The UFV rowing club travelled to Nicomekl River at Crescent Beach for the Head of the River Regatta on Saturday, September 23. This regatta is a six-kilometre race on a challenging course.
The course consisted of rowing through river and ocean. Rowers were forced to face currents and changing tide. When the tide would go out, it created less water for the boats to maneuver. The channel is relatively small with 93 boats scattered throughout, all trying to find a straight course to the finish.
In order to get to the start line, rowers had to first row the six kilometer stretch. This impacted the athletes because rowing that far before a race is exhausting. Due to the fact that this is a six-kilometre race, the course had a tough turnaround point. If rowers take the turn too wide, then they lose valuable time. If rowers take the turn too narrow, they could risk hitting the buoy, and flipping their boat.
Three boats represented UFV at the regatta. The competing boats were a men’s double, men’s single, and a women’s double. All boats competed in high-caliber categories. The men’s double was new to rowing in a double, and gained respected experience racing in small boats.
The men’s single placed seventh out of 13 boats in their category.
In the women’s double, Jayme Reistma rowed as stroke, at the stern. Michelle Olive raced from the bow. The women’s double placed third in their category.
In an interview, head coach of rowing, Liz Chisholm, said, “Overall the women’s doubles technique was solid, and they gained experience that will help them improve their skills, and to make better decisions for upcoming regattas.”
The athletes were able to practice making calls, and kept good technique even when racing a challenging course.
“We came away with what I had hoped. It was good to know how they were able to manage such a challenging course,” said Chisholm.