It hasn’t taken long for the partnership between the Central Alberta Rowing Club (CARC) and Lindsay Thurber High School to bear fruit.
The CARC Junior crew, made up of Thurber students Heather Ritchie, Julian Jones, Cory Mackenzie and Emma Nokes, overcame rough conditions on the water to put up a great time at the Vermilion Head Race this past weekend to take home the trophy for their category.
“They looked good. They’ve worked hard on technique, which isn’t easy and I think they did very well in the very rough conditions,” said CARC President Andrew Nokes of the crew’s first-ever head race.
Crews were timed over a 3km course as they fought against a strong wind and white caps on the waves at Vermilion. In fact, the conditions were so tough that one crew capsized.
But not the Thurber crew, who pressed on and completed the course in just over 16 minutes to claim the trophy.
“Our crew, apparently they had trouble with a cross-wind at the start. They were going to go off course but from then onwards they rowed well. They had the right rating — strokes per minute — and they were looking very clean in the sense they weren’t catching the water in spite of the waves,” Andrew said, adding the crew was outstanding in the last 250 metres.
“Their plan was to take up the rating and to accelerate to the finish and that went very well.”
While some of the crew had already raced in the regattas in Calgary earlier in the summer, this was the first time any of them had competed in a head race, which normally take place in the early fall.
“We’ve got them all racing under the Lindsay Thurber colours. So they’ve been training under the Central Alberta Rowing Club,” Andrew explained.
He added the partnership with the Red Deer high school, which is in its first year, has already had a fair amount of success.
“We plan on building on that for next year. When the lake is frozen, which hopefully will be not until the first week of November, we’ll organize a winter training program.”
The crew’s next race will be the Head of the Weasel on the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary this coming Saturday.