They didn't celebrate the Fourth of July in England and neither did the two Georgetown University crews rowing in the 146th Henley Royal Regatta near Oxfordshire yesterday.

GU spent $20,000 to send the crews to the four-day regatta on the Thames. But, first, in the Wyfold Cup, GU's coxless crew was warned for faulty steering. Then when Georgetown's shell collided with Princeton's, it was disqualified.

"They have just had a lesson in life," the Hoyas' coach, John Forster, said. "The world is, unfortunately, full of injustices. We are all very disappointed."

Then, in the Ladies Plate, GU's coxed eight hit the boom. One oar failed to row for several seconds, all cohesion disappeared and a two-length gap opened between Georgetown and Leander. The Hoyas never recovered.

Only England's Paul Ashmore and Australia's Adrian Norman had a worse day. Ashmore, rowing in the Diamond Single Sculls, rammed Norman so hard, he capsized him.

Princeton got GU's share of luck. The New Jersians put their oars in the water and moved just before the start of the Ladies Plate; the Hannover University crew from West Germany, thinking Princeton had started, moved off. It was Hannover's second false start, so Princeton won in a row-over.