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Originally published Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 8:05 PM

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UW rowers chill out at Head of the Charles

Washington's men placed third and the women were fifth in the varsity eight finals in snow, wind and temperatures in the low 30s in Boston.

BOSTON — Winter training arrived early for University of Washington rowers.

Snow, wind and temperatures in the low 30s at the 45th Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday produced one of the "ugliest days of rowing" that Bob Ernst, UW rowing director and women's coach, has seen.

The classic nor'easter storm left the NFL's New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans slipping and sliding in snow in nearby Foxborough. But the football players and rowers pressed on.

Washington's men's varsity eight placed third overall among 37 boats, and was the second NCAA crew to cross the finish line on the 3.2-mile Charles River course.

The defending champion Huskies finished in 14 minutes, 45.797 seconds, beating several elite national clubs. The men's final was won by the Tideway Scullers, a rowing club from England.

The Huskies were trying to become the first winners of consecutive men's races at the Head of the Charles since Navy took its fourth straight in 1983.

"We're pleased with where we are going into winter training," said UW men's coach Michael Callahan. "After two weeks of rowing, to be able to compete here is good.

"The objective was to build excitement going into the season," Callahan said. "And we did that."

The UW women's eight placed fifth overall among 32 boats, and was also the second NCAA team in its category. Washington finished the final in 16:59.526.

The Washington women made a strong move on the second half of the meandering course, finishing in front of Princeton, Virginia and Brown. The Amsterdam Student Rowing Club won. Yale was the first NCAA team across, in third.

"I'm really proud of how we performed," Ernst said.

Compiled from The Boston Globe and sports-information reports.

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