The Vashon Island Rowing Club sent seven representatives to the internationally acclaimed Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) in Boston, Massachusetts this past weekend. Both adult and youth rowers met with 792 other clubs on the same stretch of the Charles River, renowned for its turn-filled course winding its way under bridges and past the collegiate and club boathouses.
While the youth team sent a youth men’s 4x+ (four rowers and a coxswain), rowers from the adult team Kim Goforth and Tara Morgan raced in composite boats with teammates from around the country in the women’s 60+ master’s 8+ (Goforth, with a 6th place overall in the event, and 2nd of the the Grand Masters boats) and in the mixed 8+ (Morgan, with 23rd place of 31 in the event).The youth men’s team 4x+ finished 26th out of 47 boats, just 11 seconds shy of the top half of all boats in the event.
“I am proud of this young crew for their work on and off the course this weekend,” said head coach Ben Steele. “They rose to the occasion and rowed their best race of the season. Our coxswain, Alekos, steered a perfect course and took the course turns like a seasoned coxswain despite this being their first visit to HOCR.”
Senior Jack Revello summed up the experience perfectly: “I feel like making this trip and competing all the way across the country is probably the highlight of my experience in the sport this far. From the training we did for it and the bonding that happens through the sport in general, although we may not have brought home any shiny medals, this was without a doubt the best rowing experience and race that I have ever had.”
Teammate Lance Westbrook agreed: “I have never seen so many entries and boats in one regatta ever. Racing on the Charles RIver is an amazing experience.”
In addition to the racing experience, youth team members had the opportunity to explore Boston and visit some of the colleges in the area.
“From seeing all the colleges and boathouses in Boston to talking to a collegiate coach about rowing, it was definitely a life changing experience and opportunity that I didn’t even know existed until my sophomore year,” Revello said. “Since then it has taken me farther than I ever could have imagined.”
Next up for the youth team is the Head of the Bull Trout on Lake Stevens this Saturday, Oct. 28.
Delany Steele is the boathouse director and novice coach of the Vashon Island Rowing Club.