Covered Bridge Regatta 2016
Canyons breath. In the morning they exhale denser cold air downstream from their upper reaches. In the afternoon they inhale the warmer air from lower elevations in an up-river flow. Dexter Lake, south of Eugene, sits in a canyon that was huffing and puffing this weekend much to the dismay of 30 rowing clubs from Oregon, Washington and northern California. This major annual regatta is sort of the Mason-Dixon line for west coast rowing – the only time when clubs from the southwest race against their northwest competition until some of the teams meet at Youth Nationals at the end of the season.
Saturday several of the earliest races were canceled but most events were competed; some in white capping conditions. The Varsity Junior women’s Single event saw three boats flip and the others founder. Sunday’s start was delayed by two hours and when rowers went onto the course one heat was raced before competition was suspended and then later canceled. Vashon rowers competed in 22 races winning 5 first, 4 second and 4 third place medals. Two Masters’ boats were victorious: the Mixed Quad (Mary Shemeta—stroke, Chad Magnuson, Lea Heffernan and Mark Ripley–bow) and the Women’s Four (Kim Goforth—stroke, Su Dewalt, Sarah Eden, Marilyn Kleyn and Lisa Huggenvik—coxswain). Three Junior Women’s boats returned home with gold medals: the Novice Four (Kate Kelly—stroke, Sam Ziegler, Ivy Jaguzny, Brigit O’Rourke and Josie Slade—coxswain), the Varsity Pair (Rhea Enzian —stroke and Riley Lynch—bow) and the JV Double (Virginia Miller—stroke and Maddie McEachern—bow). This JV boat is actually Vashon’s Varsity Lightweight boat but there were no lightweight races at Covered Bridge.
In summing up the weekend coach Richard Parr acknowledged the disappointment that all experienced traveling so far only to have so many races canceled. “The races we did get to row were well rowed and five first places at this competitive regatta is an accomplishment for our program.”
The next event on the spring calendar for the junior crew is the Brentwood Regatta on Vancouver Island April 29th through May 1st. This event is also a notoriously windy one so the rowers will be hoping for calm weather.
Article by Pat Call