VICTORIA – Four Vikes rowers and head coach Rick Crawley travelled to Poznan, Poland, for the FISU World Championships over the weekend, coming away with no podium finishes but some valuable international experience.
On a blustery Sunday in Poznan things looked promising for team Canada, with seven of ten boats qualifying for A finals. However with the exception of former Vike Trish Mara, who was the bronze medalist in the lightweight women’s single, it was near misses for the podium.
“This was a young inexperienced team and the kids battled hard,” said Vikes women’s coach and Canadian team leader Rick Crawley. “The level of competition was very high with U23’s and Olympians competing in various events.”
Current Vikes Becca Zimmerman and Olivia King looked like potential medalists in the women’s four, along with McMaster’s Darcy Arends and Western’s Marilyse Dubois, but they were out battled by Germany, Italy and Britain for medals and nipped at the line by Poland ending up in fifth. Despite the high hopes this was a good result for the boatload of first time national teamers.
The young Vikes men’s pair showed some early speed in their races but couldn’t hold onto the field. Eventually, Mark Davies and Adam Donaldson raced to 5th in the B final in the very competitive men’s pair event.
Other results saw the lightweight men’s single place fourth overall, the men’s single fifth, the men’s double fifth, the men’s four sixth and the women’s double sixth.
“The Polish team featured as many Olympians as they had eligible wanting to showcase their squad at home and other countries also peppered their squads with experience,” said Crawley. “The event was well organized and Poznan was a beautiful city with an amazing course for hosting.”