IMG_5949Aline smashing the field in her final.

IMG_5954Andrea and Mallory very happy after their race.

Last weekend three of our Edmonton athletes headed out West to Burnaby for the Rowing Canada National selection regatta.

Aline Belzil in the junior women’s single trialling for the 2015 World Junior Rowing Championships in Reo and Canamex Games in Mexico, and Andrea Labrecque and Mallory Turner in the senior women’s pair trialling for the 2015 World University Games in Korea.

After a long winter of training and close to no time on the water we headed out to Burnaby to race against the best on the West Coast.

Aline was first up with her 1x time trial in a field of 36 junior girls. The goal was to make the A or B final so she would hopefully get an invite to the seat racing process on sunday. Being her first ever 2km time trial race she was very focused on trying to have a strong aggressive race placing her in that top 12.
Looking strong as she came down the course she finished 8th fastest overall solidly securing her place into the B final. With great relief of the first race of the year out of the way and a fantastic result she quickly set her focus to the final later that afternoon.

With a slight head wind picking up she was ready for a long hard race. The final being side by side racing there were 6 athletes to a final. As the buzzer went off she had a rocky start being dropped by the BC girl who qualified faster through the time trial. Aline quotes “ I had come to terms with the fact I wasn’t going to win, she was so far ahead there was no way, so I was aiming to hold on for second”.
Focusing on a strong middle thousand to hold the rest of the field off she looked around through the 1000m mark and saw that she was bow to stern with the first place position. She said “ I realized I could maybe do this so I just have to go now” and sure enough she put the hammer down passing her easily through the third 500m opening up to clear water and winning the race by an easy three lengths of open water and finishing 5th fastest time of all the junior women. A fantastic race by Aline booking her place to sundays seat racing. Seat Racing on sunday was put on by RCA to allow the juniors a practice experience of seat racing for when they go on to the next stage of worlds selection. Aline had a great time participating in this finishing 2nd place in her group.

Sunday morning was race time for the women’s pair. Going into a straight final the girls were excited, but feeling the pressure of the unknown. Having less time on the water than the competition they were prepared and ready that they would likely not come out of the blocks ahead, and have to try and stay relaxed and power through the middle 1000m. Very pleased they reported they had a great start coming out with the field who were all neck and neck through the first half of the race. As they came through the halfway the UBC pair pulled ahead leaving the ERC pair fighting with a Vic City pair for the second place. Keeping their composure they pushed through the third 500m opening up to a solid second position. As they headed into the home straight they opened their lead finishing a strong impressive 2nd place open water ahead of the field. A great result for the girls who were very excited and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We now anxiously await for the university selection panel to inform us on the girls hopeful success to attend the World Universities.

Aline having such a successful result now moves on to the next stage of selection regatta in June. They will repeat a similar process however include small and big boat seat racing for final selection for the Junior World Rowing Championships.

A proud moment for the ERC have three of our home grown athletes competing to such a high level across the country.

Congratulations to Aline, Andrea and Mallory.