Mastracci paddles to silver in Women’s Four

rowingThere was a silver lining Friday (Aug. 30) for Canada at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea, as the women’s four, with Thorold’s Natalie Mastracci, finished second overall.

With Mastracci were Sarah Black (Ottawa), Christine Roper (Victoria, BC), and Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON) to claim silver in the first A final race of the day.

“It felt amazing. After our preliminary race we felt we had some work to do, we did exactly that,” said Mastracci, 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the women’s eight. “This is a lot of motivation for our eights race (coming up on Sunday).” All four women are also members of Canada’s 2013 women’s eight.

The U.S. won gold in 6:43.15, then Canada in 6:47.62, and the Australians picked up bronze in 6:49.26. (All times over 2,000 metres).

“We talked about taking it more aggressively off the start in the first 400 or 500 metres than we did in the previous race, and I think we executed that really well,” said Black, who celebrated her 24th birthday today. “It felt great.”

In Canada’s other final on Friday, the lightweight men’s pair of Eric Woelfl of St. Catharines, and Brendan Hodge of Delta, BC, finished fourth overall. The Swiss crew won in 6:49.85, followed by Italy (6:51.48) and Great Britain (6:52.08). Canada’s time was 6:57.58.

Also, Canada’s men’s and women’s lightweight singles rowed in B finals. In the men’s B final, the U.S. took first in 7:25.70, followed by Great Britain in 7:28.58, and then Nick Pratt of Kingston, finished in 7:30.70. Pratt places ninth overall. Patricia Obee of Victoria, was also third and places ninth overall. The U.S. also won this race (8:07.89), followed by New Zealand (8:09.01) and Canada in 8:14.19.

The men’s four was second in the C final – first was New Zealand in 6:17.97, followed by the Canadians in 6:21.40. This boat places 14th overall. Crew members are all Olympians – Will Crothers (Kingston), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC), Conlin McCabe (Brockville, ON) and Rob Gibson (Kingston).

The Canadian men’s pair (Spencer Crowley of Lantzville, BC and Steve Van Knotsenburg of Beamsville was fifth in the C final in 7:03.80, or 17th overall.

Canada still has A finals in the women’s quad and women’s eight to come this weekend. Racing concludes on Sunday.