VICTORIA – With a target placed firmly on their back as three-time defending men’s and two-time defending women’s national university rowing champions, the UVic Vikes departed for Welland, Ont., this morning with a simple mission: bring back two more national championship banners.
“It’s going to be a hard week for sure, we have giant targets on our back,” said #Leanne Fells#, a member of the women’s lightweight double and four crews. “We won everything on the lightweight category last year and everyone’s been training since November of 2010 to beat UVic, and it’s hard being on top… We’ve definitely had some challenges on the way this year, and I think now we’re ready to go out there and see what the work has done and push really hard.”
The competition runs Nov. 6 and 7 in Welland, Ont., and is hosted by the Western Mustangs.
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“It’s a big unknown when we go back there,” Fells said. “They race each other every weekend every weekend leading up to the CUs… and we have one regatta. We have to go in basically ready for anything and we expect anything to happen. I think we’ve done as much as we can right now – and it’s just about going over there, eating ell, sleeping well and laying it on the table.”
The host Mustangs are expected to provide a formidable challenge on both sides, especially the women’s team.
“Western’s going to be a big challenge this year” Fells said. “They performed really well at their regattas this season and have been dominant across the field. And in order to win the banner, you have to have so much depth – you have to win the 8 and the 4 and place well in the small boats as well. And there’s always crews that catch us off guard that we don’t even think of. We have to prepare for Western but we also know that every else is out there pushing particularly for us, because we’re the previous banner winners.”
On the men’s side, it’s expected to be a three-team race.
While Vikes head coach #Howard Campbell# admitted the Vikes have lost overall experience on the team, the international exposure gained by #Kai Langerfeld# and #Josh Morris# at the Pan-American Games with Canada in Mexico will aid the squad.
“It’s a professional type commitment, it’s given me a lot of good experience,” said Langerfeld, a member of the Vikes men’s 8 crew. “Specifically for us, we have not had a lot of time together with Josh and I away for a couple of months. But everything’s come together quickly, so we’re pretty confident going into Ontario.”
Langerfeld said Western and UBC are the strongest crews for UVic to compete with, noting the Vikes were especially strong at the lightweight level.
“I know we’re all really excited, we’ve had this idea of fortress for a whole year, bringing everyone together, men and women,” Langerfeld said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Men’s 8: Kai Langerfeld, Anthony Linton, Josh Morris, Ross Bringgold, Will O’Connell, Gareth Lindstrom, Jon Chandler, Brendan Downey (coxswain Jane Gumley)
Men’s Lightweight 4: Connor McSweeny, Cam York, Jon Chandler, Brendan Downey (coxswain Jane Gumley)
Men’s Pair: Gareth Lindstrom and Will O’Connell
Men’s Lightweight Double: Lee Hall, Marc Verkyul
Men’s Single: Josh Morris
Men’s Lightweight Single: Marc Verkyul
Women’s 8: Claire McCormick, Ruby Walser, Teresa Berkholtz, Alyssa Weninger, Lara Kemp, Antje Von Seydlitz, Erika Shaw, Kayla Smith (coxswain Anna Brunizer)
Women’s LW 4: Stefanie Miklosovic, Ingrid Braul, Alex Meiklejohn, Leanne Fells (coxswain Cay-Lee Honey)
Women’s Pair: Erika Shaw, Kayla Smith
Women’s Lightweight Double: Leanne Fells, Alex Meiklejohn
Women’s Single: Antje von Seydlitz
Women’s Lightweight Single: Ingrid Braul
UVIC ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS
1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2010
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010
2008, 2009, 2011
2009, 2010, 2011