Mac rowers on course to final regattas

With the fall rowing season nearing an end for university crews, the Marauders will use this weekend’s (Oct 19) Guelph Gryphons Invitational as a run-up to provincial and national championships later this month.

(Photo: Austin Cameron/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Austin Cameron/McMaster Athletics)

While the Novice and Junior Varsity crews have this weekend off, they will compete in the Ontario University Athletics Development Regatta on Friday, Oct. 25, and the Varsity crews will challenge in the OUA Championship Regatta the next day. Finally, on Oct. 31, the varsity team will travel to Montreal to prepare for competition against the top national crews at the Canadian University Rowing Championships.

Marauders rowers began their season when the varsity team met at the end of August to begin an almost two-week training camp of three practices a day with long hours on the water. After training camp, daily practices returned to once a day – at 5:30 a.m.

Following Welcome Week, novice tryouts were held, with a flooding of talented applicants. At the end of the process, two full crews of women’s and of men’s eights were selected for the team. They quickly began training to get all the practice possible before racing started.

The first race was the Western Invite on Sept. 21 when Mac’s Varsity and Junior Varsity teams sent crews. Highlights were great performances from the women’s four, doubles and single, and the men’s fours with an unexpected unfolding of the race.

The following weekend, the Varsity and Novice teams went to Guelph to compete in the annual Mac- Guelph Challenge. This was the novice crews’ first races and they were eager for their next challenge.

That came on the weekend of Oct. 5, at the Head of the Trent Regatta in Peterborough. The full complement of varsity and novice athletes went to Trent University to race in various events on the six-kilometre course through the Trent-Severn Waterway (the novice course was 4k). This was the first chance for crews to compete against all the other crews from the OUA circuit, and gauge their strengths and weaknesses.

Keeping in tradition, it was a very rainy day, but as always, it was one of the most fun regattas of the year.

On Oct. 12, the team travelled to Henley Island to compete in the Brock Invite.