Vashon’s junior boys’ novice eight on the water at Green Lake on Saturday. (Jordan Petram photo)

VIRC caps off fall regatta season with strong showing at Green Lake; Head of the Lake canceled.

The fall rowing season, which is typically wrapped up at the University of Washington’s Head of the Lake regatta each November, ended one day early for the Vashon Island Rowing Club (and many others) this year as the annual event had to be canceled due to high winds and sleet. So it was Saturday’s Green Lake Frostbite Regatta that capped off a strong beginning for 2017-18 crew.

VIRC sent 25 novice rowers to compete in 13 events at Seattle’s Green Lake this past cool and drizzly Saturday, and the young crew came home with 11 medals — three gold, seven silver and one bronze.

“We competed really, really well,” coach Richard Parr said. “The kids dominated a number of the events and also did well in age-group and varsity races.”

The day began with what Parr described as a “gutsy” performance from the junior novice boys’ eight of Liam Krikawa, Baker Van Buren, Dylan Carmody, Lex Rosen, Renz O’Meara, Nick Winkler, Willem Brown, Jordan Rutchow (stroke) and coxswain Alexandra Ryan, which fought hard for a win by barely a foot over second place to take the gold.

The junior novice girls’ four also brought home gold with its crew of Ryan (rowing this time), B Timken, Roz Bellscheidt, Gabby Graves (stroke) and coxswain Flora Briggs — giving Ryan two golds on the day, as a coxswain and a rower.

The final win came from Bellscheidt and Justin Barker in a mixed double, giving Bellscheidt two golds as well.

Parr said that it was good to see the novices performing so well, and that he believes as group they show a great deal of potential.

As for the cancellation of Head of the Lake, which brings clubs from all over the region as well as from Canada and other states, Parr noted that he felt the organizers made the right decision given the conditions.

“It comes down to weighing the fact that a lot of people traveled a long way to compete in the event versus their safety. And given that a junior single sculler had already capsized into the frigid Lake Washington water, it was the right thing to do.”

VIRC will continue training with a winter camp and potential scrimmages with other area clubs until the spring season officially gets under way in mid-January.

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