POULSBO — Liberty Bay got its first K.I.S.S. on Sunday.
Boats of various sizes raced around took on the 4.8 kilometer course thanks to the efforts of Poulsbo-based Kitsap Rowing Assocation, which hosted the first-ever Kitsap Invitational Masters Summer Scrimmage.
Rowers from organizations on both the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas descended upon Liberty Bay to get a chance to form crews with unfamiliar faces and race from Pearson Dock along the western end of the bay, turning around just north of Waterfront Park in Poulsbo before returning to Pearson.
Competing clubs included Bainbridge Island Rowing, Clam Island Rowing (Silverdale), Vashon Island Rowing Club, Rat Island Rowing Club (Port Townsend), Sequim Bay Yacht Club, Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association (Port Angeles), and the hosts.
“I think today is pretty much the most blissful day that you can have on the water,” said Sue Entress, President of the Bainbridge Island Rowing Board of Directors. “I really love the big connection I have with the other rowers that I row with on a daily basis and it was super cool to hop in a boat with a bunch of rowers I haven’t rowed with and have that same connection.”
Entress was part of the winning eight in the full course race. The boat, named “Thom,” featured coxswain Bridget Burke of Clam Island, stroke Mike Spieker of Kitsap Rowing Association, Connie Voigt (Rat Island), Kirk Bottelberghe (KRA), Malcolm Saunders (BIR), Kay Bass (Clam Island), Entress, Thresea Torseth (BIR) and Mari Friend (Rat Island).
The “Thom” finished the course in 24 minutes and one second, 23 seconds ahead of the “Bill Richards,” manned by Tony Smallbeck, Mac Noyes, Sarah Eden, Sandy Gough, Alan Krause, Annika Torseth, Ann Livengood, Therese Smith and Suzy Narbutovskih, which featured a mix of members from Kitsap Rowing, Vashon Island, Bainbridge and Port Townsend.
Following the race, the rowers gathered at Oyster Plant Park for a picnic and a celebration of the first of what is, hopefully, many more events that brings folks together from around the West Sound.
“That’s actually what we were really shooting for, to get to know each other a little better and learn from each other,” said Noyes, the President of the Kitsap Rowing Association. “I hope this is one step in that direction.”
Full course results
“Thom” (Bridget Burke, Mike Spieker, Connie Voigt, Kirk Bottelberghe, Malcolm Saunders, Kay Bass, Entress, Theresa Torseth, and Mari Friend), 24:01.
“Bill Richards” (Tony Smallbeck, Mac Noyes, Sarah Eden, Sandy Gough, Alan Krause, Annika Torseth, Ann Livengood, Therese Smith and Suzy Narbutovskih), 24:24.80.
“Hunter” (Barb Emel, Robb Briggs, Steve McNally, Anna Helledy, Alex Frank, Donna Moore, Maggie Smith, Laura Finster, Debby Jackson), 24:28.50.
“Fisher” (Fred Sayer, Michelle DeCouteau, Katie Eberling, Jackie Syvertsen, Brenda Banghart, Celia Congdon, Sigrid Knight, Lauren Westgate), 26:18.60.
“Zweibel” (Cathy Gunderson, Mary Derry, Deb Royset-Jones, Sue Lukins, Mary Ellen Salyan), 28:32.80
“Rat Island 2” (Karen Bennet, Dylan Carter, Paul Carter, Kathy Woods-Smith), 26:51
“Sequim Quad” (Amy Holmes, Carolyn DeSalvo, Dennis Miller, Frank DeSalvo), 27:14
“Rat Island” (Brooke McKnight, Jim Buckley, Ted Shoulberg, Bill Mahoney), 29:15.40
“OPRA Quad” 33:42
“Clam Island” (Ellen Strong, Mark Underwood), 28:47
Steve Jeffries (Rat Island), 30:03.80
Francine Rose (Rat Island), 35:02.40
Short course (2.6 kilometers)