North Bay Rowing Club discovers gold in Oregon

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The North Bay Rowing Club spent the weekend in Oregon, and its junior teams came home with seven first-place finishes and six second-place finishes.

After a 10-hour bus ride followed by a quick practice in Oregon on Friday, the junior athletes jumped to work on Saturday and Sunday to race 2,000 meters in each event, against 28 teams from around the Pacific Northwest.

“The Covered Bridge Regatta is a great test of team speed at this stage of the season,” said John Gilbert, men’s varsity assistant coach. “This year was no exception, and our hard work showed with so many first-place finishes.”

Junior teams

The men’s novice team took first place in every heat, sweeping all of its 4+ events (4+ are boats with four rowers and one coxswain who commands the boat) and the 8+ (8+ are boats with eight rowers and one coxswain).

The women’s novice team also rowed with great success, with one first-place and two second-place finishes. The novice team is comprised of junior high and high school athletes who are competing in their first year of rowing.

The women’s varsity 4+’s came in first and second (8 minutes, 2.5 seconds and 8:12.0) and the women’s varsity 8+ team finished second in its race (7:07.4).

In the lightweight division (where each male athlete weighs less than 150 pounds), the men’s varsity LW4+ won its race (7:16.9) and the men’s varsity LW2x finished second (7:54.2). Both heavyweight varsity 2- and 2x finished third (2- is a boat with two sweep rowers with one oar each and no coxswain, while 2x is a boat with two sculling rowers with two oars each and also without a coxswain.)

A week earlier, the North Bay Rowing Club found sunshine and success in San Diego, winning its final race to place 13th out of 20 boats in the highly competitive Women’s High School Varsity Gilman-Mulliken Cup against top clubs from around the country.

The NBRC women bested crews from NorCal (Redwood City), Texas Rowing Center, San Diego Rowing Center, Los Gatos and others by coming across the finish line with times of 7:24.8 in its heat and 7:29.0 in its final.

Though encountering windy conditions on Mission Bay, the team credited its intense training regimen in Petaluma winds to its success.

“This team developed the confidence to race in any weather through hard work and practice in high winds at home,” said Patrick Schulkers, NBRC coach. “They had a race plan, and battled the random gusts of wind and stiff competition to lead their race wire-to-wire. It was a successful regatta, and the athletes performed really well.”

The crew is comprised of athletes from several local Petaluma high schools. Team members are Hannah Cooper, Lorelei Deely, Emma Dolcini, Ella Keefer, Simone Lourens, Lauren Poehlmann, Megan Popielak, Rose Waterbury and coxswain Murphy Stearns, an eighth grader.

The team now has its sights set on the US Rowing Southwest Regional Championship the first weekend in May at Lake Natoma in Sacramento.

Oakland 510 Sprints

While the women’s top boat competed in San Diego, the other athletes of the NBRC juniors competed against eight teams in Oakland.

“We were thrilled with the efforts of our rowers. They worked as a team and competed hard to grow as athletes. It was a great day for NBRC with several top two finishes,” said Ken Rowles, junior novice men’s coach.

Three boats won their races and five finished second.

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