Islander takes fourth in rowing

Vashon Island Rowing Club member Debby Jackson returned to Vashon with a third-place medal in her Veteran Lightweight Women’s category from the CRASH-B Indoor Rowing World Championships held Sunday, Feb. 24, in Boston.

Jackson had won a free trip to the erg championships from Concept 2, the makers of the rowing erg, after qualifying in the local indoor regatta, Ergomania, in early February.

Being an honest sort, Jackson acknowledged that her third place finish was short-lived, since it turned out that the woman who was actually third had been misclassified to the open weight category.

“However, I was not notified of the error, and I made a clean get-away back to Vashon before learning that I was really fourth. They let me keep the medal anyway,” said Jackson.

The first CRASH-B indoor rowing regatta was held in 1980, organized by the Charles River All Star Has-Beens, which was a group of 1976-1980 United States Olympic and World Team athletes who rowed on the Charles River and suffered through the 1980 boycott of the Olympic Games.

The early regatta of only a dozen or so rowers has blossomed into an event of more than 2,000 competitors, held in the Agganis Arena at Boston University.

Jackson remarked, “It was a huge honor to qualify and attend CRASH-B’s. Besides nationally known rowers and ergers from the USA, there were teams of up to 70 people from other countries, such as Argentina, Spain, Norway, Germany and Italy.”

Competitors ranged from a 90-year-old man from the United States and an 85-year-old woman from Norway to junior rowers as young as age 14.

The premier races were in the open men’s and women’s age 21-30 year old categories.

“It is awesome to watch the power and determination of competitors young and old alike,” remarked Jackson.

Indoor rowing has been a winter cross-training tool for on-water rowers for more 25 years and is an increasingly popular recreational and competitive sport for non-water rowers as well.

For more information on erging, readers can visit

For more information on rowing on Vashon, see

To register for the April rowing class offered by Vashon Island Rowing Club, contact Shelly Douglas at

— This article was compiled and edited by sports editor Eric Horsting based on information supplied by Debby Jackson.

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