The University of the Fraser Valley rowing program began its fall season last week with a series of exhibition races at the Head of the Reach regatta, hosted by the Delta Deas Rowing Club.
Head of the Reach is a 7.5km race, and thus fit nicely with the Cascades’ pre-2km racing season. Establishing some solid power at a threshold pace was the plan. Simon Fraser University was the only other university club in attendance.
Though it was a bright, sunny day, the wind was significant at the start of each race. The UFV men’s four-plus boat started to fill with water at the start line, and had to bail water out of the boat. It was decided by race umpires to move the start into a more sheltered area, making the race 5.5km. The Cascades’ crew of Ben Schreiner (coxswain), Stephen Wall, Kyle Krahn, Riley Dueck and Mike Moreton ended up finishing second.
“I was pleased with the way the guys came into the last kilometre of the race, looking technically good,” Cascades head coach Liz Chisholm said. “But the boat was not moving with speed, so I knew something was wrong. For the guys it was a question of ‘How can we get a handle on something that we can’t control and still accomplish our goals?”
UFV’s lightweight women’s double crew of Arden Holmes and Emily Klootwyk were fortunate enough not to have been sent out as early as the men’s four, and therefore began at the shorter start and missed having any water in their boat for the race. They won, defeating SFU, despite only having been training together in the double for the previous two weeks.
In other action, the novice women’s fours (Karen Chung, Amy Lewko, Angelica Evans and Genelle Grubb) finished first in their division, while Brad Jones took second in the men’s singles.