Row­ers go, boat builder stays put

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - NOR­MAN DE BONO

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.

MORRIS LA­MONT/POST­MEDIA NEWS

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.

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