The rowers from the Burton Beach Rowing Club (BBRC) traveled to the University of Washington (UW) last weekend for the Husky Open Regatta. The event was attended by 30 clubs from the U.S. and Canada and featured University, Masters, and Juniors events.
Winter was still in effect when the racing started at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, with the University rowers competing in the calm, but cold, conditions. The 2 km course starts in Union Bay and finished with four lanes of boats rowing through the Montlake Cut to the finish line.
The Junior rowers started later in the day with a slight breeze blowing but otherwise under conditions that more closely resembled spring. The BBRC coxed quad of Sasha Thompson, Taylor Huffman, Ella Jones, Keziah Rutschow, and Ella Odegard as the coxswain, took the gold as the fastest of eight boats across two heats. Their time of 8:18 beat the second-place crew from Pocock (Seattle) by three seconds.
While the first portion of the race resembles any other course, the final 600 meters are unique. In that final stretch of the race, rowers pass the historic ASUW shell house and enter the famed Montlake Cut. The course narrows and the boats row right past large crowds that cheer from the bank as well as from above, on the Montlake Bridge. As a venue for spectators, it is hard to beat.
The BBRC boys coxed quad of Grant Gonter, Forest Macnab, Max Jackson, Nate Wass de Czege, and Caroline Barnes as the coxswain, took home the silver medal. They won their heat with a time of 7:27 but saw their time bested in the second heat by a strong performance from Pocock. There were seven boats in the field overall including one from Dallas, Texas.
“It’s always fun to take the team to the UW and row through the cut,” said BBRC coach Richard Parr. “Our rowers always enjoy being in this setting which has played such an important part of the rich history of rowing in the Pacific Northwest. It was great to see our two boats row so well out there. We’ll go back to work next week and start preparing for the rest of the season.”
The next regatta for the club will be the Covered Bridge Regatta outside of Eugene, Oregon, in mid-April.