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Lucy (in red) and Sophie Sandahl, back in 2019. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sophie and Lucy Sandahl aren’t afraid to cross oars with anyone.

The Coupeville sisters took to the water Saturday, helping NCAA D-II Seattle Pacific University vie in one of the premier rowing events in Washington state.

The Sandahl siblings and their Falcon teammates participated in the Windermere Cup regatta, which went down on the Montlake Cut in Seattle and celebrates the opening day of boating season.

SPU’s open eight boat, with Lucy as coxswain and big sis Sophie rowing from the bow, gave regatta host University of Washington a strong push in their race before finishing second.

The Huskies compete for a D-I rowing program with a long tradition of excellence, but the Sandahls — in a boat with six novice college rowers — stayed close.

The Falcons zipped across the 2,000-meter course in seven minutes, 38.14 seconds.

Coupeville’s finest were joined on the journey by teammates Megan Rouse, Bella Sangston, Addie Clark, Meghan Rustemeyer, Nicole Svoboda, Ingrid Erickson, and Emma Ely.

Up next for SPU is the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships May 14 at Dexter Lake in Lowell, Oregon.

When not in the boat, both Sandahl sisters are hard at work pursuing degrees.

Sophie is a junior studying art history, while Lucy, a sophomore, studies physiology.

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Coupeville rowing stars Lucy (far left) and Sophie Sandahl, hanging out with the parentals. (Photo courtesy Jeannie Sandahl)

The Splash Sisters are back at it.

Coupeville’s Sophie and Lucy Sandahl shone brightly this weekend, helping Seattle Pacific University rowing teams to strong finishes at a major meet.

The duo was at Lake Natoma in Gold River, California for the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.

Sophie was in the bow of her boat as SPU’s #2 varsity eight crew won their grand finals race Sunday, fending off runner-up Pacific Lutheran University by a crisp 22 seconds.

The Falcons crossed the 2,000-meter course in seven minutes, 29.62 seconds.

Meanwhile, lil’ sis Lucy was the coxswain for SPU’s novice four boat, which claimed second in Saturday’s heats — on dad Michael’s birthday.

Her first-year crew, repping an NCAA D-II school, then went oar to oar with top-level D-1 schools Sunday, finishing sixth in the grand finals.

SPU returns to action next Saturday, May 7, when it participates in the Windermere Cup on the Montlake Cut in Seattle.

That event is hosted by the University of Washington and celebrates the opening of boating season in our state.

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Lucy (red shirt) and Sophie Sandahl, with parents Jeannie and Michael. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lucy

Sophie

Two sisters, one vibrant sports dynasty.

Sophie and Lucy Sandahl, who were standout athletes and students on Whidbey Island after their family moved west from South Carolina, are once again busy being awesome.

The duo, who currently attend Seattle Pacific University, are both members of the NCAA D-II school’s rowing team and have had a notable impact on the program’s success this season.

Sophie, who started at Coupeville High School, then graduated from Oak Harbor after a stellar swimming career, is a junior studying art history.

Meanwhile, CHS grad Lucy — a key member of Wolf volleyball and track and field teams — is a sophomore pursuing a physiology degree.

The older Sandahl is a rower who often finds herself camped in the bow, while lil’ sis is a coxswain.

The sisters, who are joined on the SPU team by Oak Harbor grad Jessica Vester, have both played key roles for the Falcons as a new season gets up and going.

In the season-opening PLU Invite in Lakewood, Lucy led a varsity eight-woman crew to a two-second win, spurring SPU to a time of eight minutes, 15.3 seconds on a 2000-meter course.

Sophie, rowing with a varsity four-woman unit, also won, in a race in which the Falcons destroyed their closest rival by 12-plus seconds.

Rowing has also taken the sisters to Oklahoma this year, where the duo participated in a meet featuring D-I power Kansas and three-time D-II national champion Central Oklahoma.

The Sandahl siblings return to action Apr. 9, when SPU hosts the Falcon Regatta.

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The view from a boat skimming local waters. (Photo property Rowing on Whidbey)

Rowing on Whidbey is on the lookout to add a coach.

The club, which promotes life on the water to athletes from novices to seasoned pros, is based out of Oak Harbor.

The following was posted Thursday afternoon on Facebook:

Coach needed for fledgling club in paradise.

Whidbey Island is sheltered from most of the local rains by a rain shadow formed by the Olympic Mountains.

Temperatures are moderated by the surrounding waters of Puget Sound. The views are amazing and marine wildlife abounds.

There are a number of novice rowers just waiting to absorb all you can teach them. Send a message for more details!!

 

To contact ROW:

(360) 682-8222

rowonwhidbey@gmail.com

Rowing on Whidbey (rowonwhidbey.org)

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Oak Harbor waters call out to a rower. (Photo courtesy CeCe Aguda)

They’re sailing into new waters.

Rowing on Whidbey, a non-profit group dedicated to life on the water, launched in 2018, with an extra push earlier this year.

Now the group, headed up by champion sculler CeCe Aguda, is attempting to work out a plan with Oak Harbor city officials to install a storage shed for its boats at Windjammer Park.

The shed would sit near the boat ramp, be fenced and blend into the surroundings by having a similar look to a kitchen shelter already at the park.

Aguda plans to bring her proposal to the Oak Harbor City Council during a June 30 workshop.

Rowing on Whidbey was established to create a way for local rowers of all skill levels to get out on the water without having to leave Whidbey Island.

“There is no facility here for rowing, so if you want to row team boats (as in not just a single by yourself) you have to drive to Bellingham, Everett, or Seattle,” Aguda said in March.

“I commuted to Seattle for two years, 2-3 times a week, to train at Pocock Rowing Center,” she added. “When I spoke with people on the Island about rowing, they wanted to see a local club so they could row here too.

“So I started working on it!”

While Aguda is a gold-medal-winning rower who competed in college, the club is welcoming to anyone.

Women or men, young or old, experienced or not, there is opportunity for all.

“Novices are welcome,” she said. “We have boats that are stable that they can learn on, and coaches with experience in teaching the skills.

“Competitions are available at all levels – juniors through masters. And from local regattas geared toward novices, to national and international competitions.

“It all depends on what an individual wants to do,” she added. “Competing by members is NOT required. Recreational rowers who just want to learn, get some exercise, and commune with seals are welcome as well.”

 

For info on the club, email rowonwhidbey@gmail.com, or pop over to the club’s website at Rowing on Whidbey (rowonwhidbey.org).

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