NEW YORK – Despite a potential government shutdown, Columbia will compete in this weekend's George Washington Invitational in our nation's capital, beginning Saturday, April 9 at 8:24 a.m.

The Invitational is in its 24th year, hosted by The George Washington University and is the largest collegiate rowing competition in the Washington metropolitan area.

The 2,000-meter, buoyed course begins near the Spout Run area of the Potomac River with the finish line at Washington Harbour in Georgetown. Racing on Saturday takes place from 8:24 a.m. to 4 p.m. and resumes on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. An awards ceremony will follow the competition Sunday at approximately 12:30 p.m. George Washington Rowing is headquartered at Thompson Boat Center near the intersection of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue, NW.

Admission is free. Spectator viewing areas are located at Washington Harbour near the 3000 block of K Street, NW.

Men's and women's crews from 11 universities, including Oxford and Brock, will compete in the two-day event with more than 300 rowers expected to take part. Men's squads from George Washington, Cornell, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Holy Cross and the U.S. Naval Academy will compete for the Oliver T. Carr Bowl. Women's teams competing for the Howard W. Wilkins Bowl for the highest women's point total include George Washington, Columbia, Georgetown, MIT, U.S. Naval Academy and Saint Joseph's.

NOTE: In the event of a federal government shutdown Friday, Saturday's races will begin at 10 a.m. The boathouse that serves as the event's headquarters is located on land administered by the U.S. National Park Service and will not be accessible in the case of a government shutdown. In the event of a shutdown, the best viewing areas for spectators will remain at Washington Harbour.