The Nipissing Lakers rowing team started off their season in Gravenhurst on Saturday, September 8, at the Muskoka Fall Classic. The head race regatta, which had boats crossing the start line on 15-second intervals, followed the mostly straight 3 km course along the granite shores of Gull Lake. With 185 entries from 24 school and community clubs across the province, the MFC offered a chance for the 3 varsity Lakers boats to test their training. Despite cool temperatures and a stiff Northeast wind, the sun was out and the crews were ready.
First up was senior Emma Langill in the lightweight single sculls. Langill showed up to training camp fit and ready for the challenge of racing in the technically difficult solo boat. Having only raced in crew boats in previous seasons, this regatta was a chance for her to get some low-pressure racing experience. Her time of 15:13 put her in 17th of the 30 boats competing across all women’s 1x classes – a respectable start for an athlete new to challenges of the single.
“I wish I had pushed harder in the beginning. With the rough water in the 2nd half, I wasn’t able to go as hard as I had planned," Langill said about her solo debut.
Next up were the two double sculls boats. The women’s lightweight double, with graduating athlete Brogan Shaw in stroke seat and 2nd year Lindsay Desroches in the bow seat, was 10th on the day of 30 crews entered in the double sculls events, with a time of 13:49. Only 4 seconds behind were the open women’s double of Olivia Petroff (stroke) and Marlese Coombs (bow). Both crews were happy to get their seasons underway and look forward to the upcoming university regattas.
The varsity and novice crews will be hard at work for the next two weeks in preparation for the Head of the Trent, September 29th. Coach Dean Hay has been happy with the start to the season and is looking for a strong performance at the Head of the Trent regatta.
“With the Lakers soccer teams competing at Trent’s homecoming on the same day, we hope that Nipissing supporters will be out and cheering our boats on,” said Hay in a release.