Nicomekl Rowing Club’s Tracy Robinson

Nicomekl Rowing Club’s Tracy Robinson

Rowers battle river, rain at regatta

More than 180 rowers took part in last weekend's Head of the River Regatta, held on the Nicomekl River.

The weather may not have been kind, nevertheless more than 180 rowers from 16 clubs across the province dipped their oars in the Nicomekl River at the annual Head of the River Regatta Saturday afternoon.

The event, now in its 21st year and hosted by the Nicomekl Rowing Club, featured two different races – both 5.7 km – which began at the dam, and meandered down the river, under the railway trestle at Crescent Beach Marina and ended near Blackie Spit at the pier.

The overall Head of the River title was awarded to Whistler Rowing Club’s Maureen Harriman, who competed in the women’s singles division. She is a repeat winner of the award, having also won the honour in 2012.

The Head of the River title is determined after all results – in all divisions – are tallied, then are weighted by number of rowers, age, gender and boat-type.

Other winners Saturday included Lars Taylor, of the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club, who won the Para Cup; Vancouver Rowing Club’s Scott Paquette, Jamie Rogers, Kevin Spence, Ben Wristen, Steven Smith, Yousef Shamaneh, Lar Quigley, David Buxton-Forman and coxswain Carole Daviau, who were named the event’s best novice crew; and Jody Shuurman of Burnaby Lake, named best open crew.

The Fastest Crew on the River award went to the duo of Taylor Hardy and Vlad Timinsky, also of Burnaby Lake, who completed the course in a blistering 19 minutes, 54 seconds, while the best junior crew award went to Ari Kaufman.

Though the conditions were far from perfect, the inclement weather did not pose many challenges for the rowers during either of the races, regatta chair Marney McKay said.

“The weather was rainy, but calm water conditions set up the rowers for some great results,” she said.

“Rowers love the tactical challenge of the winding river, the danger of the trestle – there have been crashes in years prior – and everyone cheers as rowers round Blackie Spit.”