The Cadle Cup, the unofficial area championship for college crews, used to be nothing more than a casual tuneup for Georgetown in preparation for the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia the next weekend.

That was the case until last year, when George Washington, which only recently had begun to challenge the Hoyas, won -- by one-tenth of a second -- over Georgetown in the men's varsity eight race.

The Hoyas are deadly serious about regaining their Potomac River bragging rights at this year's Cadle Cup Regatta, 10.a.m. today at the Thompson Boat Center.

"Last year's race was excellently rowed by George Washington, and we didn't lose by much, so we didn't row badly ourselves," said Georgetown Coach Jay Forester. "But we don't intend to make last year's outcome a habit. We expect to win that race this time."

The two crews met twice this season and split. The Colonials recently rowed a strong second to Temple, a traditional rowing power, and believe that last season's victory against their arch rivals was no fluke. Georgetown, which shares the Thompson center with GW as their boathouse, is also a much stronger crew than last year and not likely to allow the Colonials to break to an early lead.

Other entrants are George Mason, Trinity, Johns Hopkins, Loyola (Baltimore), the University of Baltimore, Washington College (Md.), Mary Washington College and the Naval Academy women's team.