By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rowing team were back on the water for their first outdoor regatta of 2016 at the Head of the Shawnigan on Feb. 14. Highlights include the Vikes eights capturing first place for the second-straight season, while Daan Arscott won the men’s open single in his first time competing in it.
“The Vikes men have started to display a new physicality in their training and competition,” said Aalbert Van Schothorst, Vikes men’s rowing head coach. “The racing this weekend showed signs of the aggressive looseness needed to produce top-end speed and we plan to build on that moving forward.”
Also in heavyweight highlights, Sam Hogman and David Nicmans showed strong development over last year and stepped up to a varsity boat, in the men’s eight, for the first time at this regatta. The Vikes, coxed by Jacob Koudys, crossed in first place in a time of 20:02.79.
In the lightweights, fourth-year Vike Andrew Hendrickson was key in helping the lightweight men’s eight develop speed early into the spring season. The lightweight crew raced this past weekend without key rookie Patrick Keane who is currently at a Rowing Canada (RCA) lightweight camp. The lightweight men’s eight finished third overall.
The Vikes’ novice eight raced for the second time in their rowing careers and the crew had solid performances from athletes like Matt Rudd, who pulled a 6:25 at Monster Erg.
“This is an exciting crew to watch moving forward,” added Van Schothorst about the novices’ weekend performance. “Of the eight in the crew, there are two lightweights and six heavyweights who will help to drive the Vikes program over the next four years. All of our novice crews placed well against top junior crews from this area.”
Since the winter break the Vikes have been maximizing their time in a seven-day ranking and training camp on Elk Lake. Early rankings towards Brown Cup varsity and reserve boats will pin down 16-18 athletes that will compete in the Trial Eights this weekend, Feb. 21. The Brown Cup is set for Mar. 26 at Elk Lake, while this weekend’s Trial Eights is an internal event for the Vikes’ eights to square off on the Gorge waterway.
Other rankings identified the top lightweights driving torwards seats in the lightweight eights that will race the San Diego Crew Classic, which will take place Apr. 2-3.