Racing at last November’s RBC National Rowing Championships. Photo Katie Steenman Images courtesy of Rowing Canada Aviron.
Two weeks ago the action was taking place at Burnaby Lake. This weekend the excitement moves to Fanshawe Lake in London, Ontario.
The Eastern Spring Trials officially mark the end of the winter training season. It also provides a competitive regatta setting for the athletes to race one another while coaches establish a ranking in anticipation of crew selection for the summer racing season.
“The Spring Trials East is an important event leading to the eventual selection of our Senior National Team,” explained Peter Cookson, High Performance Director for Rowing Canada Aviron.
These trials, along with its western counterpart, are part of the overall selection process of the team that will represent Canada this summer in international competition.
These particular trials will feature prominently athletes based at the National Training Centre in London, Ontario. This includes the senior women’s team as well as the lightweight men’s team.
“We recently held a very successful Spring Trials West in Burnaby which provided an excellent opportunity for our western-based athletes to showcase themselves,” said Cookson.
“The Spring Trials to be held this weekend on Lake Fanshawe will provide the opportunity for our eastern based athletes to do the same.”
This summer is of particular importance to the Canadian rowing team. The World Championships, which are taking place on Lac Aiguebelette, France this September, will serve as the first chance for the team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games next summer.
The women’s team, under the direction of John Keogh, are eager to produce an eight that can unseat the powerful Americans who have dominated this event in recent years.
Not to be forgotten, the women’s sculling team is intent on regaining their swagger. Following a silver medal performance on the world stage in 2013, they finished in 6th place in the quadruple sculls event a year later in Amsterdam.
There is pride on the line and national team spots to be filled as the top rowers in the country go head to head this weekend.
Racing begins Saturday morning at 9:20 AM at Fanshawe Lake.