Weekend Wrap: Queen’s and Brock Crowned OUA Champions
Competition/ Oct 30

Weekend Wrap: Queen’s and Brock Crowned OUA Champions

The last weekend of October was a busy one for the Ontario rowing community, highlighted by the 2023 OUA Rowing Championships. The Head of the Schuylkill also saw several Ontario clubs travel south of the border for two days of head race action.

The OUA Rowing Championships took place from Martindale Waterways in St. Catharines on Oct. 27-28 and saw 14 university programs compete for the coveted OUA Championship banners. After two days of exciting competition in novice, junior varsity and varsity action, the Queen’s Gaels and Brock Badgers were the big winners as the Gaels claimed their first women’s championship since 2012 while the Badger’s men’s team earned in their third straight OUA title.

The Gaels victory on the women’s side snapped a run of nine consecutive OUA championships for the Western Mustangs and marked the 13th OUA championship for Queen’s in women’s rowing. After performing well during the heats on Friday, the Queen’s varsity women were dominant from start to finish on Saturday, jumping out to an early lead in the overall standings and holding it for the rest of the day. They earned medals in each of the ten events, with four gold, three silver and three bronze, with their four gold medals being the most among the women’s varsity programs, and finished with a total of 496 points.

The Mustangs finished second in the women’s standings with 408 points and earned a total of seven medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze), followed by the Brock Badgers in third with 212 points (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze). Other Ontario schools winning medals on the women’s side over the weekend included the Carleton Ravens (2 silver, 1 bronze), Ottawa Gee-Gees (2 gold), Trent Excalibur (1 gold), Toronto Varsity Blues (1 silver), and McMaster Marauders (1 bronze). Both Gee-Gees gold medals were earned by Kennedy Burrows, who came out on top in both the women’s lightweight and open single. The double gold medal performance led to Burrows being voted OUA Women’s Rower of the Year.

On the men’s side, the Badgers six gold medals helped them complete an impressive three-peat. Competing on their home waters on the Henley Course, Brock’s men’s varsity rowers were seemingly always out in front during the A Finals on Saturday when rowing past the cheering crowd in front of the Neil Campbell Rowing Centre at the midway point of the course on Henley Island. In addition to their six gold, they also claimed two silver medals en route to 524 total points. The victory marked the 14th OUA banner for the Brock men’s team. Charles-Etienne Tabet was named OUA Men’s Rower of the Year thanks to an outstanding weekend that included a gold in the men’s lightweight single and gold in the lightweight double with partner Riley Watson.

Western again finished as the runner-up, earning 444 points and a total of seven medals (3 gold, 4 silver), followed by the Queen’s Gaels with 277 points and six medals (1 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze). Other programs earning medals were the McGill Redbirds (1 silver, 2 bronze), Carleton Ravens (2 bronze), Toronto Varsity Blues (1 bronze), Ottawa Gee-Gees (1 bronze), Guelph Gryphons (1 bronze), and McMaster Marauders (1 bronze).

The finals of the junior varsity and novice divisions took place on Friday morning under windy conditions and marked the last races of the year for these up-and-coming rowers. A total of nine races were run with the McGill Redbirds/Martlets coming out on top with six medals (1 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), followed by Western with four (3 gold, 1 bronze), and the McMaster Marauders with three (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Other programs winning medals were Brock (1 gold, 1 silver), Ottawa (1 gold, 1 silver), Queen’s (1 gold, 1 bronze), the Waterloo Warriors (1 gold, 1 bronze), and Trent (2 silver) with two, and the Laurentian Voyageurs (silver), Toronto (bronze), and the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks (bronze) with one apiece.

Following the event, the Queen’s Gaels women’s coaching team of Katie Bruggeling, Rami Maassarani, Scott Feddery and Kathleen Rankin, were voted OUA Women’s Coach of the Year while Scott Anderson and Tom Kent of the Brock Badgers were voted the OUA Men’s Coach the Year. With Queen’s and Brock winning the women’s and men’s championship, it marks the first time in OUA rowing history that two female head coaches have won banners during the same year. Bruggeling, who is head coach of Queen’s rowing, and Brock head coach Mary Rao each led their respective squads to the championship.

The OUA Rowing Championships were hosted by Ontario Tech and Row Ontario in conjunction with the OUA. The university rowers will be in action again in two weeks at the Canadian University Rowing Championships which take place in Burnaby, BC on Nov. 10-12.

Women’s Standings
Queen’s – 496
Western – 408
Brock – 212
Carleton – 151
Ottawa – 144
Guelph – 104
Toronto – 103
Trent – 98
McMaster – 88
McGill – 59
Nipissing – 16
Ontario Tech – 16
Waterloo – 6

Men’s Standings
Brock – 524
Western – 444
Queen’s – 277
Toronto – 157
McGill – 136
Ottawa – 110
Carleton – 90
Guelph – 87
McMaster – 59
Trent – 48
Waterloo – 27
Ontario Tech – 16
Nipissing – 9
Laurentian – 2

Award Winners
OUA Women’s Rower of the Year – Kennedy Burrows – Ottawa Gee-Gees
OUA Men’s Rower of the Year – Charles-Etienne Tabet – Brock Badgers
OUA Women’s Coach of the Year – Queen’s Women’s Coaches (Katie Bruggeling, Kathleen Rankin, Rami Maassarani, Scott Feddery)
OUA Men’s Coach of the Year – Scott Anderson and Tom Kent – Brock Badgers

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, 12 Ontario rowing clubs participated in the annual Head of the Schuylkill Regatta over two days on Saturday and Sunday. Considered to be ‘America’s Birthplace of Rowing’ the 4km course is one of the most challenging courses in the United States due to its sharp and winding curves. The regatta featured approximately 8000 rowers from 270 clubs from across the world, with the Ontario contingent holding their own in earning a total of 38 medals.

Leading the way was the Notre Dame Rowing Club who brought home 16 medals (9 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze) and the Niagara Falls Rowing Club who claimed nine (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze). A few of Ontario’s smaller clubs sent rowers to the regatta and also brought home some hardware. The LaSalle Rowing Club had 12 entries in the regatta and claimed two medals, a silver and a bronze, while the Collingwood Rowing Club’s lone entry (Tom Schellenberg) earned the gold medal in the masters 27-39 men’s single.

Other clubs earning medals were the St. Catharines Rowing Club (2 gold, 2 silver), Argonaut Rowing Club (4 bronze), Ottawa Rowing Club (1 gold), and Branksome Hall (1 bronze).

The Martha Coffey Frostbite Sprints also took place on Sunday at the Argonaut Rowing Club and featured competition between Argo’s members and members of the Orillia Rowing Club in youth, novice and recreational races.

For full results from the OUA Rowing Championships, visit RegattaCentral
For full results from the Head of the Schuylkill, visit HOSR
For information on the Martha Coffey Frostbite Sprints, visit RegattaCentral

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