The Burton Beach Rowing Club concluded its inaugural year with strong performances by its juniors at the West Coast’s toughest head race, the University of Washington’s annual Head of the Lake regatta.
BBRC’s four top-two finishes out of its five raced events left the small club tied for eighth overall in the place standings out of the 80 clubs — including crews from British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, Alaska, Colorado, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon and California — that particpated.
Earning victories for BBRC were the U-17 women’s coxed quad of Gabbie Graves, Kate Kelly, Ros Bellscheidt and Ava Lorentzen, coxed by Joe Barnes, and the junior girls’ double, rowed by Mabel Moses and Olivia White.
For lightweights Moses and White, the win was hugely satisfying after a year of highs and lows. The girls trailed a powerful Seattle Rowing Center (SRC) crew for the first two-thirds of the race but a fantastic final 1,600 meters and some excellent cornering by White saw the BBRC rowers through to an eight-second victory.
“Going around the last turn, I knew we might have a chance,” a delighted Moses said after the race. “Olivia took a great line, and the last three minutes was an all-out sprint.” For VHS senior Moses, the 2018 race will be her last on the UW course for a while, as she is planning on attending university in Canada next year.
In the girls’ quad, stroke seat Graves followed the race plan perfectly, and the overall result was a 43-second margin of victory. Kelly and Bellscheidt were both impressed with their novice coxswain.
“Joe was awesome,” Bellscheidt said, “hugging the buoy line and giving us a great course throughout, and that really helped.”
A determined race by a highly motivated boys’ U-17 quad saw it attain a strong second place behind a smooth Olympia crew in a field of 10 boats. The BBRC boat was stroked by the always-reliable Jordon Rutschow, with novices Davis Kelly and Sam Walker providing a lot of power in the middle of the boat. Bowman Brian DeLoach and novice rower “turned coxswain for a day” Jewel Wass de Czege did a fantastic job overtaking and guiding the boat around the 4.8 kilometer course. The boys rowed in a borrowed shell, kindly loaned for the event by Bainbridge Island Rowing Club.
Another great performance was turned in by the double of freshman Dylan Carmody and BBRC’s newest rower, Willem Brown, who finished a solid sixth in a field of 12, with only three strong SRC crews and two crews from Canada ahead of them.
The BBRC rowers will now turn their focus to winter training for the upcoming spring season and a trip to New Zealand in February, where six of the rowers will compete at the New Zealand Rowing Championships.