Portland Fall Classic Regatta 2015

Portland Fall Classic Regatta 2015

The word ‘eclectic’ is hardly strong enough to describe the spectator’s venue at the Portland Fall Regatta that took place Sunday on the Willamette River.  A high traffic urban bike path, a freight and passenger train corridor and with an elevated portion of Interstate 5 looming overhead the scene also features a homeless tent camp, a world renowned children’s science museum, a concrete recycling facility, a world war two era submarine and a peregrine falcon rookery.  Truly a cacophony of sights and sounds.  Vashon’s master and junior rowers participated in this event for the second year and all eyes were on the weather which morphed from extremely stormy on Saturday to partly sunny and blustery for Sunday’s race day.  The winds built through the day causing the race organizers to shorten the course from 5K to 3K for the afternoon’s third flight of racing. The course proceeds downstream through the central waterfront district and with a strong tailwind times were impressively fast.

In total Vashon entered 16 events for the day winning medals in half of them with 4 gold, three silver and one bronze finish.  The junior women’s four with Riley Lynch (stroke), Rhea Enzian, Rhiannon Simmonds, Emma Greenlee and Ellie Lande (cox) was the first Vashon boat to win their race and reported that the conditions had waves pouring into their boat for part of the course.  The junior women’s quad (Katrina Heffernan – stroke, Caprial Turner, Tabitha Illerbrunn and Mei Lee Vandervelde –bow), the junior men’s double (Patrick Hanson – stroke and Forrest Miller –bow) and junior women’s novice four (Samantha Zeigler — stroke, Lelah Assink, Maya Gould, Ivy Jaguzny and Lande – cox) all won their races in the wind shortened third flight.

Two master women’s boats (quad and double) and a novice junior men’s four took home silver medals.  The master men’s quad took home the bronze.

Coach Richard Parr congratulated the team on an event well rowed.  “November racing is not for the faint of heart and our team showed its mettle under some tough conditions today.  Both our masters and junior rowers performed very well.”

The fall crew season ends next weekend with the aptly named Frostbite Regatta at Green Lake on Saturday and the biggest head race on the NW fall schedule, The Head of the Lake, on Sunday.  Excellent viewing of the course can be found along the Montlake Cut so if you are interested in seeing what this sport is all about come down and watch.

Text by Pat Call

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