BBRC closes fall season with victories at historic Montlake cut

The team brought home medals in five races.

The rowers from Burton Beach Rowers Club (BBRC) joined 68 other clubs from around the Western U.S. and Canada for the annual Head of the Lake Regatta, bringing home medals in five races.

The Head of the Lake is traditionally the last regatta of the fall season and is always a treat for the rowers, as they launch from the UW boathouse and row through the historic Montlake cut. This year, the weather cooperated and the team took full advantage.

Freshman Briar Guenther started the day off for the club with a silver medal in the Men’s Junior Single. Later in the day, he partnered with sophomore Will Parker for an outstanding row in the Men’s U17 Single, where they also took silver. For Guenther, it was the third time this fall that he brought home two medals.

Sophomore Ella Odegard also took home two medals for the club — the first a gold in the Women’s Junior Single. Odegard’s time had her in second place for most of the race, but she made up a four second deficit in the final third of the 5k race, turning it into a three second win.

Later that morning, Odegard and Paige Gibbons, a junior, partnered to take the silver medal in the Women’s U17 double. The boat was a Kiwi double, as both of these local Vashonites have New Zealand citizenship.

“It was a great day today out on the water,” Gibbons said. “I am proud of myself, Ella, and the rest of this fantastic team, especially for all of our achievements this fall season.”

Juniors Nate Wass de Czege and Forest Macnab continued the day’s success for the club with a bronze medal in the Men’s Junior Double. The duo was edged out by two strong Canadian crews.

“It was a great way for us to finish out a successful fall season,” said BBRC coach Richard Parr. “The Head of the Lake is always fun and it was exciting to see so many of our rowers cap off the fall with such a strong showing on these historic waters.”

The club will take a week off before starting their winter conditioning program. The club will kick off the spring season with their first regatta of the year, the Burton Beach Invitational, held on Quartermaster Harbor on Sunday, March 17. The event is expected to draw more than 500 visitors to the island for the third year in a row.