It’s the race of the summer and University of Victoria Vikes men’s rowing crews are ready to see how their summer training has paid off at the upcoming and prestigious Royal Canadian Henley Regatta hosted Aug. 6-13 in St. Catharines, Ont. A small but mighty contingent of women’s rowers are also heading out East to match up with some of North America’s best crews.
The Henley regatta has attracted stiff competition and prestigious crews from all over North America for over 135 years.
“The historical presence of this regatta draws the fastest crews to come and compete,” described Vikes men’s rowing Captain Adam Donaldson. “Since the only medal awarded is first place, racing crews are preparing to be as fast as possible when they go to the line.”
“When compared to the Canadian University Championships, the scale of this regatta is exponentially larger. Some events will have as many as 75 entries. We get the opportunity to race the best crews from all over the US and Canada, as well as some national team crews and so it really is a conglomeration of the best talent and speed out there.”
The men’s program continues to showcase its depth as athletes like Patrick Kean, Lucien Broeur, Ty Adam and Taylor Perry have been busy representing Canada on the world stage, while a solid core of the Team BC rowing program at the Canada Games is bolstered by Vikes.
“After the Canada Summer Games, the crew that stayed to train on Elk Lake will travel to meet the crew that raced Canada Summer Games to create some strong boats at Canadian Henley,” outlines Vikes men’s rowing head coach Aalbert van Schothorst. “Based on the numbers that we have, we look forward to racing twenty heavy and lightweight events, including both a U23 as well as a senior men’s eight. That’s a lot of racing starts and the crew will generate a lot of experience from that.”
“The largest challenge about this regatta is the amount of racing we do,” echoes Arscott. “Most athletes will compete in 3 or 4 categories and on average are racing two times a day for four or five days. That’s a lot of racing but I am confident in our team’s fitness. We recover between races extremely well.”
“This group has been making steady progress throughout the summer and it will be interesting to see how they do as they are a young crew,” added head coach Crawley about his Vikes women’s team. “They raced well in the heavyweight events at the B.C. Championships recently so we are looking forward to see how they fare at Henley in lightweight competition.”
Eden Hardcastle is the team’s captain and she will race the senior lightweight double, senior quad, U23 four and U23 lightweight double.
“High caliber racing fuels fierce competition and creates an environment in which athletes of all ages thrive, especially those form this university,” were the strong words coming from Hardcastle about the regatta that enters its 135th edition. “UVic builds strong programs that produce impressive results, tenacious competitors and a solid reputation.”
“Training platforms forged in the spring and early summer are centered around maximum mileage and sprint work and are truly tested when it comes down to the line. These experiences teach beneficial lessons through which crews can develop and improve for important fall regattas such as the Canadian University Rowing Championships and the National Rowing Championships. ”
Hardcastle doesn’t shy away from the challenges that multi-day regatta on the other side of the country presents for her and her team mates.
“Racing for almost a week and sustaining athletic integrity during this time will definitely put a strain on our physical and mental states,” said Hardcastle, whose maturity was quick to show despite only entering her second year this fall. “New competition, jetlag, unpredictable weather and a change in atmosphere always pose as hurdles we have to jump. Additionally, as the crew attending from my team is made up entirely of lightweights, maintaining a weight with a strict upper limit for such a length of time can be strenuous. All this being said, UVic always rises to the occasion regardless of circumstance. The goal is always to learn, improve, and leave everything we’ve got on the racecourse.”
And there isn’t much more to be said than that. The Vikes will have three Under 23 boats and potentially two senior boats in the lightweight double and quad. Just four Vikes make up the crew that will race in up to five events at the regatta and they will be coached at the event by York Langerfeld, father to national team standout and former Vikes men’s rower Kai.
Men’s Single: Gordon Macdonald, Matthew Seaby, Cody Bailey, Patrick Loliger
Lightweight Four: Chris Clarke, Idjen Cabral, Ellis Hollands, Saul Abraham Garcia-Alvarez
Double: Patrick Loliger, Saul Abraham Garcia-Alvarez
Senior Eight: Bailey Kulman, Matthew Seaby, Brett Larson, Alec Stapff, Mark Davies, Cody Bailey, Nicholas Ridenour, Adam Donaldson, Eric Arscott
Eight Dash: Bailey Kulman, Matthew Seaby, Brett Larson, Alec Stapff, Mark Davies, Cody Bailey, Nicholas Ridenour, Adam Donaldson, Eric Arscott
Senior Quad: Matthew Seaby, Gordon Macdonald, Brett Larson, Mark Davies
U23 Double: Alec Stapff, Robert Hodgins
U23 Lightweight single: Ellis Hollands, Idjen Cabral
U23 Single: Alexander Matson
U23 Eight: Bailey Kulman, Adam Donaldson, Aelon Nicolson, Nicholas Ridenour, Alec Stapff, James Ridenour, Eric Arscott, Travis Gronsdahl, Isaac Donaldson
U23 Straight Four: Travis Gronsdahl, Isaac Donaldson, Eric Arscott, Adam Donaldson
U23 Quad: Ellis Hollands, Travid Gronsdahl, Robert Godgins, Aelon Nicolson
U23 Lightweight Double: Idjen Cabral, Chris Clarke
U23 Pair: Nicholas Ridenour and James Ridenour; Travis Gronsdahl and Isaac Donaldson
U23 Lightweight Pair: Ellis Hollands, Chris Clarke
Senior Lightweight Double: Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle
Senior Quad: Hanah Taft, Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle, Emma Kelly
U23 Four: Hanah Taft, Alanna Ward, Eden Hardcastle, Emma Kelly
U23 Lightweight Pair: Hanah Taft, Emma Kelly
U23 Lightweight Double: Alanna Ward, Hanah Taft, Emma Kelly, Eden Hardcastle