Rowers advance to Nationals

by Darrell Ingram

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Ready for the start five four-oared shells in the menís light straight fourís wait for the starterís command Saturday for the 1,000 meter race for the Renforth Cup. Kennebecasis Rowing Club light four, the shell in the foreground, won the trophy. (Photo by Darrell Ingram)

Kennebecasis Rowing Club from Renforth is the No. 1 crew in the Maritime Provinces after weekend regattas in Renforth and Fredericton against the other three clubs in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Two weeks ago, the Renforth and Fredericton clubs traveled to Dartmouth, where they came third behind North Star and Mic Mac clubs, both from Dartmouth.

This past weekend, they finished second behind Mic Mac in their own regatta while regaining their own Renforth Cup, which they lost last year to Mic Mac, and on Sunday they finished first in the Fredericton regatta, taking four first-place finishes in eight events.

"We finished first in the open menís eight and second in the womenís eight and mixed eight. This marks the first time we have finished this high with our eight, which we only received last year," said Serge Bergeron Monday. Mr. Bergeron is captain of the Kennebecasis Rowing Club.

Five male rowers, two coaches and Mr. Bergeron will be joining five female rowers from the Fredericton Rowing Club to form the New Brunswick team which, on August 4 and 5, will be competing in the Canadian national championships at Weeland, Ont., followed August 8 to 12 by the Canadian Henley International Competition at St. Catherines, Ont.

Two years ago, the Allan brothersí heavy pairs team cam first in the two national and international events.

This year, Brian and Henry Flood the club light pairs team have defeated Mark and David Allan twice in three outings, and will be part of the menís light fours going to the Ontario events.

The club is entered in light pairs, straight light pairs and light four with cox events at both regettas, while the Fredericton girls will be entering womenís pairs, straight fours and fours with cox.

The Fredericton girls out-pointed the Renforth girls in all three regattas.

Mr. Bergeron said the New Brunswick team has been given a provincial grant to help with transportation and accommodation expenses.

In Saturdayís regatta, Mic Mac of Dartmouth captured the menís light four with cox to open the day long event, while North Star of Dartmouth captured the womenís pair event.

Kennebecasis won the menís light four and the open four to recapture the Renforth Cup, while Mic Mac came back into the winnerís circle with the womenís light four.

In the open menís pairs, Kennebecasis finished first and second, with the Allan brothers narrowly edging the Flood brothers while Mic Mac won the womenís eight and the menís open eight.

The menís open eight was won by default after the North Star cox refused to follow the officialsí instructions and was disqualified from the race after almost colliding with the winning crew and forcing them to stop rowing at the 750-meter mark.

In other regatta events, Renforth mayor Malcolm Barry and Councilor Tony Rickett won the mayor-and-councilor canoe race, downing the Minto team, which placed second, and the Oromocto crew, in third place.

Following the event, Mayor Barry apologized to the Quispamsis team, which stood on shore while the race was held. "We didnít know they were here or we would certainly have made sure they got into the race," he said.

The softball tournament was captured by Rayís Auto Body, Saint John.

Other events included the annual ball Saturday night, sailing races, canoe jousting, track and field races and swimming competitions.