Walter Mess Regatta, Fairfax Station, VA, USA Saturday, April 7, 2018
STA/NCS Stand Out
This weekend’s Walter Mess Regatta was a little messy with the weather, but was
great racing all around, featuring most of the Virginia State Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) teams, and even a few extras. All boat classes from singles to quads to eights were raced, with 227 entries representing 30 clubs. Temperatures held between 30 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit (~0 to 7 degrees Celsius), winds between 10 and 20 mph (16-32 kilometers per hour), and even some snow mixed in, leading to finals for the M/W 1st 8, 2nd 8, 1st 4 and Junior 4 being cancelled.
On the men’s side, St. Albans School, 2017 3rd place finishers in the 1st 8 at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta (one of the largest high school regattas in the world), took home wins in both the 1st and 2nd 8- based off of the heat times of course- and South County High School won the 1st 4 event. St. Albans School reached the quarter finals of Henley Royal Regatta last summer, losing out to eventual finalists from across the pond, Radley College, by 3/4 length. For the women, National Cathedral School won the 1st 8, but Washington-Lee High School took the 2nd 8 category, with Wakefield High School winning the 1st 4.
The winners of the previous week’s Polar Bear Regatta in the Men’s 1st 8, McLean High School, were not present due to concerns from their own coaching staff about conditions, and the second place finishers, South County, also did not enter a 1st 8 due to injuries. Yorktown High School, who were at their training camp in South Carolina during the Polar Bear Regatta, came back stronger than ever, as both the men and women, who were not able to make it into the top 6 in the state in 2017, came in 2nd in their heats.
Considering that conditions on the Potomac and Occoquan rivers, where most of these schools train, are finally looking up, I would expect that most of these teams will be hitting their stride coming into next week’s Darrell Winslow Regatta, to be held on the same course. It will be very exciting to see how it shakes out with McLean back, Yorktown having made their mark, and another week of solid training under everyone’s backs.
Virginia, United States