It didn’t occur to anyone to shout “don’t Bogaard that single” to Jeff Good before his race at last weekend’s Northwest Masters Championship regatta on Vancouver Lake. Then, in a what-are-the-odds moment, Good proceeded to nearly replicate last year’s performance by Vashon Island Rowing Club’s (VIRC) Amy Bogaard, flipping his boat both before-and-after winning gold in the novice single.
“I thought I was past flipping boats,” said Good, “so as I was going over, I thought ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this again!’”
The first flip happened in heavy, pre-race staging traffic fifteen minutes before the race, giving Good time to get upright, compose himself and use his water bottle as a bailer. Then, soaking wet and rowing with residual water sloshing in the boat, Good pushed for everything he had to beat four younger rowers on age-corrected time.
“I was trying to sprint the last hundred meters using longer strokes rather than a higher rate,” said Good, “but I drifted in my lane and smacked the big mooring buoy at the finish line.”
It was like a running back diving for the pylon. Over went Good and his single into the water. Again.
“The guys who fished me out said they were happy to have something to do,” chuckled Good, learning only later that he’d won the race by less than .2 seconds on corrected time.
It was all part of the fun as VIRC enjoyed a successful weekend on a cool and cloud-spackled Vancouver Lake.
Another highlight was the “Old Guys Quad.” Rowing at an average age of 73, the Vashon lineup of John Jannetty, Bob McMahon, Fred Sayer and Sam Williams nosed out a younger boat by three-quarters of a second, leaving no doubt as they took gold both on the water and after correcting for age.
“With 250 meters to go, Sam called for a power ten and we went into this wonderful twilight zone and passed the first-place boat,” said McMahon, 76. “We felt higher than a kite. That was my favorite race that I’ve been in since I joined the club.”
Vashon medaled in five other races at Regionals. Gail Brownell won silver in her single. Zabette Macomber and Lea Heffernan finished second in the women’s pair. Sarah Eden and Bruce Morser took bronze in their mixed double. Brownell and Debby Jackson grabbed third in the women’s double. And a collection of VIRC’s hardest-rowing men and women found their swing at the behest of coxswain Lisa Huggenvik to win bronze in a barnburner of a finish among multiple boats in a thrilling mixed-eight showdown.
Finally, Vashon watched their two coaches, Ben Steele and Maya Krah, row to an open-water win for Coaches Association in a mixed double.
It was Jeff Good’s race in the single, however, that will live on in Vashon Island Rowing Club lore.
“Who flips twice in a race? Oh, wait a minute,” laughed Bogaard, recalling her precedent-setting performance from last year.