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Rowing Finishes Blustery George Washington Invitational


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Old Dominion rowing team competed this weekend at the George Washington Invitational held on the Potomac River and got one day of competition in.

Extremely windy conditions limited the action in the event as ODU got two races in on Friday and two early Saturday morning before the weather canceled the remainder of the invitational.

Against Drexel, the Monarchs 2V8+ race had to restart 300 meters into the race as a rudder broke on the ODU boat. They came back in a new boat and pushed Drexel falling to them by six seconds covering the 2000-meter course in 6:40.3. In an earlier race a couple of weeks ago, Drexel was 21 seconds faster in the heat against the Monarchs.

The Varsity 8+ had their strongest race of the season in deteriorating water conditions covering the course in 6:18.4 to finish 4.1 seconds ahead of Drexel. They led from start to finish over a team that beat them by 19 seconds at the Sunshine Invitational two weeks ago.

On Saturday, the winds continued as the Monarchs couldn't get a good rhythm in very choppy waters against Temple and West Virginia as the Varsity 8+ finished in 6:29.3. The Second Varsity 8+ ran into a little issue, a crab, after battling Temple for the first 1000 meters and finished in 6:40.8.

ODU is back in action in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday at the Kerr Cup.

"The winds prevented the Varsity 4+ from racing Friday due to the water conditions being too rough to race the smaller boats. On Saturday, they were able to row down the course to get back to the dock, so they were acknowledged to have come down the course.
Our Friday racing was the most confident I have seen ODU on the water. The 2V8+ race started and about 300 meters into the course, our rudder broke forcing the race to stop. Many teams would've crumbled under the physical and emotional toll of rowing back to the dock in bad conditions and then coming back out with a new boat and then racing. The 2V8+ raced again and gave a hard-fought battle against Drexel who beat us a few weeks ago by 21 seconds. I was very impressed with the composure they showed during the race. 
The V8+ on Friday led from start to finish. It was one of their strongest races of the year in deteriorating water conditions. They rowed the same rating as Drexel at 36 strokes per minute through the body of the course and were able to be a little more effective each stroke. Pushing out to a four-second win against a team whose time at Sunshine Invite two weeks ago was 19 seconds faster. 

Our second race of the weekend, I don't feel showed our actual speed in either race. The 2V8+ were not able to find their rhythm as the chop and bounce of the water was hard to manage. The V8+ found themselves in a good battle with Temple to the 1000m mark until we caught a boat-stopping crab after an oar hit a wave. It definitely changed the outcome of the race, but that's what racing is. 
I think we learned a good deal this weekend about racing and about ourselves. With one more weekend of racing before conference, I think we still have some speed to find and am confident in this group to put the work in to find it."