PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY ROWING CANADA AVIRON
Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is pleased to announce the rowers that will represent the nation at the upcoming World Cup II held in Varese, Italy from June 16-18.
Canadian rowers will field seven boats, the Men’s and Women’s Eights, Men’s and Women’s Quads, Women’s Double, Women’s Lightweight Double and the Men’s Single events, represented by 31 rowers, plus two travelling alternates.
Tokyo gold medallists Avalon Wasteneys, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Sydney Payne and cox Kristen Kit feature in the Women’s Eight, while veteran Will Crothers leads the Men’s Eight. Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson race in the lightweight doubles, Trevor Jones competes in the Men’s Single, while sculling stalwart Carling Zeeman features in a powerful Women’s Quad line-up.
RCA Director of High Performance Adam Parfitt is looking forward to seeing our nation’s best rowers competing against the world after a long period of training and learnings at the National Training Centre.
“This is the first major regatta of the season for our crews, and it is important to understand how our long hours of training over the winter stacks up against the rest of the world, especially with the World Championships on the horizon,” Parfitt said. “Our crews are progressing well, and World Cup II is an important milestone in our journey towards Paris.”
Amongst the crews are four athletes who will be making their senior team debuts in Varese – Women’s Double rower Katie Clark, Men’s Eight rower Liam Keane and Men’s Quad rowers Liam Smit and Steven Rosts. Smit also makes his Canadian team debut at any level after previously representing South Africa at the Under-23 level. Parfitt acknowledges this special moment in their careers in the senior program.
“It is always a special moment in any elite rower’s career making a senior team for the first time,” Parfitt said. “For Katie, Liam, Steven and Liam, this is a reward for their determination and commitment to earn their debut selections, something the coaches and I congratulate them all on achieving.”
For Clark, earning her senior debut is the result of hard work and a realisation of a goal that she made for herself and being able to debut with one of her best friends is an added bonus.
“I’m super excited to be making my senior team debut! This is an important step on the road to Paris next year. I couldn’t be more excited to make this step with one of my best friends,” Clark said. “I ended up with a pretty bad concussion earlier in the winter, and I was unsure how this spring racing season was going to unfold. So I couldn’t be more thrilled that it has unfolded like this. Getting the opportunity to race for my country is always good validation for the work that I put in each and every day. Marilou and I have specific parts of the race that we want to nail at World Cup 2 that will set us up to progress through our month in Europe. We’re super excited to get on the start line!”
World Cup II is the second leg of the World Rowing annual series of three regattas leading up to the World Rowing Championships. Each regatta is held over three days racing a progression system from heats through to finals. The Canadian World Cup Team will compete in Varese, Italy, and World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland on July 7-9. Canadian rowers will also compete at the historic Royal Henley Regatta, held on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England from Tuesday, 27 June to Sunday, 2 July. Additional team selections are being considered for the Royal Henley Regatta and World Cup III.