A women’s quadruple sculls crew in action from the University of the Fraser Valley. Photo: Liz Chisholm.
As classes resume, so do the Canadian university rowing programs at institutions across the country. From every province, rowing programs are launching into their autumn competitive season. This year, the regatta schedule will culminate in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, at the Canadian University Rowing Championships on October 31st and November 1st.
A diverse group of athletes will descend on this maritime town, bringing with them their varied rowing pedigrees as they now switch gears and compete to become CURA champions. Whether they rowed this summer for their home rowing clubs at regional regattas or the Canadian Henley regatta, or raced for Canada at the FISU, World Junior or World under 23 Championships, they will now don their university crests and try to win titles in their respective college crews.
This year promises another exciting and competitive edition of the season ending CURA regatta as it celebrates its 18th year.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) will return as the defending champions of the men’s team category. With student-athletes such as Aaron Lattimer, who finished 7th at the World U23 Rowing Championships in the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls event this past July, the team is looking strong again this year.
UBC Head Coach Mike Pearce is constantly trying to maintain an edge over his competitors in a country full of talented rowing programs.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our program and move forward. We are consistently trying to fortify our strengths and fill the gaps in preparation for the big event. ”
Pearce coaches the men’s program, while Craig Pond is in charge of the women’s program, at British Columbia’s oldest institution of higher learning.
On the women’s side, Western University returns with another strong team but will have to defend the title against the University of Victoria, UBC and Queen’s University.
Jill Moffatt, current member of the lightweight women’s team at Western, raced for Canada this summer in the lightweight women’s double at the World U23 Championships with crewmate Larissa Werbicki. Despite having competed on the world stage, Moffatt is eagerly anticipating this particular Canadian regatta.
“Our women’s team has had great success the past two years at CU’s,” explained Moffatt. “This has created an environment where we try to push the envelope in terms of what we can do and what we expect of each other, always trying to do more. We can’t wait to race.”
All races in Antigonish will be highly contested affairs as Laurentian, McMaster, McGill and Trent will arrive in Nova Scotia with current medalists from various recent world competitions on their respective rosters.