Vashon rowing teams compete in Seattle’s Head of the Lake

“I am so impressed by the quality, depth and enthusiasm displayed this weekend,” said Masters Coach.

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:39pm
  • Sports

Vashon Island Rowing Club brought home multiple medals from the 40th annual Head of the Lake regatta in Seattle on Sunday, Nov. 3.

An event that has been plagued by nasty weather in recent years, the 2019 edition of the regatta was kissed by mild temperatures, minimal wind, gorgeous fall colors and sunny skies.

Vashon kicked off the event in style by returning their Masters Mixed 8 to the top of the medal stand with a powerful, gold medal row around the buoyed 4.8-kilometer course that starts in Lake Union and finishes in front of the UW Conibear Shell House on Lake Washington.

“That was a great row,” said Vashon rower Chad Magnuson. “It was a tremendous pleasure to row with three men who were my mentors when I joined the club in 2010 and four women who represent the new growth of VIRC.”

The winning Mixed-8 lineup included Zabette Macomber, Kit Gruver, John Jannetty, Chad Magnuson, Bruce Morser, Bob Horsley, Tara Morgan, Sarah Eden and coxswain Lisa Huggenvik.

Vashon nearly had to resort to silent commands from the cox seat as the boat’s speaker system went out just before race time.

“Lisa peeled the tape off her wrenches and Kit managed to tape the connection in a hard to reach spot to restore the audio,” said VIRC’s John Jannetty.

Among the Vashon juniors, Sunday’s highlight was Bowie Hichens’ outstanding bronze medal performance in the men’s junior single.

“Race of the day goes to Bowie in the single,” said coach Ben Steele.

Three other Vashon Masters boats medaled on Sunday, including two more mixed boats. In the mixed masters quad, the lineup of Mary Rothermel, Scott Engelhard, Foss Miller and Su Dewalt finished third. A bronze medal also went to Chad Magnuson and Lea Heffernan, a formidable mixed masters double pairing who hadn’t raced together in over a year.

Finally, Vashon’s Gail Brownell continued her red-hot head racing season, teaming up with Joanne Wallis for a strong silver medal finish in the women’s masters double.

VIRC Masters Coach Sarah Deal said, “I am so impressed by the quality, depth and enthusiasm displayed …. this weekend.”

— Jeff Hoyt is a rower for the Vashon Island Rowing Club.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Island rowers claim victories off the water

US Rowing held their virtual National Youth Championships in lieu of their annual on-water regatta.

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Updated: Athletics to continue despite coronavirus threat

School district superintendent said for now games will continue as scheduled; players, coaches react

Ryan Krug Vashon cup soccer match held

The game raised over $2,500 this year.

Pirates season ends at playoffs

The Pirates, winning most of their games this season, lost to Meridian High School

‘Leaving on a high note’: Vashon wrestlers place 11th at state tourney

“It was all thanks to our coaches who believed in us and pushed us to outwork our opponents.”

Boys basketball team heads to playoffs

“We anticipated a close game and the team’s mind was set just right to win.”

Vashon Seals coach says she is stepping down

You could say Lisa MacLeod knows what it’s like to be in… Continue reading

Vashon wins regional championship

Nine athletes are headed to the upcoming state tournament, the largest of its kind of the year.

VHS basketball sees mixed results in games against Warriors

Standouts on boys and girls teams made for exciting matchups.

Pirates place second in regional wrestling tournament

Team narrowly lost to champions Klahowya Secondary School.