It was a beautiful day for racing at the University of Washington’s Husky Open for the Vashon Island Rowing Club’s junior boys’ coxed quad and masters women’s eight. After weeks of preparation, 13 rowers, two coaches and a few cowbell-and-snack-equipped VIRC fans arrived on an early ferry to set up at Lake Washington Rowing Club (LWRC), the club’s hosts for the event. For a typical regatta, the club would trailer its own boats and equipment, but for such a small group, VIRC was able to borrow boats from both LWRC and Holy Names Academy.
“At these local regattas, borrowing boats and launching out of LWRC just reminds us of how friendly the rowing community is and how we rely on each other in our separate pursuits of the perfect stroke,” VIRC masters’ coach Maya Krah said. “Everyone is down to give a helping hand. It’s the ultimate sportsmanship — you help your competition because you want to be competing against people who are at their best, that way you can be at your best too. And it’s kind, which is lovely.”
The masters’ women’s eight of Zabette Macomber, Kim Goforth, Tara Morgan, Joanne Wallis, Amy Bogaard, Suzan DeWalt, Norine Martinsen, Lea Heffernan and coxswain Lisa Huggenvik, in its first race of the this season, came third over the line — but ultimately awarded second place, after age adjustment, as is standard practice in masters rowing — in its heat behind crews from Sammamish and Lake Union.
In the last event of the Husky Open, with Coach Ben Steele and fans cheering from the Montlake Bridge deck, the junior boys’ quad of Torsten Ormseth, Rohin Petram, Oz Hichens, Bowie Hichens and coxswain Aidan Teachout, fresh from its second-place performance at the recent Burton Beach Invitational Regatta, finished a strong third in its heat that included crews from Seattle Rowing Center, Seattle Scullers and the Burton Beach Rowing Club.
“It’s early in the season so each race is an opportunity for improvement,” VIRC head coach Ben Steele said. “The junior men felt that they had a better race than the last, which is all I can ask for. It was a perfect day to go through the cut and we look forward to traveling to San Diego this weekend to see how we stack up against some of the top crews in the country.”
Next up for this boat is another sun-filled trip this weekend to the epic San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.
— by Sarah Eden, VIRC masters rower