With Cal and Washington finishing within a deck of each other after four miles at the 1939 IRA, and both crews smashing the course record, the stage was set for this powerful rivalry to blossom into the next decade. Both Al Ulbrickson and Ky Ebright were confident of their chances as the thirties gave way to the forties.
And well they should have been. This decade will be remembered for some of the fastest, most dominant crews ever produced by the two universities. In fact, it is the only recorded time that both schools would win gold medals in the same Olympics. Unfortunately it is also a decade marked by war – a war that would impact the lives of everyone on campus – and in the end begin a new era in collegiate athletics, and the sport of rowing.