After weeks of preparations by many volunteers from Lochaber and the local rowing clubs, and well before daylight on a foggy Saturday morning, things began to come to life at Sylvan Hall, the Inglis’ intervale (henceforth to be known as “Bob’s Field”) and along the race course.
As the sun rose and gradually burned off the fog, and the rowers took to the water, mother nature provided marvellous conditions for rowing; bright, unseasonably mild weather with nearly calm water. As the day went along, racing on the only buoyed 2 km course east of Montreal progressed smoothly, with spectators at Bob’s Field and along the west side of the lake cheering on their favourites. Saturday’s activities culminated with the presentation of awards to the day’s winners at the Sylvan Hall gazebo.
Sunday’s conditions didn’t quite match the near perfect conditions of the day before. Despite cooler temperatures and the rowers having to work against a northerly breeze, the rowers weren’t deterred from turning in more excellent performances. At the end of the day’s competitions, awards for event winners were again presented. This was followed by presentation of the Lochaber Cup to Dalhousie, the top university team, and the President’s Cup to Halifax Rowing Club, top club team. StFX came in second among participating universities.
Notable performances by StFX rowers included winning performances by Gabby Vasey in the lightweight women’s singles, the men’s fours, and, in what is arguably the marquee event in rowing, the men’s eights. Lochaber’s own Riley Murphy finished second her junior singles event.
Organizers, officials, folks who hosted visiting participants, and, of course, the rowers and their coaches are to be congratulated on putting on a fine regatta. This was probably the largest two day event ever held in Lochaber, and bodes well for many more exciting regattas in our community in the years and decades to come.