Emo­tional scene as Har­bour Grace Re­gatta re­mem­bers Jen­nifer Kelsey

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

HAR­BOUR GRACE, NL — The Har­bour Grace Re­gatta paid trib­ute Sat­ur­day, July 29 to a ded­i­cated coxswain and rower who died sud­denly al­most a week be­fore the an­nual event.

Jen­nifer Kelsey died July 19 at the age of 37. A na­tive of Bris­tol’s Hope who most re­cently lived with her fam­ily in Vic­to­ria, Kelsey started row­ing in her youth and even­tu­ally served as a coxswain for crews. She re­mained in­volved in the lo­cal re­gatta lead­ing up to this year’s event and was sched­uled to row with one crew and cox an­other. The first event of the day was chris­tened the Jen­nifer Kelsey Memo­rial Race and fea­tured the team she was sup­posed to row with, Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy/Beauty in a Flash. That team, which fea­tured Sheena Martin, Aimee Slade, Krista Cox, Jill Col­bourne, Heidi White, Heidi Snow and spare Kris­ten Smith, placed third in the race, coxed by Fred Chafe.

At 2 p.m. re­gatta or­ga­niz­ers held a spe­cial cer­e­mony in Kelsey’s honour. Row­ers and many others tossed flow­ers into Lady Lake in mem­ory of her. Mem­bers of the Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy and Beauty team took their boat out for an­other spin dur­ing this act.

“Jen­nifer’s un­timely and un­ex­pected pass­ing has left a void in our hearts,” re­gatta com­mit­tee mem­ber Kathy Tet­ford said dur­ing Sat­ur­day’s cer­e­mony.

“While we can try to un­der­stand how this has hap­pened to such a bright, sported-minded, ded­i­cated woman, we never will. We are grate­ful for Jen­nifer’s life and her love for our sport. Her drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­ta­gious grin has im­pacted ev­ery sin­gle per­son who has ever been blessed enough to have had the op­por­tu­nity to know her.”

A large photo of Kelsey was on dis­play at the awards stage by the boathouse. Tears were later shed in that area when Martin, the stroke on Kelsey’s ladies boat, pre­sented Jen­nifer’s jersey to her older brother Brian. Sev­eral other mem­bers of her fam­ily were at the re­gatta Sat­ur­day.

The Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy/ Beauty in a Flash boat later placed third in the ladies’ cham­pi­onship race. Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy do­nated a framed print of the boathouse and lake, with pro­ceeds from ticket sales go­ing to­wards the re­gatta com­mit­tee’s Oar Fund in mem­ory of Jen­nifer Kelsey.

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Sheena Martin, a mem­ber of the Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy and Beauty in a Flash boat coxed by the late Jen­nifer Kelsey, hugs Jen­nifer’s brother Brian af­ter pre­sent­ing him with his sis­ter’s jersey Sat­ur­day at the Har­bour Grace Re­gatta on be­half of the team.

Bella Pho­tog­ra­phy and Beauty in a Flash take their boat out for a row dur­ing a cer­e­mony ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of their de­ceased team­mate, Jen­nifer Kelsey.

Flow­ers were pro­vided to those wish­ing to toss them into Lady Lake Sat­ur­day in mem­ory of Jen­nifer Kelsey.

It was an emo­tional scene lake­side as peo­ple tossed flow­ers into Lady Lake.

This photo of Jen­nifer Kelsey was dis­played on the stage where award pre­sen­ta­tions are tra­di­tion­ally held at the Har­bour Grace Re­gatta.

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