Riches from the re­gatta

Lo­cal row­ers em­brace re­gatta with prom­ise of big­ger things to come

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE KEARSEY [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: @WS_S­port­sDesk

Sally Lavers de­served a cold bev­er­age af­ter punch­ing a long day on the wa­ter.

Lavers, co-chair of the Hum­ber Val­ley Row­ing Club, was a mem­ber of the Her­i­canes team en­try in the 2016 Hum­ber Val­ley Re­gatta held Satur­day at Brake’s Cove.

Lavers was one of the driv­ing forces be­hind stag­ing the re­gatta on the west coast, and was all smiles Satur­day af­ter her crew came up just short in the bronze-medal race against Happy Oars — one of the five lo­cal crews who were joined by L& M Elec­tric of St. John’s.

Lavers wasn’t sure if her com­mit­tee had every­thing in place for the week­end, but row­ers and fans alike seemed to have great time at an event.

“It’s been a won­der­ful day,” said Lavers. “Way bet­ter than we thought it was go­ing to turn out.”

She be­lieves the club ac­com­plished its goal of de­liv­er­ing a com­mu­nity event. There was a man cast­ing for trout on the point while the boats raced. Deb­bie Cal­la­han led a group of Zumba dancers through their paces for those at dock­side. There was face paint­ing and a fish­pond for the young­sters, many of whom who could be seen wad­ing in knee-high wa­ter along the shore­line.

A dozen or so peo­ple took ad­van­tage of a chance to jump in a boat and learn a thing or two about row­ing while sev­eral club mem­bers lent a help­ing hand.

There were cold bev­er­ages and food from A Taste of Ja­maica avail­able to the 200 or so sup­port­ers who bat­tled the heat.

“The turnout has been fan­tas­tic and the weather has been phe­nom­e­nal,” Lavers said. “We had way more peo­ple show up who had no con­nec­tion to the club.”

Dur­ing the day, Lavers had sev­eral row­ers ap­proach her about help­ing or­ga­nize next year’s re­gatta. Many of the women are new to the sport and are in­ter­ested in build­ing a club that has been stag­nant for a cou­ple of years.

Avril Piercey, a team­mate of Lavers, has been row­ing for two years, but was happy to have her first re­gatta ex­pe­ri­ence with a great group of girls.

“I thought it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I will cer­tainly do it again be­cause it was awe­some,” she said.

She is one of the many row­ers hop­ing Satur­day’s event spurs growth in num­bers, es­pe­cially given the fact there is no men’s row­ing team un­der the um­brella of Hum­ber Val­ley Row­ing Club.

“I just love be­ing on the wa­ter,” Piercey said. “The scenery is great and it’s so re­lax­ing and peace­ful out there.”

L & M Elec­tric coxswain Jackie Warfield was im­pressed with the treat­ment her team re­ceived af­ter trav­el­ling from St. John’s for the event. They ar­rived to a gift bas­ket at the team’s chalet, while the lo­cal club se­cured two row­ers to join the team be­cause they needed them.

The St. John’s team didn’t ex­pect such a warm wel­come from the fans, but ap­pre­ci­ated it so much so that Warfield prom­ises to spread the word to other crews in St. John’s about how great every­thing went from start to fin­ish.

“I can guar­an­tee you next year there will be more peo­ple from town com­ing out,” she said.

“Be­cause I’ll make sure,” she added with a laugh.

DAVE KEARSEY/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Meaghan Brown of the Barry’s Group row­ing crew shows off her gold medal to coach Adam Mosher Satur­day at the 2016 Hum­ber Val­ley Re­gatta.

DAVE KEARSEY/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Her­i­canes coxswain Glen Keel­ing, right, guides his team to the start line for the bat­tle of bronze at the 2016 Hum­ber Val­ley Re­gatta on Satur­day in Brake’s Cove. Crew mem­bers in­clude, from front, Sally Lavers, Lucy Luff­man, Mandi Hu­lan, Shel­ley Hynes,...

DAVE KEARSEY/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Sally Lavers of the Her­i­canes lis­tens to in­struc­tions from coxswain Glen Keel­ing be­fore her crew made its way to the start line in a bronze-medal race against Happy Oars. Happy Oars, also a lo­cal team, won the bronze.

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