row2k Features
GW's Tribute to Nick Upton
Holy Head Race, Batman
November 3, 2015
Ed Hewitt, row2k

The GW Men Racing last year, with Upton in four-seat.

The row2k Princeton Chase galleries contain a fair heap of photos of the George Washington squad racing in what look like Robin suits. One DC Comic fan attending the regatta can be forgiven for thinking it was because the original Batcave was set in New Jersey – but instead this was a tribute to a teammate by the entire GW crew.

The Robin suit was the trademark unisuit of George Washington crew member Nick Upton, who passed away last year in a drowning accident while doing a semester abroad for his major in International Studies with a concentration in Africa as part of GW's program with the University of Cape Town.

It's all of us or none of us.

"Nick had a trademark unisuit that was a Robin suit; he just had it made at some point and wore it to practice all the time," George Washington head coach Mark Davis said. "He was that kind of guy, a great teammate who was always there for everybody. I think he had a tuxedo unisuit as well, and would always grow a crazy mustache; a really funny kid.

"We wanted to pay tribute to him, so we decided we would all race in Robin unisuits this weekend."

The unisuits have a quote on the back as well: "It's all of us or none of us."

"That is Nick's quote, so we added that to the back," Davis said. "We put it up in our erg room for the year, and put it on the unis as well."

Clearly inspired by Upton's unis, the squad posted one of their best Chase performances ever, with two fourth place finishes in the four and frosh eight, and 14th and 18th place finishes in the Varsity eight while rowing even boats.

Nick lived in Redding, CT, and rowed in high school at Saugatuck Rowing Club. Upton's family did not know about the tribute, but will soon enough given the number of photos that are out there.

"We didn't tell them about these unis, but we'll send them the pictures of it," Davis said.

They won't be surprised; the family invited attendees at Upton's funeral to wear Hawaiian shirts, noting that Upton "had a penchant for Hawaiian shirts and bow ties, and either are considered appropriate attire for these events."

Which makes the unis all the more appropriate attire for the GW crews' fitting and touching tribute and memorial to a truly memorable teammate.

GW frosh eight and coaches after the race

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