Eight boats shine on Day 1 of university rowing nationals in Welland

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VICTORIA – The University of Victoria men’s and women’s rowing teams opened up the Canadian University Rowing Championships with some impressive results during time trials in Welland, Ontario on Saturday, highlighted by two first-place finishes by eight boats.

The women’s eight had a great day, racing a time of 6:39.3 to finish .6 seconds ahead of second-place UBC Thunderbirds. The next best finish came from the light women’s double sculls boat, which finished second in their category.

“The eight’s been going really well,” said Vikes owmen’s head coach Rick Crawley heading into the weekend. “Western and UBC in particular are very quick. Whether we can gain enough speed to catch them is the question.”

The lightweight women’s coxed four finished third in their category while the lightweight women’s double, lightweight women’s single and women’s single finished in fifth.

The heavy men showed up in full force on Saturday, picking up three first place finishes in the coxed eight, the double and the single sculls. It was an impressive performance for the heavy men on opening day.

“It’s always thought to come from the West to race crews you haven’t seen since last year at this time,” said head coach Aalbert Van Schothorst. “It’s great to come out on top of these time trials but the real work starts tomorrow.”

“This is a substantive performance in an incredibly tough field.”

With the men’s eight finishing first in their field, they’re in good position to make a mark in tomorrow’s race, which promises to be one of the most exciting of the day.

“The eight is going to be a barn burner- the race will be over almost before it starts with times going to that 5:45 mark,” said Van Schothorst. “The guys are going to have to go in loose and aggressive and capitalize on any opportunities that come their way.”

The light men also did their part, led by last year’s UVic Rookie of the Year Patrick Keane. Keane was part of each of the light men’s four, double sculls and single sculls boats that finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in their races.

The performance of the light men’s four was one that stood out to Schothorst in particular.

“There were three new faces in the boat with Christopher ClarkeAmir Harding and Freshman Idjen Cabral,” he said. “They all rose to the occasion in this international field which includes Olympians and Worlds athletes.”

MEN’S RESULTS

1st — Heavy Men’s 8+
1st – Heavy Men’s 2-
1st – Heavy Men’s 1x
3rd – Light Men’s 2x-
4th – Light Men’s 1x-
5th – Light Men’s 4-

WOMEN’S RESULTS

1st – Women’s 8+
2nd – Light women’s 2x
3rd – Lightweight women’s 4+
5th – Women’s 2-
5th – Lightweight women’s 1x
5th – Women’s 1x

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