Thurber rowing team claims division first

The Lindsay Thurber High School rowing team finished the 2016 outdoor rowing season with a bang after claiming first place in their division at the Head of the Weasel head race on the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary last weekend.

“I was very pleased with their technique in terms of rowing in unison and having their oars all perfectly parallel and well-timed going into the water together and really pulling in unison,” said rowing coach and Central Alberta Rowing Club President Andrew Nokes of the crew’s performance at the race, which saw them post a time of 13 minutes and 34 seconds over 3km to claim their second first place finish in the novice category at the final outdoor race of the season.

Nokes said the quad, which consisted of Thurber students Jesse Duke, Cory Mackenzie, Julian Jones and Emma Nokes, showed some stellar technique throughout the race, which helped them to propel their four-person sculling boat to victory.

“They had long strokes. You could see their back swing at the finish,” he said, explaining that basically the goal when rowing is to lever the boat forward and the further forwards you can lever the boat with the oar with each stroke, the faster you go.

“That tends to be a problem with novice rowers. They lack the flexibility and it is quite tiring and requires strong abdominal muscles to do that. But their technique for a novice crew is very good. I’d say they were in the middle of the pack in relation to the other junior quads and those are juniors who have been rowing for more than one season.”

In fact, they were able to post a faster time than some of the university novice teams that entered the race, including a few of the eight-athlete sweep crews.

“Some of the university novice crews haven’t been rowing all summer like ours, but even so the university students will have rowed more often each week since the beginning of September,” Nokes said.

With the Head of the Weasel now in the rear view mirror, the club will now turn their attention to learning how to row an eight-person sweep boat, which will be the next challenge.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen the Olympics, but generally the country’s key boats; the most prestigious boats are the men’s and women’s eights,” Nokes said, adding that the Thurber team had the opportunity to take the CARC’s sweep out on Lacombe Lake during Monday night’s practice.

“That went well. It’s a totally different technique; a little more difficult.”

The team will continue to practice on Lacombe Lake until it freezes at which point they’ll shift their focus to indoor training on rowing machines.

The Lindsay Thurber rowing crew have been training with the Central Alberta Rowing Club since May of this year.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com