Weekend Wrap: Welland Plays Host to 2023 RowOn Championships
The 2023 RowOn Championships took place from the South Course of the Welland International Flatwater Centre over the weekend in a hotly contested two-day regatta.
A total of 668 boats from 30 clubs hit the water at the annual regatta, which began on Saturday morning and ended on Sunday afternoon. The 668 entries marked the most entries at a RowOn Championships since 2017, as regatta entries continue to trend positively in 2023 in the second full year back from the pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rowers gamely battled challenging weather conditions throughout the weekend, as a downpour along with lightning during the singles time trials on Saturday morning delayed the competition for approximately three hours. The rain continued into the afternoon on Saturday and returned on Sunday for the final few hours of the regatta after ideal morning conditions and start to the afternoon schedule.
The well-attended regatta saw 23 clubs from Ontario compete at the event, with the remaining coming from the USA, BC, and a senior men’s double who were representing Colombia. The St. Catharines Rowing Club were the big winners after two days of action, bringing home a total of 17 gold medals. They led all clubs in first place finishes across all the categories, which included U17, U19, U23, and Senior age groups across open weight and lightweight singles, doubles, pairs, fours, quads, and eights. Next on the gold medal standings was Mississauga’s Don Rowing Club with seven. Don’s had a particularly impressive performance from U17 rower Elizabeth Najjar, who claimed the fastest time in the women’s singles race, coming across the line in a time of 8:21.32 in the A Final. Matt Finley of the St. Catharines Rowing Club earned the men’s singles title with an A Final time of 7:30.42.
Other clubs earning gold medals on the weekend included the Kingston Rowing Club (5), Peterborough Rowing Club (4), Western University (4), Leander Boat Club (4), Notre Dame Rowing Club (3), Westside Rowing Club (3), RowBuffalo (3), Argonaut Rowing Club (2), Niagara Falls Rowing Club (2), Guelph Rowing Club (2), Ottawa Rowing Club (2), Ridley College (1), and UBC/Yale Composite (1).
On the other side of the province, the Thunder Bay Rowing Club participated in the Tops and Bottoms Regatta from Rabbit Lake in Kenora, Ont. The lone Ontario-based club to take part in the event, the TBRC members performed well earning the most gold medals with eight, and coming in place second overall with 14 total medals, two behind the Minneapolis Rowing Club who earned 16. The regatta featured seven clubs from Ontario, Manitoba, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania and had 121 entries.
For the full regatta schedule in Ontario, visit the events schedule.