For Sammamish Rowing Association, California is indeed the Golden State. For the fourth year in a row, the Pacific Northwest rowing club’s men’s team swept up the gold medal – and an enormous trophy – in the Masters C (average age 43-49) race at the San Diego Crew Classic, the largest rowing regatta in the world. This powerhouse team also laid claim to two gold medals at the 2017 Head of the Charles, where it set a course record, beating the previous record by nearly 10 seconds.
The Head of the Charles and the Crew Classic are the two races every year that have the
toughest competition in the Masters category and have become our focus for our top rowers,” said Sammamish Coach Tom Woodman. He added that the result “was a testament to the conditioning of our crew and the depth of our team.”
Woodman, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic rowing team, has been coaching the Sammamish 5 a.m. team since 2007. Andy Lynch, who stroked the winning boat, declared that “being coached, trained, and selected by Tom Woodman year in and year out has been what really made such consistent success possible.” He also expressed appreciation for teammates who supported and pushed the crew “in the cold, in the dark, in the wind.” Lynch noted that winning at the San Diego Crew Classic for the fourth straight year was just as exhilarating as the first three, maybe more so since five of us did two events this year and that final was our second all-out 2k race of the day. That definitely made it harder to get ahead and stay ahead.”
A regular competitor in national regattas including San Diego, the Head of the Charles, and
Junior Nationals, Sammamish sent nearly 100 junior and master athletes to the Crew Classic this year and came home with a range of impressive results. The boys varsity and junior varsity teams both placed fourth overall, the first time either crew advanced to the Grand Final. The girls junior varsity team placed first in the Petite Final, defending its title from last year, and the girls varsity team placed third in the Petite Final. The Sammamish novice women A boat advanced to the Grand Final and placed sixth, while the B boat, competing in San Diego for the first time, placed fourth in the Petite Final.
In addition to gold in the Men’s C race, Sammamish masters took third in the Women’s E
(average age 55-59) race. With two entries in the Club 8 and both boats advancing to the
Grand Final, Sammamish paced third and eighth. Sammamish women and men placed fifth and eighth respectively in their D (average age 50-54) races, and Sammamish took fifth in the petite final of the Women’s Club event.
Sammamish will accelerate toward the finish of the spring racing season with Junior Regionals in May, Junior Nationals and Masters Regionals in June, and Masters Nationals in August. Based out of Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington, Sammamish Rowing Association has nearly 400 members on its middle school, high school, and masters teams, plus another hundred or more who come through the doors each year for Row for a Day and Learn to Row programs.
For more on Sammamish Rowing Association, follow the team on Facebook and Instagram