2013 National Rowing Championships begin Friday in Welland

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November 7, 2013 (ISN) – The annual National Rowing Championships will be held this weekend (Nov. 08 to 10) at the Welland International Flatwater Centre in Welland, Ontario.

Canada’s top rowing athletes in junior, under 23, senior and Para categories are competing in small boats to potentially be named national champion, and evaluated for national team consideration.

“The event provides an opportunity for athletes to be identified and assessed for future national teams,” explains Rowing Canada Aviron High Performance Director, Peter Cookson.

“Next year will be busy for Canadian rowing. On top of the Senior, Under 23 and Junior World Championships, we will be selecting crews and athletes for the FISU (university) Championships and the Commonwealth Championships. We have also been invited, for the first time, to participate in the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China. The results from the NRCs will assist in the identification of many of the athletes that will be invited to selection camps for these events.”

National Training Centre athletes competing include 2013 World and U23 medalist Carling Zeeman (Cambridge, ON) in the women’s single against her crew mates from the 2013 World silver medal quad, Antje von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (Smithers, BC) and Kate Goodfellow (Perth, ON). Fellow national training centre and local Welland athlete Kerry Shaffer will also be contending for the women’s single title. In the lightweight women’s single, Lindsay Sferrazza (St. Catharines, ON) is a top local contender training at the women’s centre in London, Ontario.

The women’s pair event sees the return of Olympic silver medalist Ashley Brzozowicz (Peterborough, ON) with 2012 teammate Natalie Mastracci, who is from nearby Thorold, ON.

2013 World Team members Eric Woelfl of St. Catharines, ON, and Brendan Hodge of Delta, BC, are again competing together in the lightweight men’s pair, and fellow 2013 National senior team member Nick Pratt (Kingston, ON) will be one to watch in the lightweight single event.

The heavyweight men’s single features 67 entries, including Olympic silver medalist (men’s eight) Robert Gibson, a Kingston, Ontario, native. Gibson’s Olympic crewmate, 2012 medalist Will Crothers, also from Kingston, is sticking to sweep rowing, paired up with Kai Langerfeld of Parskville, BC.

Twenty-three athletes from Rowing Canada’s Row to Podium talent id and development program will also be racing this weekend.

2012 Paralympian David Blair of Ottawa, ON, will be part of Sunday’s Para-rowing races, along with several up and comers who may be challenging for spots in the next Games.

Racing will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday with all medal ceremonies occurring on Sunday after the conclusion of the final race. Sunday’s racing will be completed by approximately 1 pm, and the final day of racing will also consist of Para-rowing events (rowing for people with disabilities). All races will be 2000 metres, with the exception of the Para events that are raced over 1000m.

The NRC typically is held in Eastern Canada every second year; in 2012 it was hosted by the Victoria City Rowing Club at Elk Lake, Victoria, BC.

This year’s regatta is run in partnership with the Welland Recreational Canal Corp, RowOntario and Rowing Canada Aviron.

Complete entries and results (when available) are hosted here: