Last weekend I went to Welland Ontario to watch some more of the country’s best rowers take part in the Canadian University Rowing Championship. regatta. Unlike th week before in St Catharines at the Ontario championships the weather was fantastic for the crews and the racing was excellent. Here are just a few shots I took there.
As much as the small boats in rowing show off the athletes skill and finesse I have always had a great love for the eights. The power generated by a crew driving the big boats is awesome as is the noise and excitement of closely packed races driving down the course. These shots were all taken within a few metres of the start line when all the crews are still practically tied.
Start of the women’s eight A final. The race was won by Western which is seen here in lane 4 if you click on the picture and blow it up. The line of red buoys is actually straight across the course and already they have gotten about a foot lead on the next boat. This is only about 5 strokes into a race which will require about 200 strokes to finish.
This is the UBC crew about 100 metres into the 2000 metre race.
No coach wants to see splashing from the crews. Some of it is inevitable but any water splashed up into the air is power that isn’t driving the boat. In spite of that this shot shows the energy going into the oar on a stroke. All that commotion is at the end of an oar about 12 ft long with a blade on it a couple of square feet wide.
You should be able to get a better view of the pics by clicking on any of them and hopefully get an idea of how much work the crews put out. The eights move about as fast as a world level runner covering 2 km in approximately 5 1/2 minutes.
Several of the participant in this regatta will be on the Canadian Olympic team next year competing in London. If there is ever a race near you you should get out and see them. As is the case with so many of our athletes if they aren’t in the big name pro sports they are seldom if ever seen on the national media. More is the pity.