Aug 2,2014(ISN) – Over 3000 rowers, coaches, umpires, volunteers and spectators from across North America will gather in St. Catharines for the 132nd Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Starting August 3rd, the week-long regatta welcomes rowers of all ages and this year, boasts the most entries in para-rowing events ever achieved.
“It’s brilliant to see so many para-rowers competing at the largest regatta in Canada,” said Paul Hawksworth, Rowing Canada Aviron’s Para-Rowing National Manager. “Accessing high level competition is crucial to the growth of para-rowing and I know that there will be some great racing on the final weekend.”
Canada’s top para-rowers will be in action on the final Saturday and Sunday of the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Two standouts are Loren Pearson of Victoria City Rowing Club and Elsa Lalonde of Ottawa Rowing Club. Both Loren and Elsa only took up para-rowing last August and are now arguably Canada’s top competitors in the Arms and Shoulders (AS) classification.
Joining them at the St. Catharines course will be several members of Canada’s lightweight men’s crews including Nicolas Pratt and Alex Walker who, together, have contested the lightweight men’s double at the recent World Rowing Cup circuit. They will compete individually in the single scull alongside Adam Bliss and Taylor Pluzak, who recently returned from Mexico City with a bronze and silver medal from the PanAm Festival in the men’s single and eight respectively.
St. Catharines native and member of Canada’s lightweight men’s four at the recent World Rowing Cups, Eric Woelfl will also be competing.
“The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta serves as a great opportunity to celebrate rowing with competitors from all over North America,” said Woelfl. “As a St. Catharines native, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to compete at the 132nd edition. And this year’s regatta is a fantastic way for St. Catharines to showcase what it is capable of for the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games!”
A highlight of the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is the Opening Ceremony. Taking place at 7:30pm (EST) on Monday, August 4, the regatta will toast 132 years with an amazing musical fireworks display that will light up the sky. Accompanied by wine tastings courtesy of Fielding Estate Winery, the event promises to be a fantastic evening for visitors and locals alike.