Thirty-three countries participated in the event at the world-class venue in challenging cross/head wind conditions. The all-star Canadian student-athlete team was selected in partnership by Rowing Canada’s High Performance Director and Development Coaches and coaches from the Canadian University Rowing Association.
UBC’s Alex Janzen rowed in the 2 seat of the 4- with crewmates from Brock, Princeton and Western, winning a come-from-behind silver medal by rowing back through the field after a slow start. Poland won the event just 2.3 seconds up on the charging Canadians.
UBC athletes held five seats in the men’s 8+. Current varsity team members Ben Coull, Eben Prevec, Ben de Wit, along with recent grads Robert Gage and Graeme Blaskovich powered the big boat with crewmates from Brock, Western, Victoria and Harvard to take bronze behind the hosts from France and winners from Great Britain.
“We found ourselves down after the start but executed our race plan and were committed to holding a solid rhythm in the strong cross/head wind,” said de Wit, a Master’s Applied Science student. “We battled with The Netherlands through the middle but started to move away from them in the third 500 metres of the race. We put together a final sprint but couldn’t catch France. We are all happy with how we raced today, and it is nice to come home with a bronze medal.”
UBC also had two athletes in the lightweight men’s 4-, Angus Todd and Aaron Lattimer, who partnered with athletes from Queen’s and Western. In a very tight lighweight field right through the regatta’s heats and repechage, Canada won the B Final to finish seventh overall. The LM4- event was won by France.
The FISU Thunderbirds return home this week to rejoin the team in preparation for the upcoming Western Canadian University Rowing Championships in Calgary Oct. 18.