The Grand Valley Rowing Team showed great potential for this upcoming year after their first race of the season at the University of Western Ontario Invitational this past weekend. Returning varsity and experienced novice crews made the trek to London, Ontario for a unique racing experience and to see how they stacked up against some tough international competition. This regatta featured a 4000 meter, mass-start race followed by a 400 meter sprint to determine the overall winner.
The Women’s Varsity 8+ pushed their way towards the front of the pack early on in their 4000 meter race and never looked back. Though they couldn’t quite catch the leaders from the University of Western Ontario, they held off the rest of the crews to finish in second place. In a very close sprint race, the Lakers crossed the finish line third, but still managed to hang onto their second place overall finish. The women’s team also had a second boat entered in the event. The Lakers finished sixth in the 4000 meter race and second in their sprint to put them in seventh place overall.
In the mass start of the Men’s Varsity 8+ race, the three Grand Valley boats found themselves side by side. The first Laker boat pulled ahead, challenging the leaders from Western Ontario and Brock. A yield at the turn caused the Lakers to lose some ground that they were unable to overcome in the last leg of the race, giving them a third place finish. Another third place finish in the sprint race gave the Lakers a third place overall finish. A sixth place finish in the 4000 meter race and second place in the 400 meter sprint gave the second Grand Valley boat an overall sixth place finish. After a rough start, the third Laker boat finished seventh in the 4K and second in the sprint to finish eighth overall.
Grand Valley also brought a Women’s Varsity 4+ to the regatta. A third place finish in the 4K and a fourth place finish in the 400 meter race gave them a fourth place overall finish.
The Laker’s next event is the Family Day Row this upcoming Saturday, September 27. Friends and family of the Grand Valley Rowing team are invited down to the boathouse in Allendale to get in the boats and experience this exciting sport for themselves. The boathouse will be open from 11am-1pm.