VIRC rowers brave bad weather, head to championship

The weather at the regatta was as fierce as the competition.

Brentwood International Regatta in Victoria, British Columbia, is known for its fierce competition.

But on April 28-30, the weather at the regatta was also fierce, as Vashon Island Rowing Club’s youth team raced with over 600 other entries in 161 races, demonstrating determination and perseverance in the face of severe wind conditions.

Some racing highlights included the strong performance from the Men’s U17 4x+ (Mitchell Grossman, Henry Cooper, Lance Westbrook, Will Parker, and coxswain Tyler Davis) who placed 2nd overall and 1st among the US crews. They overcame severe crosswinds and whitecapped waves in their final and showed great improvement from the last regatta.

The Women’s U17 4x+ (Laurel Calhoun, Selene Dalinis, Rowan White, Julianna Steffens, and coxswain Max Kline) also made it into the A final for their event, finishing 7th overall. Stroke seat Calhoun went on to place 4th overall in the women’s U17 single.

“While it was disappointing that some races were canceled due to the inclement weather the beautiful venue, new competitors, and fun campus life gave the team ample opportunity to make lifelong memories,” said head coach Ben Steele. “Nothing is more rewarding than watching these athletes create wonderful experiences on and off the racecourse. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to travel like this for a sport we love.”

Youth Team Captains Eva Cain, Cooper Thorpe, and Jack Cummings agreed.

“We enjoyed the beautiful Brentwood campus and the first warm weather of the year. Great competitive racing, relaxing in hammocks on the trailer, and companionship made for a very fun weekend. We all feel closer as a team after this regatta.”

VIRC’s youth team now turns their focus to preparing for the Northwest Youth Championships from May 19 to 21, in Vancouver, Washington.