November Information Bulletin #9

That’s a Wrap
An early November snowfall that saw 20+ cm of snow blanket the province confirmed what we in the rowing community already knew; the 2012 on-water rowing season is over. Thank-you to all the volunteers, officials, coaches and the ARA Board for their tireless effort in making the sport of rowing a success here in Alberta.

NRC Summary
24 athletes represented Alberta this past weekend at the 2012 National Rowing Championships (NRC’s) in Victoria British-Columbia. NRC’s is a unique regatta in that athletes are only permitted to race in singles or pairs in determining a national champion. In an environment where athletes can find themselves racing an Olympic medallist, the environment of an NRC can be rather intimidating; for some.

Alberta athletes returned home from this years events winning three medals (a team record). Nicole Hare won gold and bronze in the Junior Women and U23 Women 1x respectively while Brittney Szwarc and Olivia McMurray won bronze in the U23 Women Pair. Alberta athletes who finished in the top ten of their respective event were:

S Garber 5th Junior Men’s 1x
Q Brandly 6th Junior Men’s 1x
J Reid / J Nyolt 8th Senior Men’s Pair
I Makhotkin / S Gair 6th U23 Men’s Pair
N Hare 1st Junior Women’s 1x / 3rd U23 Women’s 1x
B Szwarc /O McMurray 3rd U23 Women’s 2-
J Allan / G Allan 5th Junior Men’s 2-
M Maiorana / I Belzil 4th Junior Women’s 2-
O Tietz 5th Lightweight Men’s 1x
J McGuinness 7th U23 Lightweight Women’s 1x

Regardless of one’s finish it is the hope of the ARA that all athletes who did represent Alberta at this years event learned something which will assist them in their development in the upcoming season.

University Recap
For most, the month of October represents changing colors, falling leaves and a thanksgiving feast. For those in university rowing the month of October is the heart of the competitive rowing season. This past October, Alberta universities were represented at the Head of the Weasel / Dino Classic Regatta, Western Canadian University Championships and Canadian University Rowing Championships.

The Dino Classic is restricted to university athletes from within Alberta where bragging rights are on the line. Athletes from Lakeland College, University of Calgary and University of Alberta go head to head in 8 separate events (Men’s and Women’s 1x, Men’s and Women’s 2-/2x, Men’s and Women’s 8+ and Novice Men’s and Women’s 8+ . This year bragging rights for Alberta’s best overall rowing program went to the University of Alberta.

Next up was the Western Canadian University Championships to determine the best University rowing program in Western Canada. Victoria and the University of British-Columbia typically dominate this event. However, when it comes to Novice 8+ rowing Lakeland College is proving that Alberta universities can compete and win against our rivals from the west. Lakeland College won both the Novice Men’s and Women’s 8+ races this year. Congratulations Lakeland!

The university season concludes with the Canadian University Rowing Championships. This event is largely restricted to Canada’s best athletes – some of whom have gone on to compete for Canada, including Kai Langerfeld – 2011 Pan-American Games / spare 2012 Olympic Games and Carling Zeeman – bronze at the 2012 U23 World Championships. Once again Alberta’s universities proved that they could compete with the nations best.

Ole Tietz from the University of Alberta won the Lightweight Men’s 1x – joining an elite group of U of A alumni who have won a national title in the single boat class (Alison Madlung and Christine Bennett are the two others). Olivia McMurray and Brittney Szwarc from the University of Calgary had the fastest qualifying time in the heats but faced stiff competition in the final falling just short of winning a medal in the Women’s Pair.

High school rowers across the province have a difficult choice in selecting the right university / college. Many students who do decide to leave home, do so on the premise that an out of province school has a better rowing program; only to quit the sport two years later because they don’t get the opportunities that they were hoping for. Alberta’s universities and colleges do feature smaller rowing programs than some out of province programs but as evidenced they do produce good athletes. Sometimes it pays to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond rather than getting lost in the ocean.

More Work to be Done
The ARA’s second on-water Canada Summer Games Camp for 2012 was held October 14, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta. The ARA has noticed improvements both in the quality of rowing and the overall quality of athletes in attendance, but acknowledge there is much work still to be done if we are to achieve our goals in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Some points that are to be addressed are:

1) Time is now of the essence. As of the date of this document there are now only 273 days before competition begins at the 2013 Games and approximately 215 remaining days before the selection camp scheduled for mid-June 2013. Athletes who aspire to be on the 2013 Canada Summer Games Team should look to maximize the days available to them. Only a select few will get invited to the camp and even fewer still will go on to the games themselves (see below.).

2) Erg-Performance – Athletes who wish to be invited to the 2013 CSG Selection Camp should be looking to the following 2k Time Standards as a minimum guideline. Heavy Men – 6:30 / Heavy Women 7:30 / Light Men 6:45 / Light Women 7:45. Results from the latest round of erg testing show that improvement in this regard is required.

In speaking with those who have been to previous Canada Summer Games they say it is an experience of a lifetime. We at the ARA hope that all age eligible athletes will see it the same way and put forth the effort to join us in Sherbrooke.

RADAR Reminder
A reminder to all ARA athletes that RADAR submissions are due November 16th (for those that want to be considered for Sport Canada carding) or November 29th (for those that want to be considered for development opportunities). The ARA encourages all athletes to complete the battery of tests that are required as part of RADAR and post their scores on the on-line database. It is the opinion of the ARA that completing the tests and posting your results on-line will assist you in your development.

Upcoming Events

  • ARA AGM November 17, 2012 – Red Deer Alberta