The second year of the Burton Beach Rowing Club’s existence concluded with a pair of podium finishes at the West Coast’s biggest autumn race, the Head of the Lake.
Hosted by the University of Washington annually, the crews start in Lake Union, row through the fabled Montlake Cut and finish with a long turn towards the UW’s Conibear Shellhouse.
Leading the charge for Burton Beach were Kate Kelly and Ros Belscheidt, who successfully defended the title won last year in the Junior Women’s double sculls with a dominant performance and a 25-second margin of victory.
“Ros and I had a really strong race throughout, and we were very happy that our efforts resulted in a gold medal performance at the season finale. We have a team that is strong, caring and responsible. It shows in our results at regattas, but that’s just the way our entire squad is every day,” Kelly said after the race.
In a rare outing in a single, Kelly also raced to a solid 4th place in a strong field of juniors from up and down the west coast.
Keeping it all in the family, Kelly’s younger brother, Davis, partnered with bowman Joe Barnes for an outstanding silver medal in the Under-17 boys double, only bested by a high-quality Canadian combination from St. George’s, a private school in Vancouver.
Strong performances also came from the always solid Jordon Rutschow, making his single racing debut and achieving fourth place despite racing in a borrowed shell and having (in his words) “a little incident with a buoy” that slowed him down, and from U17 Girls double sculls Ava Lorentzen and Jewel Wass de Czege, who finished a creditable 6th in a field of 14.
Also of note, the small club’s first college rower, Mabel Moses, achieved gold, stroking the University of British Columbia Women’s coxed four to victory in the collegiate division.
Coach Richard Parr said he is pleased with the progress Burton Beach has made since being formed by parents in February of 2018.
“In two years, we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles. We’ve raced successfully in countries around the world on four different continents, had a world medalist and multiple record holder, had representatives on U.S. National and North West regional teams, and put on an annual regatta that is already one of the largest in the West Coast spring calendar,” he said. “But what impresses me most is the integrity, camaraderie and spirit that the rowers show at each practice. Even though they work hard, every day at the club is just fun, and that’s my favorite part of all of this — as it should be.”
The club’s attention now turns towards putting in a solid winter of training in preparation for what is shaping up to be a strong 2020.
— Lisa Lorentzen is a parent of a rower and BBRC club president.