Vikes rowers cross-country bound for prestigious Canadian regatta


Aug 4,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is one of the few events of its kind that has been around for over a century. The University of Victoria Vikes rowing teams will venture east to St. Catharines, Ont. to compete in the 132nd annual event hosted this year Aug. 5-10. Around since 1903, this is one of the largest amateur rowing tournaments in North America with typically over 2,000 rowers from over 150 clubs competing.

“The group will gain some much-needed racing experience going to the line in two events with opportunities for heats, semis and finals in each event,” said Aalbert van Schothorst, who took over the men’s head coaching duties for Howie Campbell last Spring. “This is the largest and most diverse group we have taken in a number of years with both heavyweights and lightweights fighting for top finals in their categories.

The Vikes men will have several crews in the Under-23 categories, while Nickolas Lee will be the lone Vike competing in a senior event in the men’s 64-kg single. The summer progress of Sean DecterConnor McGuigan and Christopher Marshall are likely to be positive forecasts for this coming week’s results.

The Royal Canadian Henley is one of the five major regattas that most athletes aspire to race in including Royal English Henley, Head of the Charles, the Olympics, and one of the major intercollegiate boat races like the Oxford Cambridge boat race. 

The regatta awards only first-place medals at the champions grandstand with all other boats returning to Henley Island. Top competitors get eliminated in heats with no opportunity of a repechage, which gives second opportunities to top crews who did not advance in the heats.

 “The Henley is the climax of our summer training and obviously everyone has their own goals at this event but ultimately our goal is to carry this into the (Canadian University Rowing Championship) in the fall,” said Rick Crawley, Vikes women’s rowing head coach. “We will go in there with the mindset that you can look around and see speed in everyone around you if you want to but you can also just go in there and be you and if you are doing that

For the women, this event is likely a turn-around point after last season the team lost several members of the 2012 national championship winning team. This year, not only does Crawley think the women have a good chance of capturing the University national title but the team will also get a chance to do it on home water. The Canadian Univeristy Rowing Championship will take place this coming November at Victoria’s Elk Lake.

“Hosting nationals is nice because our entire team will be involved with running the event,” added Crawley. “Obviously Aalbert and I will have to manage our time well so we can focus on coaching our crews but it will still be great for all of our crews to compete on familiar territory and have lots of support.”

Crawley and assistant coach Gillian Eeles left Victoria Jul. 29 and are currently driving the five-day route to Ontario through the United States. The pair are towing over 30 boats that will be used by all the B.C. entered teams at the Henley.

“This event is early in the season for us and is an opportunity to test racing profiles and modify them based on strengths and weaknesses that show up,” adds Van Schothorst. “The crew is not fully set for the fall but many of the athletes that are strong contenders for varsity seats are attending the regatta. Other strong athletes will return from World Championships (Alex Walker) and Commonwealth games (Lee Hall) or from competing at their home clubs like our captain Sam Garber has done in Calgary this summer. Athletes will come home with a strong racing experience that will then shape their training moving forward.”

The Henley begins Aug. 5 and runs through until Aug. 10. Live stream and web videos of the start and finish lines will also be available online through the event website

Men’s Rowing Entries
Women’s Rowing Entries
Senior Mens 64kg Single – R.G. ‘Bob’ Dibble Memorial Cup
Nickolas Lee
U23 Mens Double – Bill & Harry Trophy 
Samuel HogmanEric Laurin                            
Jamie Ferguson, Elyas Forstbauer 
U23 Mens Ltwt Single – Theo Dubois Trophy 
Andrew Hendrickson
U23 Mens Single – W.G. ‘Bill’ Crawford Memorial Trophy  
Sean DecterConnor McGuiganMark Davies                                                                                         
U23 Mens Eight – Wyandotte Trophy        
Soley Pitre, Sam HornMark DaviesConnor McGuiganElyas ForstbauerMaxim Ellison,Christopher MarshallAdam DonaldsonSean Decter   
U23 Mens Quad – Captain Charles E. Hooper Memorial 
Samuel Hogman, Jamie Ferguson, Eric LaurinMark Davies         
U23 Mens Ltwt Double – Thomas Croston Trophy 
Nickolas Lee, Andrew Hendrickson
U23 Mens Pair – Bennett-Hogan Award
Christopher MarshallAdam Donaldson    
Sam HornMaxim Ellison                  
Jamie Ferguson, Elyas Forstbauer 
U23 Mens Straight Four – Rodger Sellars Trophy -Athens
Sam HornMaxim EllisonAdam Donaldson,Christopher Marshall       
U23 Mens Ltwt Pair – Tyler King Memorial Trophy 
Andrew Hendrickson, Nickolas Lee
Senior Women’s Pair
Rebecca Zimmerman, Jessica Stewart
Senior Women’s Four
Rebecca ZimmermanElizabeth McConnellJillian Legare, Jessica Stewart
Senior Women’s Quad
Rebecca Zimmerman, Deborah Snell, Alex Bovel,Cate White
Senior Single
Olivia King
U23 Four
Maxine Chapman, Emma Kolbuk, Jillian Legare,Elizabeth McConnell
U23 Pairs
Jillian Legare & Emma Kolbuk
Maxine Chapman & Elizabeth McConnell
U23 Ltwt Double
Deborah Snell & Cate White
U23 Ltwt Single
Deborah Snell
Cate White
U23 Single
Olivia King
Alex Bovel

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