Walter Mess Regatta cancelled due to adverse headwinds, upper boats attend annual Gonzaga Visitation Regatta


photo courtesy of Raymond Yang

Jefferson crew attends the annual Gonzaga Visitation Regatta at the Anacostia River, while lower boats attend the Walter Mess Regatta on April 5.

Anjali Khanna, Entertainment Editor

On April 5, rowers and coxswains from Northern Virginia gathered with their crew shells at Sandy Run Regional Park in hopes of a great race. Jefferson crew split up the team this week, sending the upper boats to the Anacostia river to attend the Gonzaga visitation regatta, while keeping the lower boats at the Occoquan River for the Walter Mess Regatta.

Due to events later in the day, many of the lower boats of Jefferson crew arrived early at the Occoquan River to prepare for the events, only to be told that the headwind coming over the racecourse was too strong for racing, and unsafe for novice coxswains to steer and dock.

Most of the earlier events in the day went under way as planned, however the men’s varsity eight final race was cut short due to the cancellation of the regatta. Two boats of Jefferson crew did not get to participate in the races of the day. The Walter Mess regatta is the first cancellation all season, and was called off by race officials in order to keep the equipment and rowers safe.

“I think that we should have been able to race,” freshman Omisha Jyothi, a rower on the women’s freshman eight, said. “The winds were bad, but I think that we could have gotten through it by taking longer strokes and slowing down the stroke count.”

Although the Walter Mess Regatta ended abruptly, the upper boats of Jefferson crew were still able to participate in the Gonzaga Visitation Regatta on the same day. “None of the men’s boats did as well as they had hoped,” junior Raymond Yang, a coxswain for the men’s second eight, said. “My boat did well in the beginning, but Gonzaga was extremely strong and pulled far ahead in the middle of the race.”

As for the lower boats, the men’s novice and freshmen boats raced for the first time of the season two regattas ago, at the Regional Park regatta on March 29. The women’s novice and freshmen boats were scheduled to race at the Walter Mess regatta, but now plan on racing for the first time of the season at the Darrell Winslow Regatta on April 12.

“Before the next regatta, I want to work on increasing our power, fixing my hand levels in order to keep from unsetting the boat, and bonding with my teammates,” Jyothi said.