BI Master rowers claim gold at Northwest regional tourney

VANCOUVER, Washington – Twenty adult rowers, and two coxswains, from Bainbridge Island Rowing competed in the recent USRowing Northwest Masters Regional Championships in Vancouver to great success.

The BIR crews rowed in 18 events on the 1,000-meter course on Vancouver Lake, medaling in 11: three gold, three silver, and five bronze in all.

The regatta drew more than 50 rowing clubs, primarily from Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia, but also from Alberta, Colorado, Arizona, New York, and even Washington, D.C.

Coxed by adult Rachele Turnbull and junior Addison Taylor, and accompanied by Director of Rowing Bruce Beall, the 12 men and eight women from BIR rowed in men’s eights, fours, pair, double and single, women’s eight and fours, and also mixed eights and fours.

Their four events on Day One enjoyed pleasant conditions on the lake with temperatures in the low 80s and moderate winds, but Day Two’s eight events saw temperatures climbing to the mid 90s, and by the time of BIR’s sixth (and last) event on Day Three, the temperature was nearly 100 [degrees] and the breeze had disappeared.

BIR won gold in a men’s single (John Christiansen), mixed four (Janette Ahrndt, Michelle DeCouteau, Brandon Fleet, Nicolai Otte; Addison Taylor, cox), and men’s eight (Dean Dale, John Foy, Malcolm Saunders, Eric Driggers, Don Fannon, Kurt Frost, Brandon Fleet, Mark Olason; Rachele Turnbull, cox).

A women’s four (Sue Entress, Barb Shane, Susan Haines, Kirsten Fitzgerald; Addie Taylor, cox) and a men’s four (John Christiansen, Don Fannon, Kurt Frost, Mark Olason; Rachele Turnbull, cox) squad both won silver, and five boats won bronze medals: a men’s single (John Christiansen), a women’s four (Sue Entress, Barb Shane, Susan Haines, Kirsten Fitzgerald; Addie Taylor, cox), a men’s four (Eric Driggers, Brandon Fleet, Kurt Frost, Mark Olason; Addie Taylor, cox), a mixed four (Sue Entress, Susan Haines, Anthony Oddo, Marc Stewart; Addie Taylor, cox) and a men’s eight (Brandon Fleet, Marc Stewart, Anthony Oddo, Eric Driggers, Don Fannon, Kurt Frost, John Christiansen, Mark Olason; Rachele Turnbull, cox).

Though challenged by both the heat and the strong competition, officials said the Bainbridge crews all seemed to feel good about the weekend of racing, which finished their spring season.

In the fall they will turn to “head” racing, entailing timed races over longer courses (5-kilometers or more), but they look forward to coming back next spring for more side-by-side racing in the “sprint” regattas.

BIR summer rowing programs are getting underway shortly. They include two-, four- and six-week camps for varsity and novice rowers, as well as Learn-to-Row sessions for rowers of all ages.

Visit www.bainbridgerowing.org for details.

BI Master rowers claim gold at Northwest regional tourney