Saturday, May 3, marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of an event that is a touchstone for our company, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Yacht Club. The Windermere Cup, held annually on the first day of boating season, is both an international sporting event and an opening day celebration, followed by the world’s largest boat parade. But more than that, it’s a celebration of camaraderie, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.
The camaraderie is everywhere you look: on the banks of the Montlake Cut, where Seattle residents and visitors from around the world flock to the University of Washington campus; and on the water, where great athletes join together to do what none of them could do individually. Thousands of people coming together for a common cause. That, in and of itself, is powerful stuff.
But what we find most remarkable about this sport is the teamwork. Though it may look easy from the sidelines, rowing is a physically demanding full-body sport. Rowers practice long hours, starting before dawn and ending after sunset, both on the water and in the gym. As Daniel James Brown points out in the book, The Boys in the Boat, “Rowing is perhaps the toughest of sports. Once the race starts, there are no time-outs, no substitutions. It calls upon the limits of human endurance.”
A crew boat can only race if all eight members plus the coxswain show up, and they can only perform as well as the weakest among them. There are no superstars in crew. It’s one for all, and all for one. So they leave their personal issues at home and push themselves to the limit, every time, for the love of the team.
It’s that commitment to excellence, seen on the face of every rower on every shell at the Windermere Cup that makes us proud to sponsor this event each year. It reminds us of our own guiding principles at Windermere: strong relationships built on trust, goodwill, and mutual respect; a spirit of teamwork that makes us more successful as a whole than we are individually; and a ceaseless commitment to excellence and unparalleled service.
It’s truly a great tradition to be a part of.
This year the UW Huskies will take on Great Britain’s World Champion team on Saturday, May 3. For more information, go to www.WindermereCup.com. You can follow all of the events on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WindermereCup or twitter at www.twitter.com/WindermereCup.