Six new annual trophies will be awarded for the first time this weekend at the 2019 RCA National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup in Burnaby, BC.
Commissioned by RCA President Carol Purcer and CEO Terry Dillon, the trophies were designed to recognize the top performances at the RCA National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup as well as the achievements and legacies of the alumni that the trophies have been named after.
“Each award has a rich history behind it,” said Dillon. “Our aim was to create awards that would link our sport’s outstanding past with its promising and exciting future. We are looking forward to having several of the great athletes that the trophies are named after be present this weekend to present the awards.”
The Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean Plate will be awarded to the National Champions in the women’s pair. Heddle and McBean won gold in the pair at the 1991 World Championships before claiming their first Olympic gold medal with a victory in the pair at the 1992 Barcelona Games. The award’s silver-plated serving platter was donated by Heddle and McBean.
The Silken Lakeumann Plate will be awarded to the National Champion in the women’ single. While Laumann’s first medal was an Olympic bronze in the women’s double, it was her performances in the single that captured the world’s attention. She claimed a Pan American Games gold, a World Championship gold, two World Championship silvers, and Olympic silver and bronze in the event. The award’s new pewter plate features a border of hand carved First Nations artwork.
“What an honour to have the trophy for the National Women’s Single Champion named after me,” said Silken Laumann. “Rowing was such a meaningful chapter of my life, and even if I never pick up a scull again, I know those hours on the water gave me the work ethic, the competitive instincts, and the perspective that I bring to everything I approach today. The sport of rowing has given me so much and I am thrilled that future champions will be honoured by a trophy that bears my name.”
The George Hungerford and Roger Jackson Trophy will be awarded to the National Champions in the men’s pair. Hungerford and Jackson lay claim to Canada’s sole gold medal of the 1964 Olympics, which they won in the men’s pair despite the event being their first competition together. The trophy features a new gold-plated cup flanked by two golden oarsmen donated by the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association (CSSRA).
The Derek Porter Trophy will be awarded to the National Champion in the men’s single. Porter had great success racing internationally in both the men’s eight and the men’s single. He took up sculling following a gold medal in the eight at the 1992 Olympics and went on to claim an Olympic silver, World Championship gold and bronze, and Pan American Games gold in the single. The trophy’s silver-plated bowl was donated by the CSSRA.
“It is a tremendous honour to have my name on the National Rowing Championships single sculls champion trophy,” said Derek Porter. “I look back on my time with the national team with great fondness and pride, and I look forward to honouring the champions of the future.”
The Lagoa Rio Trophy will be awarded to the Para athlete with the most outstanding performance at the RCA National Rowing Championships. The trophy is named after the 2016 Paralympic rowing venue, where Canada won its first ever international Para rowing medal, a bronze earned by Victoria Nolan, Meghan Montgomery, Andrew Todd, Curtis Halladay and Kristen Kit in the mixed coxed four. The trophy’s silver-plated bowl was donated by the CSSRA.
Finally, the Canada Cup will be awarded to the Canada Cup regatta’s winning province based on points obtained from the event’s races.
The Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean Plate, George Hungerford and Roger Jackson Trophy, Silken Laumann Plate, Derek Porter Trophy and Lagoa Rio Trophy will be presented on Saturday September 28 at the Athlete Awards Banquet. The Canada Cup will be presented following racing at Burnaby Lake on Sunday September 29.