The Orcas Island Rowing Association (OIRA) raced against six other schools on Saturday, April 12, at the Northwest Sculling Regatta held on Lake Stevens, near Everett, Wash. Both juniors (high school-aged rowers) and masters competed on 1500- and 1000-meter courses.
Weather predictions came true, as the skies were clear and the sun made the temperature climb. The rowers had to contend with rough water and wakes from recreational watercraft that came into the rowing shells slowing them down.
Coach Tina Brown was very pleased with the team’s performance. “It was a crazy day of racing,” said Brown, alluding to the busy race schedule and the need to keep track of Orcas’s 16 rowers. Each rowed at several different times and in different combinations — singles, doubles, and quads. “The kids had fun and they did well. This regatta gave us a good idea of how we might do at Regionals,” said Brown, referring to the United States Rowing Association’s Northwest Junior Regionals competition at Vancouver Lake, near Vancouver, Wash. in May.
Many Orcas rowers did well in their heats and several made it to finals. Sam Parish and Barrett North came in first and third respectively in the men’s lightweight single event. North and Parish finished second in men’s lightweight doubles. Teresa Lowry had the third fastest time in the novice women’s single event. Morgan Borman and Nathan Patty ended up with the fourth fastest time in the novice men’s doubles.
The Orcas masters also performed well. Brown and Craig Canine came in second in their heat in masters mixed doubles. Canine qualified for a final in masters singles. Joe Thoron, Martin Taylor, coach Dave Roseberry, and Canine finished third in the men’s masters quad.
There are two kinds of rowing races, sculling and sweeping. During sculling races, each boat member pulls on two oars. During sweeping races, each member pulls on just one oar. Each kind of race demands particular skills. Working together, as cohesively as possible, is the main key to moving the boat quickly through the water.
OIRA has two more regattas this season. On April 25, they travel to Mill Bay, British Columbia, to compete in the Brentwood Regatta, hosted by the Brentwood College School. During the weekend of May 16-18, the OIRA rowers will travel to Vancouver Lake, near Vancouver, Wash. for US Rowing’s Northwest Junior Regionals regatta.