Saturday, March 25 started dark and early for several of Vashon Island Rowing Club’s (VIRC) youth rowers.
The first athletes arrived at UW’s Conibear Shellhouse at about 5:30 a.m., ready to start the day in the coaches and coxswains meeting. A few short (and blustery) hours later, joined by more of their teammates, the rowers headed down the course.
VIRC’s youth women’s 4x+, helmed by coxswain Max Kline and powered by rowers Laurel Calhoun, Eva Cain, Ava Webb, and Selene Dalinis took fourth overall between the two heats of their event. This is the same boat that VIRC took to Head of the Charles in Boston, Massachusetts, late last fall. The youth men’s 4x+, steered by coxswain Alekos Dalinis with rowers Henry Cooper, Cooper Thorpe, Jack Revello, and Lance Westbrook took third overall in their event.
In both boats, three of the four rowers are only in their second year of rowing; one of the coxswains is in their first year.
“It’s great to see such a young crew racing up in varsity events at Husky Open — the learning experience gained from this race will help us reach our goals later in the season,” said VIRC’s head coach, Ben Steele. “With so many of these rowers coming up through the middle school program we’re excited to continue building their racing knowledge.”
In addition to the rowers racing down the course, four of VIRC’s athletes volunteered to hold boats at the start line.
“Regattas don’t run without a good squad of volunteers. It was a valuable experience for some of our athletes to step into a different role for a day so they could understand how much goes into making their racing experience smooth on a regatta day,” said Steele. “They also had some of the best seats in the house to watch their teammates right at the start.”
The team is looking forward to upcoming racing against crews from Washington, California, and Oregon at the Covered Bridge Regatta in Eugene, Oregon on April 15, before heading north to challenge international crews at the Brentwood International Regatta in Victoria, Canada, on April 28.