Vikes look to continue championship tradition at home

vk row

by Ardy Ramezani, 

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes rowing program will host the Canadian University Rowing Championships (CURC) at Elk Lake from Nov.1-2. The Vikes women look to continue their championship-winning tradition by returning the banner home following a fourth-place finish last year.


The Vikes women’s crews started their season by travelling to Calgary, Alta. on Oct. 18 for the Western Canadian University Rowing Championship where the women finished in second in the standings, alongside the Vikes men. They women’s crews then returned home to host the annual back-to-back Head of the Gorge and Tail of the Gorge regattas the following week in prepartion of the championships.

When UVic last hosted the championship at Elk Lake in 2010, the Vikes won the banner and defended their champion status for the following two years until the graduation of most of their senior rowers. Last year, their championship-winning streak ended as the young roster of Vikes finished in fourth-place.

“It will be a tough battle, often coming down to the final race of the day,” said women’s rowing manager and recent grad of the program, Anna Braunizer. “But we look to be banner victors this year”.

The women’s lightweight four of third-year Cate White and first-year Deborah Snell look to continue their success following first-place finishes in the lightweight women’s double and lightweight four which included team mates Amanda Pomphrey, Emily Garry, Deborah Snell and coxswain Cassidy Fernandes. The women’s pair of third-year Becca Zimmerman and fourth-year Madeline Spangehl will also to look to repeat similiar first-place success while the women’s eight which placed second behind UBC at the WCURC will aim to win at home.

“Since the WCRUC we have made some minor squad changes which have made our boats faster and we are looking to bring the banner back home on home turf,” adds Braunizer.

Since the Canadian University Rowing Championships’ conception in 1997, the Vikes women’s rowing program has won the banner 11 times. The Vikes won the event every year from 1997-2003 and look to continue their dominance in the waters this year.

The first race of the CURC will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, Nov. 1 and at the same time the following day for the finals.

Vikes women’s rowing crews:

1x: Beth McConnell
Lwt 1x: Emily Garry
8+: Kirsten McKay, Catherine Slamka, Beth McConnell, Maxine Chapman, Jillian Legare, Erin Moen, Madeline Spangehl, Becca Zimmerman, Becky Wilder
Lwt 2x: Deborah Snell, Cate White
2-: Madeline Spangehl, Becca Zimmermann
Lwt 4+: Deborah Snell, Emily Garry, Amanda Pomphrey, Cate White, Cassidy Fernandes