September 2014 Monthly Bulletin

Approximately 60 athletes representing the Calgary and Edmonton rowing clubs attended the Royal Canadian Henley regatta; the highest number of Alberta athletes to attend a Henley Regatta in recent memory (and quite likely of all time). The 2014 version of Henley was also one of Alberta’s most successful Henley regattas in the event’s 132 years. In 2014 a total of 10 Alberta boats recorded a top three finish in their respective event; and one of these boats returned home winning Henley Gold. These results are broken down as follows:

1st: – U23 LM 1x – S Garber – CRC

2nd – U23 LM 2x – S Garber and S Holloway – CRC

2nd – U23 W4x – K Guran / K Lefsrud /M Lukacs / K Mort – CRC

2nd – Jr M4x – J Allan / G Allan / T Tietz / M Hohnstein – ERC

2nd – LM 4x – S Garber / S Holloway /D Doyle Baker / P Ferraro – CRC

3rd – U23 W1x – M Lukacs – CRC

3rd – W4- – J Loutit / E Taub / K Gruchalla Wesierski / S Laing – CRC

3rd – U17 W4x–V Ulrich /S Kirker /B Thorsen /H Kennedy – CRC

3rd – U17 W1x – A Belzil – ERC

3rd – W8+ – J Loutit/ E Taub / K Gruchalla Wesierski / K Lefsrud /

H Hlas / M Kirker / S Laing / M Lukacs / A Martin   CRC

In addition to those boats that finished within the top three of their respective event, there were an additional 11 Alberta Boats that raced in a Henley Final. Congratulations to everyone who attended. A great job by all.

Nicole Hare stroked Canada Women’s U23 4- to a bronze medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy in July, and to do it on her birthday we are certain that this is one day Nicole will never forget. Congratulations Nicole. A recap of the race as told to Rowing Canada is as follows:

Canada’s U23 women’s four claimed a bronze medal in 6:47.42. The race was dominated by the USA crew who took an early lead, opening up a 3.49 second lead by the 1500 meter marker. The Canadian crew of Zoe Fettig-Winn, Michelle Aylard, Hillary Janssens and birthday girl Nicole Hare, stroking 36, held onto second position for much of the race before New Zealand was able to lift the pace and overtake the Canadians with only a few hundred meters to go.

“The girls executed a really gutsy race plan, they went out really hard and were right in it as planned,” said coach Michelle Darvill. “It’s always great to end up on the podium, though we would’ve liked a different colour but we had really good competition today and considering how young this crew is, we’ll be training hard to improve the performance for next year.”

Olivia McMurray stroked Canada’s pair to a fourth place finish at the 2014 Commonwealth Rowing Championships. While we are sure that Olivia would have liked to have returned home with some hardware we know that she can solstice in the fact that this was her first time representing her country and she was mere seconds from standing on the podium.

Congratulations Olivia.

Western Canada Summer Games
The 2015 WCSG are now only a little more than 11 months away. In preparation for this event the ARA will be hosting a series of identification camps. Participation at these camps is by invite only and will be based on an athletes 2K score up to and including September 14, 2014. Athletes should be looking at the following baseline requirements for invite to these camps. They are:

Women – 8:40 – 2,000m

Men     – 7:40 – 2,000m

Information about these camps was distributed to club coaches across the province in the middle of August. Athletes who wish to gain information surrounding these camps should speak to their respective coach. The first camp is slated for Sunday September 28th in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Alberta Rowing Association is playing host to the 2014 Western Canada University Rowing Championships on October 18, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta.  This regatta represents the first time since the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games that athletes representing the provinces of British-Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will race here in Alberta. We at the Alberta Rowing Association are excited to play host to this event and hope you are as well. If you are interested in volunteering your time to help us in making this a successful event we encourage you to email

Alberta based universities / colleges should now be in receipt of the Technical Package and as well the entry form and order of events. If you have not received this information please email

In a few short weeks the ARA will publicize its list of athletes who will receive Henley Funding.   In addition to funds allocated towards Henley funding the ARA paid for the cost of trailering boats to attend Henley and will provide over $30,000 in assistance to the Calgary and Edmonton Rowing Clubs this fiscal year. All told in fiscal 2014 the ARA will contribute nearly $45,000 towards competitive programming in Calgary and Edmonton.

In addition to direct financial subsidies, Alberta athletes have also benefited from competitive opportunities provided by the ARA over the past 24 months. Consider the following:

1)     Of the four Alberta based athletes who represented Canada in 2013 & 2014 and/or are presently training at a National Training Centre, all four represented Alberta in Sherbrooke. To put things in perspective over 13% of the Alberta CSG Team has rowed for Canada in the past two years.

2)     Of the 24 different athletes who recorded a top three finish in their respective event at the 2014 Henley Regatta 10 of them represented the ARA at the 2013 Canada Summer Games. Three additional athletes have represented Alberta at the National Rowing Championships and the two Novice athletes who are amongst this group were discovered through the ARA’s own Talent Development Initiative.

Let the facts show that the ARA has had a profound impact on competitive rowing here in Alberta. In the coming year we hope that we can continue to provide opportunities for our competitive athletes to succeed but acknowledge that this will require an enhanced level of cooperation and commitment from our member clubs. We hope that everyone shares our vision in making Alberta a preeminent power in the sport of rowing.

The 2014 National Rowing Championships are scheduled for November 7-9 in Victoria, British Columbia. The ARA is presently drafting a document detailing how athletes can make themselves eligible to represent Alberta at this event. Athletes who recorded a top three finish at the 2014 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta for an Alberta based rowing club and have achieved the Bronze Erg Standard for their respective weight / age should consider attending this event.

Coaching Education
One of the components of RCA’s coaching education program is the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), which is delivered in partnership with Rowing Canada, Provincial Rowing Associations and the Coaching Association of Canada. Our goal within Alberta is to assist all of our coaches in their development by increasing their technical knowledge, skills and abilities. To assist in this regard the ARA offers an annual coaches conference, assists our member clubs in sending coaches to the RCA coach’s conference and works with Rowing Canada in providing NCCP workshops here in Alberta.

Despite our efforts to develop coaches here in Alberta there appears to be much confusion as to how a coach becomes certified within our sport. Hopefully we can answer some of these questions.

What is the National Coaching Certification Program?
The NCCP is a competency-based system where coaches must demonstrate competency in order to obtain certification.

There are so many different coaching streams what coaching stream should I take?
Who are you coaching?   If you spend the bulk of your time coaching athletes who are new to rowing you should take the Learn to Row Instructor coach. If you are coaching competitive athletes in a junior, senior, high school or university program you should take RCA Coach. Course Descriptions are as follows:

Learn to Row Instructor
The NCCP Learn to Row (LTR) Instructor workshop is an ideal place to begin your coaching career,. This 1.5 day workshop, will provide you with the confidence to run a safe and quality program that introduces beginners of all ages to the sport.

Delivered over two weekends, these two workshops provide an exceptional foundation for your coaching career and introduces new coaching methods that will enhance your programs effectiveness. Coaches who enroll in this program are coaching athletes in the Train to Train or early Learn to Compete stages of LTAD. They have taken a Learn to Row course and still require considerable emphasis on developing good technique.

 Do I have to take the two workshops as part of RCA Coach if I have Level I and/or II under the old NCCP System?
Unfortunately yes, however, any coach who feels that they have the knowledge and experience to forgo the RCA Coach workshops has the ability to challenge any part of the Coaching Education process.  Coaches who wish to challenge the RCA Coach Certification program are to email their completed coaching portfolio to to kick-start the process.

I want to register for a NCCP Course. When are they offered?
The ARA has tentatively scheduled RCA Coach Weekend Course #1 for the month of November, 2014.   If you are interested in registering for this course please email

Rowing Tidbits

  • Teresa Berkholtz who represented Canada at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in the Lightweight Women’s Single lists Black Diamond Alberta as her home-town.
  • A total of five world best times were set at the 2014 World Rowing Championships.       Expect Gold Medal Prognostic Times to be updated in the coming year.
  • Eric Murray and Hamish Bond went into the record books at the 2014 World Rowing Championships with the most consecutive wins in rowing. The New Zealand duo won their 19th, 20th and 21st consecutive race in Amsterdam, the Netherlands by winning the Men’s pair.

 Upcoming Events

  • Head of the North Saskatchewan – Edmonton, Alberta – September 27, 2014
  • ARA WCSG identification camp – Edmonton, Alberta – September 28, 2014
  • Head of the Weasel – Calgary, Alberta – October 4, 2014