Joe's Vault: Soviet-UW showdown at the Windermere Cup

Joe's Vault: Soviet-UW showdown at the Windermere Cup
Tomorrow is Opening Day of yachting season and the 27th Windermere Cup race on the Montlake Cut.

For more than four decades, rowers have glided through the Cut on opening day, cheered on by thousands of people on boat and on land. In 1987, in an effort to help increase the level of competition, Windermere Real Estate helped bring the Soviet Union's men's and women's crew teams here and thus began the Windermere Cup race.

The race is one of several in the morning as junior, collegiate, and masters rowers participate in this, the ultimate team sport. Following the races, boats festooned with decorations parade through the Cut to Lake Washington. It's a wonderful, nearly century-old Seattle tradition and one that was covered live by KOMO in 1987.

The crew races between the UW and the Soviet teams was the highlight. Nearly 30 years before, the UW men went to Moscow and beat the powerful Soviet team, one of the biggest upsets in rowing history.

KOMO's Keith Jackson and cameraman Howard Ramaley went along with the UW as they travelled to England and the USSR in 1958. Keith joined Sports Director Bruce King in 1987 and the '58 crew was featured in the broadcast.

Today's Vault feature is the first hour of our 90-minute broadcast from May 2, 1987. Sadly, the last half hour showing the grand parade of boats is missing from our archives, so we are tantalized by just a few minutes of coverage before the tape runs out.

If you go to the races, take comfort in the fact that the weather this year will be quite a bit better than it was back in '87! Enjoy, and go Huskies!