VICTORIA – A new wave of talented youth will make their splash with the University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing team as head coach Rick Crawley eagerly anticipates their first opportunity to showcase themselves at the upcoming Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, Aug. 6-13 in St. Catharines, Ont. A small but mighty contingent of women’s rowers are heading out East to match up with some of North America’s best crews.
“This group has been making steady progress throughout the summer and it will be interesting to see how they do as they are a young crew,” added head coach Crawley about his Vikes women’s team. “They raced well in the heavyweight events at the B.C. Championships recently so we are looking forward to see how they fare at Henley in lightweight competition.”
Eden Hardcastle is the team’s captain and she will race the senior lightweight double, senior quad, U23 four and U23 lightweight double.
“High caliber racing fuels fierce competition and creates an environment in which athletes of all ages thrive, especially those form this university,” were the strong words coming from Hardcastle about the regatta that enters its 135th edition. “UVic builds strong programs that produce impressive results, tenacious competitors and a solid reputation.”
“Training platforms forged in the spring and early summer are centered around maximum mileage and sprint work and are truly tested when it comes down to the line. These experiences teach beneficial lessons through which crews can develop and improve for important fall regattas such as the Canadian University Rowing Championships and the National Rowing Championships. ”
Hardcastle doesn’t shy away from the challenges that multi-day regatta on the other side of the country presents for her and her team mates.
“Racing for almost a week and sustaining athletic integrity during this time will definitely put a strain on our physical and mental states,” said Hardcastle, whose maturity was quick to show despite only entering her second year this fall. “New competition, jetlag, unpredictable weather and a change in atmosphere always pose as hurdles we have to jump. Additionally, as the crew attending from my team is made up entirely of lightweights, maintaining a weight with a strict upper limit for such a length of time can be strenuous. All this being said, UVic always rises to the occasion regardless of circumstance. The goal is always to learn, improve, and leave everything we’ve got on the racecourse.”
And there isn’t much more to be said than that. The Vikes will have three Under 23 boats and potentially two senior boats in the lightweight double and quad. Just four Vikes make up the crew that will race in up to five events at the regatta and they will be coached at the event by York Langerfeld, father to national team standout and former Vikes men’s rower Kai.
Senior Lightweight Double: Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle
Senior Quad: Hanah Taft, Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle, Emma Kelly
U23 Four: Hanah Taft, Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle, Emma Kelly
U23 Lightweight Pair: Hanah Taft, Emma Kelly
U23 Lightweight Double: Alanna Ward, Hanah Taft, Emma Kelly, Eden Hardcastle