While balmy temperatures and cherry blossoms drew thousands to the Mall yesterday, out on the Potomac River area, rowers battled gusting winds and choppy water to stage their annual spring festivities.
But Georgetown didn't need great weather to enjoy its Cherry Blossom Regatta, winning six of eight women's varsity eight races by sizable margins at Thompson's Water Sports Center. In the scholastic Cherry Blossom at Potomac Boat Club, T.C. Williams and Washington-Lee battled to the finish, splitting the varsity eight races, host W-L winning six of the 12 events and Williams four.
In the boys varsity eights, T.C. Williams led the way but to hold off a determined General eight that was two strokes short ot catching the Titans, who clocked 5:15.4. Williams got the better start and settled to 32-33 strokes a minute to gain a quarter-length lead after one-quarter of the mile race. Williams was ahead by more than four seats at the half-mile, before W-L, which rowed at an unusually high rate for most of the race, upped its cadence to make its stretch move.
"I'm pleased. We rowed a nice, steady race," Williams Coach Bob Spousta said. "We haven't even worked on our sprints yet."
The W-L girls, who were timed in 5:51.6, jumped from the stake boats with a 35 rating and quickly settled to 30.After the first quarter-mile, the Generals had pulled far ahead and finished with open water between them and one of two Williams varsity eights. The other did not race here.
On the wind-swept Seven River in Annapolis, Navy swept all five races in the Maxwell Sevenson Cup Regatta against Columbia. The Mids' heavy-weight varsity eight won the cup for the ninth straight year.