VIRC crews bring home medals from Canada, Seattle

Both juniors and masters teams came home with multiple medals.

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019 3:39pm
  • Sports

Vashon Island Rowing Club’s juniors and masters teams were both in action last weekend, rowing at events 120 miles apart. The juniors took part in the annual Brentwood Regatta on Vancouver Island north of Victoria, and the masters women rowed in the inaugural She Will Win Regatta through the Montlake Cut at the university of Washington. Both teams came home with multiple medals.


For the juniors, a windy weekend with frequent delays turned out to be the only damper on a fun weekend of racing for VIRC. Vashon’s boys’ U-17 quad and four both took silver, with a lineup of Bowie Hitchens, Baker van Buren, Joshua Kyles, Mateo Ellner and coxswain Liam Krikawa. The novice men also grabbed silver in both the quad and four, while Vashon’s U-19 double of Rohin Petram and Cooper Py took bronze in its race.

“It was amazing to watch how close the team gets in only three days,” VIRC Coach Ben Steele said. “Brentwood is an amazing opportunity not only for strong competition but for the team to bond as a family. My favorite part of the whole trip was seeing how excited the novice women were to see their coach, Taegan (Lynch) show up on the second day.”

She Will Win

Vashon’s masters women continued their winning ways last Saturday at the She Will Win Regatta, with all twelve competing athletes coming home with medals.

The VIRC women’s quad overpowered its field with a gold-medal performance on the 2,000-meter course. The lineup of Su DeWalt, Gail Brownell, Amy Bogaard, Debby Jackson and coxswain Carol Eggen, took gold in a race that featured a couple of other firsts for the Vashon women.

Vashon’s Gail Brownell, a part-time island resident, took gold in her first-ever race through the Cut.

“Even in a borrowed boat from Lake Washington,” Brownell said, “we accelerated smoothly together down the course.”

In another first, coxswain Carol Eggen, a regular at club practices on Quartermaster Harbor, had never coxed a sprint race until Saturday.

“We planned our race and rowed our plan,” Eggen said. “The women proved their endurance, experience and competitive spirit.”

“The ladies’ quad showed exemplary sportsmanship and teamwork through their process and it definitely paid off on race day,” masters coach Maya Krah said. “Both boats did well and I’m so proud of all of the ladies.”

Vashon’s women’s eight, with coxswain Lisa Huggenvik at the controls, scored a silver medal on a day that also saw the UW women later win three of their four races versus arch-rival California.

The She Will Win Regatta is a new event for youth and masters crews that celebrates female empowerment in sports. UW team captain Karle Pittsinger founded the She Will Win organization as a way to shine a light on the inequities girls face within sports. Fourteen Seattle area rowing clubs participated prior to the dual races between Washington and California.

Written by Jeff Hoyt, VIRC masters rower.

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