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July 14,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes rowing crews take full advantage of the summer weather with several events keeping them prepared for the 2014-15 varsity season. Several of the Vikes were competing in the Challenge West BC Championships hosted this weekend, Jul. 11-13, at Victoria’s Elk Lake.


Following Saturday’s results, three Vikes made the Open women’s single final. Vike Olivia King was edged by Victoria City Rowing Club’s (VCRC) Trish Mara, who took gold in 8.10.9. King crossed the line in 8.11.3, while team mates and under 23 lightweight scullers Deborah Snell and Cate White finished third and fifth, respectively.

In the senior women’s four the UVic crew of Rebecca Zimmerman, Beth McConnell, Jillian Legare and Jessica Stewart stole the show, winning by open water over UBC in 7:03.2. The Thunderbirds timed in at 7.09.7, while a second Vikes’ four sealed third place in 7:16.6.

The following day the Vikes contingency dominated time trials and all three doubles qualified for the A final. The under 23 lightweight double of White and Snell were a force, dominating the event by a 10-second margin.

In the open pair, Zimmerman and Stewart took gold over UBC with a five-second gap, while Legare and Emma Kolbuc finished sixth. Maxine Chapman and McConnell went on to win the B Final.

The solid results at the BC Championship showcase a strong Vikes women’s crew leading into the upcoming Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, hosted Aug. 5-10 in St. Catherines.

“We have some really good crews going East (to the Henley),” said Rick Crawley, Vikes women’s rowing head coach. “I expect to be challenging for gold in a few events. The emphasis has been on small boats, lots of miles and using the summer to gain momentum and experience heading into the fall and, of course, the goal of reclaiming the university championship banner.”

The Henley regatta will be the 132nd edition since it’s inauguration in 1903 and has growing to be come the largest professional rowing tournament in North America. For more information on the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta click here.