more a really important step for us personally to go out there and have that good performance in front of so many fans with such great pressure. To perform well there is a big step for us.
"I think the best performance of the year is yet to come. I think last weekend was a better race for us. There's a big difference between racing when you feel tired and when you feel rested.
"In the Cascade Cup, my hats are off to the Washington State Cougars. They have real tough kids and they were down, but they didn't get discouraged, they fought back and the answer is we need to do some looking at our players and make sure we have the toughest players in our boat. It's not acceptable to have someone come back and walk through you. WSU beat us before, so it's not a complete shock."
Washington Women's Varsity Eight Coxswain
"It was fun, we all got really excited to uphold a tradition. It's a great race
"How confident can you be going up against people you have never raced against before? We were excited and ready to do our best. It's practice for something you see at nationals. When you race on the West Coast, you start to understand how people race. They understand us, we understand them. When you go to new races it's a whole new ballgame, you have to go in and do your best.
"This is one of the best races I've ever been in. I love it. This is one of the races you look forward to. All of Seattle comes out and it's good to see how supportive everyone is."
Washington Women's Varsity Eight
"It was a good race. We were really excited. This was my last home race so I was kind of nostalgic but it was really nice to win and we were really looking to go in and have a really solid race because we're going to Pac-10s in two weeks and we really want to keep building off previous races. I think we did that. We didn't have a really quick, clean start like we like to but we kept with them in the start and then we just settled into our pace and found our rhythm, stayed long and rocked through.
"We're lucky that it's here, we're lucky that it's our program that puts it on and that Seattle is such a welcoming city in terms of rowing. I don't think we look at ourselves as spoiled that it's here but we're really thankful. I don't think we lose sight of the fact that we really are thankful that we get to be a part of this every year. And we're really happy for the crews that get to come because it is a really cool experience and not a lot of people get to come."
Italy Women's Head Coach
"It's been a very positive experience for us. It's the first time we are out of Italy and it has been extremely positive for the women to experience this different level of rowing and they performed decently. There's still a big margin to improve."
Italy Women's Coxswain
"It was very exciting with all the people around. In fact the most difficult thing for us was to not be looking around with our heads too much. We felt famous.
"We were a little bit sorry to come closer, but not win. We don't have an idea if we can win or not because it was just the first race for us with these people. It's the first time out of Italy that a female eight came for a race. We worked to get together because they were all from different cities and so they never get together."