Girls lead MBRC at regatta

A strong crop of senior girls rowers led the host team at the 38th annual Maple Bay Rowing Club Regatta on Quamichan Lake last Saturday.

"The girls side were the ones making it into the top three in their races," MBRC head coach Cheryl Thibodeau said. "We have a strong group of senior girls that have been with us for four or five years that have also produced good results in the past."

The Maple Bay club had second-place finishes from Hanna Hutchins in the lightweight women’s single, Emily Whitaker in the A women’s single, and the team of Antara Patel, Taylor Kropp, Hannah Austin, Nadya Ellis and cox Maria Rossouw in the junior C girls quad.

The club also got third-place results from Rachel Bond in the lightweight women’s single, Finja Hemken in the A women’s single, Whitaker and Hannah Dreger in the women’s double, and Whitaker, Dreger, Bond and Kate Brigham in the A women’s quad. Maple Bay finished fourth in the girls final point standings.

A smaller and less-experienced boys team showed potential for the future during Sunday’s event.

"On the boys side we are lacking the size as most of our boys hover around coxie weight," Thibodeau said. "They still worked hard and had some good close races. We’re hoping in the next year or two we will have a stronger group like where the girls are at now."

Other signs are also pointing to a strong future for the club.

"We are very lucky to have former Maple Bay rower and national team rower James Dunaway back at the club coaching the junior program for the last year and a half," Thibodeau said. "With his experience we are hoping to build a stronger program."

Vic City was the overall points winner, with 136 points to 75 for Brentwood College and 67 for St. Michael’s University school. Vic City also won the girls title with 81 points to Claremont’s 32 and Brentwood’s 29, and tied SMUS for the boys title with 55, while Brentwood had 46.

The weather was cooperative on Saturday. Head umpire Sheree Moffatt had predicted the winds wouldn’t be a factor, and while they did flare up late in the morning to cause a little trouble on the last 500 metres of the course, they eased off and all 50 races finished on time.

Ten clubs and approximately 330 rowers took part in the regatta. Numbers were down somewhat after Victoria’s Gorge Rowing Club folded last summer.

"They usually bring around 75 rowers, so we didn’t run as many races as previous years which made the feel of the regatta a little more relaxing," Thibodeau said.