Charlie Butt—A Regatta to Remember

The Yorktown and W-L crew communities co-hosted the Charlie Butt Regatta on the Potomac River April 24, a fabulous event named in honor of the longtime W-L head coach Charlie Butt who actively served the rowing community of greater Washington from 1949 until his death in 1992. [See the full story of Charlie Butt and his continuing influence on DC-area crew at http://www.charliebuttregatta.com/2010/The_Story_of_Charlie_Butt.html.]

Alumni parent Ed Wilson along with current YHS crew parent Chris Walsh headed up Yorktown’s regatta committee, with Jack Goodman heading up the effort for W-L. As all who attended can attest, it was a great event start to finish with great water conditions for racing.

For Yorktown, it also was a day of significant accomplishment and promise for almost all of our crews.

Our women's 1V won their heat by open water and advanced to a four-boat final chock full of first-rate crews. The line-up for the final was Yorktown, McLean, TC Williams and National Cathedral. McLean scratched due to an injured rower and in the end it proved to be a battle between the top-ranked Titans from TC and the smooth rowing women from Yorktown. At the finish it was TC over YHS by 2.9 seconds,
with NCS well back. The Patriot women have not yet been fully "unleashed" and under-stroked their Titan rivals this time. It looks like the women’s 1V race at States will be a great one. The rankings going in have TC at #1, Robinson #2 and YHS a close #3. NCS and McLean are a tight #4-5.

Our men's 1V also won its heat over a solid crew from W-L, with Lake Braddock and West Potomac well back. Both the Patriot and Generals 8s advanced to a four-boat final with Gonzaga and St Albans. All
four crews came off the line closely packed, but the Bulldogs from St. Albans made a big move in the middle 500 meters and opened a significant lead on both Gonzaga and Yorktown. The Patriot men sprinted into Gonzaga in the last 25 strokes and finished 3.4 seconds back of the Eagles, about the same margin as last year at Nationals, but still a good 9.3 seconds behind winner St Albans, which topped Gonzaga by 5.8 seconds, a decisive open water win for the Bulldogs who took home the Foley Cup for the first time since 2007. YHS's 3.9 second margin over W-L cemented the Patriot 1V in the #3 ranking in the polls after VASRA #1 St. Albans and #2 Thomas Jefferson. W-L is ranked #4.

The YHS women's 2V placed 2nd in its one-to-advance heat behind Madison and rowed to a very close second in the women’s petite final, just 1.4 seconds behind a tough crew from Georgetown Visitation. The YHS women's 2V is ranked 5th going into States on May 8.

The men's junior 8 took on visitor Gonzaga head-to-head in a one-and-done final. The YHS juniors came up 7 seconds short on Gonzaga, but put almost 20 seconds on VASRA rival Langley. Owing to that margin and their win against TJ on April 10, the Patriot J8 goes into States as the #1 ranked men's junior crew.

The amazing Yorktown men's 3rd 8 continued its unbeaten VASRA season in a three boat match race with Gonzaga and W-L, finishing "only" seven second behind the year-round Eagles, but 18 seconds up on W-L, a big win. The YHS 3V is also ranked #1 going into its championship event (the Ted Phoenix Regatta) on May 1.

The freshman and novice men and women showed exceptional promise in their respective one-and-done flights. The YHS novice women's 8, comprised mainly of 8th graders, won by open water over rivals from Bishop Ireton and Episcopal. The YHS freshman women's 8 finished third behind two very solid crews from National Cathedral and McLean. The freshman men's 8 finished a respectably close 2nd to a very powerful frosh crew from TC Williams and open water ahead over West Potomac. The Yorktown men's novice 8 also finished second behind an exceptional crew from Bishop O'Connell, a much improved program this year.