The 13th annual GW Invitational, scheduled for Saturday on the Potomac, was canceled Wednesday because of concerns that protests this weekend in Foggy Bottom would disrupt the annual event. The Invitational is the largest collegiate rowing competition in D.C.
GW women’s crew head coach Steve Peterson said that three factors weighed into the decision: first, the fear that equipment left outside Friday night might be vandalized; second, the difficulty teams might have in getting to Thompson Boat House (at the end of Virginia Avenue) if traffic is snarled Saturday; and third, the prospect of GW losing a great deal of money if the Invitational was held – but canceled at the last minute.
It’s one of those things, Peterson said. It’s like the Y2K thing. It could be something. It could be nothing.
The cancellation comes on the heels of the men’s crew team victory at Worcester, Mass. last Saturday. Ranked No. 23 as of Wednesday, the GW men’s varsity eight swept Colby University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Wesleyan University and Massachusetts on Lake Quinsigamond. The team will have to wait two weeks for the Atlantic 10 Championships at Camden, N.J.
The varsity eight placed first with a time of six minutes and 17 seconds. The second varsity eight placed first, as did the freshman eight, which crossed the finish line in seven minutes and eight seconds.
These results further indicate the improvements the crews have been making this year, said men’s head coach Gene Kininmonth in a University press release. It is a strong statement of the depth of our program when all three crews can win on the same day.
In his first year at GW, Kininmonth has earned the respect of his rowers.
I think Gene solidified the program, sophomore John Creedon said. He installed a new set of confidence in our team. Last year was a rough season, but now other teams are intimidated by us at the starting line. It feels good to finally be beating solid teams. Our new coaching staff, the captains and the ambition of our rowers all add to the success of our season.
In the long-standing tradition of collegiate rowing, the losing crew teams all gave their race-shirts to the victorious Colonials at the conclusion of the regatta.
The latest NCAA/U.S. Rowing rankings came out Wednesday. The GW women’s varsity eight boat was ranked 19th.