Maxwell Lattimer (UBC Rowing Club) and Patrick Keane (Victoria City Rowing Club/UVic Rowing Club.

Canada finished the first day of racing on the Lake Rotsee in Lucerne with solid steps toward qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games. All three crews won their heats in dominant style to secure their places for the next stage of racing.

The men’s four, stroked by Olympic silver medallist Will Crothers (Kingston Rowing Club) led the way from start to finish to qualify for tomorrow’s Semifinal. The crew includes Jakub Buczek (St. Catharines Rowing Club) in the bow position, with Gavin Stone (Argonaut Rowing Club/Queen’s University) and Luke Gadsdon (Leander Boat Club/Brock University) powering the effort from the middle of the boat.

“It feels great to be back on the race course, in such an amazing spot too, with so much history, especially for Canadian boats. It’s an amazing feeling after so much time off,” said Crothers. “The next steps for us are to take some recovery, get to lunch on time, go dip our legs in the big lake in front of the hotel and stay loose and relaxed just like we do. Keep representing.”

The men’s single sculls featured Trevor Jones (Peterborough Rowing Club). Trevor raced a hotly-contested heat, going stroke-for-stroke with Bulgaria throughout the middle portion of the race. His perseverance into the final sprint gave Trevor the advantage and he managed to claim the only spot directly to the Semifinal.

“It was a bit of an adjustment period getting used to sitting on the startline again, but it was just fun to get back at it after doing a year-and-a-half of work without the enjoyment of racing internationally,” said Jones.

Wrapping up the day for Canada was the heat for the lightweight men’s double sculls. Maxwell Lattimer (UBC Rowing Club) and Patrick Keane (Victoria City Rowing Club/UVic Rowing Club) had an impressive start, which kept them alongside the crew from Switzerland.

“It’s an adjustment having crews beside you,” said Lattimer. “At home when we do 2000m racing, it’s on staggered starts, so having crews come with you at the start and  then relaxing into the race is an adjustment. But it was a lot of fun to get the first one done.”

The crews will face a challenging schedule tomorrow due to incoming inclement weather. The Final races have been rescheduled from Monday, May 17 to Sunday, May 16 directly following the Semifinal races. All three crews have avoided the repechage racing this afternoon, giving them a full afternoon of rest to prepare for the intense Sunday schedule.