Green Lake Spring Regatta 2016

Green Lake Spring Regatta 2016

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Green Lake Crew hosted its 54th annual Spring Regatta on Saturday. The earliest major regatta in the northwest has been a problematic affair the past few years with high winds, sleet, driving rain and even snow causing the 1000-meter race course to be shortened and races canceled. Mild, calm conditions caused both masters and junior rowers to look at each other in disbelief Saturday and although the recent challenges have caused some local crews to pass on this event those who did attend this year enjoyed great rowing conditions.

Overall for the day Vashon entered 19 shells in 16 events placing first 5 times and medaling in 84% of the races. Additionally, two junior women’s eights participated in an unusual race format where two boats would race the 1000-meter course, spin, return to the starting line and race another 1000-meters against a different competitor. Each boat completed four races and the winner was determined by the lowest cumulative time differential where the winning boat in each individual race received 0 seconds. Since the eight category is not Vashon’s forte (this event is where the bigger clubs excel) the junior women did not win but they were applauded by coach Richard Parr for their “incredible effort” and had to work hard not to trip on their tongues for the rest of the day.

Vashon entered three Masters events with the men’s quad (Bruce Morser—stroke, Bob McMahon, Sam Williams and Fred Sayer—bow) taking home a gold. This race was Sam William’s first ever and he is contemplating retiring now undefeated. After the masters completed their early morning events it was time for the juniors to take to the lake.

The juniors won four races with results improving as the afternoon wore on. Three women’s boats: the open quad (Katrina Heffernan–stroke, Caprial Turner, Virginia Miller, Mei Lee Vandervelde and Ellie Landy—coxswain), the under-16 four (Maya Gould—stroke, Lelah Assink, Rhiannon Simmonds, Tabitha Illerbrunn and Landy—coxswain) and the open four (Riley Lynch—stroke, Rhea Enzian, Katherine Kelly, Emily Milbrath and Josie Slade—coxswain) brought home gold medals. On the junior men’s side the open quad (Patrick Hanson—stroke, Connor van Egmond, Fletcher Call, Forrest Miller and Kale Scheer—cox) finished the day’s rowing with an open water win. However, it was probably the junior men’s lightweight four rowing in an open division that best captured the spirit of the day. This crew (Cole Puckett—stroke, Cooper Py, Josh Davis, David Nguyen and Hayden Rosen—cox) was up against much larger crews and showed incredible grit as they battled to a third place finish less than one second out of first and turning in the second fastest time for Vashon on the day.

Coach Parr congratulated the teams on a great day of rowing. “We picked up momentum throughout the day and we can build on that. There are still many refinements that we will work on to gain boat speed as we progress through the spring season.”

Next Saturday Vashon will host Lakeside for a Saturday scrimmage from 9 am to 12:30 pm at Jensen Point. Anyone interested in seeing what rowing is all about is welcome to attend.

Article by Pat Call.

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