The last regatta of the 2015 season gets underway this weekend. The week long 2015 World Rowing Championships will begin this Sunday, August 30th, and will run through to next Sunday, September 6th.
A record 1300 athletes from 77 countries will be lining up to race for the coveted world titles that are at stake at this year’s most prestigious rowing event.
The Canadian team has spent the last two weeks at a pre-worlds training camp in Italy. At the beginning of this week, the team relocated to France. These last few days before the regatta will be spent training on Lac d’Aiguebelette, the location of this year’s Championships, getting a feel for the rowing course.
These Championships double as a qualification regatta for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics that are taking place next summer. This is the first chance for crews to book their tickets to the prestigious multi-sport events that are happening in 2016. Qualifying next week will allow crews to spend the ensuing 12 months preparing for Rio instead of having to focus on qualifying next summer at a subsequent qualifier, only weeks before the Games.
Canada has twelve entries at this regatta: 10 Olympic class events, 1 Paralympic event and 1 international event (the international events are a part of the World Cup and World Championship programs but are not included in the Olympic program).
Lindsay Jennerich, who is the reigning 2014 World silver medalist in the lightweight women’s double, is positive about the upcoming week.
“Our final preparations have been going quite well,” she explained from Italy. “We have had a solid block of training since World Cup 2 and we are feeling much more ready for racing than we felt before. I’m happy with where we are.”
Jennerich has had a disappointing season thus far and is looking for redemption next week on the aqua blue mountain waters of Lac d’Aiguebelette.
The women’s eight which won a gold this year at World Cup 3 in Switzerland, albeit in the absence of the dominant U.S. crew, is determined to dethrone their Southern neighbors next week. The Americans have been dominant in this event in recent years and have thus far stubbornly refused to step aside when lined up against Canada.
Cristy Nurse is one of the few athletes on the Canadian team who will be racing in two events at this regatta. Next week, she will rely not only on her training and her teammates to propel her down the racecourse in pursuit of gold, but also on the Canadians in the stands.
“I am lucky to have both my mom and sister coming to France to support me,” explained Nurse. “It sounds like there will be a large contingent of parents in attendance in France so we should be well represented in Aiguebelette!”
The last time Lac d’Aiguebelette hosted the World Championships was in 1997. More recently the rowing venue hosted World Rowing Cup II in 2014.
Racing gets underway on Sunday, August 30th at 10 AM local time.
For a list of Canadian crews and athletes competing next week in France, click here.
Click here for a provisional schedule of racing.
Click here for individual athlete biographies.