A Blue Ribbon Day at American Lake Regatta
At a venue that featured a waterspout the day before, the American Lake Regatta on Sunday presented good rowing conditions to participants from 30 area clubs in over 50 events. Vashon’s crew had another strong showing with five first place and four second place finishes in eight events with three or more entries.
Head racing is challenging for the rowers since starts are “one boat at a time” separated by approximately 20 seconds per boat and your position in the field is not easy to determine unless you are passing competitors (or being passed). The course is a counterclockwise circuit of the lake keeping the giant orange buoys on the rower’s right (port side) for the majority of the race. Relative positions are tough to judge and final times are delayed by about an hour adding to the anticipation. In an era of Vashon crew racing where the remarkable has become commonplace (twenty years ago one first place finish at this regatta would have been cause for celebration) the depth of the team once again showed through.
First place boats for the junior crew were the Men’s Varsity quad (Patrick Hanson, Fletcher Call, Liam McConnell and Forrest Miller) which also had the second fastest time of the entire regatta, Women’s Varsity four (Emily Milbrath, Virginia Miller, Maddie McEachern and Shannon Lipe, Women’s Varsity Double (Riley Lynch and Rhea Enzian, and Men’s Varsity Double (Hanson and Miller). The Master Women’s quad (Terese Smith, Su Dewalt, Marilyn Kleyn and Deb Jackson) also took home a blue ribbon. Second place junior finishers were a second Men’s Varsity Double, a Men’s Novice four, the Women’s varsity eight and the Women’s Lightweight Varsity four.
Coach Richard Parr congratulated the team on a strong day at American Lake emphasizing that each regatta is part of the year long build up to Regional and National races in the late spring. “American Lake provided some good competition in some events but not in all. Several of our major local competitors did not attend so we have to be content with some excellent rowing form and times today.”
By Pat Call