PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY ROWING CANADA AVIRON
Our 31 Canadian rowers kicked off their international season with a weekend of exhilarating racing at World Cup II. The regatta at the idyllic Lake Varese, Italy witnessed the setting of several world best times, providing the Canadian contingent with invaluable experience as they continue their journey towards this year’s World Championships.
In a captivating Women’s Eight final, the Canadian crew secured a commendable third-place finish, falling just 0.99 seconds short of a silver medal. The race was a nail-biting spectacle, with all three boats overlapping at the finishing line. Notably, the Canadian Women’s Eight crew accomplished this feat after all eight rowers had already competed in the Women’s Four A and B finals earlier in the day. While there were no podium appearances this weekend, there are positives to be taken away from the experience of competing in both classes.
World Cup II was the first time Women’s Eight have competed in this year’s World Cup events, and with only three entries in the field, Canada, Great Britain and the gold medal-winning Australia crew, a bronze medal was not awarded.
The Canadian Men’s Eight crew put up a strong fight in the final race of World Cup II. After Great Britain clinched a commanding gold medal victory, the Canadian team initially led the battle for silver through the 1500m mark. However, they were eventually overtaken by the chasing Australian, German, and Italian crews, finishing in fifth place.
Sunday’s final proved to be a much stronger race for the Eight than Friday’s race for lane assignments. Cox Laura Court believes that while the crew may be disappointed at missing a medal, they feel affirmed that they are progressing according to plan.
“Today was really exciting as our plan was to be more aggressive and take advantage of our opportunities,” said Court. “Although it’s not the finish we wanted, we feel good about what we’ve learned about ourselves as racers and as a crew when all nine minds have one goal in mind.”
In the exciting A Final of the Lightweight Women’s Double, Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson secured a respectable fifth-place finish. The race of the weekend saw the top five boats, including Moffatt and Casson, separated by less than two seconds at the 1000m mark. In the final stretch, the British and USA1 duos surged ahead, with the Brits ultimately prevailing by a mere 0.08 seconds. The competition in this class was intense throughout the weekend, with world’s best times shattered on the first two days of the event.
In the Women’s Four A final, the CAN 2 crew of Jessica Sevick, Cassidy Deane, Morgan Rosts and Kirsten Edwards finished with fifth place in a final that saw the United States crew take a commanding gold medal victory. While teammates Kristina Walker, Avalon Wasteneys, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski and Alexis Cronk powered to a resounding victory in the B Final leading at every interval.
Both the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Quad crews competed in the B Finals on Sunday. The Men’s Quad engaged in a close race with two Chinese crews, with all three boats separated by just one-second heading into the final 500m. The Canadian Men’s Quad finished third, securing a ninth-place overall ranking. Meanwhile, the Women’s Quad secured a third-place finish (ninth overall), benefiting from a strong final 1000m and gathering valuable insights as a newly formed lineup.
Marilou Duvernay-Tardif and Katie Clark claimed a commendable third place in the Women’s B Final, earning them an overall ninth-place finish. Making their debut appearance at an international regatta, Duvernay-Tardiff and Clark showcased their prowess, particularly in the final 500 meters, where they closely trailed the winners, Germany, finishing just 0.11 seconds behind Italy in second place.
Unfortunately, Trevor Jones was unable to participate in the D Final of the Men’s Single on Saturday due to medical reasons. He will be reassessed ahead of the next event, the Henley Royal Regatta.
The Canadian crews depart Italy for England for the 2023 Henley Royal Regatta taking place over six days from Tuesday, June 27 to Sunday, July 2. One of the most prestigious regattas in the world, the Henley Royal Regatta is the highlight of the British summer rowing calendar and for many of our athletes, will be the first time they have competed at the historic regatta.
More information on the World Rowing World Cup II can be found here.