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WBF ’15 – The Kathy Lazara Whitman Goes Back to the Starting Line

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

For the complete albums of of Mike Sweeney’s incredible photos, go here and here (and don’t forget to give him a great big thanks in Velocity!)

This year’s festival was extra festive. It was the launch of the newly restored Kathy Lazara Whitman, plus a visit from some very exciting guests – Joe Rantz’s family (daughter Judy Rantz Willman, her husband Ray, sister Jenny and daughter Jennifer Huffman); George Pocock’s family (George’s sister Lucy’s granddaughter Heidi Danilchik, husband Paul daughter Maile and George’s other sister Kath’s granddaughter Cindi Jones and her husband Henry) Jane Ritchey from Lake Washington Rowing Club and her husband… And the very same Kathy Lazara Whitman who had Stan Pocock build the boat for her Greenlake Juniors back in 1976.

See more photos by Michael Wiltshire and Heidi Danilchik,


Flowers and cake! Heidi Danilchik, Kathy Whitman, Judy Rantz Willman and Ray Willman, sister Jenny and daughter Jennifer Huffman – a champion rower and sculler like her grandfather Joe Rantz. Photo courtesy Heidi Danilchik


Judy Rantz Wilman holding Joe Rantz’s famous 1936 Olympic gold medal and George Pocock’s grand-niece Heidi Danilchik, wearing the Official Thames Pocock Family colors and Crest. Photo courtesy Heidi Danilchik


Judy Rantz Willman, a generous donor to our Oct campaign, shows the back of Joe Rantz’s Olympic gold medal and the national championship medal in the Olympic trials.  Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney.

Thursday evening – After 6 months in Steve’s shop, Kathy emerged like a butterfly from a cocoon, glistening in the sun.


The Kathy Lazara Whitman going from Point Hudson Boat Shop boat shop to the boathouse. Photo courtesy Michael Wiltshire.

Friday was a “Boys night out” sea trial. Amid a lot of whoops and hollers from the beach,  Ann Wiltshire cox’ed Kathy Whitman (the boat) out to sea where Kathy Whitman (the coach) looked on.  Lou Deal clocked them at almost 9 mph. See more photos by Linda Deal here. And additional photos here,

Watch more videos of their joy ride here.


The boys in the boat – Kathy Whitman’s sea trial Friday night. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney

Saturday the Kathy was paraded out to be officially rededicated in front of her adoring fans. See more photos by Marci Heemstra, Ann and Michael Wiltshire, and Francine Rose

We gave her a proper ceremony complete with a floral wreath (thank you Patti Hoyecki)


Since rowing is about moving forward without losing sight of where you came from, it was only fitting to anoint her with Green Lake waters from her past (Thank you David Harris) and Port Townsend Bay waters from her future (Thank you Clara Mason and Trish Berry.)



Kathy Whitman pours Green Lake water from her past. Sally Giesler pours Port Townsend Bay waters from her future. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney.

Then it was off to the starting line and , in the words of George Pocock, READY ALL !!

Video courtesy Marci Heemstra

Kathy flew by the fleet but got beaten by some guy in an old wooden rowboat –  master craftsman Steve Chapin and his lightening fast Pocock cedar single, Incisor.  Perhaps it was only fitting, after his painstaking and exquisite repairs on her.


Steve Chapin holding the race number that blew off his shirt. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney

Then it was back to the boathouse for some well deserved honors and thank you’s.

There were not enough medals to go around. This was a huge scale and long term effort by many many people, starting with those who were responsible for creating her – former Green Lake coach Kathy Lazara Whitman, and Stan Pocock whose cousin Heidi stood in for him. Then there were those who orchestrated the donation to our club – Matt Lacey of the Pocock Center, Guy Harper of the Ancient Mariners Rowing Club, Jim Buckley of Rat Island Rowing, and many others working behind the scenes, including Ted Schoulberg and Steve Jeffries.

Ancient Mariners Jim, Guy Harper with Stan at the 30th Anniversary Brunch Celebration of the Pocock Foundation. (photo Pocock Foundation)

Ancient Mariners  Jim Buckley (Rat Island), Guy Harper and Stan Pocock at the 30th Anniversary Brunch Celebration of the Pocock Foundation. (photo Pocock Foundation)

Then came the fundraising team, Michele Olsen, Sally Giesler, Francine Rose, Peggy Myre. Lenny O’Donnell of the Ancient Mariners and especially Kathleen Sailer, who singlehandedly raised almost half the donations. If I ever need to win friends and influence people I know who to call. Kathleen papered Jefferson county with fundraising flyers, reaching thousands more through radio shows, newspapers, electronic newsletters, talks to local businesses, and personal phone calls to faraway places. When it was time to hand the project over to the restoration crew, Kathleen’s job wasn’t over. With a piece of sandpaper in one hand, a phone in the other, she spent the next 5 months fulfilling and coordinating the rewards she had promised – including the Make-a-Wish recipient who’ll soon get the ride of his life!


Kathleen Sailer coxed the Kathy Lazara Whitman in Portland. Photo courtesy David Morton

There would be a serious shortage of medals and ribbons for the restoration team volunteers – 800+ hours in all  But the leaders of the pack stood up for them all – Master craftsman and race coordinator Steve Chapin, Boatman and head rigger Jim Mason and Project Manager Sally Giesler who spearheaded the 6 month restoration while simultaneously organizing both the Rat Island Regatta and Wooden Boat Festival.


Steve Chapin, Jim Mason and Sally Giesler. Photo courtesy of Michael Sweeney.

Receiving the Pocock award, our treasured annual trophy crafted by Guy Harper, was Sally Giesler for the restoration efforts and John Collins, who expanded the Learn to Row program to unprecedented heights, bringing lots of new talented rowers into our club.


For the rest of us, the reward was sunny weather, calm seas, and a good day for being with old friends and making new ones.


Ted Shoulberg and Kathy Whitman. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney


The good looking Pocock family! Paul Danilchik, Henry Jones, Kath Pocock’s granddaughter Cindi Jones, Maile Danilchik and Lucy Pocock Stillman’s granddaughter Heidi Danilchik. Photo courtesy Heidi Danilchik


Jane Ritchey, crew of the Lucy Pocock Stillwell and Lucy’s great granddaughter Maile Danilchik.


The nails give “the wave” from the restored Pocock 8 Husky Challenger. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney


Ed Kirkpatrick and crew. Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney

The Rats give the Kathy Whitman a "Ready All...ROW" Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney

The Rats give the Kathy Whitman a “Ready All…ROW” Photo courtesy Michael Sweeney

The Kathy Lazara Whitman - After 6 months, she's on her way back to the starting line!

The Kathy Lazara Whitman – After 6 months, she’s heading back to the starting line! Photo courtesy Peggy Myre

…..A write up on the WBF race coming soon!


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