Orcas Island Rowing Association attended the final event of the season at USRowing Northwest Junior Regional Championships held at Lake Vancouver, Wash., May 17-19.
The 16 member OIRA team had a big schedule with 27 races over three days. They competed against the top rowing programs in the Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Rowers vied for a top three finish to qualify for USRowing Junior National Championships held in Tennessee in June.
Novice to seniors competed in 1x, 2x, 4x races and culminated in the picturesque High School 8. Coach Tina Brown was pleased that senior Garrett Pietsch finished third in the Men’s Varsity 1x and qualified for Nationals.
The High School 8 is the last race of the event where teams de-stress and dress to impress or digress with creative costumes, body paint, and on the OIRA boat, inflatable palm trees gracing the bow.
Seniors Captain Max Blackadar, Captain Jake Zier, Jules Mann, Liam Nutt, Garret Pietsch and Zack Wolford all attended their last high school regatta, leaving a fairly large gap in the team for next year.
Continuing on in college, Blackadar plans on rowing at the U.S. Naval Academy and Zier will be rowing at the University of Washington.