On the 26th and 27th of October, the University of Alberta and Edmonton Rowing Clubs attended the Head of the Gorge and Head of the Elk Regatta in Victoria BC.

The first flight for the Head of the Gorge on the Saturday was the first experience racing this course for many of our athletes both new and old. As a tough course to navigate with multiple bridges, shipping boats, and narrows with fast moving water to get around the coxswains and bowman’s had a challenge ahead of them.

Crews launched and started the 4km row to make it up to the start line. Unexpectedly at the start line a tugboat had to come through, pushing the racing back by almost two hours.

Once racing was underway our ERC and UART crews fought hard against the stiff western competition. Immediately after the first flight the second flight began to launch. Multiple crews dressed up for the last race of the day, along with the other Gorge competitors. Costumes consisted of rainbows, smurfs, princesses, bunnies, finding nemo, army girls, and pac man’s ghosts! The creativity of the crews was unbelievable.

The second flight went much smoother for teams with no unexpected delays. Though the Edmonton and U of A crews fought hard they unfortunately didn’t come out on top in any boat classes.

Sunday brought promise of a new day for our crews as they moved courses to compete at the Head of the Elk. Vamped up and ready to demolish coastal crews Edmonton and the U of A were ready to go. The 8km course was initially quite daunting for the athletes but when things got underway crews managed to push through.

In the first flight teams discovered that the rowing scenery in British Columbia was proving to be quite beautiful as the Elk consisted of wide-open waterways and islands. So beautiful in fact, that multiple crews managed to go for a slight detour along the course by mistake. Unlike the day before, crews held their own at the Elk and multiple boats placed first!

Edmonton athletes are truly proving that they can be real competitors in western Canada. Winning both big and small boats at Head of the Elk, the continuous hard work and dedication of our athletes has brought results to the club this fall season.

Congratulations to the Edmonton and U of A Crews, who redeemed their losses at Head of the Gorge, and came out on top at the Head of the Elk!

The Novice Men’s 4x consisting of Sheila Findlay, Paul Rhee, Jeff Duong, and Deb Johnson finished 1st against the other crew in the category by almost an astonishing 5 minutes.

Lightweights Quinn Brandly and Ole Tietz ranked 1st in the Men’s 2x by roughly 5 seconds, racing against both heavyweights and other lightweights.

Beating the odds and recovering from an unfortunate collision the day before, Amanda Cinnamon, Jacqueline McAuley placed 1st in the Women’s 2x against their western competition.

After coming in 2nd place to the University of Victoria at Head of the Gorge, the Women’s 8+ took some time to come together as a crew and finished the weekend strong coming in 1st against UVIC at Head of the Elk; an accomplishment to be proud of for the girls. The crew consisted of: Deborah Johnson, Andrea Labreque, Jess Phillips, Mallory Turner, Isabelle Belzil, Amanda Cinnamon, Leanne Leder, Jacqueline McAuley and Aline Belzil.

All crews had a successful weekend at both the Gorge and Elk and look forward to attending again next year!