June, 29, 2013 (ISN) – Canada’s women’s eight won on the first day of finals at the Koninklijke Holland Beker at the Bosbaan regatta course in the Netherlands.
The eight’s winning time was 6:15.42, New Zealand was second in 6:21.38, and a Dutch crew (Okeanos club) was third in 6:50.55.
This Canadian crew is Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON), Christine Roper (Victoria, BC), Sarah Black (Ottawa, ON), Natalie Mastracci (Thorold, ON), Susanne Grainger (London, ON), Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK), Jen Martins (Toronto, ON), Lisa Roman (Vancouver, ON), and coxswain Kristen Kit (St. Catharines, ON). Nurse and Mastracci were members of the 2012 Olympic silver-medal winning women’s eight.
“Today’s race went really well in terms of finding our race rhythm,” said Kit, who was the coxswain at last year’s Paralympic Games. “As a crew we really came together when we had another boat beside us – the Kiwis gave us a really good challenge in the first 750 m. We are looking forward to tomorrow because it’s an opportunity to test our speed against the Dutch and work on a more technical focus.”
Olympian Patricia Obee of Victoria, B.C., finished second in the lightweight women’s single in 07:48.94. Louise Ayling of New Zealand finished first in this event in 7:46.63.
Kingston native Nick Pratt was second in the lightweight men’s single in 07:09.10. Pedro Fraga of Portugal was first in 07:02.50
A new Canadian men’s double combination of Mike Harowicz (Oakville, ON) and Josh Morris (Victoria, BC) finished second in the men’s double in 06:34.35. A Dutch crew finished first.
The men’s quad was also second (5:53.42) to the Netherlands (5:51.00). This year’s men’s quad is Jamie Abbass (Happy Valley – Goose Bay, NFLD), Mike Braithwaite (Duncan, BC), Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB), and Matthew Buie (Duntroon, ON).
Canadian crews were second (06:08.05) and third (06:13.00) in the men’s four. The heavyweight crew – Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC), Steve Van Knotsenburg (Beamsville, ON), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) and Olympic medalist Will Crothers of Kingston, Ont. – was second in 06:08.05. The Dutch finished first in this event in 05:58.00.
Canada’s lightweight men’s four, rowing in this open weight event, is Rares Crisan (Mississauga, ON), Brendan Hodge (Delta, BC) , Eric Woelfl (St. Catharines, ON), Graham Schenck (St. Catharines) and they finished in third in 06:13.00.
The women’s double of Emily Cameron (Summerside, PEI) and Kerry Shaffer (Welland, ON) finished third in 07:06.99. Crews from New Zealand finished first and second. New Zealand’s Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson won the event in 6:57.35, with another crew from that same country in second in 7:04.89.
The women’s four was third in 6:50.83. This crew is Susanne Grainger (London, ON), Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK), Jen Martins (Toronto, ON) and Lisa Roman (Vancouver, ON). Dutch crews were first and second in this event.
The women’s quad was also third (06:29.89). This crew is Antje Von Seydlitz (Smithers, BC), Alyssa Weninger (Unity, SK), Rosie DeBoef (Victoria, BC), and Kate Goodfellow (Ottawa, ON). The Netherlands (6:25.06) national team, and New Zealand (6:28.30) were first and second respectively.
“It was our first racing experience as a team this year, and a good kick-start to our European tour leading to World Cup 3 in two weeks,” said High Performance Director, Peter Cookson. “Each of the crews that raced today have taken something away from it to build on for tomorrow’s races and for the World Cup. It wasn’t easy for them coming over to Europe just a few days ago and then having their first race of the season. So all in all, encouraging, but still a lot of work to do.”
The Holland Beker has a two-day finals format, which means that Canada will have another shot at the podium on Sunday. The regatta attracts national and international crews, including Olympic medalist single scullers Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand and Mirka Knapkova of Czech Republic at this year’s event.