On Saturday, 27 Oct 2018, the UMW rowing team traveled to Richmond, VA for the Richmond Chase regatta hosted by VCU. Major schools in attendance besides UMW included VCU, Va Tech, U of Richmond, W&M, JMU, and U Md. The 3.1-mile course was rowed upstream on the James River, into a headwind that got progressively stronger as the races progressed.
UMW's first entry, a women's pair with Lauren Chartier and Kiele Marston, rowed uncontested, but had to survive getting a major wake from a large fishing vessel that dumped gallons of water into their boat, and then striking large debris on the river that tore the fin out of the boat. Despite these challenges, they still finished with a respectable time of less than 30 minutes.
UMW's freshman/novice men's 4+ handily won their 2-boat race, beating the second-place entry by nearly 4 minutes. UMW's time of 21:12.6 was the second-fastest time posted by all 4+ entries, with only the VCU varsity men's 4+ winning time of 20:20.9 being faster. In the men's varsity 4+ race, the UMW entry placed fourth behind VCU and two entries from W&M, beating the second entry from VCU.
UMW's lightweight men's 4+ entry found themselves in the closest race of the day, with their winning time of 22:22.5 just 6.5 seconds faster than the second place VCU boat, and 10.8 seconds faster than the third place Va Tech boat.
Later in the morning, the headwinds picked up to about 10 mph, yet UMW's freshman/novice women's 8+ proved themselves up to the task as they won their 6-boat race rather handily in a time of 26:29.4, beating second place JMU by nearly 45 seconds. Entries from Va Tech, W&M, U of Richmond, and a Loudon County high school club team called "Miles Make Champions" rounded out the field.
UMW's final race of the day was the varsity men's 8+, with three out of four boats rowing this race in strong headwinds. Of those three boats, UMW posted the fastest time of 19:43.0, compared to two entries from VCU that rowed in 20:22.0 and 22.38.0. The fourth entry in this race, from Va Tech, was using a shared boat and rowed about 45 minutes later in significantly less headwind, posting a time roughly 45 seconds faster than UMW.