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Rowing the Kathy Lazara Whitman, 7/20/23

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

By Kathleen Sailer. Photos and video by Emily Adams.


On a radiant morning in late July, RIRSC hosted Seattle guests Mike and Kathy Stanley from

Greenlake Rowing (AKA Greenlake Crew) for a club row in the Kathy Lazara Whitman. Mike

is president of Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, and both he and Kathy are very active

with their club. This was their first time in the octuple and their first row on Port Townsend

Bay.


Greenlake Rowing donated the wooden Pocock octuple, built in 1976, to RIRSC in 2014,

rowed and raced as the Sweet Sixteen that season. In 2015, the shell underwent extensive

renovation and was renamed and launched in a ceremony on Wooden Boat Festival



Eight experienced rowers comprised the crew, some never having rowed together.

After warm up sets for focus, engagement, segmentation, cadence and flow, a spontaneous

cohesion of body and spirit evolved, moving as one, seeking and feeling that elusive swing;

the rhythm of commands in sync with the rhythm of the rowers. Sixteen oars perfectly

positioned above the water – inanimate objects suspended in air, brought to life by the level

hands of each rower.


Adding power to the stroke and precision to the catch, the boat jumped into higher gear, faster speed, as crew maintained smoothness and flow. The beauty and mass of the octuple gliding through water and surging through waves was captured in photos ..... the feeling imprinted in memory.



Steve Chapin who rowed stroke seat shared, “Thank you to all my boat mates for the privilege to row with you in this special boat – what a nice row. Personally, that was my best row ever in the KLW. She felt light and fast; there may even have been one or two perfect strokes! It’s hard to define what it takes to make the right chemistry in a boat but when it’s right, you know it.”


It was a delight to cox this crew in this boat on that beautiful morning on Port Townsend Bay.

And a collective thanks to Ted Shoulberg for organizing the outing and driving the launch for

the row.


More photos from Emily Adams


Kathleen Sailer

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