Lightweight women lead the charge at Royal Canadian Henley

By Melissa Fraser, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – Eight University of Victoria Vikes women were sent off to compete in the 133rd Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catherines, Ont. from Aug. 2-9. The lightweight women led the charge for the Vikes, bringing home a total of three gold and three silver medals. In the efficiency trophy rankings, the Vikes women and men placed fifth overall.

The event started off strong for the lightweight women, with both Deborah Snell and Cate Whitemaking it into the U23 women’s lightweight singles final. Fighting asthma brought on by the dry hazy air, Snell was unable to catch up to Ottawa (8:19) but held on to her second place position to edge out Kingston. White followed closely behind and clocked in at 8:30 for a fourth place finish.
Teammates Jessica Bateman and Lauren Goforth were next to hit the podium, winning the women’s senior lightweight pair after crossing in at 8:57. An hour later the two competed together again in the U23 women’s lightwight pair where they finished second behind Mercer.
The next day, Snell and White teamed up again for the U23 women’s lighweight double pair. Fighting against strong headwinds and fast charging Cambridge and Ottawa crews, the pair was able to capture gold, an achievement they also made at last year’s regatta.
In the senior women’s lightweight quad, Snell and White teamed up with Bateman and Goforth for an intense race but fell short in the sprint to finish 1.8 seconds behind the Ottawa crew (7:48.59).
The four joined up again less than 40 minutes later for the U23 women’s lightweight four where they led the pack in a time of 7:54 to capture their third gold medal of the regatta. Mercer finished 11 seconds later and Mendota followed 27 second behind.
On the heavyweight side, the regatta was a good experience to test some new crew combinations.
Courtney Smith and Jillian Legare raced together in the senior women’s pair, U23 women’s pair, and the women’s championship pair, with their best showing being a seventh place in the Champ Pair.
Sculling newcomer Maxine Chapman made it to the semifinals in her U23 women’s single scull event but was unable to advance to the final. She later joined up with returning FISU Games rower Beth McConnell to race the senior women’s double sculls, but they were also knocked out of contention in the semis.
At the end of the regatta Smith, Legare, Chapman, and McConnell joined with UBC to race the championship eight where they placed third behind the American and Canadian all-stars crews.
U23 Lightweight Four and Senior Lightweight Quad
stroke: Cate White
3              Deborah Snell
2              Jessica Bateman
bow       Lauren Goforth
U23 Lightweight women’s pair and Senior Lightweight women’s pair
stroke:  Jessica Bateman
bow:      Lauren Goforth
U23 lightweight women’s double
stroke:  Cate White
bow:      Deborah Snell
U23 lightweight women’s single
Deborah Snell (2nd)
Cate White (4th )
U23, Senior and Championship Pair
stroke:  Courtney Smith
bow:      Jillian Legare
Senior Double:
stroke;  Elizabeth McConnell       (also rowed Senior single and Champ single)
bow;      Maxine Chapman            (also rowed Senior single and U23 single)

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