The University of the Fraser Valley rowing club is hosting its seventh annual regatta, Head of the Fort, on the Bedford Channel in Fort Langley this Saturday, March 7, and the public is invited to attend.
The 6.5-kilometre racing event has grown over the years to include junior, university and Masters crews, and it is organized by the UFV varsity team rowers.
There will be three launches during the regatta – 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – and the bridge over the Bedford Channel makes for a great viewing area for fans.
Cascades head coach Liz Chisholm said her athletes enjoy the thrill of competing at their home venue in front of their home fans. The field will be comprised of local rowing clubs.
“It’s a huge reach-out to the Lower Mainland clubs,” Chisholm said. “Some of the top high school crews have athletes who have been rowing three or four years already, and they’re looking at where they want to go to university. It’s exciting to have them, and we enjoy the competition. Sometimes we beat them and sometimes we don’t. And the distance separates those who train and those who don’t train as hard.”
Chisholm added that the UFV rowing club has forged great relationships over the years with the Township of Langley and with local businesses, who are pleased with the crowds that come to cheer on the athletes.
The rowing club is seeking volunteers to help orchestrate the event on the day. They need people to help with parking, timing, coffee and clean-up, and are also looking for motor boat drivers with pleasure craft licenses to be stationed on the course for safety purposes.
To volunteer, contact UFV men’s team captain Stephen Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As hosts of Head of the Fort, it requires a lot of time and hard work from the team to make it happen,” Wall said. “But once race day comes, all that work will pay off as this is one of the more fun races to compete in if you’re an athlete and one of the best to watch if you’re a spectator. It also allows anyone who volunteers to gain a greater understanding of rowing as a sport and how a regatta is run.”