Saltwater Scrimmage 2016
Most rowing venues don’t include a Superfund site but the Eagle Harbor course on Bainbridge Island is an exceptional case. Every spring for the past several years the Bainbridge, Olympia and Vashon junior crews have gathered for an early season scrimmage daring the weather gods to intervene. The site rotates between the three clubs. Last year at Olympia the teams raced in a torrential downpour while this year wind threatened to be the menace. The Bainbridge course proceeds from the inner harbor in front of the town of Winslow due east past the ferry terminal with the finish in front of a shuttered creosote plant—if you catch a crab in these waters you definitely want to throw it back. A strong southerly wind sweeping into the end of the course caused race officials to shorten the course and any shell that didn’t stop just past the finish line had an entertaining task to turn around in the big swells but no boats flipped and the racing between the three rival clubs was spirited.
Determining winners under these conditions is sometimes a challenge but three varsity Vashon boats out of 16 total races clearly came in ahead of their competition. These three were the men’s four (David Nguyen, Joshua Davis , Cooper Py, Cole Puckett – stroke — and Hayden Rosen, coxswain), the men’s quad (Forrest Miller — bow, Fletcher Call, Connor van Egmond and Patrick Hanson –stroke) and the women’s lightweight four (Mabel Moses, Maya Gould, Virginia Miller, Emma Greenlee – stroke — and Rosen, cox). Two other crews – the women’s open weight varsity eight and four – both came to the line in nearly a dead heat for first. Hayden Rosen coxing in only his second competitive event is a fifth grader.
Coach Richard Parr was deputized as a race official and followed each of the races down the course and thus had a great vantage point to watch his crews. He summarized the day: “We had some good rows today but also learned a lot about things we need to improve on. We will start on those improvements on Monday.”
Text by Pat Call