St. Catharines Rowing Club enters final day of Henley with seven medals
Mitchell Rodgers, left, and Andrew Allan hoist Now Jim Award after winning under-19 men's pair for the St. Catharines Rowing Club at the 135th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Saturday in St. Catharines. BERND FRANKE/Postmedia News
The St. Catharines Rowing Club used, fittingly enough, first-place finishes in dashes to sprint ahead of Argentina in the race to finish the 135th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta with the most gold medals.
St. Catharines went 3-for-3 in 500-metre dashes Saturday to enter the final day of the national club championships with seven medals.
Argentina has five and Ottawa and Victoria City four each.
The Ridley Graduate Boat Club, with two; is the only other club from Niagara with first-place finishes at a prestigious competition in which only gold medals are awarded.
In all, the St. Catharines Rowing Club won four medals Saturday, starting with a pace-setting performance by Andrew Allan and Mitchell Rodgers in the under-19 men’s pair.
South Niagara’s Graeme McKinley and Lynden Whitley trailed a Hudson River crew across the finish line to place third.
Matthew Finley won the 500-metre dash in the men’s single in 1:32.30 opening the floodgates for St. Catharines, which rowed to gold to back-to-back golds starting one race later in the men’s and women’s lightweight eight dashes.
Coxswain Aurora Gordon’s eight Zach Whitely, Nolan Van Helvert, Owen Voelkner, Mack Berkhout, Eric Buchanan, Brandon Andrews, Alex Powell and Taylor Ashwood finished in 1:26; 2, with the women’s eight - Olivia Bagshaw, Marina Rose, Carly Zanatta, Alicia Piazza, Andrea Jansen, Sarah-Jan Mambella, Jennifer Beaudette, Erin Corkery, Mary Rao, coxswain – completing the course in 1:32.78.
The quarter-distance competitions – all other races, including qualifiers, are 2,000 metres – were held following a 50-minute rain delay.
Upwards of 2,300 athletes from 140 clubs are taking part in the world-class regatta that this year has attracted crews from Australia, China and Zimbabwe.