Club Scrimmage & Shell Christenings
The Jensen Point boathouse buzzed with activity early Saturday morning March 1st as a new format was introduced for the annual contest for the coveted Guinea Pig cup. Coach Richard Parr mixed Masters and Junior rowers into the same shells to make this year’s event a very competitive one. A blustery north wind meant that both the course length and the number of events needed to be shortened (to 1000 meters and 7 total races, respectively) but that didn’t dampen the spirit and fun for everyone from new novice to grizzled veteran. In all over 70 rowers and coxswains took part in the event.
The women’s eight race pitted a mixed boat of veteran Junior and Masters’ women against a promising crew of Junior novices was one of the highlights of the day with novices Adriana Yarkin, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Lili Helsby, Madelyn McEachern, Virginia Miller, Katrina Heffernan, Rhea Enzian and Riley Lynch and coxswain Ally Clevenger pulling out a win by a boat length.
The final race of the day was for the Cup and this year’s format featured “mixed eights” (four men/four women rowing in each shell). The Junior eight, with all senior rowers, pulled off a 3 boat-length win over the Masters ensuring that the Guinea Pig Cup will reside with the Juniors for another season. Normally the coxswain of a boat is the smallest person in the crew but the Junior crew chose world champion rower Mia Croonquist as their cox. Junior women rowers in the winning boat were: Captain Taegan Lynch, Bryn Gilbert, Maya Krah and Terra-Jane Ripley. The Junior men were: Captain Baxter Call, Tate Gill, Jacob Plihal and Alexander Wright.
After the races and awards ceremony VIRC held a christening ceremony for four new shells. The Vashon community has been incredibly generous and supportive of the rowing program over the years. After a short reading beseeching that the boats encounter “light breezes and calm waters” a few cups of Quartermaster harbor water were poured over the bow of each of the new boats. The names revealed on Saturday morning were: Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, Windermere Vashon/Class of 2013, Geraldine, named by Leslie Mackie of Macrina Bakery in honor of her grandmother, and Parr-fection, named by the Call family in honor of Coach Richard Parr.
The purchase of these boats was made possible by the generous contributions of those mentioned above and donations from numerous rowing parents and community members.
By: Pat Call