VIRC’s varsity boys’ quad of Tor Ormseth, Rohin Petram, Bowie Hichens and Oz Hichens rows its way to a silver medal on Dexter Lake at the Covered Bridge regatta in Oregon on Saturday. (Jordan Petram Photo)

VIRC’s varsity boys’ quad of Tor Ormseth, Rohin Petram, Bowie Hichens and Oz Hichens rows its way to a silver medal on Dexter Lake at the Covered Bridge regatta in Oregon on Saturday. (Jordan Petram Photo)

VIRC has strong showing at Covered Bridge regatta

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:47pm
  • Sports

Vashon Island Rowing Club came home with 11 medals from last weekend’s Covered Bridge Regatta on Dexter Lake near Eugene, Oregon. Returning to an event that has been sometimes plagued by rain and wind in recent years, VIRC was delighted to row in cool but mostly calm conditions all weekend.

The most memorable of Vashon’s four gold medal performances came in the men’s junior varsity double, featuring Lex Rosen and Mateo Nigretto. Rosen’s foot stretchers became disconnected just before the race started, making steering the boat much more difficult. Seeing that they were still in the mix after 500 meters, the boys realized they would have to take more strokes than everyone else but that they still had a chance.

“They wound up way off course and took the longest route to the finish, but still wound up 16 seconds ahead of the second-place boat,” VIRC Coach Ben Steele said. “Our young guys are certainly exceeding expectations right now.”

Also winning gold in a separate JV double event were Joshua Kyles and Baker Van Buren. Later in the weekend, Vashon’s varsity double of brothers Oz and Bowie Hichens won gold with an open water advantage over rowers from Olympia and Oregon Unlimited.

“It’s nice to see all of the preparation and growth over the past month really come together out on the race course,” Steele said.

With 511 entries from 28 clubs who came from as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area, the gently sloping shores of Dexter Lake looked like a giant game of Pickup Sticks, with shells and oars covering most of the grassy terrain.

“Great conditions for this event,” Fred Sayer, master’s men’s captain and part of the modest contingent of Vashon masters rowers at Covered Bridge this year, said. “We worked with Commencement Bay to sub in rowers for each other and help fill out each other’s lineups. It was a nice opportunity to continue to build camaraderie between the two clubs.”

A highlight for all of Vashon’s rowers was an opportunity to see their two coaches, Ben Steele and Maya Krah, team up and win gold as a mixed double for the Coaches Rowing Association.

“That was fun. It was only maybe our third row together,” Steele said, “and we knew that due to our age, we had to finish 16 seconds ahead.”

Once times were adjusted for age, Steele and Krah’s boat wound up winning with two seconds to spare.

“Finally, a big thank you goes to the Junior parents for taking care of all of us,” Sayer said. “Quiche on Saturday, poached eggs on Sunday and bag lunches for the return trip. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

— Written by Jeff Hoyt, VIRC masters rower.

More in Sports

Pirates place second in regional wrestling tournament

Team narrowly lost to champions Klahowya Secondary School.

VHS basketball sees mixed results in games against Warriors

Standouts on boys and girls teams made for exciting matchups.

Ergomania sees strong performances from island rowers

Burton Beach Rowing Club’s third year got off to a strong start at Ergomania recently.

Vashon boys basketball dominates; girls lose big

The boys’ relentless defense won the night; girls struggled against Tarriers’ offensive barrage.

Camaraderie and conditioning never stops at the Vashon Island Rowing Club

The Vashon Island Rowing Club does not allow weather to prevent them from keeping in top condition.

Vashon Seals excel in winter swim meet

“I was very pleased with how well our kids swam over the weekend,” said head coach Randy Turner.

Pirates boys’ basketball team beats University Prep

Team back on track after heartbreaking one-point losses in recent weeks.

Abi Kim drafted to Orlando Pride

Former McMurray Middle School student has played in the FIFA under-18 and under-20 Women’s World Cups

Boys, Girls VHS Basketball see defeats in first league matches

All teams will try to turn their luck around this week.

VHS Girls/Boys basketball teams ramp up to league games

“We are just trying to get better every day.”

High school wrestling coaches instrumental in Rock tournament evolution

“It’s such a testament to how much they care about where they came from.”

Four VHS players get onto all-league team

Head Coach Clay Eastly said he was impressed with both the perseverance and cohesiveness of the team