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 attended with over 450 collegiate, master, and junior crews, a boisterous crowd of thousands of spectators, a flotilla of geese not the least bothered by the onrushing shells and one very sturdy sea lion who appeared to be enjoying himself immensely.
Serious competition greeted Vashon crews for whom it had been three years since winning one of the beautiful hand blown glass first place medals. As in 2011, it was the junior men’s coxed quad this time with Patrick Hanson, Fletcher Call, Liam McConnell, Forrest Miller and coxswain Olivia Mackie, that ended the medal drought with a solid row.
Vashon crews entered in 9 of 34 events. By early afternoon the rowing was finished and Vashon had four second place and one third place finishes to go along with the gold. Second place master winners were the mixed eight and the men’s double. An event unique to this regatta, the parent/child double also garnered a second as did the junior women’s double that missed first place by 5 seconds over a 22 minute race. The master women’s double took third in its event.
The previous day was the Greenlake Frostbite Regatta which is the only sprint race (1000 meters) on the fall calendar. Vashon entered 19 master and junior events winning 9 and placing second and third in 3 other events each. Last year the event was canceled due to high winds leading to a slightly lower attendance this time around.
Three master boats won gold with the women’s four (Su Dewalt, Mary Rothermel, Lea Heffernan, Mary Simmonds and coxswain, Callie Andrews) and quad (Rothermel, Carol Eggen, Heffernan, and Debby Jackson winning each of their races by just over a second. The race of the day however was the master women’s double with the “two Mary’s” boat, Rothermal and Simmonds. In masters rowing, races are handicapped by age so that older boats have time subtracted from their raw time to get a final score. This system sometimes leads to a bemusing spectacle where a boat that is 150 meters “behind” at race end is in fact in the lead. The “two Mary’s” however won outright by two boat lengths against a field in which they had a nearly 30 year age handicap.
Winning junior boats were the men’s novice eight (Conner van Egmond, Cole Puckett, Seth Rosen, Cooper Py, Joey Papa, Andreas Lorentzen, Rohin Petram, Malcom Henry and cox, Mackie), novice 4+ (van Egmond, Puckett, Rosen, Py and coxswain, Aidan Teachout ), open quad (Hanson, Call, McConnell, Miller and Mackie), the women’s open quad (Kalie Heffernan, Rhea Enzian, Riley Lynch, Kirsten Girard and coxswain, Callie Andrews) and the lightweight four (Emily Milbrath, Adri Yarkin, Maddie McEachern, KaiLi Scheer and cox, Andrews). A mixed junior double (Miller and Girard) also took the gold. Junior crews also took second in the men’s lightweight four and the women’s lightweight eight and novice four. Third place junior finishes for the women’s open, junior varsity eight and the open four rounded out the medal tally.
Coach Richard Parr congratulated the team on a very successful fall season. “The Head of the Lake race is a great calibration for our team’s progress this fall and our performance this weekend was a good one.”
Registration for the Spring season will open in early January.
By Pat CallC