Vernon Rowing Club sent nine junior rowers to race at the Delta Deas Scholastic Regatta in Richmond in late May, and the rowers made an impressive showing, considering they had only been on the water for five weeks.
In comparison, competitors from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island have been rowing since September 2018.
In the U19 singles final, Natalia Ariano grabbed second place, with Danica Ariano taking fourth, and Marie Markhoff right behind in fifth.
Danica Ariano and Markoff teamed up to take gold in the U19 women’s double, and Natalia Ariano and Avery Collison finished third in their doubles heat.
Madison Land, Griffin Fletcher, Johanna Dueck and Natalia Ariano finished a competitive Junior Mixed Quad final in fourth, while both women’s quads made the final, taking fourth and sixth.
Fletcher raced to a fourth place finish in his heat in the U19 lightweight single, and Jacob Dueck grabbed fifth in his U17 heat, and bettered his time in the semis by eight seconds, to finish sixth.
Morgan Knauf had a rough (and wet) start to her U17 singles race, but managed to pull off second in the heat and fifth in the final. Land and Johanna Dueck both rowed to a fourth place finish in their respective lightweight singles heats, and teamed up for another fourth in the doubles heat. In total, the racers took to the course 30 times over the weekend. Coach Glen Stiven saw it as a strong start to the season, and an exciting look at the future of youth rowing in Vernon.
Next up on the junior schedule was Lap The Lake on Swan Lake, and they were joined by other club members and crews from all over the province.
The first event was the three-kilometre head race, where Vernon’s Baker brothers, racing a quad, had the fastest time on the course. Markhoff and Danica Ariano teamed up again to clock the best time in open women’s, and coach Stiven was the first single to cross the line.
The racing continued in the afternoon with the 500-metre sprints, where Vernon crews teamed up, and sometimes mixed it up, with racers from other B.C. clubs, switching from singles to doubles to quads for the challenging but fun races.