(July 14, 2013) Canada's new look women's eight got a taste of the podium today at the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Canadians bring home a bronze, starting off their Olympic journey on a positive note.
The U.S., 2012 Olympic champs, asserted their dominance by setting a world's best time today to win in 5:54.16, Romania finished in second 6:00.42, just edging out Canada (6:01.61). Great Britain (6:04.84), Germany (6:08.23), and New Zealand (6:14.26) followed.
"I am happy with the race today, but am hungry for more," said coxswain Kristen Kit, who was the coxswain for the 2012 Paralympic team. "I am excited to head back to the training centre in London (Ontario) and satiate that hunger with some hard work. I'm very proud of my crew. All eight of the women raced a gutsy race today."
The crew members are Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON), Christine Roper (Victoria, BC), Sarah Black (Ottawa, ON), Natalie Mastracci (Thorold, ON), Susanne Grainger (London, ON), Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK), Jen Martins (Toronto, ON), Lisa Roman (Vancouver, ON), and coxswain Kristen Kit (St. Catharines, ON). Only Mastracci is back from the silver-medal winning Olympic boat, and Nurse was an alternate for the crew.
"I'm pleased to see the eight (bronze) and the four (gold) on the podium this weekend," said Canada’s women’s coach, John Keogh. "Overall, as a team, there is a lot that we’ve learned and a lot we need to work on."
In other results today, the women's double (Emily Cameron of Summerside, PEI, and Kerry Shaffer of Welland, ON) was second in its B final, for eighth overall in a time of 7:02.53.
The men's double - Mike Harowicz (Oakville, ON) and Josh Morris (Victoria, BC) - was fifth in the B final (11th) in 6:36.74.
The women's quad was third in B final in 6:30.08 to finish ninth in this event. This crew is Antje Von Seydlitz (Smithers, BC), Alyssa Weninger (Unity, SK), Rosie DeBoef (Victoria, BC), and Kate Goodfellow (Ottawa, ON).
The Canadian men's four was also ninth overall or third in the B final. The four’s time was 5:59.69. This crew is Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC), Steve Van Knotsenburg (Beamsville, ON), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) and Olympic silver medalist (men’s eight) Will Crothers of Kingston, ON.
The men's quad was fourth in the B final (or 10th place) in 5:51.38. This crew is Jamie Abbass (Happy Valley - Goose Bay, NFLD), Mike Braithwaite (Duncan, BC), Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB) and Matthew Buie (Duntroon, ON).
Yesterday, the women's four (a non-Olympic class boat) won gold, giving Canada a total of two medals at the regatta. Saturday’s summary is here:
"The World Cup circuit is a tough classroom," said Peter Cookson, High Performance Director for Rowing Canada Aviron. "However, learning about how to perform at this level is a necessary requirement if we truly want to be the best. No one on the team is satisfied with the overall performance here, but we know we have a lot of high-calibre athletes who will take important lessons from this and be better next time around."
This wraps up the World Cup in Lucerne, the last major race for the senior team before the World Rowing Championships in Korea in late August.
More information and full results at www.worldrowing.com
Photo by Erik Dresser, Row2k.com