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Close Racing at 132nd Annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta

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Canada’s two Senior National lightweight men’s crews were honing race strategies in St. Catharines, Ontario ahead of the 2014 World Rowing Championships which start in 10 days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Contesting the Championship men’s pair event, the lightweight men’s four split into two pairs. After posting almost identical times in separate heats, the crew of Maxwell Lattimer and Evan Cheng lined up in the starting gates Sunday morning to race fellow crewmates in the four Brendan Hodge and local St. Catharines athlete Eric Woelfl.

Having won the event last year, Hodge and Woelfl were keen to defend their title.  However, it was the British Columbia duo of Lattimer and Cheng who crossed the line first, less than a second ahead of their lightweight four crewmates.

Later in the day, several members of the London Training Centre contested the Championship men’s single. Last year’s winner, Nicolas Pratt of the Kingston Rowing Club, joined Alexander Walker and Taylor Pluzak at the start line.  These three athletes broke away from the rest of the field with Pratt crossing the line first and taking the title once again for the second year in a row.  Pratt and Walker will race the lightweight men’s double in Amsterdam.

To conclude a busy day of racing, a composite crew of various athletes from the London Training Centre came together to race the Championship men’s eight. The crew was made up of the senior national lightweight men’s four, under-23 World Rowing bronze medallists Grayson Gray and James Meyers, and Mark Henry and Ian Connell.  Kristen Kit coxed the crew against a field of international club entries.

Racing was close over most of the racecourse with six of the seven boats staying within reach of one another. In the final stretch, it was the Sydney University Boat Club of Australia that pulled away, crossing the line three seconds ahead of the Mendota Rowing Club of Wisconsin, followed by the London Training Centre composite crew.

With no time to waste, the senior lightweight men’s team left for Italy the following day.  They are attending a pre-world championship training camp with the remaining members of the Canadian National Rowing Team.

To learn more about the lightweight men representing Canada at this year’s World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, visit athlete bios at rowingcanada.org.

Stay up to date with the Canadian National Rowing squad on Twitter and Facebook.

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