It was a chilly, somewhat breezy morning at Opening Day. The brisk southerly wind tends to push crews to the north side of the course, bringing the substantial green can buoys which mark the federal waterway into play. Many crews in lanes 4 or 5 had to deal with steering around these obstacles while also keeping clear of the log boom. While it made for entertaining viewing from the bridge, it can be a stressful situation for the coxswains.
Racing in the Boy’s Club 8+, Mount Baker competed against crews from Everett, Sammamish, Victoria City, and Lincoln Park from Chicago. Early on, Everett took a 5 seat lead off the start, which Baker closed through the second and third 500 during which those two crews separated themselves from the rest of the field. Despite the struggles of earlier races, Everett and Mt. Baker stayed on the south side of the course.
The pivotal point in the race came just prior to entering the Montlake Cut, when Everett had to make a substantial steering adjustment to avoid the red can buoy on the south side. Any steering adjustment of this magnitude will result in losing several seats, and it allowed Baker to take a five seat advantage into the last 500. Everett is a good crew, however, and they mounted a furious attack, but Mount Baker was able to hold on and win by two seats. These two crews will meet again at the Regional Championships in Vancouver on May 20.