By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications
March 4, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In the 39th annual Elk Lake Spring Regatta, hosted by the University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s rowing teams, the Vikes men and women battled varied weather conditions to post several impressive results against a number of top club boats as the regatta tallied a record number of entries.
With a mixed weather weekend that included challenging conditions on Saturday and sunny, blue skies on Sunday, the UVic men’s and women’s rowing teams had a number of successful finishes on the waters of Elk Lake.
With the Vikes women playing an integral role in the hosting of the event, they were performing double duty as both competitors and regatta personnel.
“They do everything from setting up and taking down the course, to driving for the referees and the safety boats and running the concession,” said Rick Crawley, head coach of the Vikes women’s rowing team. “After all that they still go out there and race hard each and every race. I think they are a little tired by Sunday evening but we can be proud of the fact that we consistently run one of the best regattas in B.C. and they are one of the top performing programs in Canada.”
Although down in numbers and sporting somewhat of a different crew as to the one that won their third Canadian University Rowing Championship title in the fall, the varsity four of coxswain Kim Hawker, stroke Madeline Spangehl (White Rock, BC), three-seat Elizabeth McConnell (St. Albert, AB), two-seat Rebecca Zimmerman and bow Claire McCormick (Vancouver, BC), rowed a gutsy race and pushed out a two-second win over a tightly packed field.
“We had a number of athletes move on after the fall and we are in the process of finding our speed right now,” said Crawley. “The eight was about a boat length back of UBC in the final but looked very strong coming off the finish line while our four obviously did quite well.”
Another notable finish for the women came from Renae Barks (Regina, SK) and Zimmerman as the duo came second in the women’s open pairs with their time of 7:58.7. Slotting in at third was the combination of Spangehl and Stefanie Miklosovic (Yellowknife, NWT) racing to a time of 8:05.4. The two UVic boats were just edged out of the top spot by the University of British Columbia’s time of 7:48.6.
Third-year Emily Garry (Victoria, B.C.) did well to finish third in the lightweight women’s single with a time of 8:12.7. In the lead was a boat from the Seattle Rowing Club at 7:55.7 while in second was the University of British Columbia, 7:56.8. Additionally, in the open women’s pair, the UVic women came in second with their time of 8:13.9.
On the men’s side, the varsity eights took second place behind UBC as they posted a time of 6:04.1.
“I’m pleased with the efforts of our eight,” said Vikes men’s rowing head coach Howie Campbell. “They dogged UBC down the course but UBC was able to punch out to a 2.3 second win with a good push in the final 500-m.”
In the lightweight men’s pair UVic took another second place finish with their time of 7:07.6 while in the open men’s pair UVic came third at 7:05.0.
Next up for the Vikes rowing teams is the Oregon State Dual on Mar. 9 at Elk Lake.