Day Three: Two Canadian Crews Qualify for Semis at Rowing Worlds

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea, continued today with some exciting and dramatic finishes in several events.

The day started off well for Canada with Patricia Obee of Victoria, BC, winning her repechage and advancing to the semi-final. Her time today was 7:38.35. Austria was second in 7:42.73 to also qualify.

“In the heat, I was pretty excited and let that take over,” Obee said of her third-place performance in the heat on Sunday. “I refocused on the things that I’ve been doing in training that help me go fast. I just went out there and executed what I knew would work today. It’s probably the best time I’ve pulled over 2k (2000m is the international rowing distance) - I think I can still go faster in a side-by-side race.”

Obee was a 2012 Olympian in the lightweight women’s double event (with Lindsay Jennerich), finishing seventh overall at the Games.

The men’s quad also move forward at this regatta. Matt Buie (Duntroon, ON), Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB), David Wakulich (St. Catharines, ON) and Mike Braithwaite (Duncan, BC) finished third and go to the semi.

Slovenia won the tight rep race in 5:51.89; then Netherlands finished in 5:52.27, closely followed by Canada in 5:52.35. The U.S., New Zealand and Iraq go to the semi C/D, with no chance at the medal round.

“We raced our plan right down the whole course,” said Buie, who is rowing in his first World Championship regatta. “We assumed it was going to be a tight race, and we just reacted to Mike’s (Braithwaite) calls and it worked out.”

While the quad ended up on the positive side of a tight race to advance, the men’s four finished on the other side. Will Crothers (Kingston, ON), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC), Conlin McCabe (Brockville, ON) and Rob Gibson (Kingston, ON) put on a valiant effort in the rep of the men’s four event. They had a solid start and middle race, but were overtaken to finish fourth and are relegated to the C/D semi-final.

The Czech Republic was first in 5:57.71, Spain was second in 5:58.66, followed by Germany in 5:58.76 for the qualifying spots, edging out Canada (5:59.00) - New Zealand finished off the pace in 6:05.53.

Crothers, McCabe and Gibson are 2012 Olympic medalists, but in the men’s eight event, and are now part of the re-building process in the heavyweight men’s program as they work toward the next Games in 2016.

Also today, the men’s pair of Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC) and Steve Van Knotsenburg (Beamsville, ON) were fourth in their rep. Their time was 6:34.13, and they go to the semi C/D.

In a race to determine lanes, Sarah Black (Ottawa, ON), Christine Roper (Victoria, BC), Natalie Mastracci (Thorold, ON), and Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON) were second in 6:35.10 in the women’s four event. All members of this four are also members of the women’s eight. Their next races are the A finals in both events. The U.S. won this preliminary race in 6:28.24.

This event is being held at the world-class Tangeum Lake International Rowing Regatta venue in Chungju, Korea. Racing continues to Sept. 01.

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