Pictured: Emily Cameron, Kate Goodfellow, Carling Zeeman & Antje von Sedylitz-Kurzbach. Credit: Katie Steenman Images
Canada wrapped up a convincing day of racing at the 2014 World Rowing Championships, which began today.
The notoriously windy and fast Bosbaan course, located on the outskirts of Amsterdam, once again did not disappoint. Speedy times were posted throughout the day in every event class.
Eight Canadian crews were in action today. They were all vying for berths in the next round of their respective events.
Teresa Berkholtz, in her first World Championships race, started the day for Canada in the lightweight women’s single. Coached by Michelle Darvill, Teresa finished second in her heat, qualifying for the semifinal along with Greece and South Africa.
In the women’s pair, Jennifer Martins and Kristin Bauder, who are coached by Tom Morris, finished third in their heat, qualifying for the semifinal with Ireland and a fast British crew.
“It was messy and rough,” explained Martins, referring to the water conditions, “but we got the job done.”
The lightweight men’s double of Nicolas Pratt and Alexander Walker finished fourth in their heat today.
“It was a good first race,” Pratt said following the race. “We just have to do a better job of capitalizing on some of our opportunities.” Pratt and Walker progress directly to Wednesday’s quarterfinal. The French double, which raced the previous heat, set a world’s best time for the event by more than a second.
In the competitive lightweight women’s event, only one crew per heat progressed directly to the semifinal. Vancouver Island athletes Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, finishing third, must qualify for Thursday’s semifinal through Tuesday’s repechage (rep). The rep is the second chance offered to crews to qualify for the next round.
“I’m disappointed that we missed this opportunity to perform,” explained Jennerich. “We have to find that balance between being relaxed and harnessing the nerves.”
Jennerich and Obee finished third last month at the World Cup in Lucerne.
In the hotly contested men’s four event, Canada’s crew of Will Crothers, Rob Gibson, Conlin McCabe and Kai Langerfeld secured their semifinal berth by placing second in their heat. After a slow start, the four men worked their way back into a qualifying position.
“Our starts have been inconsistent,” Gibson said after getting off the water. “But we stayed relaxed and got into a good rhythm and stayed composed, we did our own thing.”
Greece won the heat, beating Canada by 0.91 seconds. Both crews race the semifinal on Thursday.
The women’s quad event was led by Canada right until the end. The Americans pushed past the Canadians, who are coached as well by Tom Morris, in the final quarter. Along with The Netherlands, the USA and Canada all progress directly to the semifinal. Emily Cameron, Kate Goodfellow, Carling Zeeman and Antje von Seydlitz-Kurzback were silver medalists from last year’s World Championships and are eager to step onto the top spot on the podium this year.
“We had a good race,” Cameron said, “It’s a good starting point. We will move forward from here.”
The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Pascal Lussier, Michael Braithwaite, Will Dean and Matthew Buie, coached by Howie Campbell, finished fourth in their heat. A fast Ukrainian crew battled the Germans for the two qualifying spots for the semifinal. The Canadians must now qualify through the repechage.
Wrapping up the day’s racing and winning his heat was Julien Bahain, in the men’s single. With 31 crews, this event has the most entries of the Championships.
“The conditions were rough,” Julien said, “I think that was an advantage for me. I felt in control of the race, that’s a good feeling. But it’s a long week, anything can happen.”
Julien resumes racing on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Three more Canadian crews start racing tomorrow. The action begins in the afternoon and windy conditions are expected once again.
Online streaming with audio commentary for the racing will be available throughout the week of competition at www.worldrowing.com.
Live video streaming for the Olympic class events will be available from August 28 – 31 at www.worldrowing.com.
The semi-finals and finals are scheduled to air on Rogers SportsNet One from August 28 – 31.
Athlete biographies of Canada’s national rowing team are available at www.rowingcanada.org.