Weather takes on rowers at national championships

RCA_logoWelland’s Kerry Schaffer faced the challenge of un-cooperative weather and then her competitors to claim the senior women’s single title at the National Rowing Championships (NRC) on Sunday (Nov. 10) at the Welland International Flatwater Centre in Welland, Ont.

“The weather definitely posed some challenges this weekend,” said Peter Cookson, Rowing Canada Aviron High Performance Director.

Schaffer, who trains at the national centre in London, won with a time of 8:00.99, followed by Carling Zeeman of Cambridge, Ont., in 8:01.60. Zeeman was also the Under 23 winner. Antje von Seydlitz-Kurzbach of Smithers, B.C., was third fastest in the single in 8:10.36.

Regatta organizers were forced to run the finals in a 2,000-metre time-trial format Sunday morning after having to cancel the semis Saturday afternoon due to windy conditions.

“It’s not as exciting as side-by-side racing, but it was the right decision under the circumstances,” explained Cookson.

In the women’s lightweight single, Teresa Berkholtz of Victoria, B.C., won in 8:08.36, followed by 2012 Olympian Lindsay Jennerich, also of Victoria, B.C., in 8:10.21, and Lindsay Sferrazza of St. Catharines, Ont., in 8:14.62.

The women’s pair event was won by Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON), with Christine Roper (Victoria) in 7:41.42. Both Nurse and Roper are 2013 World Medalists. 2012 Olympian Lauren Wilkinson (North Vancouver), rowing with Susanne Grainger (London), were second in 7:44.42; Sarah Black (Ottawa) and Lisa Roman (Langley, B.C.) were third in 7:45.25.

Olympian Michael Braithwaite of Duncan, B.C., won the heavyweight men’s single in a time of 7:14.20, followed by Quebec’s Pascal Lussier in 7:16.52, and Matt Buie of Duntroon, ON, in 7:17.16.

In the men’s pair, Olympic silver medalist Will Crothers (Kingston) with Kai Langerfeld (Parksville, B.C.) won the overall event in 6:54.59. Michael Evans and David Lariviere, who both train at the Victoria Training Centre, were second in 7:02.01. Will Dean (Kelowna, B.C.) and Steve Van Knotsenburg (Beamsville, ON) were third in 7:02.17.

Senior National Team member Nick Pratt of Kingston won the men’s lightweight single in 7:19.96, followed by New Brunswick rower Adam Bliss in 7:25.53, and Mark Henry, who trains at the national centre in London, in 7:27.58.

Again this year, Under 23 rowers Maxwell Lattimer and Evan Cheng – representing British Columbia – won the lightweight men’s pair overall title. Their time was 7:01.28. Eric Woelfl (St. Catharines) and Brendan Hodge (Delta, B.C.) were second in 7:03.60, and another young pair – James Myers (Beamsville) and Grayson Gray (Thorold) – were third in 7:13.53.