Here’s a round up of the year’s racing season.
By Jeff Knakal
Conditions were flat with light winds, and a side current that helped mix up the inbound and outbound traffic. No collisions were reported (an unusual accomplishment for the LaConner race!) The mixed double rowing team of Tyler Peterson and Nikki Sherry outclassed the pack in a time of 48:50. Jeff/Theresa Knakal (mixed 2X) and Eric Moll (HPK) rounded out the top 3. A soup feast in LaConner followed the race and provided a good start to the racing season.
Strong winds whipped up conditions on the south end of the lake to make racing a little more challenging. Tyler Peterson in a single rowing shell (1X-OWIII) won the long course followed by Eric Moll in an HPK and Greg Spooner/Rainer Storb in a double rowing shell. At least 3 competitors stopped to assist boats in trouble. On the short course, the Junior K4’s battled to a 1-2 finish, followed by Peter Marcus in an HPK.
Some sailors I know call the waves that build off the south end of Jetty Island the “waves of Death”. Apparently some of the rowers I know now do too. I wasn’t there. I heard it was epic! Tyler Peterson (1X-OWIII) continued his winning ways followed by Joost Zeegers and Jason Cross in HPK’s. 21 boats finished, 9 more were smart enough to not risk conditions beyond their ability or ambition.
Conditions were relatively mild, except for the annoying headwind in both directions. At least that was my impression. It didn’t seem to bother Anne Browning and Nicole Sylvester (W-2X) on the long course, finishing in a quick 1:31:36. They were followed by Ian Mackenzie (K-1) and Brandon Nelson (HPK). The short course was dominated by the HPK’s of Jeff Hilburn, Erik Wermus and Simon Brownlie.
Sunny sky and smooth water greeted racers on the 6 mile course. The lead rowers took their normal divergent courses to the first turn buoy, Evan Jacobs and Tyler Peterson (2X) finding their way there and back first in a quick 41:44. Robert Meenk (1X-OWIII) and the Rainer Storb/Todd Silver team (2X) followed.
Held on the same weekend as the NAOWRC (North American Open Water Rowing Championship), Rat Island drew rowers from around the country. Dan Gorriaran and Mike Smith (2X) and Diane Davis/Rich Klanjscek (2X), were followed closely by local Robert Meenk for the top 3 spots.
The day was sunny and warm with light winds. To challenge the racers, there were significant tide rips near Blake Island. You have to be prepared even on the best of days! Tyler Peterson and Rainer Storb were this day for a first place finish. Two OC-6’s followed, led by Paul Lugo and Mike Szewczyk.
Racers moved down to the coast and were met with breezy conditions and a chop up to 1 ft. Joost Zeegers (K1) finished first, followed by a rowing 8 (really- can they make the turns??? I bet the oysters had never seen one of those before…) from Oregon Rowing Unlimited and Peter Turcan in a K1. The “Little Elk” race was run by Vanessa, Callum and Kylie Turcan in an SK3, followed by Dylan Hall (FSK) and Daryl & Perry Graham in a C2.
Morris and Debbie Arthur in an HPK 2 found a faster way around Shaw Island than everyone else, followed by the father/son team of Rainer and Adrian Storb. Dean Bumstead followed in an HPK to round out the top 3. Susan Kinney (1X-OWIII) in 7th place at 1:59:45 became the first woman to finish in under 2 hours in a single.
Bainbridge Island Marathon
The full Marathon was dominated by Robert Meenk in 3:24:21 in a 1X-OWIII. Rainer/Adrian Storb (2X) and Will Stones/Glen Evans (2X) followed to fill the top 3. Jeff/Theresa Knakal won the half marathon in a new record time, followed by the skeg-less double of Rob O’Brien/Theresa Batty. Susan Kinne (1X-OWIII) was third, also in a new class record time.
San Juan Orca Challenge
The water was flat and the winds light, but the currents around the islands kept things interesting. Jeff and Theresa Knakal were first in a double rowing shell, followed closely by Kirk Christensen and Dean Bumstead in HPK’s
Racing moved to the South Sound in Olympia and the big rowing shells took over in calm conditions. The OAR 8 person rowing shell won on home turf followed by the OAR 4X. Two VLRC 8+ rowing shells followed both under one hour for the 7nm course.
The level of Lake Samish raised slightly as 111 boats settled in for racing. Larry Goolsby and David Jacobsen finished first in a double HPK. Debbie/Morris Arthur were second in a double HPK and Alex Twist third in a single rowing shell.
Mercer Island Sausage Pull
The final race of the Sound Rowers season was rowers’s conditions (read: flat, flat, flat) The long course was won by Austin Nichols/Michelle Williams-Davis in a mixed 2X out pacing Rainer Storb and Todd Silver in a 2X. Greg Barton finished third in an HPK. On the short course. Tyler Peterson teamed up with Nikki and Dave in a shell modified for 3 rowers to take first. Evan Jacobs (1x-OWIII) was second, followed by Rachel Alexander/John Alberti in a mixed double rowing shell. Many sausages were consumed as we celebrated another successful Sound Rowers racing season.