This past Canada Day weekend, over a hundred rowers from across the Maritimes gathered to compete during the 97th Eastern Rowing Championships at the Olympic Basin in Montreal QC. Many clubs participated in comparison to previous years, including teams from NB, NS, NF, and local crews from Montreal and Sherbrook U. With rising pressure stemming from the upcoming Canada Summer Games, many got to see a glimpse of their province’s most competitive crews, whilst enjoying all the while a wholesome weekend of racing.
This year, Team NB saw great successes from all of its crews, time trialling towards final CG qualification standards and racing against the best in the region. The Fredericton Rowing Club’s Women’s 8, a highly anticipated crew, saw grandiose improvements seemingly overnight, chopping their two kilometer time by 20 seconds in a fight for second place in the Open Final, missing top spot only by a second. Their coxswain Pascal Morimanno also raced in his competitive debut in the single sculls. In the Women’s Single Sculls, 15 year-old Lucy Black swept the CG RNBA category for a first place finish in her division, whilst also racing in the A Final next to Senior Athletes such as FRC’s Jessica Chouinard, who placed 4th. The Women’s 2-, composed of Kendra Schmidt and Stephanie Pegler, also sought success, claiming 1st place in the CG U21 division and achieved the CG time standard.
On the men’s side, the newly formed men’s lightweight 4x entered the Open heats with surprising speed, seconded by Nova Scotia and making the A Final with a time of 6:47 on their first attempt. In the Final, the NB quad, with FRC’s Keagan Rankin in 3 seat, sought redemption and smashed their time to beat with a 6:33, passing NS by boat lengths and claiming the 1st place. In Heat 2 of the Men’s double sculls, FRC teammates Daniel Seyffarth and Aiden Best pulled off an impressive comeback with their electric 400m sprint, closing a three boat-length gap with Nova Scotia and earning a 2nd place finish in the heat by an estimated 0.5 seconds. FRC’s dedicated performance coaches, equipment officers, parents, and friends, all the while, were cheering them on from the sidelines and ensured the success of the team and the well being of all.
A special thanks to the Montreal Rowing Club for their hospitality and lending of their facilities, coaches Chantelle Hanley and Nathan Blais for their united efforts towards the success of the crews, Lori Hill for the supplying of food, and all the volunteers that made the weekend a fair, functional and fun regatta to be a part of.