Rowers breeze to finish line

Shawnigan Lake School
Shawnigan Lake School's champion girls'4+ crew members accept their rewards for a winning race in the Shawnigan Lake School Regatta.
— image credit: Alex Wells

Delays are a fact of life in rowing but organizers kept things rolling as much as possible to make the 54th-annual Shawnigan Lake School Regatta a huge success.

For the first time in many years, the event started on a Friday night with four time trials. Due to high winds, only two were completed.

The winds came up again after just a few races on Saturday morning that eventually led to a three-hour delay.

Things got rolling again at 11 a.m. and racing continued uninterrupted until 8:20 p.m.

The first two events wound up being the highlight of the weekend for Shawnigan Lake School rowers. The senior boys’ coxed four won its race over some strong competition and the senior girls’ coxed four followed suit by also defeating a strong field.

The remainder of the racing program brought a dominant performance by Vic City Rowing Club crews.

Other strong Shawnigan performances included the junior boys’ eight breaking into two fours and both earned second-place finishes.

Third-place finishes were recorded by Shawnigan’s senior and junior boys’ eights, the senior girls’ single and senior boys’ lightweight coxed four.

The junior girls’ coxed four had a bit of an off-day, placing just behind the Brentwood crew it had beaten two weeks earlier. But a nice rebound was made Sunday, with Shawnigan placing as the top school in the doubles event.

Grade 8s raced at the 2,000-metre distance for the first time in their careers and gained valuable experience, according to Shawnigan’s Head of Rowing Tim Coy.

The regatta is extremely well-supported every year by staff, students, parents, alumni and even parents of alumni. The event continues to evolve each year and hordes of people are hosted at West Shawnigan Provincial Park.

Top rowers from Shawnigan and Brentwood will soon be heading to St. Catharines, Ont. for the annual national high school championships.

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