Frostbite & Head of the Lake Regattas 2015

Frostbite & Head of the Lake Regattas 2015

Vashon’s junior crew attended the Green Lake Frostbite regatta this past Saturday and then were joined by the masters at the grand finale Head of the Lake event on Sunday.  The 5K Head of the Lake is a major regatta with 470 total boats entered including collegiate flights as well.  It starts in Lake Union, proceeds through the Montlake Cut, continues out into Lake Washington around a nearly 180 degree turn to finish in front of the University of Washington boat house.  Vashon won four events on Sunday which is a first for the club.  A rainy but relatively calm weekend provided good racing and poor spectating.  The normally large crowds cheering rowers through the Montlake Cut on Sunday were noticeably diminished.  Only the many geese and ducks seemed to be enjoying themselves.

On Saturday the junior crew pulled off a rare accomplishment entering 16 races and medaling in all of them with 7 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze finishes. First place finishers were four women’s boats: the varsity, under-16 and novice fours and the novice 8+; two men’s boats: the novice eight and third varsity four; and a mixed double.   The mixed double event is somewhat unique to the Frostbite and Vashon usually has an entry which is comprised of two rowers who traditionally have never rowed in that boat together.  This weekend’s race was no exception and had some added thrills when with about 20 meters to go the leading double caught a buoy with an oar and pivoted sideways to the course directly in front of Vashon’s boat.  Remarkably Vashon’s duo were able to swerve instantly, avoid a collision and glide across the finish line for the win.

Junior women’s double in the Montlake Cut. Maddie McEachern stroke, Virginia Miller, bow. Photo Jordan Petram.

On Sunday with the master’s joining in Vashon entered 14 events and medaled in ten of them.

The four winning crews were two masters boats: the mixed eight (Mary Rothermel, Marilyn Kleyn, Kim Goforth, John Jannetty, Bob Horsley, Su Dewalt, Colby Atwood, Bruce Morser –stroke and Lisa Huggenvik, coxswain) and D single (Mark Ripley; masters events are organized by age group—A through H, from late-20’s to geriatric) and two junior crews: the women’s double (Virginia Miller, bow and Maddie McEachern, stroke) and under-17 coxed quad (Katrina Heffernan – stroke, Caprial Turner, Tabitha Illerbrunn, Mei Vandervelde and Ellie Lande –cox).   Master’s races are handicapped by relative age and it is noteworthy in this highly competitive event that the mixed eight not only was the oldest boat in the field but also posted the fastest raw time.  Second place boats were the women’s under-17 eight and the men’s masters double, under-17 double and junior coxed quad. Third place finishers were the junior women’s four and the masters mixed D quad.

Coach Richard Parr summed up the weekend and the season by saying “both juniors and masters performed extremely well this weekend. In particular, our coxswains (Lisa Huggenvik, Ally Clevenger, Olivia Mackie, Lucca Shattuck and Ellie Lande) assumed hero status decked out in their wetsuits and without the benefit of exercise to keep them warm.   In many ways the fall season is preparation for the spring sprint season and with continued hard work over the months ahead we have many reasons to be optimistic.  Our program continues to grow and improve but so do other area programs so we will need to continue to up our game to remain competitive.”

Article by Pat Call

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