Burnaby hosts national rowing regatta

An odd duck may have been the centre of attention on the local pond, but a pair of different opportunities are going to make Burnaby Lake a noisy hub for rowing in the coming days.

You might catch a glimpse of a rare Mandarin duck. Or better yet, some of the world's best athletes in competition, right here in Burnaby.

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This weekend the city and lake facility is going to be hosting the 2018 national rowing championships, with the nation’s best – including Olympians and world champions – dipping their oars in the Burnaby water.

Part of the three-day event, which starts Friday, is the Canada Cup competition on Sunday with quads and eights.

Among those expected to contend at the national regatta are world champions Caileigh Filmer of Victoria and Hillary Janssens of Surrey, who will be working with their partners to claim the women’s pairs title. Canada’s women’s eight boat, which took silver at the world championships, is also slated to hit the water

The men’s single event features two-time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Will Crothers of Kingston, Ont., and Pan Am gold medalist Matt Buie of Duntroon, Ont.

Burnaby Lake Rowing Club product Ellen Gleadow will be racing in the lightweight women’s event.

The competition is expected to feature 300 competitors from across the country, with races starting Friday and wrapping up Sunday.

Another major opportunity emerging from Burnaby Lake is the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club High Performance development teams, which saw solid results at the recent Head of the Charles competition in Boston.

Led by former Burnaby Lake Rowing Club coach Cinda Ewton, the program produced good results in its first major competition, with 11,000 rowers on the Boston waters.

Burnaby resident Paul Whitmore began the first day in the men’s single event, and delivered a 14th place showing – out of 32 crews – in his Boston debut. The BCIT accounting student past four teams to secure his top-15 result.

A Latvian-based crew of Anna Line, Violeta Levinoka, Nansija Liepina and Laura Pohevica, with the help of Miya Kwan, placed fifth in the youth women’s coxed quad race. The Eastern European quartet were making their North American debut and are the start of a potential international partnership with Ewton’s program in Burnaby and Baltic rowers.

The final Burnaby Lake pairing, Georgia Douville and Elisa Luo, began the youth women’s doubles in 33rd spot and rose to 13th. The pair will aim to carry that momentum over to this week’s national rowing championships on their own water.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit https://tinyurl.com/ydguejeh.

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