In 2013, the Canadian University Rowing Association explored the possibility of hosting the Canadian University Championships for the first time east of Montreal. After much work on the part of Katie Edwards, StFX Rowing, and the surrounding Antigonish community, it was decided that the 2015 CURC regatta will be held in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, for the first time in its history.
The approaching spring season holds many exciting milestones in the development of the facility. The installation of the final buoy lines, starting platforms, start and finish infrastructure are all a part of the intended legacy that will allow Antigonish to host many more events in the future.
‘The St. FX Rowing Club, in conjunction with St. Francis Xavier University and the community of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, is thrilled to welcome the nation’s best university rowers to the East Coast in 2015’ said Katie Edwards, head coach of the respective program. ‘Our newly-established facility on Lochaber is unique in Atlantic Canada, and hosting events here presents key development opportunities for the sport. Competitive rowers now have the chance to row on a new 2km race course and would-be rowers can witness university racing in their backyard.’
Edwards went on to say: ‘I am particularly excited to not only host a successful regatta, but also to give other Canadians a real taste of the East Coast! Visitors can expect a cultural experience they won’t soon forget! Lobster, fiddle music, and bagpipes will all make appearances.’
The communities of Lochaber and Antigonish have provided phenomenal support to nurture the growth of the local club. Regattas have been flooded with volunteers, from safety boat drivers to the senior women of Lochaber hosting luncheons. In a visible example of community engagement, during the CanAmMex regatta of 2014, the mailboxes along the route from Antigonish to Lochaber proudly displayed Canadian flags. Those flags will most certainly be partnered with StFX flags this fall.
The Canadian University Rowing Championship have taken place annually since 1997. Last year, the regatta was held at Elk Lake, Victoria, hosted by the University of Victoria. Twenty-four Universities from coast to coast participated.