VIJC Hosts Saltwater Scrimmage
Over 150 rowers from Bainbridge Island, Olympia and Vashon junior crews arrived at the Jensen Point Boathouse at dawn on Sunday, March 23rd for the 5th annual Saltwater Scrimmage. A brisk northerly tail wind helped to propel boats in twenty events down the 1500-meter course from Portage to the finish just off Jensen Point. Parents from all three clubs plus a large number of curious islanders gathered near the finish line to cheer on the crews.
Vashon continued its strong early season success winning 15 of the 20 events. First place finishes were garnered (in race order) by the Women’s 8+, the Men’s single, the Novice Women’s coxed quad, the Lightweight Men’s double, the Women’s quad, the Men’s double, the Novice Women’s 8+, the Women’s four, the Women’s double, the Men’s quad, the Novice Women’s four, the Women’s pair, the Novice Men’s double, the Lightweight Women’s four and the Novice Women’s double. In a novel “medal” ceremony winning crews were awarded rubber duckies causing one Vashon parent to remark that “Vashon had won an embarrassment of duckies”.
The strong tail wind ensured fast times and favored crews rowing with quicker, lighter strokes. The Bainbridge crew is by far the largest of the three teams present with over 110 rowers in their program and emphasizes sweep over sculling. It was therefore noteworthy that in the final race of the day the Vashon Men’s eight lost by only a few feet to one of the three Bainbridge boats in the race.
“From here on out through the rest of the races this spring the courses are longer and the competition much tougher” says Coach Richard Parr, “I like what we have shown so far but now is our time to dig deep and push even harder.”
The next regatta for the Vashon crew will be the invitational Husky Open at the Montlake Cut on Saturday April 5th with 3 Junior and one Masters boat entered in the event.
By Pat Call
Photo Credit: Kevin Jeffries