Seattle, Washington, May 2003

For nearly 100 years, the Seattle Yacht Club has been ushering in the start of boating season with the annual Opening Day Boat Parade through Seattle's Montlake Cut.

Each year on the first Saturday of May, thousands of spectators line the shores of the cut and hundreds of pleasure boats moor along the race course to watch the parade and the events leading up to it, including the opening day rowing regatta, known as the Windermere Cup.

The regatta was added in 1970 to provide the University of Washington rowing program an opportunity to compete against other collegiate powerhouses. Since then, the race event has become one of the most prestigious rowing regattas in the world. It also remains free to the public, unique for an event of this caliber in the Northwest.

In addition to the varsity crew competition, the regatta includes events for rowers in 40+ and 50+ age categories, and for mixed crews. In all it makes for an excellent way to celebrate springtime in Seattle.

I had the pleasure of covering this year's Cup, which took place on a cool, overcast morning with neither rain nor glaring sun: perfect weather for racing. The images on this page represent some of my favorites from the 2003 event. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Right: crew team members strain to pull ahead of the competition. Canon EOS-10D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.

The women compete as hard as the men. Here a slow shutter speed conveys some of the feeling of
movement as the boats rocket by. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300mm f/2.8L IS

Intensity is evident in the faces of contestants. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300mm f/2.8L IS.

Parade marshals and event officials wave to the crowd prior to the
start of the 2003 regatta. Canon EOS-10D, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS

Spectators look on intently as the crew teams head for the finish. Canon EOS-10D, EF 14mm f/2.8L.

A view from above shows the precision needed for top completion.
Canon EOS-10D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS

Crew teams rest in Seattle's Portage Bay after completing their events. Canon EOS-10D,
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS.