ODBC women's eight in final regatta (Photo: Lisa Scontras)

In two regattas the last weekend of October, the Old Dominion Boat Club’s women’s first eight and men’s quad rowed to third place finishes at the Head of the Occoquan. The ODBC lightweight men’s and women’s boats raced in the competitive Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The club’s totals for the fall season amounted to 13 medals: three golds and three bronzes for the men; and one gold, two silver and four bronze for the women. “The women’s first eight boat was the fastest team in the DMV,” said coach Patrick Marquardt.

The ODBC crew, which includes rowers from around the region, returned for the third time this season to the Occoquan on a beautiful fall day, fielding 13 boats. The men’s quad won the bronze with a time of 20.41.81, behind Resilient Rowing with a time of 20.27.89 and Walt Whitman, with a time of 20:33.32.

“They’ve spent a total of four tough practices together in this boat over the past two weeks,” said coach Enoch Cleckley. “After the second practice, they headed to the Head of the Schuylkill, where they had a strong performance and finished fourth out of 21. Last two practices, final race and rowed their way to a bronze medal at the Head of the Occoquan. I’m very proud and looking forward to the future with these boys.”

Also at the Head of the Occoquan, the women’s first eight won a bronze, with a time of 18:59.03. Walt Whitman came in first with a time of 18:37.27, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase was second.

The ODBC lightweight men and women traveled south to the Chattahoochee River to face teams from all over the East Coast at the premier fall event for lightweight rowers. At the Head of the Hooch, the ODBC lightweight men were 15th out of 33 boats, and women were sixth out of 24. The race was cut short by the rough weather; rowers went two kilometers instead of five.

“I think the love that we have for each other makes us work harder that really showed during the race,” said women’s coxswain Candace Goodman. “We wanted to do well for each other.”

Old Dominion Boat Club, founded in 1880, supports high school rowing programs around the region by offering young rowers a chance to compete and stay in shape against adult and college teams from up and down the East Coast. This season, ODBC has drawn rowers from T.C. Williams, Bishop Ireton, James Madison, Maret, McLean, Wakefield and Washington-Lee. Many of the rowers will face each other as competitors representing their schools in the spring season in the increasingly crowded Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association.