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For 2024, Rowing Canada Aviron has adopted a new trials-based system that enables clubs and provinces to field project crews for U19 selection. By keeping crews in their region the athletes have a longer runway for training, fundraising and planning, before presenting themselves at the U19 trials in in St. Catharines this June.

In BC, projects for both men and women have brought together the best U19 athletes available in different regions to get a sense of a higher level and standard of rowing, and to explore the possibility of creating some crews for the U19 national program this year. Projects have been club led, with support from Rowing BC’s Director of Performance, Terry Paul.

Recently, the Elk Lake Spring Regatta was used as a measuring stick opportunity to assess the standard of some of the projects to this point. Despite being U19, the project crews raced in the Open 8+ events at the regatta. Terry was very happy with the event, “Overall, I think it added a lot of energy to the regatta. It was a great example of collaboration, with the university programs and Rowing BC supporting the development of the U19’s race experience.”

In the women’s event, both UVic and UBC programs agreed to field even crews for the U19 project boat to race against. Photo above and video below shows the regional project boat (composite Brentwood/Maple Bay/Vic City) in lane 2.

Vancouver Island Regional Women’s Project Crew:

Bow – Blaise Beaulieu (VCRC), 2 – Agata Minka (MBRC), 3 – Rowan Thompson (VCRC), 4 – Willow Tzonev (VCRC), 5 – Kate Watson (VCRC), 6 – Kate Markovitz (VCRC), 7 – Novella Rusman (BCS), Stroke – Ciana Della Siega (VCRC), Cox – Sienna Gulevich (BCS)

Coaches: Dave Calder (BCS), Andrew Rae (MBRC), Miki Chantler (VCRC), volunteer coach Rene Gonin

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