GW crew teams competed in the 37th annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Mass., last weekend. Both coaches said the elite racing fields in this international race provided much needed experience for their young teams.
The men’s Varsity Eight finished 35th with a time of 14:09.4, and the men’s Championship Four placed 27th with a time of 19:09.1.
Men’s head coach Gene Kininmonth said the race last weekend showed the youth and inexperience of his team.
“It was baptism by fire. Opening our season against four international crews as well as 17 of the top 20 collegiate crews is always going to be a challenge,” men’s coach Gene Kininmonth said. “Our result (35th) at the Head of the Charles in Boston was disappointing but no surprise.”
Team members also felt the race was a good learning experience and a better way to start off the season.
“The Head of the Charles is a tough race; it also happens to be our first race of the year,” strokesman Victor Marwin said. “Our results may have fallen short, but I was happy with the effort the guys put in.”
This year the men are looking to top last year’s performance that resulted in a silver medal performance by the varsity four at the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships. But this year’s team is very different. The squad has a new coxswain, Evan Johnson, steering the varsity boat, and six of the nine varsity men from last season’s 16-6 squad have graduated.
Because of the youth and inexperience of the team, Kininmonth said the men’s line up will be constantly changing over the season.
“Certainly no one should feel assured of their seat in the boat,” Kininmonth said. “We have been through two rounds of cuts already this semester. Just this week I excused a varsity oarsmen who wasn’t making the grade.”
The women’s Varsity Eight placed 32nd this weekend in a lineup of 54 entries, and the women’s four women placed 27th with a time of 20:21.4.
Women’s coach Steve Peterson also felt the race was a positive
experience for his team.
“We improved in the Championship Eight over the last year’s performance by more than ten places,” Peterson said, according to G W Sports Information. “We closed the gap on Navy to only nine seconds, and we turned the tables on Georgetown beating them by four seconds, so I feel we are moving in the right direction.”
Team members said the race was a good experience.
“This past weekend in Boston was a good stepping stone for the women’s crew,” team captain Molly Hueller said. “We had a much better performance than last year and beat Georgetown, along with our A-10 rival UMass. We performed technically very well and executed our race plan just as we had planned.”