GEORGETOWN Rowing’s Love for Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta has far reaches By Ed Levin If one wants to learn about Georgetown University’s affection for the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta – look no further than The Tombs, a local establishment near the Washington D.C. campus. “The founder of the Tombs, Dick McCooey, (GU ’62 loved Georgetown Rowing so much that he dedicated a section of the restaurant to supporting the rowing team with memorabilia throughout the years,” said Georgetown University lightweight women’s rowing coach Abbey Wilkowski. “A big part of this section has oars on display for every Dad Vail winning Varsity 8+. My team would love nothing more than to add to their collection and to the legacy of Georgetown Rowing.” Last year the Hoyas came close but could not overcome the quick start by Princeton and had to settle for second place. While winning the silver means a lot, adding a coveted gold medal would mean the world. “It would mean a lot for our program to win the Varsity 8+ category because it would show the immense progress our team has made over the last couple of years,” said senior Bailyn Prichett and junior Cara Barkenbush. “At Dad Vail we face our toughest competition from the IRA (except Stanford). Winning a race against a field of IRA boats is something that our team has never done, and doing so at the Dad Vail would be even more meaningful to our program because of the importance of The Tombs to the Georgetown student body. We would be delighted to see our oar on the wall for the most competitive event at the Dad Vail and would make sure to celebrate at The Tombs if we were to win!” Wilkowski added, “Winning gold this year would be very exciting for our program. We see many of our league competitors at this regatta and in this race, so winning would mean we are heading in the right direction with our speed and bode well for our championship in June.” The Hoyas opened the spring season winning the Class of 2004 Cup at the Radcliffe Duel for the first time since 2018 and most recently earned a thirdplace finish at the Eastern Sprints. “The Women’s Eastern Sprints a couple of weeks before Dad Vail I would say helps us prepare the most,” said Wilkowski. “At Sprints we will race the same crews that we will see at Dad Vails and our championship. Being able to learn from those races throughout the season is key to our success at the end of the year.” With the Sprints now in the rearview mirror, the Hoyas turn their attention to the event that holds a special place in their heart. “Our team loves racing at the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta,” said Prichett and Barkenbush. “It is such a great opportunity to see some of our biggest competition in our league before our IRA Championship, but it is also exciting getting to test our speed against strong crews that we normally don’t compete against. Additionally, a lot of people on our team are from the Philly area, so the support from family and friends at this race is never lacking and makes it so special. The regatta staff does an excellent job of running the races and making it a fun time for everyone competing, which brings our team back every year.” The 84th Annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by AmeriHealth will be staged on the Cooper River, in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13. The Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta will kick off a summer long celebration for the 100th year of the Cooper River.