The GW men’s and women’s crew teams will participate in the Head of the Potomac Saturday.
The regatta will begin at 9 a.m. at the Thompson Boat Center at 2700 Virginia Ave. N.W., and the first GW boat will hit the water just before noon, GW head coach Steve Peterson said.
Peterson said a total of six GW boats will race in the regatta, including two men’s boats and four women’s boats. The men’s varsity eight and two women’s varsity eight boats will race for GW in the open eights, which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. The women’s varsity four will race at 12:50 p.m., while the men’s varsity four will race at 2 p.m. Another women’s varsity eight boat will race in the club eights at 2:30 p.m.
The GW race to watch will be the women’s varsity open eights. The GW women’s varsity eight boat made the NCAA Championships last spring, but only two rowers from that boat return to this year’s squad – Erin Moore and Sam Byrd.
“It’s going to be interesting to watch the women’s team,” Peterson said. “We graduated 15 women this year, so we have a really young team and a lot of new faces. Battling for the first boat is going to be pretty fierce.” Peterson isn’t putting any lofty expectations on the team’s first event of the year.
“We have the potential to win (the open eights race), but we won’t dominate it like we did last year,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be a matter of whether some of the younger people in the boats will be able to step up and perform.”
The men’s team is in a similar situation to the women’s team, as sophomores and juniors dominate the roster, Peterson said. New varsity men’s coach Erich Shuler is not putting much weight on his team’s finish at the regatta.
“We have no expectations really,” Shuler said. “We just want to execute a good race.”
The regatta, hosted by the Potomac Boat Club, will include 22 events, said Jessica Hymowitz, the registrar for the regatta. GW will compete against boats from Georgetown University, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, North Carolina State University, and several club teams, among others.