After a packed schedule on the previous day, Friday was a little slower and gentler on the coaching staff, who had substituted normal food intake for an exclusively coffee based diet at this point. 

First to take to the water was Erin Watchman in a heat of the U17 Women’s 1x. Erin completed her tour of all junior small boats (1x, 2-, 2x) with this event, an impressive feat in her first season of racing. Erin is extremely dedicated athlete and a great addition team. She is a rower of few words, but decisive deeds. Erin pushed hard through middle of the race to place fifth in a difficult heat. Most junior rower would be happy with such a great achievement, but Erin insisted that: “I need to get faster this winter!” Junior coach Amanda Cinnamon is in no doubt that Erin will follow through and thrown down the gauntlet in the U19 competition next year.


Amanda and Andrea exchanged their sweep oars for sculling oars this summer in the Open women’s double

If you had gone on Facebook two day’s ago you would have found that Mallory Turner was in a healthy, loving and “Facebook official” relationship with the Single Scull. All week, rumors had been circulating around the Holiday Inn that the two might finally get tie the knot and Single Scull is presumed to have dropped the question (and a giant diamond ring) at a romantic dinner on Monday night. If you were to check Facebook today you would find that the relationship status has changed to “it’s complicated”. Intelligence suggests that heat in the U23 Women’s 1x is to blame for the partial break down of the relationship. Mallory took offence to the “close relationship her significant other shared with the rough weather on the course” and added that Single Scull had always been “too common for her anyways”. Despite the heartache caused by this falling out, Mallory believes that “Single Scull deserves a second chance” and that “their relationship is far from over”.  Further racing in the U23 Women’s 1x was Patricia Juarez, whose relationship with Single Scull is still young and in the “honey moon stage”. Both Mallory and Patricia raced well but came up short in strong headwind conditions.

First of Edmonton’s three semi-finals on day 4 of the regatta were Lara “Prada” Damen and Emily “Gucci” Dolphin who raced in the U23 Lightweight Women’s 2x. The two Krispies have become fast friends over the course of their time in the double together and are among the few people who enjoy listening to 1982 hit “Down under” by Australian rock band “Men at work”.  The two did very well to reach the semi-final in this competitive event and were racing for the cheery on top of the pie rather than the pie itself at this point. Emily described the race as a “paddle into a dash”. Apparently the Edmonton double struggled to find their rhythm in the difficult conditions during the first 1500 m but put their foot down in the final 500 m of the race when the water flattened out. The Kripsy double finished the race an excellent fifth.

The ocean like conditions on the course upset the artistic balance of U17 Men’s 1x sculler Aaron Harrower as he headed out on the course for his semi-final. Aaron can whirl his sculling oars like paint brushes to create amazing works of art on flat canvas. His fine mind is not used to sculpturing with hammer and chisel on rough surface at this point. Aaron raced hard to take the fight to the competition, but came up short after a choice selection of semi crabs at the 500 m mark. “A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” has been a constant companion to Aaron this past week – Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes {Note: “And his mind turned to unknown arts” – epigraph to Joyce’s famous novel}. Coaches and crewmates look forward to more excellent sculling from Aaron in the fall season. 

The basic combination of Amanda “Sunshine” Cinnamon and Andrea “Legs” Labrecque contemplated some profound philosophical questions before, during and after their semi-final of the Open Women’s 2x. Is rowing fun? “Rowing is okay” (Andrea). “Rowing is not not fun” (Amanda). “The race was on the good side of mediocre” (Andrea). “I don’t know, I guess the race was okay” (Amanda). Understatement is one of the fortes of the of Edmonton double. The two Women raced extremely well and kept their foot on the gas the entire way down the course to finish just outside of the qualifying spots for the Henley final. This is Amanda’s and Andrea’s first full season in the sculling discipline and the two were able to push into the top ten of Women’s doubles in North America! We sincerely hope that the two will continue to enjoy rowing moving into the fall season.

The only Henley final with Edmonton participation on day four of the regatta was the U23 Lightweight Men’s 4-. The Edmonton crew was composed of Quinn Brandly, Torrin Lemire, Ben Altman and Dillon Peters. The boys entered the final with high expectations having qualified third fastest out of the heats. Stroke-seat Quinn looked to take the boat out of the blocks at a high pace to try and put the top crews under pressure. The strategy fell victim to the rough conditions on the course and was swallowed by the waves somewhere around the 500 mark. The crew tried to churn ahead at full speed but meet their proverbial iceberg before the half way mark. Captain Benjamin stuck with the sinking ship as the Women and Children were evacuated. Repeated calls for “legs” and “sharpness” could not plug the leaks that the crew had sustained through the middle of the race. The band kept playing until the last oarlock had been found its way to the bottom of the Martindale pond, and the finishing horn was a great relief for the HMS Titanic Lord Swart’s flagship “Toglet”. The Edmonton crew was disappointed with their sixth place finish, but can look forward to a great fall season, where three of the quartet will be eligible to race for the University team.

We are looking forward to another exciting day of racing with final appearances in the Open Women’s 4- and the Lightweight Men’s 2- tomorrow. Thank you for reading. The final update from Henley 2015 should come your way on Monday and will include race reports of Saturday and Sunday.


– Press Officer Tietz