Author: Marianne Metz

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Junior crew is asking for your financial support to help represent Vashon Island at the 2015 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida, June 12 – 14th.   Out of a possible 13 boats and 20 team members eligible to compete at Nationals at the […]

Windermere Cup 2015

Windermere Cup 2015

Prior to all of this pageantry of the annual Opening Day boat parade through the Mountlake Cut were the invitation-only rowing races for masters, juniors and collegiate categories in the 29th Annual Windermere Cup regatta.  For the second year in a row a strong international […]

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood College School located on Mill Bay north of Victoria, British Columbia put on its 45th annual juniors regatta this past weekend with over 1700 rowers participating from 34 clubs in western Canada and the Northwest US.  The competition was spirited and the growing camaraderie of rival crews who have been racing each other in various regattas this spring was evident in high fives and group conversations.  The beautiful setting was enhanced even further on Friday afternoon as sunny periods chased by rain showers draped intense rainbows across the east-facing venue.  Races are comprised of heats and finals plus combinations of experience, weight and age categories.  A total of 167 events were held on the 1500-meter course from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Once again Vashon’s crews had a solid performance coming in 10th in overall score and tied for third when results were normalized to the number of events entered.  Friday turned out to be a banner day when ten of thirteen boats made it out of the heat round and into Saturday’s finals where the team collected four silver and five bronze finishes.  Vashon crews taking second place on Saturday finals were the two men’s novice quads, a men’s JV quad and the women’s novice quad.  Third place finishers were the women’s varsity under 16 eight, two varsity quads, the JV quad and the men’s varsity quad.

On Saturday afternoon five more boats advanced to Sunday finals where the lightweight varsity 4 with Virginia Miller, Maddie McEachern, Shannon Lipe, Emily Milbrath and coxswain Ally Clevenger led from start to finish to take home Vashon’s sole gold medal of the weekend and kept alive a multi-year win streak for Varsity boats at this prestigious regatta.  Sunday’s racing also brought a silver medal for the women’s under 16 varsity double and bronze medals for the women’s varsity quad and varsity double.

Overall for the weekend Vashon rowers advanced 15 boats out of 25 heats with one boat going directly to a final.  Medals are not easy to come by at Brentwood and the weekend total of 13 eclipses last year’s record of 12.  Of 37 Vashon participants 33 returned home with a medal.  Both Katrina Heffernan and Tabitha Illerbrunn topped the individual medal tally with four each.

The event was an unusual one for Coach Richard Parr who was not able to make the trip and had to watch the racing from Vashon.  The distance didn’t impede communications with assistant coach Tom Kicinski,who handled on site preparation of the crews.  “This regatta was a testimony to the depth we are building in our junior program.  The only teams that scored higher in this regatta had more than three times the number of rowers in their programs.”

 

By Pat Call

Husky Open

Husky Open

The Husky Open is the first full scale regatta of the spring season in the northwest and combines a curious mixture of thrilling races to come with a certain amount of intrigue.  Many of the big local area programs are there but they may not […]

American Lake Scrimmage

American Lake Scrimmage

The spring crew season has proven a challenging one so far with regatta weather conditions so the junior crew picked up the pieces with a visit to American Lake on Sunday to scrimmage against Olympia Area Rowing and Commencement Bay Rowing Club. The conditions were […]

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

The opening event in the calendar for each spring crew season is the Masters-Juniors scrimmage and Saturday’s beautiful conditions were ideal for some spirited rowing.  After four flights of races over a 1500 meter course it all came down to the finale: a head to head mixed (four men and four women) eight race.  At the awards ceremony for the coveted One Guinea Pig cup, masters stroke Bruce Morser observed that he used to think that the annual race was between the masters and the juniors but now knows it is between the masters and the Fountain of Youth as once again with an annually-widening age disparity the juniors prevailed decisively.  This year’s course featured new course buoys from the start near Portage to the finish line of the 2000-meter course opposite Camp Burton.

On Sunday the junior crew journeyed to Lake Sammamish for a three-way scrimmage with the larger Sammamish and Olympia Area Rowing programs.  Again racing conditions were ideal until a fog bank blew onto the course sending rowers back to the shore and delaying racing by 90 minutes.  Vashon rowers entered 27 varsity, JV and novice events winning 12 of them.  A number of rowers raced in their first 2000 meter event:  Mabel Moses, Kate Lande, Maya Gould, Emma Greenlee, Cooper Py, Seth Rosen, Connor van Egmond, Cole Puckett, Lelah Assink, Tor Ormseth, Andreas Lorentzen, Aryeh Stahl, Joey Papa, Rohin Petram and Aidan Teachout.  Eighth grader Lelah Assink had this to say about her first race: “Two weeks ago I had never rowed a stroke in my life.  Rowing out to the starting line I was really nervous.  The rowers in the other boats looked so big and so much older. But once the race started it was just like the races we had done in practice and it all went really well.”

Summing up the weekend’s events, Coach Richard Parr observed that with the growing age gap between Masters and Juniors next year’s race will include a age handicap for the first time.  On the junior scrimmage, he noted that Vashon’s recent successes have attracted the attention of local coaches leading to improved competition so our crew will need to work extra hard to maintain its leadership position.  “Our varsity boats continue to perform well and it is exciting to see a new group of novice rowers jumping into boats and also competing well.”

 

By Pat Call

A Brew with the Crew 2 – March 5th

A Brew with the Crew 2 – March 5th

The Hardware Store Restaurant and Vashon Island Rowing Club are teaming up again for a “repechage” Guest Bartender Night on Thursday March 5th from 6 pm – 9pm.  VIRC is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary with this FUNdraiser, that will  include a signature cocktail and mocktail, […]

Fall Season Ends on a High Note

Fall Season Ends on a High Note

The first Sunday in November is the date for the Northwest’s premier fall regatta, the Head of the Lake race through the University of Washington’s Montlake Cut.  This year the five kilometer race took place on a chilly but relatively calm morning and was well […]

Portland Fall Classic

Portland Fall Classic

In the 1950’s the Portland, OR waterfront was the scene of massive decommissioning of World War II era naval vessels.  Had someone launched a rowing shell into the toxic brew that was then the Willamette River it would likely have dissolved.  In the intervening decades the downtown banks of the river have become a celebrated urban renewal success story and one that was the setting for the 8th annual Portland Fall Classic regatta on Sunday with over 1300 participating in 52 events.   Vashon’s Masters and Junior crews made its first appearance in this regatta competing in 16 events and as has been the pattern for this fall’s regattas performing exceptionally well returning with 9 first place finishes.

Like last week’s race in Boston the five kilometer course features a number of bridges but unlike race on the Charles these bridges are massive concrete and steel structures soaring high over the river channel and posing no big navigation challenge to the rowers.  The event is organized into three flights where all of the boats in a flight launch and proceed up river to the starting area before they start one at a time down the course.  The morning flight was primarily Masters rowing with Vashon’s Women’s quad (Jan Peterson, Carri Singer, Therese Smith and Celia Congdon) taking a gold and two mixed doubles a second and third.   Later in the day the Women’s four (Kim Goforth, Mary Rothermel, Nancy Foster-Moss, Su Dewalt and Lisa Huggenvik, cox) also won their event.

Portland MW4x

The juniors then took to the course and produced a number of outstanding results.  Winning women’s boats were the open double (Kalie Heffernan and Kirsten Girard), varsity four (Emily Milbrath, Shannon Lipe, Maddie McEachern, Kai Li Scheer and cox, Callie Andrews), JV four (Riley Lynch, Rhea Enzian, Katrina Heffernan, Caprial Turner and cox, Ally Clevenger), quad (Mei Vandervelde, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Lili Helsby and Adri Yarkin) and novice four (Emma Greenlee, Rhiannon Simmonds, Kate Landry, Mabel Moses and cox, Andrews).  The women’s double also took a third place.

The junior men won their quad (Patrick Hanson, Fletcher Call, Liam McConnell and Forrest Miller) and novice four (Cole Puckett, Connor van Egmond, Cooper Py, Seth Rosen and cox, Aidan Teachout) races.

Portland JrM 4x

As was the case in Boston, Vashon also had a recent alumni rowing in his first collegiate regatta.  Baxter Call rowed three seat in the Oregon State University varsity four which took first place in that event.

Coach Richard Parr was pleased with Vashon’s first attendance in the Portland Fall Classic.  “This regatta marks the first time ever that Vashon has won multiple four events.  We are better known for our sculling than our sweeping so to come home with five gold medals in the fours is pretty special.”

The season wraps up next weekend with the Frostbite Regatta on Saturday at Green Lake and the premier regatta on the fall calendar the Head of the Lake race on Sunday.

 Portland Fall Classic Bridge

By Pat Call

Momentous Showing at Head of the Charles 2014

Momentous Showing at Head of the Charles 2014

The 50th anniversary of the largest rowing regatta in the world witnessed best ever results for Vashon’s junior, masters and recent alumni crew members.  Starting in a wide and exposed tidal basin the course heads up river increasingly twisty and narrowing as it goes.  With […]