George Washington University's eight-oared crew overcame a midrace collision to win the men's championship eight race, the elite event of the second annual Head of the Occoquan Regatta, yesterday at Sandy Run Regional Park in Lorton.
The Colonials' time of 15:40.3 over the 2.8-mile course was the best time in the 19 events. And it would have been faster except for the collision with a shell from another race that caused the GW boat to come to a complete stop.
As the GW eight-oared shell entered the final turn of the course, the Colonials came upon crews from the women's championship four race. GW coxswain Lee Silverberg yelled repeatedly to the George Mason women's crew, but the two shells collided. One unidentified Mason rower suffered a chipped tooth when struck by an oar.
The GW boat had to come to a complete stop before it could get around the women's crews. Meet officials said they did not anticipate the women's crews being so slow as to impede the progress of the ensuing men's eight-oared race.
Rowing most of the race at approximately 32 strokes per minute, GW defeated crews from the University of Virginia, Washington College and an entry from the Potomac Boat Club. GW finished more than 1 1/2 minutes ahead of Washington College.
In the men's championship singles race, Bob Spousta, the boys' crew coach at T.C. Williams High School, was timed in 19:01.2 in defeating Chuck Selden of Silver Spring.
Later in the afternoon, Spousta and Selden, representing the Potomac Boat Club, combined to win the men's championship doubles in 16:55.2, defeating the entry from the Baltimore Rowing Club, which finished in 20:06.7.
GW also won the women's championship eight race with a time of 18:37.2, 20.9 seconds ahead of Potomac Boat Club.