PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY ROWING CANADA AVIRON
Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) has selected 13 crews and 44 rowers to represent the nation at the World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland from July 7-9, 2023 in the final leg of the World Rowing annual series of three regattas leading up to the World Rowing Championships.
This weekend’s racing in Switzerland, concludes the Canadian Rowing Team’s five-week European expedition encompassing captivating races at World Cup II in Italy, an intensive training camp in Corgeno, Italy, and a remarkable showcase at the renowned Henley Royal Regatta in England. This trip has served as a crucial performance benchmark, as the clock ticks down to the imminent 2023 World Rowing Championships, now less than two months away.
“World Cup III presents another opportunity for our athletes to test their mettle against elite crews on the international stage. Over the past five weeks, our athletes and coaches have garnered invaluable experience, and we eagerly anticipate a resounding finish to this incredible journey over the weekend,” RCA Director of High Performance Adam Parfitt said. “With the World Championships now just two months away, this milestone serves as a pivotal point on our pathway, and our crews are making substantial strides forward, seizing every chance to compete and learn.”
Last weekend our crews headed to the historic Henley Royal Regatta to compete fulfilling a lifelong dream for many of our team members. At the regatta, the Canadian Women’s Eight crew added their names to the illustrious list of winners of the Remenham Challenge Cup, a moment that crew member Kirsten Edwards believes will have a positive impact on the team for the rest of the international season.
“Competing at Henley Royal has given our crew the opportunity to show our versatility and adaptability through dual racing. Winning the Remenham cup meant commitment from each athlete to bring out the best of ourselves and allowed us to bring out the best of each other,” Edwards said. “We can take the experience of Henley with us coming into World Cup III. It’s a different format of racing, different environment, and even different uni suits, but there is no doubt World Cup III will be a new energy to the crew. We don’t expect the same racing but we’re looking to take all the good we have learned from Henley to create an even better World Cup for our crew.”
Adding to the nation’s jubilation at the Henley Royal Regatta, the Lightweight Women’s Double team of Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson secured victory, claiming the prestigious StonorChallenge Trophy. Competing in the open event at Henley, an exception to their usual lightweight double category, Moffatt and Casson defied the odds and showcased their exceptional skills and unwavering determination, triumphing over their heavyweight counterparts from Great Britain, and bringing a winner’s confidence into this weekend’s regatta.
Another crew full of confidence after an impressive Henley Royal Regatta is the Men’s Pair of Jack Walkey and Joel Cullen. Arriving in Europe ahead of schedule to gain invaluable racing experience at Henley, the talented pair stormed into the final of the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup, thereby setting the stage for a formidable regatta in Lucerne as they prepare to make their senior team debut.
The expanded roster for World Cup III includes nine team members who were recently announced on the Canadian Team for the upcoming World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria later this month. Lightweight women’s single rower Karissa Riley returns to World Cup competition, the Men’s Four of Aidan Hembruff, Julien Wiese, Axel Ewashko and Julian Black all making their World Cup debuts and the Women’s Four of Leia Till, Emma Seawright, Abigail Dent and Maya Meschkuleit, with Abby and Emma making their World Cup debuts, who will join their teammates and don the maple leaf race uniforms this weekend.
“It is exciting to have some of our U23 athletes competing here at World Cup III as a warm-up for the U23 World Championships later this month,” Parfitt said. “They will undoubtedly infuse our team with a surge of energy throughout the week.”
Leia Till, who is set to make her return to senior-level competition after the 2022 World Cup III, expressed her anticipation for the upcoming challenges alongside her teammates in the women’s four, as they gear up for the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships later this month.
“I’m very excited to compete, Maya and I went last year to World Cup III and we had a lot of fun. So this year, we’re looking forward to having the opportunity to race again and getting to go up against the seniors and seeing how we can do,” Leia Till said. “This week is going to be about figuring out our steps for racing and fine-tuning everything that we have been working on and making sure we’re ready to give it our all as a cohesive team.”
The 2023 World Rowing Cup series will culminate in Lucerne, Switzerland, where nearly 700 rowers representing 52 nations will engage in thrilling competition across 16 boat classes at the picturesque Rotsee, known as the “lake of the gods.” This regatta serves as a crucial final preparatory event for many nations, preceding the highly anticipated 2023 World Rowing Championships in September. The Championships will provide nations with their first opportunity to secure boat qualifications for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In light of potential contingency scenarios, the World Rowing Council has decided to introduce Time Trials as a test for rowers’ preparedness. As such, the Heats for all events at the 2023 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne will be conducted as Time Trials, except for boat classes featuring 12 or fewer entries. Subsequent rounds, including repechages, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals, will follow the traditional side-by-side racing format, ensuring the utmost excitement and fair competition.