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Long Live Lorna!

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

On November 8, 2019 the Lorna Smith, an older Vespoli quad, had an altercation with a moored derelict sailboat and lost.

The bow was sheared clean off, the crew was rescued by the nearby launch and the shell was beached by the large vessel haulout in  Port Townsend’s boat haven…(minus the bow which was salvaged by the wherry.)

After a staggering estimate by a local shipwright, Lorna was brought home to the boathouse, where she was put back together again by all the king’s horses and all the king’s men – thanks to months of clever but arduous repair work by Jim M., Jim C., Don B. along with a host of helpers, sanders and other healing hands.

Lorna (the shell) has been a workhorse for the club since 2005, when we donated our gold medal-winning Pocock shell, the HOH to the Pocock foundation (see the quick pictorial history here). In exchange, they gave us the Frank C. (wooden Pocock quad), the Lorna (glass quad), and the Friendship,  a glass eight. Lorna (the woman) was not happy that the club gave away  the pride of our fleet. Hopefully naming the glass Vespoli quad after her soothed some hurt feelings.

Steve C., Barb, Jim M. and Ted in the Lorna’s maiden voyage as a Rat Island boat


Jim Buckley writes:

We named the boat after Lorna Smith who was an early Rat Island rowing member and a friend to many of us, who moved away (to where?) a few years ago and died recently.

Lorna was a potter who sold her wares at Pike Place Market. She grew up as the daughter of missionaries in India and went to a private British school in the south of India.

She was a Victorian lady, very proper and quiet. For example, when we first took the Nails out in the Quinault and Ted in bow and me in stroke couldn’t get the boat turned toward shore in the brisk off-shore breeze, Lorna, our cox’n, waved at the boy scouts who were manning our safety launch and said “Yoohoo?”. The boys, not having any idea we were in trouble waved back. And that’s when Ted cut loose with some memorable language.

A lot of us knew and loved Lorna. For the full photo album, go here

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