Rowers go, boat builder stays put
LONDON — London may be losing its national rowing centre for women, but its boat supplier won’t miss a beat.
Hudson Boat Works, a London maker of world and Olympic championship racing shells, will continue to supply the women’s team with boats just as it does the men’s team, also located in Victoria, B.C. where the womens’ team is moving.
“This just means we will be flying out west a few more times,” said Craig McAllister, operations manager with Hudson.
“We love having them as neighbours — it’s a great relationship we have with them — but we are a global supplier.
Rowing Canada announced a decision this week to move the women’s team from London to Victoria. The city has been a national centre for women’s rowing for 32 years.
Most of the women’s teams trained in London.
While few details have been released, the shutdown of the London national centre and the move of the athletes to Victoria will happen gradually. The athletes are expected to relocate to Victoria by November.
While Hudson will continue to supply the women’s team in Victoria, it also was busy Wednesday loading boats to send to the world championships in Sarasota, Fla. The business was waiting to see if the event was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Irma, but McAllister got the word it is on, and was busy shipping the boats.
“It looks like Sarasota was spared the worst of the damage and the organizing committee said it is safe to run the event,” said McAllister.
“This is one of our biggest events of the year.”
Hudson was sending about 50 boats to the competition featuring 60 to 80 countries.
Craig McAllister, left, and Hugh Hudson load shells on a trailer for delivery to the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Fla., at Hudson Boat Works in London Wednesday.