The Georgetown men’s rowing team will continue its fall season at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston on Saturday. With teams from across the world competing in this regatta, both the lightweight and heavyweight teams will be racing against high-level competition.
In an attempt to give more team members experience, this weekend’s competition will feature only freshmen in both the lightweight and heavyweight four. Varsity team members will stay behind for development.
“The goal with the varsity group, in particular, is to get fit and strong on land, on the machines, and in the weight room,” Head Coach Luke Agnini said of this weekend’s roster choice. “We have been rowing very hard. Now, the goal is to get everybody rowing effectively.”
Overall, the team’s focus is to build confidence as rowers and to provide the newcomers with valuable competition experience. Agnini believes this approach to this fall’s competition will further the program’s long-term goals, which are oriented to the spring season.
“Culturally, we are trying to teach guys how to gain confidence, how to get better, how to get faster, how to believe in what they are doing,” Agnini said. “It’s a grind. It’s a really long year with rowing. You’re pounding the machines. You’re on the water.”
With some of the rowers unable to compete due to injuries, weight concerns and study-abroad programs, the team is not sending its top eight rowers to the Head of the Charles. Instead, the Hoyas are laying the foundation for the spring by concentrating on skill development and injury recovery.
On the lightweight side, the two previous competitions have given Lightweight Varsity Coach Lee Rumpf useful knowledge of his personnel, as four of the team’s strongest rowers are missing.
“The Potomac and the Occoquan helped the guys get into the rhythm of race day,” Rumpf said. “[The guys were] practicing what it means to wake up and have a race, because the Charles comes with a lot of pressure.”
Both coaches remain optimistic that the sheer amount of training hours the team has put in, along with Boston’s predicted warm weather this weekend, will provide a good platform for the Hoyas to showcase their abilities, despite only sending freshmen to this year’s Head of the Charles Regatta.
“The important thing is what the guys do when they are given the opportunity and how much can they run with it. That is one of the really fun parts,” Agnini said.