The second annual Burton Beach Invitational Rowing Regatta was held this past Sunday on Quartermaster Harbor, with 10 clubs and over 250 entries from the Pacific Northwest rowing community competing.
With the inner harbor — and Mother Nature — providing a conditions-perfect venue, wonderful support from island businesses and the community made for a great atmosphere throughout the day, with large crowds enjoying a view of the whole course from Jensen Point. The regatta has fast become one of the largest in the Seattle area.
Regatta host, Burton Beach Rowing Club, had a successful day on the water, with gold-medal performances coming from its junior rowers in the girls’ varsity coxed four (Olivia White, Ros Bellscheidt, Gabbie Graves, Kate Kelly and new coxswain Olivia Sherman), girls’ pair (Kelly and Graves) and the varsity lightweight boys’ and girls’ singles (Jordon Rutschow and Mabel Moses).
Coach Richard Parr said that in the novice girls’ quad event, stroke Bronwyn White set a great pace, and Jewel Wass de Czege did a fantastic job sculling and steering a straight course down the track. He added that seventh-graders Dexy Richmond and Keziah Rutschow did a great job in the middle of the boat in their first ever regatta, earning a much deserved silver medal behind a quality crew from Olympia. Bronwyn White earned three silvers at the event, the others coming in the novice double with Wass de Czege and in the novice single.
On the boys’ side, the BBRC novice quad of Braden Edwards, Davis Kelly, Simon Grant and Joe Barnes was leading its competitors by clear water when a “crab” (an oar getting stuck in the water) caused them to come to a full stop. Parr said that the young crew’s quick and poised recovery — which resulted in a second-place finish — was as impressive as its initial lead.
Parr added that he was equally impressed with all of the club’s new athletes.
“Our novices are really young, and many of them have less than a couple of months on the water,” he said. “To see them not only attain medals, but demonstrate so much composure and maturity at their first regatta was wonderful.”
Next up for BBRC is the always exciting Husky Open at the University of Washington on Saturday, where the club will have boys’ and girls’ quads rowing through the historic Montlake Cut.
— Richard Parr, coach of the Burton Beach Rowing Club, and Sarah Low, Beachcomber reporter and Parr’s wife