Weekend Wrap: Gold Medal for W8+ in Lucerne; London Hosts LWHSI
Competition/ May 27

Weekend Wrap: Gold Medal for W8+ in Lucerne; London Hosts LWHSI

The last weekend in May was a successful one for the Canadian women’s eight as they captured a hard-fought gold medal at World Rowing II in Lucerne, Switzerland. Meanwhile in provincial competition the London Western Rowing Club hosted the London Western High School Invitational in the last test before the CSSRA’s next weekend.

Canada had two Olympic-bound boats competing in Lucerne as the women’s eight as well as the lightweight women’s double (Jenny Casson & Jill Moffatt) raced in preliminary heats and finals on the Rotsee from May 24-26.

After a weather delay that saw the usually serene Rotsee turn rough with whitecaps, the W8+ took to the water for a fiercely contested preliminary race on Friday against teams from the USA, Australia, and Great Britain. The Canadian crew finished 3rd with a time of 6:07.78, just 1.61 seconds behind the leading USA. They returned to the racecourse on Sunday for the final and had to adapt to a last-minute change due to illness, with Kristen Siermachesky stepping in for Avalon Wasteneys, and Abby Dent moving up to the stroke seat. The crew of Dent, Kristina Walker, Sydney Payne, Siermachesky, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Maya Meschkuleit, Caileigh Filmer, Jessica Sevick, and coxswain Kristen Kit stayed focused and delivered a phenomenal performance, finishing in first place (6:04.47) ahead of Great Britain (6:05.57) and the USA (6:08.77).

Casson and Moffatt, had a strong start to their competition finishing in second place in their preliminary heat with a time of 7:09.24. They trailed only the USA, who clocked in at 7:05.31, with both teams securing their spot in Sunday’s final. In Sunday’s final, LW2x finished fourth overall with a time of 7:03.43, behind the USA (7:01.37), who finished third. Great Britain (6:54.83) and New Zealand (6:57.68) secured the first and second positions, respectively.

The crews will now focus on their final training block prior to competing in Paris in July for the 2024 Olympic Games.

In London, 15 clubs and high school programs from Ontario and the USA competed in challenging conditions as rain came down on Fanshawe Lake during the LWSHI. The regatta featured 140 entries across a wide variety of race categories. The Niagara Falls Rowing Club had a big day on the water, as their rowers medaled in 15 of the 18 races they were entered in, including nine golds.

Next on the gold medal tally was the Argonaut Rowing Club, who earned five, followed by Sir Winston Churchill SS (St. Catharines) who claimed four, Sir Frederick Banting SS (London) with three and the host London Western Rowing Club with two.

These crews, along with high school programs from across the country, will now set their sights on the CSSRA Championships, which take place May 31 – June 2 on Martindale Waterways in St. Catharines. The 77th annual CSSRA Championships currently has 728 entries, up from 647 in 2023.

For full results from the LWSHI, visit RegattaCentral.
For full results from the World Rowing Cup II, visit World Rowing.

For the full regatta schedule in Ontario, visit the Row Ontario website.

Picture is property of London Western Rowing Club