With temperatures soaring into the high 90’s and Vashon Island Junior Crew racing five boats into the finals, the USRowing NW Junior Regionals held on Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, Wash., this past weekend were hot. Three Vashon boards are heading to Nationals in New Jersey June 26 to 29.
Novice rower Charlie Hoffman was the first to win “hardware,” bringing home bronze in the men’s novice single.
“I really couldn’t tell how close I was to the other rower (competing for third), but then I heard the crowd shouting for me, and I thought ‘Wow,’ and really kept pushing,” he said. That pushing paid off with a time of 9:43.22 in the 2,000-meter race.
Bringing home a gold medal and trophy cup, rower Alex Bosworth in the women’s novice single outraced her nearest competitor by more than 11 seconds with a winning time of 9:15.08.
“At 1,500 meters I knew I was ahead of second place, and I slowed my stroke rate — I tend to speed up and that jolts the boat, and you don’t get as much speed,” she said. “So it stayed smooth and really worked.”
In the men’s 4X+ rowers Cody Turner, Wade Hankin, Steven DeWalt, Tim Hanson and coxswain, Olivia Sayvetx pulled hard from a fourth-place position at 1,500 meters to bring home the silver medal with a time of 7:11.21, only seven seconds behind the large and competitive team of Lake Sammamish.
Eli Hoyt and Thane Gill and Avio Brooklyn and Hanson competed in the finals of the Men’s 2 Varsity 2X, Brooklyn and Hanson competing in the double together for the first time. Shelby Gale, Marisa Samuelson, Marja Haflinger (stroke), Avalon Koenig and cox Sage Doble also advanced to finals in the Women’s 2V 4X+.
Assistant Coach Dan Packard said he was “happy to see boats make the finals” in the spring season’s final regatta.
“It doesn’t take three months to make a good boat, it takes three years,” he said. “You have to practice and practice and rely less on luck or another team’s mistakes. You have to have determination, skill and a great motivation to win.”
Coach Lucas Ridinger echoed the sentiment in the team’s pow-wow the night before the final races.
“You can have fun, but you have to want to win. If you have the technique and you add the passion for the sport, there’s no stopping you then.”
Vashon Island Junior Crew, a cooperative program with the Vashon Park Department and Vashon Rowing, are obviously believers in that.