Vashon’s junior rowers spent last weekend on Vancouver Island at the Brentwood Regatta, dealing with what seems to have become this season’s prevailing issue: wind.
The regatta is arguably one of the premiere high school regattas in North America and normally features two and a half days of racing. However, this year, the regatta was shortened to two days when high winds on Friday afternoon left crews from British Columbia’s lower mainland, Vancouver Island and Washington shore-bound.
Adjusting for the lost racing time meant that all heat races for the remainder of the regatta would instead become “timed finals,” meaning that the top three times across all heats of an event would earn medals.
“That makes things a bit more difficult,” coach Richard Parr said. “Always racing the clock, not really knowing where or who your competition is.”
Despite the added twist, Vashon won four gold medals and earned one bronze at the traditionally tough competition.
“Winning four races at Brentwood is something to be proud of, and really shows once again the tenacity of our junior rowers,” Parr said.
Gold medals went to the under-18 novice girls’ quad and four, which featured the same five rowers: Selena Mildon, Aria Mildon, Gabbie Graves, Ava Lorentzen and coxswain Rachel Kirk, but the quad was stroked by Aria Mildon, and the four by Selena Mildon.
Golds also came home with the under-16 lightweight girls’ four, as well as the under-16 boys’ quad of Case Foster, Oz Hichens, Aidan Teachout, Tor Ormseth and coxswain Brian DeLoach. The bronze was earned by the high school girls’ eight — the first medal of any kind for Vashon in that category at this particular regatta.
Parr added that other notable performances came from Riley Lynch, who won her heat in the always competitive girls’ single; Emily Milbrath and Katrina Heffernan, who were the fastest American crew in the girls’ double; and the boys’ under-16 novice quad, who fought hard to win their heat, and finished fifth overall.