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R.I.P to the Friendship and Bogie

On Sunday March 3, a group of Rats gathered to pay solemn tribute to (aka carve up) two of RIRSC’s historic (some might say “old”) rowing boats: the Friendship, our last rowable eight (sweep), and the Bogie, short for Bogachiel and named after the Bogachiel River. Both boats were rowed well and often, and sometimes not so well. This Eulogy is in honor of the memory of many joyful rows we had on those boats.

For years, the light and somewhat tippy Bogie was known as our “fast boat” – in calm waters, she could glide through the water and speed past the slower quads of the club. In rough waters, well, it was a good idea to take a bailer. She never enjoyed the doting passion experienced by her glamorous sister wooden quads, but for those of us who liked speed over style, she was often our first choice.

The Friendship has been our only rowing eight since the wooden Quinault, the boat many of us learned to row on, was taken out of service. The Friendship had a loyal crew of sweep rowers back in the day, including the fixed team “One Catch” whose alumni include Mari, Connie, Patricia, and others no longer rowing with the club. This group rowed once/week and were all sad when the sport of sweep rowing took a back seat to the more popular sculling. Now, Tuf as Nails will have to carry on the sweep tradition in Port Townsend.

While the fiberglass components have now been carted off to the dump, it behooves us to take a moment to remember the rows we had in these boats. I rowed in the Bogie in one Rat Island Regatta, but we had to turn back once we passed Point Hudson as we were bailing more than rowing. We will miss her, but the Bogie lives on, however, because her riggers were saved and donated to the John Collins.

My finest memory of the Friendship was the Grand Regatta of the Eights (/Oct). It was one of those days where the sky meets the water in one bluish gray blur. We lined up off the pier at the mill, and raced to Boat Haven. Michael Wiltshire was ready with his camera at the mill, and took one of the more iconic pictures. Despite an early lead, it is my recollection that the Friendship crew (foreground in picture above) just clipped the Oct when we reached the finish line. It was a memorable morning, and a winning boat.


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