Strong winds and choppy waters delayed the Occoquan Sprints for three hours after the opening race yesterday, but those fans who remained were treated to world-class rowing and some hotly contested races on the Occoquan Reservoir.
Crews from West Germany and The Netherlands outraced their American counterparts, winning boys varsity eight and four races and the girls four event.
The West Germany boys eight proved too fast for the field of seven. T.C. Williams got the best start in the race, but the Germans needed on 25 strokes to force into the lead.
After 500 meters the Dutch were second and Upper Merion (Pa.) third. As the Germans won the slightly abbreviated 1500-meter race in 5:06, Upper Merion took second after 1000 meters and held on for a 5:13.5 clocking. Williams used a strong finish to take third in 5:16, 1.2 seconds better than the Dutch.
"Boy, those Germans are fast, Williams Coach Bob Spousta said. "They're several levels above us. I don't know why we even race them. I guess they come over here just to win races."
"The high school crews here are not as fast as we because in Germany we have clubs and people come from all around to row," said Eckard Schultz, the No. 4 oarsman on the German eight, whose oarsmen ranged in age from 16 to 18. "And I think we practice more, too."
The boys varsity four event became a battle between the Germans and the Dutch. The Germans jumped to a quick lead after 500 meters Chestnut Hill (Pa.) took the lead with Dutch second. After 750 meters the Germans regained the lead, but with 500 meters left the Dutch forged ahead and seemed to have the race in hand.
But the six-feet Dutch advantage with slightly more than 100 meters to go disappeared almost instantaneously as the leaders caught a crab and the Germans won in 6:08.3, 1.4 seconds better than the Dutch. Chestnut Hill was third in 6:16.1, more than 23 seconds faster than Stuart. Williams was another 10 seconds back.
Washington-Lee spotted Williams open water in the girls varsity eight event before winning easily. Williams, despite steering problems, had the better start and extended its lead to a lenght by the midpoint of the race. But the Generals quickly moved ahead with 600 meters to go and rowed in open water of their own for the final 300 for a 6:45 clocking, 10:5 seconds better than the Titans.
"We had a bad start. Everybody just washed out and I think T.C. false started," said Laura Messier, who rowed in the General's fifth seat. "We kept trying to bring it all together. We lengthened our strokes and upper our rating by three (strokes per minute). I don't know what happened to Williams."
The Dutch girls four won in 7:01, nearly a minute faster than Willaims, which edged Fort Hunt for third by a half a second.
On the sever River in Annapolis Navy's varsity lightweight eight captured the Haines Cup from Harvard for the only the second time in its 15-year history, winning by one length in a four-minute race, shortened from 2,000 meters because of severe windy conditions.
On Lake Onondaga in Syracuse, Navy's heavyweights swept all four races in the 26th annual Goes Cup Regatta. Syracuse led for most of the 1,750-meter trophy race, but Navy came on with 400 meters left and edged Cornell by 1.6 seconds in 6:14.3.
In the Kerr Cup Ragatta on the Schuylkill in Philadelphia, Georgetown's only victory came in the varsity lightweight eight event where the Hova men clock 6:24.2 for 2,000 meters, to 6:28 for Ithaca and Drexel's 6:34.6.The Georgetown varsity eight was second to Temple 6.4 seconds behind the Owls, who clocked 6:16.3.