The Telegraph Journal, Saint John, N.B., Monday, July 17, 1978

N.S. Club Tops Event

Click here to see full size. A Tough Crew- This crew from the North Star Rowing Club in Dartmouth, N.S. proved that it was truly a tough one as they copped the coxless fours Renforth Trophy race during the rowing events at the Renforth Regatta Saturday. Members of the crew (from left to right) John Vilks, Frank Benstead, Steve Piggott and Peter Vilks.

The North Star Rowing Club of Dartmouth, N.S. showed the generous and appreciative gathering at the Renforth Warf that they came to row.

And row they did, taking seven of the 12 events during the Renforth Regattas rowing competition Saturday, including the prestigious Renforth Trophy, an event the host Kennebecasis Rowing Club had never lost since its inauguration into the competition six years ago.

"It was a good win for us," said 22-year-old Peter Vilks of the North Star Rowing Club following their big victory. "We didnít know what the New Brunswick crews would be like, but, banking on past experience, we knew they were good."

Vilks, who sat in the number four or stroke position for the North Star crew, felt that the head wind and the water conditions were the important reasons why the times were well off those of last year.

"It made quite a difference with the wind blowing straight at you." The time for the race was four minuets, six seconds, well off the pace of last yearís time of three minutes, 15 seconds.

But there other reasons as to why last yearís time was so impressive as compared to the one this time around.

"We made the event a lightweight race this year," said Keith Ratcliffe, coach of the Kennebecasis oarsmen. "Last year and all previous years, it was an open event, and as a result, you had heavyweights in it instead of the lightweights."

Without heavyweights competing probably tells the tale. Last year, Mark and Dave Allen, Wayne McConnell and Andy Messer (who rowed in place of the injured Butch Gaunce) won the event for the local club. They also won the Canadian coxless four event at the Henley in St. Catharine's, Ont., competing in the junior class.

The Allen brothers went on to win the gold medal in the junior pairs competition.

Why did the host club make this a lightweight race when they had a very solid heavyweight crew on hand?

"It was a simple matter of no other club having a heavyweight crew," added Ratcliffe. "Besides, it's better for the younger inexperienced oarsmen and it makes for better competition."

Other members of the North Star crew are Steve Piggott, number three, Frank Benstead, number two and John Vilks, brother of Peter as number one.

Tim Prince, also of the North Star Rowing Club, emerged as a big winner at the event.

Prince, in his first year as a competitive rower, won the lightweight single with a time of four minutes, 30 seconds, then copped the open single competition, this time winning with a time of four minutes, 40 seconds.

The host club's open four men's and women's crew came through in fine fashion and with the men's crew being denied of a chance to take the Renforth Trophy, its victory was very satisfying.

The crew, made up of the Allen brothers along with first year rowers Tom Chamberlain and John Wagstaff, won the coxless competition with a time of four minutes, six seconds, ahead of the second place Fredericton Rowing Club and third place Mic Mac Rowing Club.

Here are Saturday's Results:

LEGEND: Kennebecasis Rowing Club (KRC), Mic Mac Rowing Club (MMRC), North Star Rowing Club (NSRC), Fredericton Rowing Club (FRC)

Women's Events (1000 metres)

Open Eight: 1. NSRC 2. MMRC 3. FRC Time: 4:16.0

Open Four: 1. MMRC 2. NSRC 3. KRC Time: 3:53.0

Coxless Four: 1. KRC 2. FRC 3. MMRC Time: 4:06

Men's Events (1,500 metre)

Lightweight Four: 1. KRC 2. MMRC 3. NSRC Time: 4:12

Open Four: 1. NSRC 2. KRC 3. MMRC Time: 4:06.

Open Lightweight Four, Coxless (Renforth Trophy) 1. NSRC 2. KRC 3. FRC Time: 4:06

Open Eight: 1. NSRC 2. KRC 3. MMRC Time: 3:04.0

Lightweight Single: 1. NSRC 2. MMRC Time: 4:30.0

Open Single: 1. NSRC 2. MMRC 3. FRC Time: 4:40

Open Four, Coxless 1. NSRC 2. KRC 3. MMRC Time: 1:50

Novice Single: 1.KRC 2. MMRC 3. MMRC Time: 1:42