Sunday, October 01, 2006

Head Games on the Potomac?

Is September too early to play head games for the spring 2007 season? Georgetown doesn't think so. The scuttleButt among the Georgetown faithful at Saturday's Head of the Potomac was that Princeton made a special trip to Washington to play some head games with the Hoyas. Typically more of an intramural race for Georgetown, the presence of the Tigers added some spice to this year's Charlie Butt Scullers' Head of the Potomac. Georgetown kept to the theme of years past by entering an eight and several fours, mixing things up and getting in a good start-of-season shakedown cruise. Apparently the Hoyas hadn't even rowed in eights until Tuesday of last week. Princeton, meanwhile, entered what one would assume was an A boat in the open eight race and B and C boats in the Club eight event.

Continuing a theme from last season, the Princeton A boat favored power over technique but came away with a victory in the open eight event, besting four other crews. Both Hoya boats, heavy and light, finished with similar times, quite a bit back from Princeton. The first Hoya boat on the course was the heavyweight eight and it caught a serious crab shortly after the start, at least partially accounting for its slow time. The Tigers also won the club eight, beating 11 other crews.

All the usual early race caveats apply to these results. The only thing that is certain is that the athletes that made up the crews of these eights, will not be the same athletes racing at IRAs in June, and will most likely not be the same athletes racing in Boston in three weeks. One piece of information that might be worthy of note, however, is the fact that the Princeton B boat beat the Georgetown eight's time as well. Times between races are not comparable, but in this case conditions were worse for the club eight event with wind, a little rain, and some major league boat traffic. (I wonder how the race looked from that party barge churning down the course?)

While the Hoyas may have made a bit too much out of Princeton's presence, somehow I doubt that after arriving at the racecourse the Tigers were shocked to discover that Georgetown was in their race. In any case, it was a fun way to kick off the season.

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