The Burton Beach Rowing Club’s junior crew spent last weekend on stunning Lake Samish, just south of Bellingham, competing at Row2Remember — a two-day series of 3-mile head races hosted by pre-eminent Northwest rowing organization Seattle Rowing Center. The crew from Seattle Prep also participated, setting the stage for some exciting spring season showdowns. The athletes from all three clubs stayed at Lutherwood Camp and Retreat Center (very similar to Vashon’s Camp Burton), which made for a fun, “camp” experience and bolstered camaraderie.
Overall, BBRC won seven races and showed some good speed against arguably some of the toughest competition in the region and the country. Leading the way was the always reliable duo of Gabbie Graves and Kate Kelly, who won the women’s pair with a time faster than all but two of the double sculls (pairs are typically slower than doubles).
Notable victories were also achieved in the women’s eight — which marked the first time that the young club had raced any kind of eight — and a solid win by Jewel Wass de Czege and Bronwyn White in the novice women’s double, the only time they will get to race that event this autumn. The girls U-17 quad also looked solid, winning by nearly a minute over both Prep and SRC.
Another standout performance was by the young double of Ava Lorentzen and Ros Belscheidt, who posted the second fastest time in a field of 14 boats.
The novice men’s double of Davis Kelly and Joe Barnes had an outstanding race, attaining second place in a field of five, and finishing only two seconds behind the winning crew from SRC. A lightweight double of Jordon Rutschow and Willem Brown also placed well in very tough competition, coming fourth out of the 15 men’s doubles entered.
“It was great to be invited by SRC, and I was really pleased to see how we fared against some of the top competition in the country,” coach Richard Parr said. “We got a lot of miles in, and I saw some very good improvement by our rowers. The athletes have been working hard over the past couple of months and I’m really looking forward to seeing how our autumn racing season concludes at next weekend’s Head of the Lake regatta at the University of Washington.”
— Sarah Low is a Beachcomber reporter and wife of rowing coach Richard Parr