The GW men’s varsity crew team finished 35th out of 41 entries at the 39th annual Head of the Charles River crew competition Sunday. The women’s team finished 37th out of 40 teams. The prestigious race runs for three miles along the Charles River in Boston, where teams from all over the world come to compete.
“It was a decent performance,” GW senior Evan Johnson said. “The rhythm wasn’t there. We weren’t as intense as we usually are.”
The rowing team is still recovering from the loss of several novice rowers who did not return from last year. This has forced the team to practice in two, four-man boats against each other instead of using the eight-man boat. However, the team competed in the Men’s Championship Eight.
Johnson said that while practicing in the four-man boat allows for the development of a more technical rower, it is difficult to synchronize. The team is still preparing for the spring season by developing their technique, even at the expense of speed, and this negatively affected their results.
The men’s time of 15:32.052 came in well behind a U.S. National Team from the Princeton Training Center, which won the event in 14:03.
Johnson described the atmosphere of the event as “circus-like” but said that it was “great to be next to the U.S. National Rowing Team.”
GW Head Coach Helen Betancourt described her team’s result as a “strong effort” from a young crew. The team was penalized ten seconds when they hit the outside buoy while attempting to pass another boat.
Counting the penalty, which did not affect the women’s placement, the team finished with a time of 18:04.276. A team from the London Training Center won the event with a time of 15:31.
The Colonial crew teams compete next in Philadelphia in the Head of the Schuylkill regatta Saturday, followed by the Princeton Chase in New Jersey on Sunday.