Riches from the regatta
Local rowers embrace regatta with promise of bigger things to come
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.
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.
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,...
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.