VIRC’s masters’ women’s eight makes its way to a commanding victory through the Montlake Cut at the University of Washington’s Husky Open on Saturday. (Jordan Petram Photo)

Masters women dominate at Husky Open regatta

The Vashon Island Rowing Club made its way to the University of Washington on Saturday for the Husky Open — the first of two spring season regattas on the infamous Montlake Cut between Lake Washington and Lake Union.

Bringing home the gold for VIRC this week was the masters’ women’s eight (Kim Goforth/stroke, Kit Gruver, Sarah Eden, Marilyn Kleyn, Zabette MacComber, Noreen Martinsen, Su DeWalt, Lea Heffernan and coxed by Lisa Huggenvik) with a never-in-doubt, open-water win over its competition.

Coach Richard Parr lauded the win, saying that he was proud of the “very, very good rowing” in such a “dominant” performance by the masters women.

Parr also commended the newly-formed junior girls’ four (Riley Lynch/stroke, Rhea Enzian, Selina Mildon, Kate Kelly and coxed by Hayden Rosen) for their close second-place effort against always strong boats from Holy Names Academy. The junior crew rounded out the day with another second place from the girls’ quad and a third from the boys’ quad.

The only April Fool’s Day shenanigans appeared to have come from the race organizers and officials, whose last minute change-of-schedule and lack of communication cost the junior boys’ four its race — missing the start after being told by an official to make another lap of the warm up circuit.

“While really pleased with our performances and the conduct of crew, I was disappointed with the overall lack of organization of this regatta,” Parr said. “It was not up to the standards that we have come to expect from UW.”

Coming up, it’s all masters all the time this Sunday at the Spring Sprints Regatta at Lake Stevens, where VIRC will see strong competition from Seattle’s Pocock Rowing Club, the Sammamish Rowing Club and a Canadian contingent that includes the Vancouver Rowing Club, as well as several others from the greater-Vancouver area. The juniors get to take a short breath before digging in to April Camp Week during the school break, where they will train hard for two big back-to-back regattas: Covered Bridge Regatta in central Oregon April 22 and 23, and the Brentwood Regatta near Victoria, B.C., April 28 through 30.