Maple Bay Rowing Club crews line up to compete at the Duelling for a Grand Regatta on Elk Lake last weekend. (Todd Blumel photo)

Rowing club ready for regatta weekend

Maple Bay Rowing Club’s regatta set for Quamichan Lake on Saturday

Leading up to its own regatta on Quamichan Lake this weekend, the Maple Bay Rowing Club has competed in a pair of regattas at Elk Lake already this spring.

On March 3 and 4, the club sent a few crews to the Elk Lake Spring Regatta hosted by UVic.

“We took a small group of kids down to test the waters and see what kind of competition we would be up against for the rest of the season,”MBRC head coach Cheryl Thibodeau said.

The junior B women’s quad of Milla Watt, Ella Stemler, Myfanwy Warren, Grace Brigham and cox Carson Batty finished second in their heat and fourth in the final. Stemler and Warren also teamed up for the double the next day and finished third in the final.

Last weekend, the club attended the Victoria City Rowing Club’s Duelling Over a Grand Regatta, a double-knockout-style event.

“You keep racing and moving up the winners bracket until you lose, then you get bumped to the losers bracket on Sunday,” Thibodeau related. “If you lose again on Sunday, you’re out, but you can battle back and make it back into the grand final.”

The junior C boys quad crew of triplets Damian, Corbin and Tanner Hennessy and Batty, with Jackson Smith in the cox seat took the hard route to the final, losing to a Nanaimo team in the first race, then battling back with three wins on Sunday before they lost to a Vic City crew in the final to finish second. Among the teams they knocked out on their way to the final were the MBRC’s other two junior C crews: Brandon Addison, Jackson Smith, Joshua Davis and Nathaneal Worrall in one, and Olivia Caine, Lexi Lazenby, Margo Blumel and Elisabetta Relova-Clegg in the other.

The junior B girls quad of Watt, Stemler, Warren and Chloe Cizeron won three races before they were knocked out, and the junior boys quad of Brighton Reid, Justin Roy, Tanner Hennessy and Jack Clark also posted a win before being knocked out.

The MBRC’s own regatta will take place this Saturday at Art Mann Park on Quamichan Lake. Eight clubs are attending, with 32 events scheduled and a total of 243 entries. Racing starts at 8:30 a.m. and will go until around 4:30 p.m.

“Regatta chair Dave Symonds has been working super hard this year, dealing with a new online entry system, new dock system and we have changed the course location to make better viewing for the spectators,” Thibodeau said. “Some exciting new changes, so we are hoping for calm waters so we don’t have any interruptions in racing. All are welcome to come out and watch.”

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