By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes rowing teams will host the 41st annual Elk Lake Spring Regatta on Mar. 7-8. Prior to the regatta races in the afternoon, a Vikes men’s fleet will take on Oregon State University in their annual head-to-head meeting, also at Elk Lake.
“We are hosting this weekend to bring communities together in a well-respected and competitive racing event,” said Aalbert Van Schothorst, Vikes men’s rowing head coach, who is at the helm of the spring regatta for the second time in his tenure. “It will also be a nice early season tune up to get a sense of where we are at.”
On the men’s team, fifth-year Victoria native Lee Hall will suit up for the single, while Andrew Hendrickson, bronze medallist in the 2014 Canadian University Rowing Championship (CURC) lightweight coxed four, will race the straight quad with Harrison Backer, Eric Laurin and new addition Daan Arscott.
Among the varsity men’s eights are Sam Horn, Alex Walker, Connor McGuigan, Brett Larson, Elyas Forstbauer, Mark Davies, Christopher Marshall, Adam Donaldson and cox Jacob Koudys. Larson will be in place of Maxim Ellison who was part of the same crew that powered their way to a gold medal at the CURC last November. The eights will look to claim another win on home waters this spring.
The Oregon Dual will take place on Saturday and Sunday morning and will feature the familiar men’s eights crew as well as the men’s coxed four. The UVic-OSU Dual tradition dates back over 30 years and the friendly rivalry between the two teams produces some of the fastest racing events each year.
“Oregon has a strong crew and we value the opportunity to race with them as we look to build on our speed in the upcoming year,” added Van Schothorst.
The women’s team will not race against Oregon this year, but are sure to place strong finishes in their first regatta of the spring season. Madeline Spangehl and Becca Zimmerman will be competing in the women’s pair after the duo finished first in last year’s western CURC and second at the 2014 national CURCs.
2015 Rowing Canada’s Sculler of the Year Deborah Snell returns with teammate Cate White in the lightweight women’s double, while this year’s coxed four will comprise of Spangehl, Zimmerman, Jillian Legare, Alex Bovell and cox Becky Wilder.
Third year Wilder will also be coxing the women’s eights along with Snell, White, Spangehl, Bovell, Legare, Zimmerman, Beth McConnell and Erin Moen.
“I expect it to be competitive on the field especially with UBC, who have a really good crew,” said Rick Crawley, Vikes women’s rowing head coach. “We just have to focus on racing and get the results we are looking for.”
The spring regatta will take place at Elk Lake, Mar. 7-8, with event heats beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. Finals are set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday and admission is free for spectators. Finals for the UVic-Oregon dual start at 9:20 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.