Hundreds of rowers dipped their oars in the water in South Surrey Saturday, at the Head of the Nicomekl regatta. (Lauren Collins photo)

Victoria team rows to victory at Head of the Nicomekl regatta

South Surrey rowing competition featured teams from across B.C.

A quartet of rowers from Victoria are the new kings of the river, after winning the trophy race at the Head of the Nicomekl regatta Saturday afternoon in South Surrey.

A Victoria City Rowing Club’s men’s quad open division team – Alexander Watson, Graham Peeters, Spenser Thomas and Scott McDonald – was crowned the overall champion after completing the six-km course – which begins near the Nicomekl dam and ends at the Crescent Beach Pier – in 19 minutes and 14 seconds.

The time was a new course record, regatta co-chair Avril Loft told Peace Arch News.

“Victoria’s young men performed really well in both races,” she said.

In second place was a Vancouver Rowing Club pair led by Leslie Eglington Uhlenbruck that crossed the finish line in just over 25 minutes. The third-place team in the afternoon trophy race, which features a variety of competitors and boat types, was another Victoria City crew – an eight-person women’s masters team led by Mimi Drabit.

The eight-rower team finished earlier than the Vancouver pair in real time, but results are handicapped by age, gender and boat size in order to determine the overall winners.

The Head of the Nicomekl’s class race, which pushed off from the start line at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, was the first race of the day, as rowers competed within their specific divisions, or in open categories handicapped only by age.

In the men’s quads division, a masters team from Victoria’s Gorge Narrows Rowing Club – made up of Gerry Illmayer, Simon Vermegen, John Wrinch and Larry Chung – took top spot, while a women’s quads team from the Delta Deas Rowing Club won the women’s race.

The Delta crew consisted of Gayle Hubbard, Judith Kelly, Constance Easton and Kathy Williams.

The men’s doubles open race was won by Victoria City’s Peeters and Watson, while the mixed pairs masters competition was won by Delta’s Sandi Gauvin and James Norris. In the women’s masters, another Delta Deas pair – Lori Jones and Teri Gambrel – took top spot.

In men’s singles open race, Christopher Garrett of the Delta club won gold, while the women’s singles masters title was captured by Vancouver’s Loraine McCulloch.

The best junior rower award went to Victoria City’s Thomas, while the best novice title went to the Nicomekl Rowing Club’s Tracey Corbett, who competed in the women’s junior singles competition.

Peeters and Watson were named the best open competitors.

“We are proud of our club’s novice winner,” Loft said, adding that the host club “lucked out with the weather,” on race day.

For more, visit nico-row.com



sports@peacearchnews.com

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