North Bay para-athlete Dave Innes came home with a pair of gold medals from the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines over the weekend.
It was the first competition in Innes' new boat. As the former Invictus Games medallist is hoping to make Canada’s Paralympic rowing team for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.
“The nerves were pretty bad the first day for sure,” said Innes.
“I had to force myself to eat and stuff like that but once I got on the water those went away.”
He captured gold in both the 2 k and the 500 m sprint category.
Not only was it the first time for Innes racing in his new boat, but it was also the first time rowing on a different waterway other than Trout Lake where he has been training this summer.
“Different waterway, different currents, different wind gusts so it is a whole different feeling,” he said.
He says this event is a big confidence booster for him as he prepares for the Nationals next month in British Columbia.
“I think I have gone out and proved that age is just a number for sure,” said the local 48-year-old rower noting he defeated another Canadian competitor who was only 22 years old.