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Posted: October 11, 2019

Rockies Rowing Club wraps at HOP

‘I have rowed for many years and this is the first time that I have raced while it is snowing,’ said a rower with Rockies Rowing Club (RRC).

Recently, Rockies Rowing Club attended the annual Head of the Pend Oreille (HOP) regatta in Priest River, Idaho. The weather predicted cloudy skies and it was a bit chilly but the regatta organizers had things set up so rowers and others would be kept warm when not rowing (tent with heaters and standing heaters around the site). The thought of the awesome BBQ lunch that happens after the regatta can warm the bones of anyone.

In true international fashion, the regatta opens with a flag raising and the national anthems being played. The local Scouts raise the flags with special attention and respect. The flags are lowered and returned to respective persons by the Priest River Honour Guard who handle the flags with reverence and decorum. When the weather is dry they fold the flags in a triangle pattern and place them in the hands of the receivers and salute.  It feels special to receive a flag that has been folded with such care. This year, with the inclement weather the flags were not folded in the usual manner but handed over so the flags could dry out before being folded and put away.

Results of the 1,700m races: 

Masters Mixed 2x (double) Jon O’Grady, R. Rodgers Time 10:02

Jon learned how to row earlier this season and this was his third regatta. The row up the course is warm up for the race. Near the start small signs of a weather change were happening.  Rowers line up, start rowing and the clock starts when they pass the start line. Halfway down the meandering course there was a mini snowstorm with thick flakes falling. Like any snowstorm it was over within 15 strokes of the oars but it was thrilling to have that experience for the first time. The hills beyond the course showed the results of the weather whereas the land around the rowing venue was not affected. No snow stayed down low.

Quad with medals:  Erienne, Emily, Aquinna, Barb

Women’s Quad: Erienne O’Grady, Aquinna O’Grady, Barb Fenwick and Emily Sartorel   Time 8:28.

The crew rowed to the start with light flakes falling. By the time the crew returned the light snow had become steady although melted as it hit the water.

Masters Mixed Quad:  two RRC rowers joined two rowers from Palouse RC making an international crew and the last race of the day. Eric Stuen, E. Noble Stuen,  Barb Fenwick and R. Rodgers. Time 8:15

It is always fun and educational to row with a crew you have not rowed with before. You learn quickly how to follow their timing and that is done on the row to the start. The short video clip someone sent after the races showed the extent of the snow but when you are in the moment it does not feel like it looks. The race organizers stayed the course so this last boat could have a row since the two rowers from Palouse had come a long way to row and this was their only opportunity.

Lesson learned from this regatta. Take care of each other, watching for signs of hypothermia. Our group did well and when needed jumped in to a heated vehicle to warm up.

Katie Clark

While we were in Idaho racing Katie Clark was at the Canadian National Rowing Championships in Burnaby. Katie raced in the 1x (single) at this regatta and won silver in her race.

This past weekend Katie raced at the Western Canadian University Championships for UBC. She raced in both the 1x (single) and the 8+ (eight with coxswain). Katie won gold in the single and the UBC Women’s 8+ won gold in their race beating UVictoria and U Calgary. Katie is on track for her ambition to make the 2024 National Team to attend the Olympics.

Rockies RC final lessons have been completed with Harrison Effray taking his sixth lesson, in a single, on a choppy lake. We rigged three boats this past weekend after the HOP regatta and went for a quick turn up a very choppy, windy Jimsmith Lake in the 4x (quad) rowing scull.

It is good to learn to row in all conditions for if you are at a race and wind and waves come up you want to be able to negotiate that wind and water. We will try to fight the weather to get out a few more times in October then wrap things up for the on water season.

Next will be dryland training for those youth interested in trying out for the 2020 BC Summer Games Zone 1 rowing crew and for any other recreational or competitive rowers who want to improve for next season. Watch for our second Ergathon, in April 2020, our club fundraiser. Thanks for following our exploits this season. Stay tuned.

Lead image:Women’s Quad heading to start: Erienne O’Grady, Aquinna O’Grady, Barb Fenwick, Emily Sartorel. Photos submitted

UBC Women’s 8+  Gold

Rockies Rowing Club


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