LOWELL, Oregon – Bainbridge Island rowers took on challenging windy conditions in dozens of crew races at the Covered Bridge Regatta near Eugene, Oregon.
The nearly 140 Bainbridge rowers faced off against more than 30 crews from California, Oregon and Washington in the two-day event held April 16 and 17 on Dexter Lake.
After high winds on Saturday morning delayed racing for two hours on the 2,000-meter course, officials resumed the competition, and by day’s end Bainbridge Island Rowing’s Junior rowers had scored 15 medals and Master rowers had earned three gold medals.
Four Varsity Boys pairs were the first Bainbridge Island Rowing boats to take on the challenging weather conditions; all medaled, earning two silvers and two bronzes. The pairs included John Michael Najarian and Lars Erickson (silver); Konner Vander Leest and Michael Aber (silver); Dan Queen and John Danielsson (bronze); and Alexander Welch and Cole Sander (bronze).
Also fighting a headwind, three Varsity Boys Fours proved their mettle, winning one silver and two bronzes.
Earning silver with a 7:08.960 time: Will de Rubertis, Aaron Lewis-Sandy, Jackson Patrick, Colin Vielleux and coxswain Nathan Johnson.
Bronze medalists included John Merritt, Hudson Dore, Jack Sloat, Scott Musselwhite and cox Kalyn Warren; Andrew Beckett, Sean Liberman, Tim Strachan, Ethan Bloom and cox Matthew Carlson.
Late in the day, despite the increasing wind, both the Varsity Girls Eight and the Varsity Lightweight Girls Eight prevailed and took first place with open water.
The Varsity Girls Eight included Abby Leigh, Olivia Pells, Sophie Townsend, Amalie Millerd, Rosie Brown, Faith Eckford-Prosser, Kira Rain, Carly Lant and cox Caitlin Deavy.
The Varsity Lightweight Girls Eight were Jade Greer, Sofia Wilkinson, Ellie Genkinger, Lydia Goss, Jessie Sheldon, Elsa Derrickson, Tica Drury, Jemma Blazina and cox Chrina Munn.
In their first regatta of the season, three Novice Girls Fours took home a gold and two silver medals.
Earning gold were Eve Hurd, Grace Dymoke, Caroline Najarian, Emily Fink and cox Audrey Elliott.
Silver medalists included Remi Rosencrans, Natalie D’Amato, Tessa Longley, Isabella King and cox Grace Campbell; Jennifer Friedman, Megan Rideout Redeker, Georgia Sauermann, Hannah Lee and cox Page Montgomery.
The Novice Girls Eight also medalled, earning bronze (Elana Dorsey, Megan Rideout Redeker, Katrina Hoch, Katelyn Lockyear, Avery VanDuine, Grace Ande, Grace Turgeon, Laura Murphy and cox Hannah Lee).
Yet another Novice squad, the Girls Quad (sculling), also captured bronze (Page Montgomery, Katelyn Lockyear, Grace Ande, Grace Turgeon and cox Emily Fink).
Bainbridge Island Rowing’s Novice Boys Quad took to the course and snagged second place in their race (Patrick Francis, Frederick Reinke, Levi Bond, Josh Philip and cox Sam Bloom).
On the Masters side, the Womens Masters Four fought off a challenge from Commencement Bay Rowing Club and won gold on the 1,000-meter course (Sue Entress, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Susan Haines, Barb Shane and cox Karen Campbell).
Bainbridge Island Rowing’s Mens Masters Four charged down the course — dominating the race — and won with open water with a time of 3:48.010 (Brandon Fleet, Kurt Frost, Nicolai Otte, Rich Cacioppo and cox Megan Ledoux).
The Mixed Masters Eight then scored the third BIR Masters gold medal of the day, winning by two lengths with a time of 3:54.700 (Sue Entress, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Tim Goss, Mark Olason, Kurt Frost, Rich Cacioppo, Carrie Holloway, Marilyn Tsolomitis and cox Megan Ledoux).
On Sunday, following another wind delay, the Bainbridge club’s seasoned Varsity Girls Four expertly fought off wind, waves and hard-charging crews and sailed across the finish line in second place (Sophie Townsend, Abby Leigh, Amalie Millerd, Olivia Pells and cox Sophie Bodlovich).The race course was then shut down for the remainder of the day due to windy conditions, concluding the weekend regatta.
Head Coach Tim Goss said the regatta is an “especially good competition,” and featured a fully buoyed 2,000-meter race course, giving rowers an excellent venue to hone their skills.
He added the team is “on track” for the season and will continue rigorous training for their next competition at Brentwood College on Vancouver Island.