Tag: Vashon Island

Vashon Island Junior Crew:  21 Years and Still gROWING Strong!

Vashon Island Junior Crew: 21 Years and Still gROWING Strong!

At least two or three times a month each spring and fall, a story is bound to show up in the Beachcomber about Vashon Island Rowing Club’s Junior Crew.  From articles about success at regattas to stories of junior rowers headed off to a college […]

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Help Send Junior Rowers to Youth Nationals

Junior crew is asking for your financial support to help represent Vashon Island at the 2015 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida, June 12 – 14th.   Out of a possible 13 boats and 20 team members eligible to compete at Nationals at the […]

2015 Youth Regional Championships

2015 Youth Regional Championships

Two and a half seconds.  In this weekend’s NASCAR race that distance equated to about 700 feet.  In the Preakness Stakes horse race about 130 feet.  And in Sunday’s junior men’s four crew final, twelve feet.  Rowing is a sport of perfection and repetition.  Over the 2000 meter course twelve feet equates to an extra half inch per stroke. On Sunday Vashon’s crew of Cole Puckett (stroke), senior Jack Mask, Josh Davis, David Ngyuen and coxswain Callie Andrews dug deep but couldn’t find that extra half inch per stroke placing fourth and barely missing a trip to Junior Nationals in Florida in three weeks.  A year’s worth of hard practicing and dieting came up just short.  It was a relatively rare disappointment in an otherwise successful weekend of rowing that saw the junior crew consistently finishing in second place.  In fact with 36 races rowed over the three-day event (including heats, timed finals and finals) Vashon’s crew placed second in half of them.

For Junior Varsity and Novice rowers this event is the season finale and the JV women’s double with Katrina Heffernan (stroke) and Caprial Turner (bow) made the most of their opportunity with a thrilling victory (and Vashon’s only gold medal) over rival Seattle Rowing Center that came down to a sprint over the last 100 meters.  Silver medal winners in non-Nationals qualifying races were the women’s novice double and lightweight single and the men’s youth and novice coxed quads, men’s novice double, and high school eight.  The women’s high school eight also took home the bronze.  The high school eight races are the concluding races at the regatta and often feature rowers in elaborate costumes chanting and singing school fight songs at the starting line (and occasionally down the course).

Vashon took 35 rowers and coxswains to this event (18 women and 17 men) entering 24 boats in 22 events with all but five returning with a medal.  Out of a possible 13 boats and 20 team members eligible for Nationals at the regatta’s conclusion, the team had qualified eight boats and 14 rowers.  Vashon’s eight boats is the third highest in the nation behind Oklahoma with 16 and Seattle Rowing Center with 11. Silver medalists were the women’s lightweight double, pair and lightweight four and the men’s quad.  Vashon also won bronze medals in the women’s lightweight double and men’s single and double.  Rowers qualifying for Nationals are Fletcher Call, Ally Clevenger, Rhea Enzian, Kirsten Girard, Patrick Hanson, Kalie Heffernan, Shannon Lipe, Riley Lynch, Liam McConnell, Maddie McEachern, Emily Milbrath, Forrest Miller, Virginia Miller and KaiLi Scheer.

In his remarks following the regatta Richard Parr emphasized the team effort.  “It is an incredible group of athletes and parents that create a program as successful as this one has become.  Not only the results on the water but the sportsmanship off it are what make me so proud of this team.  We will go to work to find several seconds per boat in the next three weeks as we prepare for Nationals.”

This year Nationals will be held in Sarasota, Florida on June 12, 13 and 14. The east coast venue is an especially expensive one for Vashon’s crew so a fish friendly car wash will be held Sunday June 7th at IGA market to support the trip.

By Pat Call.

Windermere Cup 2015

Windermere Cup 2015

Prior to all of this pageantry of the annual Opening Day boat parade through the Mountlake Cut were the invitation-only rowing races for masters, juniors and collegiate categories in the 29th Annual Windermere Cup regatta.  For the second year in a row a strong international […]

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood Regatta at Mill Bay

Brentwood College School located on Mill Bay north of Victoria, British Columbia put on its 45th annual juniors regatta this past weekend with over 1700 rowers participating from 34 clubs in western Canada and the Northwest US.  The competition was spirited and the growing camaraderie […]

Covered Bridge Regatta 2015

Covered Bridge Regatta 2015

It has been a year since Vashon’s rowers journeyed to Dexter Lake in the Cascade foothills southeast of Eugene, Oregon. In that time the regatta has expanded to become one of the premier rowing events on the west coast spring schedule. Mother Nature provided fantastic weather and nearly every Vashon rower returned home with a medal.

This year the Covered Bridge Regatta fell at the end of spring break for the juniors so they were feeling the effects of a week of heavy workouts and were not peaking for these races. In addition this regatta now attracts the strongest programs from California, Oregon and Washington so the competition was of national quality. Nonetheless the juniors medaled in 22 of the 28 races they entered with 3 first, 13 second and 6 third place results. In particular the junior women had a strong weekend medaling in 15 of the 16 races they entered.

The junior women’s double of Kalie Heffernan and Kirsten Girard overtook powerful local rival Seattle Rowing Center to win by a little more than a second. In this regatta there are no events for lightweight rowers so Coach Parr entered the lightweights in the JV category. Shannon Lipe and KaiLi Scheer won their JV doubles race on Saturday and then on Sunday Lipe joined teammates Emily Milbrath, Maddie McEachern, Virginia Miller and coxswain Callie Andrews for their JV four race crushing the field with a 28 second lead win. Other junior women’s boats that medaled were: the novice 4, two varsity pairs, JV double, varsity eight, JV eight and varsity four (second places) and novice coxed quad, JV four, two varsity quads and a varsity four (third places).

The junior men’s team had six second and one third place finish. The varsity quad lost its first race since last summer. Other second place men’s boats were: the novice four, two coxed quads, novice eight and varsity double. The varsity four took a third place medal.

The masters also had a very strong showing with 3 first, 7 second and 4 third place finishes out of 18 races entered. In fact, the 2015 master’s performance more than doubled the total medal count in either of the last two years while bringing home gold medals for the first time in three years. First place finishers were the mixed quad (Carrie Singer, Chad Magnuson, Jeff Hoyt and Jan Peterson), the women’s four (Mary Rothermel, Holly Zapel, Marilyn Kleyn and Kim Goforth with coxswain Lisa Huggenvik) and women’s double where Rothermel joined Mary Shemeta for another solid victory. The masters also brought in 7 silver medals (women’s single and eight, mixed quad and double, and men’s double, four and quad) and 4 bronze medals (women’s double and quad and mixed double and eight).

Coach Richard Parr congratulated both masters and juniors on a fine weekend of racing. “We have a quick turnaround for the juniors this week as we head to the Brentwood Regatta in Canada on Thursday. The Covered Bridge Regatta was an important building block in our spring program and we performed very well.”

Husky Open

Husky Open

The Husky Open is the first full scale regatta of the spring season in the northwest and combines a curious mixture of thrilling races to come with a certain amount of intrigue.  Many of the big local area programs are there but they may not […]

American Lake Scrimmage

American Lake Scrimmage

The spring crew season has proven a challenging one so far with regatta weather conditions so the junior crew picked up the pieces with a visit to American Lake on Sunday to scrimmage against Olympia Area Rowing and Commencement Bay Rowing Club. The conditions were […]

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

Spring Scrimmage Weekend

The opening event in the calendar for each spring crew season is the Masters-Juniors scrimmage and Saturday’s beautiful conditions were ideal for some spirited rowing.  After four flights of races over a 1500 meter course it all came down to the finale: a head to head mixed (four men and four women) eight race.  At the awards ceremony for the coveted One Guinea Pig cup, masters stroke Bruce Morser observed that he used to think that the annual race was between the masters and the juniors but now knows it is between the masters and the Fountain of Youth as once again with an annually-widening age disparity the juniors prevailed decisively.  This year’s course featured new course buoys from the start near Portage to the finish line of the 2000-meter course opposite Camp Burton.

On Sunday the junior crew journeyed to Lake Sammamish for a three-way scrimmage with the larger Sammamish and Olympia Area Rowing programs.  Again racing conditions were ideal until a fog bank blew onto the course sending rowers back to the shore and delaying racing by 90 minutes.  Vashon rowers entered 27 varsity, JV and novice events winning 12 of them.  A number of rowers raced in their first 2000 meter event:  Mabel Moses, Kate Lande, Maya Gould, Emma Greenlee, Cooper Py, Seth Rosen, Connor van Egmond, Cole Puckett, Lelah Assink, Tor Ormseth, Andreas Lorentzen, Aryeh Stahl, Joey Papa, Rohin Petram and Aidan Teachout.  Eighth grader Lelah Assink had this to say about her first race: “Two weeks ago I had never rowed a stroke in my life.  Rowing out to the starting line I was really nervous.  The rowers in the other boats looked so big and so much older. But once the race started it was just like the races we had done in practice and it all went really well.”

Summing up the weekend’s events, Coach Richard Parr observed that with the growing age gap between Masters and Juniors next year’s race will include a age handicap for the first time.  On the junior scrimmage, he noted that Vashon’s recent successes have attracted the attention of local coaches leading to improved competition so our crew will need to work extra hard to maintain its leadership position.  “Our varsity boats continue to perform well and it is exciting to see a new group of novice rowers jumping into boats and also competing well.”

 

By Pat Call

A Brew with the Crew 2 – March 5th

A Brew with the Crew 2 – March 5th

The Hardware Store Restaurant and Vashon Island Rowing Club are teaming up again for a “repechage” Guest Bartender Night on Thursday March 5th from 6 pm – 9pm.  VIRC is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary with this FUNdraiser, that will  include a signature cocktail and mocktail, […]