The muscular young men on these pages, bending to their work in sturdy concert, are oarsmen at the University of Washington (above) and the University of California. For both crews, the rowing season opens this weekend. But of more concern to both is May 9: on that day they meet one another in Seattle in a West Coast rivalry so fierce and traditional that the baseball antagonism between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, by contrast, smacks of a nonagression pact.
Until the season gets under way, it will be too early to predict how the Washington-California regatta will go. Washington, which sent a victorious crew to Moscow last year, lost all but two men in the first boat through graduation. And in January it lost famed Al Ulbrickson, the Huskies coach who resigned after 32 years. But it gained a strong sophomore team, which, added to the veterans, should give Washington a good if not a great team. "But we have to get down to cases," said Coach Fillip Leanderson one morning last week before a 5 o'clock practice on Seattle's Lake Union. "With the possibility of bad weather and powerboats on the lake in the afternoon, there isn't much time." As the shells moved off, Leanderson reminded: "One month from today, California!"
Some 600 miles to the south in Berkeley, the California crew shows signs of resurging. After poor seasons in the early '50s, the Bears beat strong Wisconsin in 1957 and 1958. And last year's good sophomore squad returns almost intact. Beyond that is the determination of all on the crew to beat Washington as a parting tribute to Ky Ebright, California coach for 35 years, who retires in July.
Ebright, of course, would not mind a bit. And as the California practice shells cut through Oakland Estuary one day last week, sliding across the bows of merchantmen and past the oil tanks on the shore, Ebright shouted instructions from his launch, reminding in his own words: One month from today, Washington!