Strong Showing at Green Lake Regatta
Early spring rowing in the NW has a certain resemblance to the circus coming to town. Long before dawn on Saturday March 16th a trailer laden with rowing shells and equipment pulled into a parking lot and as if by magic dozens of head lamps switched on, boats were moved a couple of hundred yards to the race venue and then rigged, shelters were erected, food was cooked and served and as light crept into the morning sky, the racing began. For the second year in a row the spring regatta at Green Lake just north of Seattle was “weather-challenged” but the Vashon crews rowed 8 Junior and 3 Masters events medalling in all 11 races.
Three Junior quads took home first place ribbons. The varsity girls quad, with Hannah Russell, Anne Gaspers, Kirsten Girard, Kalie Heffernan and coxswain Olivia Mackie, continued its strong performance from the previous weekend’s scrimmage, taking first while a second girl’s quad, with Kai Li Scheer, Ella McConnell, Gaspars, Shannon Lipe and cox Liv Mangione, earned a gold a short time later but not before the course was shortened from 1000 to 500 meters due to the strengthening winds. The boy’s junior varsity quad, with Liam McConnell, Ethan Rumberg, Alexander Wright, Julian Bacca and Mangione, brought in Vashon’s third and final gold for the day.
Vashon rowers collected 6 silver medals, as well, including strong efforts by the Masters men in both quad and eight races. The boys open heavyweight quad gave Jacob Plihal quite an introduction to racing with a silver medal in his first ever rowing race where he joined Isaiah Mosser-Rohe, Tate Gill and Gus Magnuson. The boy’s lightweight eight launched a strong sprint over the final 250 meters to come from behind for an exciting finish. The girl’s lightweight four and finally the girl’s open four, rowing against two other boats featuring world champions in each, rounded out the silver medal haul.
The girl’s eight and Masters men’s four completed Vashon’s results for the day with third place finishes. With the wind building in the mid-afternoon even the shortened course became too treacherous for racing and the regatta was called off with only slightly more than half of the scheduled races complete.
After racing Coach Richard Parr said: “”Overall I was really pleased with the efforts. Vashon attaining medals in every race says a lot about how hard the masters and juniors are working, and the results were a good reward.”
By Pat Call, recreational rower and dad to two junior crew members.
Photo credit: Jordan Petram