After a long year of travel that saw Burton Beach Rowing Club achieve international success in New Zealand, China and Canada, half of the team traveled to Boston this past weekend for one of rowing’s most iconic events, the 55th annual Head of the Charles Regatta.
Making the trip were the junior women’s quad of Kate Kelly, Ros Belscheidt, Ava Lorentzen, Olivia White and Alex Ryan, the junior men’s double of Jordon Rutschow and Brian De Loach and junior boys single of Davis Kelly.
Kicking things off for BBRC on a spectacular autumn day was 15-year-old Davis Kelly, racing in the under 18 age group. Kelly was one of the youngest competitors in the race and it was his fist time on the fabled Boston river. Kelly placed a respectable 31st in a tough field.
In a race where all of the podium places went to foreign crews, Burton’s girls quad was 17th out of 43 entries. Being lottery entry, the crew had the disadvantage of starting among some slower boats at the back of the pack, but Ryan did well, overtaking four crews while navigating her way through the Charles’ seven bridges. The girls’ top half finish will result in them having a guaranteed entry for the 2020 regatta.
Concluding the Burton racing was Rutschow and De Loach. Despite almost certainly being one of the youngest and lightest crews in the race, the boys had a great trip upriver, with Rutschow setting a terrific rhythm and De Loach steering one of the best courses of the day by any boat to finish 29th in a field of 47 from around the world.
“I was pretty stressed, but I took a few deep breaths, and having the support of Jordon in the boat and the whole team cheering from the shore was great,” said De Loach after the race. “Richard, our coach, showed a lot of confidence in me and prepared us really well for what to expect.”
One of the highlights for the crew was getting to meet two-time Olympian and 2015 World Champion single sculls champion Emma Twigg, of New Zealand, whom coach Richard Parr knew from his days with the country’s junior team.
Next up for Burton Beach is the season finale and the west coast’s largest autumn rowing event, the University of Washington’s Head of the Lake on the first Sunday in November.
— Lisa Lorentzen is a parent of a rower and BBRC club president.