2014 Windermere Cup
The Windermere Cup regatta at the University of Washington is a unique venue. The first 1300 meters, of the 2000 meter course, proceeds down a canyon whose walls are comprised of moored yachts on either side of the course – there celebrating boating opening day. After a brief section, rowers enter the fabled Montlake Cut and are greeted to the cheers of over 10,000 spectators crammed into both sides of the narrow waterway for the last 500 meter sprint to the finish line.
The exclusivity of this invitational only event was immediately obvious in the early morning light where boat trailers that are usually sagging under the weight of 15 to 20 shells (plus all of the other gear that supports a competitive racing program) instead sported only two or three shells each. Vashon’s Rowing Club was invited to three races: the Mixed Master’s Quad 50+ and the Junior Men’s and Women’s coxed quads.
It was a silver medal day for Vashon with all three boats taking second place. The Junior teams had their first calibration against area elite program Seattle Rowing Center with the Women (Mia Croonquist, Riley Lynch, Kalie Heffernan, Kirsten Girard, Callie Andrews –cox) coming in a close second and the Men (Patrick Hanson, Jacob Plihal, Fletcher Call, Baxter Call, Olivia Mackie – cox) more significantly back from a SRC boat that could well be a contender for the National title in June. The Mixed Master’s boat (Mark Ripley, Chad Magnuson, Mary Rothermel, Kim Goforth, Ally Clevenger – cox) was edged out by perennial powerhouse Sammamish Rowing Association.
The headline races for the day featured the University of Washington varsity Men’s and Women’s eights rowing against the World Champion teams from Great Britain. Both races were extremely tight over the entire course with the Husky Women gaining the victory and the Husky Men losing by about half a boat length.
Coach Richard Parr said “It is an achievement to just get into the Windermere Cup races and I am proud of all three boats for their silver medal performances. Our juniors will now turn their full attention to preparing for the Northwest Junior Regional Championships two weekends from now. Our team is making good progress but still needs to find a few more seconds in each race.”
By Pat Call