VIRC brings home medals and memories

Rowing club enjoyed a successful weekend on a cool and cloud-spackled Vancouver Lake.

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019 5:24pm
  • Sports
Jeff Hoyt

Jeff Hoyt

It didn’t occur to anyone to shout “don’t Bogaard that single” to Jeff Good before his race at last weekend’s Northwest Masters Championship regatta on Vancouver Lake. Then, in a what-are-the-odds moment, Good proceeded to nearly replicate last year’s performance by Vashon Island Rowing Club’s (VIRC) Amy Bogaard, flipping his boat both before-and-after winning gold in the novice single.

“I thought I was past flipping boats,” said Good, “so as I was going over, I thought ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this again!’”

The first flip happened in heavy, pre-race staging traffic fifteen minutes before the race, giving Good time to get upright, compose himself and use his water bottle as a bailer. Then, soaking wet and rowing with residual water sloshing in the boat, Good pushed for everything he had to beat four younger rowers on age-corrected time.

“I was trying to sprint the last hundred meters using longer strokes rather than a higher rate,” said Good, “but I drifted in my lane and smacked the big mooring buoy at the finish line.”

It was like a running back diving for the pylon. Over went Good and his single into the water. Again.

“The guys who fished me out said they were happy to have something to do,” chuckled Good, learning only later that he’d won the race by less than .2 seconds on corrected time.

It was all part of the fun as VIRC enjoyed a successful weekend on a cool and cloud-spackled Vancouver Lake.

Another highlight was the “Old Guys Quad.” Rowing at an average age of 73, the Vashon lineup of John Jannetty, Bob McMahon, Fred Sayer and Sam Williams nosed out a younger boat by three-quarters of a second, leaving no doubt as they took gold both on the water and after correcting for age.

“With 250 meters to go, Sam called for a power ten and we went into this wonderful twilight zone and passed the first-place boat,” said McMahon, 76. “We felt higher than a kite. That was my favorite race that I’ve been in since I joined the club.”

Vashon medaled in five other races at Regionals. Gail Brownell won silver in her single. Zabette Macomber and Lea Heffernan finished second in the women’s pair. Sarah Eden and Bruce Morser took bronze in their mixed double. Brownell and Debby Jackson grabbed third in the women’s double. And a collection of VIRC’s hardest-rowing men and women found their swing at the behest of coxswain Lisa Huggenvik to win bronze in a barnburner of a finish among multiple boats in a thrilling mixed-eight showdown.

Finally, Vashon watched their two coaches, Ben Steele and Maya Krah, row to an open-water win for Coaches Association in a mixed double.

It was Jeff Good’s race in the single, however, that will live on in Vashon Island Rowing Club lore.

“Who flips twice in a race? Oh, wait a minute,” laughed Bogaard, recalling her precedent-setting performance from last year.

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.

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

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.