Last week, the Fredericton Women’s Rowing Team finished off the summer season with a successful run at the 2017 Royal Canadian Henley. They had the opportunity to face off with clubs from across North America at Canada’s biggest rowing event of the year. Most of the women had just come back from this year’s Canada Summer Games rowing venue in Kenora, Ontario, so it is needless to say they were already fired up in their crews to continue a campaign of exciting racing.
Fredericton saw impressive times across the board, from boats such as the former Canada Games u23 Quad: Caroline Grant, Lucy Black, Jennifer Clarke, and Julia Hill, who placed 6th overall in the Final with a time of 7:12. The bow pair of the quad and Canada games Double Sculls partners, Lucy and Jennifer, beat their best time from Kenora in the heats by nearly 15 seconds with 7:41. The stern pair went on to join FRC’s Jessica Chouinard and Cathleen Trafton in the senior women’s quad, a new combination that shot out of the gates with a 7:09 in the heats.
In the single sculls events, Lucy Black, the youngest member of the Fredericton Crew at 15 years old, surprised everyone with her performance from the heats in the u17 category, placing 2nd overall with 8:02, two seconds off first and a time comparable to that of many senior female athletes of the competition. In the Final, Lucy had the advantage over her opponent for the majority of the race, until an Ontarian sprint evened the odds, ending in a photo finish. Lucy lost the bout by a mere 2/10 of a second, placing 2nd in the category. On the senior women’s side, Fredericton saw unexpected success in the 500m dash. FRC’s Jessica Chouinard placed 3rd overall in the Women’s Dash with a time of 1:50, whereas Cathleen Trafton, in the women’s lightweight division, saw a similar victory, missing 3rd place by 7/10 of a second with 1:53.9.
The Royal Canadian Henley was the final test of the summer for Fredericton’s women’s crew and a reflection of their hard work over the past year. Goals have been achieved by all the women and many have seen hidden potential that may thrive in competition over the years to come. Will Lucy Black seek redemption and claim the u17 title next year? Will the senior women’s quad edge out the western clubs and put the Maritimes on the podium? Could Jess take off 3 to 5 seconds off her 500m sprint and win the Women’s Dash? Tune in to Henley 2018 to find out.