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By: Cliff Brimmell

(Ottawa, June 29, 2015)…… Call it superstition. Call it Karma, but the Ottawa Rowing Club is sending a little magic — Golden Magic — on to Canada’s team at the Pan AM Games.

The ORC — founded in 1867 — will be part of the Pan Am Games Torch Relay on the morning of June 30th as it passes through Ottawa on the final leg of its journey across the country en route to Toronto.

The club will deliver the Torch in style — Gold-Medal-winning style.

Paul Amesbury, Pan AMs Gold Medal winning rower from the 2007 games in Rio de Janeiro, will hand the Torch off at Dow’s Lake when he arrives in an Eight with Cox after a ceremonial trip rowing the Torch across Dow’s Lake to the Pavilion.

Paul’s crew struck Gold in the Lightweight Men’s Four in Rio, an experience he trained years for and will never forget. He knows exactly what Canada’s best — especially the rowers — are feeling as the days and hours tick down and the Torch runs, rolls, and rows its way to the Opening Ceremonies.

“Rio was amazing,” says Paul.  “I was a real mix of nerves and excitement. We were anxious to get the racing started, but it was amazing to see thousands of people there to welcome us. To our team in Toronto I’d say. You’ve done all the work. You’re ready. Now take the time to enjoy the entire experience. Really savour it.”

Joining Paul, eight other ORC members will propel the Torch across Dow’s Lake in a Canadian-made Hudson Shark Eight. The sleek 18-metre-long shell is a stunning new example of what has made Hudson Boat Works one of the world’s hottest boat designers, with more and more of its shells hitting the line first at top international events like the Pan Ams and the Olympics. Hudson crafts its carbon-fibre beauties in London Ontario, home to much of the Canadian National Rowing Team.

Rounding out the crew to deliver the Torch on Dow’s Lake are Paul’s crewmates:

  • Wes Kuran, former ORC president who we are honoured to announce has been selected as one of the 2015 Pan Am Games rowing umpires.
  • Hillary DeJong, a 23-year old Trunk and Arms para-rower ;
  • Lilianne Page, one of ORC’s latest crop of international rowing talent. Lil pulled for Canada at last year’s FISU World University Rowing Championships.
  • Hayley Watt and Graham Connell, two young Junior rowers and Gold Medalists at both the national high school championships and Canadian Henley.
  • Mike Walker, current Rowing Canada Aviron President and former ORC President;
  • Lana Burpee, ORC president, decorated rower and volunteer coach; and
  • Coxie and ORC executive member Jeremy Courtney who will apply 20+ years of coxing experience to ensure a safe journey for the Torch.

The Ottawa Rowing Club wishes all of Team Canada the best of luck at the Pan Am Games.
And remember— if you want some of Paul’s Pan Am’s Gold Magic, give that Torch an extra squeeze.

About the Ottawa Rowing Club:

The Ottawa Rowing Club (ORC) will turn 150 years old 2017.  In 1867, the ORC was founded by Sir John A MacDonald and is now one of the largest and most successful clubs in Canada.  Nestled on the shore of the Ottawa River, off of Sussex Drive, the ORC offers a variety of programs including Learn to Row, Competitive, Recreational, Masters, University, High School, Adult Rowing League, Discover Rowing Summer Camps and Para-Rowing.  The ORC is also host to a number of special events throughout the year including Discover Rowing Days for high school students and Try-Rowing Days for those who want to discover the beautiful sport of rowing.  For more details about the Ottawa Rowing Club and what we offer visit or contact us at 613-241-1120.


For more information, contact:

Melissa McKenzie

Executive Director

Ottawa Rowing Club