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50 Years of Rowing BC (1969-2019)

September 10, 1969 was the first time a provincial association for rowing in BC met as an officially recognized society. We’ve changed and grown a lot over those years.

As part of our year-long celebrations, we’ll be releasing two facts about the history of Rowing BC on Facebook (@rowingbc) and Twitter (@rowing_bc) each week as well as adding to the story of Rowing BC’s history here.

Later in the year we’re planning some in-person celebration events. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out!

50 Facts About Our 50 Years

The primary rowing organization in BC from 1891 – 1969 was the North Pacific Association for Amateur Oarsmen (N.P.A.A.O). The four founding members were the Portland Rowing Club (Portland, Oregon), Willamette Rowing Club (Portland, Oregon), Burrard Inlet Rowing Club (Vancouver, BC), and the Vancouver Boating Club (Vancouver, BC). The association did not function in 1915-1920 due to the war, but was revived in 1920. At this time, its members were the Portland Rowing Club (Portland, Oregon), James Bay Athletic Association (Victoria, BC), Vancouver Rowing Club (Vancouver, BC), and Coeur D’Alene Rowing Club (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho). The purpose of the association was the “advancement and improvement of rowing among amateurs.” The organization hosted an annual regatta for 24 years, and had written its own regatta rules. Membership was $15 annually.

Read the full North Pacific Association for Amateur Oarsmen Constitution and Bylaws here.

The N.P.A.A.O awarded the Buchanan Cup to the winners of the Men’s Four at their Annual Regatta from 1904-1957. A few notable individuals who won the Buchanan Cup over the years include BC Sports Hall of Fame rowing inductee Nelles Stacey, who won the trophy twice as a member of Vancouver Rowing Club fours crews in 1908 and 1909, members of the Vancouver Rowing Club’s 1924 fours crew that won a silver medal at the 1924 Olympics and were inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame won the magnificent trophy in 1923 and 1925, and future BC Lions team president Don Mackenzie was part of a Buchanan Cup-winning team from the Vancouver Rowing Club in 1934. The Buchanan Cup was the very first artifact ever acquired and catalogued by the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and is currently on display with over 25,000 other artifacts related to the history of sport in BC.

Find out more about the Buchanan Cup here.

The BC Rowing Association was the first provincial association created to specifically support rowing-related activities in BC. The association was registered as a society and met for the first official time on September 10, 1969 at the Vancouver Rowing Club (Vancouver, BC). In specific, this association functioned to make it possible for rowing in BC to access provincial funding to support its advancement and improvement.

The BC Rowing Association was accidentally removed from the BC Registry of Companies in 1985. Functionality continued as normal despite no longer carrying official status until 1987 when the lack of status was noticed and rectified.

In 1987, it was realized that somehow the BC Rowing Association had been removed from the BC Registry of Companies, and it would not be possible to continue receiving provincial funding until this was rectified. Don Arnold made a call and discovered that getting re-registered as the BC Rowing Association would be a year-long process, but they could be immediately re-registered if the association chose a new name. The suggestion was to create the new name with the sport featured at the start of the name.

Rowing BC was born.

Many of Rowing BC’s current member organizations are much older than the BC Rowing Association/Rowing BC!

  • 1865 Vancouver Rowing Club (Victoria, BC – confusing name!)
  • 1886 Vancouver Boating Club (Vancouver, BC – later to become the Vancouver Rowing Club)
  • 1896 Nelson Boat Club (Nelson, BC – later to become the Nelson Rowing Club)
  • 1929 rowing established at Burnaby Lake, BC (later to become the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club)
  • 1949 University of British Columbia Rowing joined the Vancouver Rowing Club (Vancouver, BC)
  • 1952 Victoria City Rowing Club (Victoria, BC) including University of Victoria Rowing

Know of other rowing organizations in BC that began before 1969? Let us know at admin@rowingbc.ca so we can add them to the list.

The 1951 European Rowing Championships were the first to ever include racing for female rowers. The racing was over a 1000m distance for women, instead of the 2000m distance used by men.

Female rowing was first included in the Olympics in 1976. At this time, women raced in the same boat categories as men, but still raced over only 1000m. It wasn’t until the 1988 Olympics that women’s rowing switched to the same 2000m distance as raced by the men.

1988 was also the first year of the Henley Women’s Regatta.

The Canadian Rowing Team attending the 1976 Olympics in Montreal included female rowers in the Single Scull, Double Scull, Coxless Pairs, Coxed Fours, Coxed Quadruple Sculls and Coxed Eights. Of the 24 women on the team, 6 came from hometowns in BC.

  • Cheryl Howard (Comox, BC) – W2x
  • Tricia Smith (Vancouver, BC) – W2-
  • Linda Schaumleffel (Vernon, BC) – W4+
  • Joy Fera (Vernon, BC) – W4+
  • Susan Antoft (Montreal, QC but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – W8+
  • Rhonda Ross (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Wendy Pullan (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Illoana Smith (Wayburn, SK but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – W8+

Find out more about this team here.

1972 Olympic Games – Munich, Germany

Of the 16 Canadian rowers named to the 1972 Olympic Team, 5 (31%) came from hometowns in BC.

  • Trevor Josephson (Princeton, BC) – M2+
  • Robert Battersby (Vancouver, BC) – M2+
  • Michael Neary (Ottawa, ON but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M2+
  • Ian Gordon (Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • Karel Jonker (Amsterdam, Netherlands but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M4-
  • Edgar Smith (Comox, BC) – M4+
  • Robert Cunliff (Vancouver, BC) – M4+
  • Roger Jackson (Toronto, ON but affiliated with UBC Rowing) – M4+
  • Michael Conway (Sidney, Australia but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M4+

Find out more about the 1972 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

1976 Olympic Games – Monteal, Canada

Of the 46 Canadian rowers named to the 1976 Olympic Team, 11 (24%) came from hometowns in BC.

  • Michael Neary (Ottawa, ON but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M2-
  • Robert Bergen (Vancouver, BC) – M2+
  • York Langerfeld (Hamburg, Germany but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M4x
  • Ian Gordon (Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • Edgar Smith (Comox, BC) – M8+
  • James Henniger (Vancouver, BC) – M8+
  • Alexander Manson (Vancouver, BC) – M8+
  • Cheryl Howard (Comox, BC) – W2x
  • Tricia Smith (Vancouver, BC) – W2-
  • Linda Schaumleffel (Vernon, BC) – W4+
  • Joy Fera (Vernon, BC) – W4+
  • Susan Antoft (Montreal, QC but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – W8+
  • Rhonda Ross (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Wendy Pullan (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Illoana Smith (Wayburn, SK but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – W8+

Find out more about the 1976 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

1980 Olympic Games – Moscow, Russia

The Canadian Olympic Rowing Team boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia.

1984 Olympic Games – Los Angeles, United States of America

Of the 54 Canadian rowers named to the 1984 Olympic Team, 11 (20%) came from hometowns in BC.

  • Harold Backer (Selkirk, MB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2+
  • Bruce Ford (Victoria, BC) – M4x
  • David Ross (Duncan, BC) – M4+
  • Timothy Christian (Quesnel, BC) – M4+
  • Patrick Turner (Toronto, ON but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M8+
  • Kevin Neufeld (St. Catharines, ON but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M8+
  • Gerald Main (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Paul Steele (New Westminster, BC) – M8+
  • Dean Crawford (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Blair Horn (Kelowna, BC) – M8+
  • Silken Laumann (Mississauga, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W2x
  • Tricia Smith (Vancouver, BC) – W2-
  • Lisa Roy (Vancouver, BC) – W4x+
  • Janice Mason (Edmonton, AB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W4x+
  • Carolyn Trono (Vancouver, BC) – W4x+
  • Lisa Robertson (Victoria, BC) – W8+
  • Joanell Gillingham (Twentynine Palms, USA but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a BRONZE in the M4x, GOLD in the M8+, BRONZE in the W2x, and SILVER in the W2-.

Find out more about the 1984 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

1988 Olympic Games – Seoul, South Korea

Of the 40 Canadian rowers named to the 1988 Olympic Team, 8 (20%) came from hometowns in BC.

  • Bruce Ford (Victoria, BC) – M2x
  • Patrick Walter (Calgary, AB but associated with the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club – M2x
  • Ian McKerlich (Vancouver, BC) – M2+
  • Patrick Newman (St. Catharines, ON but associated with the Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2+
  • David Ross (Duncan, BC) – M2+
  • John Ossowski (Etobicoke, ON but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M4-
  • Bruce Robertson (Calgary, AB but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M4-
  • Raymond Collier (Cranbrook, BC) – M4-
  • Harold Backer (Selkirk, MB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M4+
  • Terry Paul (Oakville, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M4+
  • Brian Saunderson (Toronto, ON but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M4+
  • Kevin Neufeld (St. Catharines, ON but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M8+
  • Andrew Crosby (Bella Coola, BC) – M8+
  • Paul Steele (New Westminster, BC) – M8+
  • Gerald Main (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • James Schaffer (Saint John’s, NFL but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • John Wallace (Burlington, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Silken Laumann (Mississauga, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W2x
  • Kirsten Barnes (London, Great Britain but associated with the UVIC Vikes) – W2-
  • Tricia Smith (Vancouver, BC) – W4+

Find out more about the 1988 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

1992 Olympic Games – Barcelona, Spain

Of the 27 Canadian rowers named to the 1992 Olympic Team, 7 (26%) came from hometowns in BC.

  • Harold Backer (Selkirk, MB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2-
  • Brian Saunderson (Toronto, ON but associated with UBC Thunderbirds) – M4-
  • Cedric Burgers (North Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • John Wallace (Burlington, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Bruce Robertson (Calgary, AB but associated with UVIC Vikes) – M8+
  • Darren Barber (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Michael Rascher (Edmonton, AB but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club and UBC Thunderbirds) – M8+
  • Andrew Crosby (Bella Coola, BC) – M8+
  • Derek Porter (Belfast, Great Britain but associated with Gorge Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Terry Paul (Oakville, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Silken Laumann (Mississauga, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W1x
  • Marnie McBean (Vancouver, BC) – W2-
  • Kathleen Heddle (Trail, BC) – W2- and W8+
  • Kirsten Barnes (London, Great Britain but associated with UVIC Vikes) – W4- and W8+
  • Brenda Taylor (Nanaimo, BC) – W4- and W8+
  • Jessica Monroe (Palo Alto, USA but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club) – W4- and W8+
  • Megan Delahanty (Edmonton, AB but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club and UBC Thunderbirds) – W8+
  • Marnie McBean (Vancouver, BC) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a GOLD in the M8+, BRONZE in the W1x, GOLD in the W2-, GOLD in the W4- and GOLD in the W8+.

Find out more about the 1992 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

1996 Olympic Games – Atlanta, United States of America

Of the 32 Canadian rowers named to the 1996 Olympic Team, 7 (22%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • Derek Porter (Belfast, Great Britain but associated with Gorge Rowing Club) – M1x
  • Philip Graham (Halifax, NS but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Darren Barber (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Andrew Crosby (Bella Coola, BC) – M8+
  • Adam Parfitt (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Patrick Newman (St. Catharines, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Gavin Hassett (Saint John, NB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – LM4-
  • Silken Laumann (Mississauga, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – W1x
  • Marnie McBean (Vancouver, BC) – W2x and W4x
  • Kathleen Heddle (Trail, BC) – W2x and W4x
  • Anna Van der Kamp (Abbotsford, BC) – W2- and W8+
  • Laryssa Biesenthal (Walkerton, ON but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club) – W4x
  • Jessica Monroe (Palo Alto, USA but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club) W8+
  • Theresa Luke (Vancouver, BC) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a SILVER in the M1x, SILVER in the LM4-, SILVER in the W1x, GOLD in the W2x, BRONZE in the W4x, and SILVER in the W8+.

Find out more about the 1996 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

2000 Olympic Games – Sydney, Australia

Of the 30 Canadian rowers named to the 2000 Olympic Team, 7 (23%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • Derek Porter (Belfast, Great Britain but associated with Gorge Rowing Club) – M1x
  • Dominic Seiterle (Montreal, QC but associated with Delta Deas Rowing Club) – M2x
  • Philip Graham (Halifax, NS but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2-
  • Thomas Herschmiller (Comox, BC) – M8+
  • Lawrence Varga (Port Alberni, BC) – M8+
  • David Calder (Brandon, MB but associated with Brentwood College School and Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Adam Parfitt (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Iain Brambell (Brentwood Bay, BC) – LM4-
  • Chris Davidson (Toronto, ON but associated with UVIC Vikes) – LM4-
  • Gavin Hassett (Saint John, NB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – LM4-
  • Kristen Wall (Victoria, BC) – W1x
  • Theresa Luke (Vancouver, BC) – W2- and W8+
  • Heather Davis (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Laryssa Biesenthal (Walkerton, ON but associated with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a BRONZE in the W8+.

Find out more about the 2000 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

2004 Olympic Games – Athens, Greece

Of the 32 Canadian rowers named to the 2004 Olympic Team, 10 (31%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • David Calder (Brandon, MB but associated with Brentwood College School Rowing and Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2-
  • Thomas Herschmiller (Comox, BC) – M4-
  • Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, BC) – M8+
  • Kevin Light (Vancouver, BC) – M8+
  • Ben Rutledge (Cranbrook, BC) – M8+
  • Kyle Hamilton (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Iain Brambell (Brentwood Bay, BC) – LM4-
  • Jon Mandick (Edmonton, AB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – LM4-
  • Gavin Hassett (Saint John, NB but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – LM4-
  • Darcy Marquardt (Vancouver, BC) – W2-
  • Anna-Marie de Zwager (Victoria, BC) – W8+
  • Karen Clark (Delta, BC) – W8+
  • Romina Stefancic (Ljubljana, Slovenia but associated with UVIC Vikes) – W8+
  • Sabrina Kolker (Quadra Island, BC) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a SILVER in the M4-.

Find out more about the 2004 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

2008 Olympic Games – Beijing, China

Of the 35 Canadian rowers named to the 2008 Olympic Team, 13 (37%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • David Calder (Brandon, MB but associated with Brentwood College School Rowing and Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2-
  • Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, BC) – M2-
  • Kevin Light (Vancouver, BC) – M8+
  • Ben Rutledge (Cranbrook, BC) – M8+
  • Malcolm Howard (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Dominic Seiterle (Montreal, QC but associated with Delta Deas Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Kyle Hamilton (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Iain Brambell (Brentwood Bay, BC) – LM4-
  • Michael Lewis (Victoria, BC) – LM4-
  • Sabrina Kolker (Quadra Island, BC) – W2-
  • Rachelle de Jong-Viinberg (Nanaimo, BC) – W4x
  • Anna-Marie de Zwager (Victoria, BC) – W4x
  • Krista Guloien (New Westminster, BC) – W4x
  • Heather Mandoli (Kelowna, BC) – W8+
  • Sarah Bonikowsky (Newmarket, ON but associated with UVIC Vikes) – W8+
  • Romina Stefancic (Ljubljana, Slovenia but associated with UVIC Vikes) – W8+
  • Darcy Marquardt (Vancouver, BC) – W8+

These BC athletes were part of securing a SILVER in the M2-, GOLD in the M8+, and BRONZE in the LM4-.

Find out more about the 2008 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

2012 Olympic Games – London, Great Britain

Of the 30 Canadian rowers named to the 2012 Olympic Team, 13 (43%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • Michael Braithwaite (Duncan, BC) – M2x
  • David Calder (Brandon, MB but associated with Brentwood College School Rowing and Victoria City Rowing Club) – M2-
  • Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, BC) – M2-
  • Michael Wilkinson (North Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • Anthony Jacob (Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) – M4-
  • Gabe Bergen (Dawson Creek, BC) – M8+
  • Malcolm Howard (Victoria, BC) – M8+
  • Jeremiah Brown (Hamilton, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Will Crothers (Kingston, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M8+
  • Rachelle de Jong-Viinberg (Nanaimo, BC) – W8+
  • Krista Guloien (New Westminster, BC) – W4x
  • Lauren Wilkinson (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Darcy Marquardt (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Lindsay Jennerich (Victoria, BC) – LW2x
  • Patricia Obee (Saanich, BC) – LW2x

These BC athletes were part of securing a SILVER in the M8+, and SILVER in the W8+.

Find out more about the 2012 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

2016 Olympic Games – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Of the 26 Canadian rowers named to the 2016 Olympic Team, 10 (38%) were from hometowns in BC.

  • Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) – M4x
  • Will Crothers (Kingston, ON but associated with Victoria City Rowing Club) – M4-
  • Kai Langerfeld (North Vancouver, BC) – M4-
  • Maxwell Lattimer (Vancouver, BC) – LM4-
  • Brendan Hodge (Vancouver, BC) – LM4-
  • Lisa Roman (Surrey, BC) – W8+
  • Antje Von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (Smithers, BC) – W8+
  • Lauren Wilkinson (Vancouver, BC) – W8+
  • Caileigh Filmer (Victoria, BC) – W8+
  • Lindsay Jennerich (Victoria, BC) – LW2x
  • Patricia Obee (Saanich, BC) – LW2x

These BC athletes were part of securing a SILVER in the LW2x.

Find out more about the 2016 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team here.

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