Rower Emma Gribbon from Langford helps haul a boat out of the water at Shawnigan Lake during the annual school regatta earlier this year. The teen athlete is among four West Shore rowers who are competing in the Western Canada Summer Games starting next week near Fort MacMurray

West Shore rowers continue busy summer

Western Canada Summer Games underway in northern Alberta

There hasn’t been much rest for Emma Gribbon in between regattas.

The Langford rower, who finished up the 133rd Royal Henley Regatta in St. Catharine’s on Friday with her Vic City Rowing Club teammates, flew west for a handful of days then headed back to Alberta, where she’s one of a handful of West Shore rowers competing this weekend in the Western Canada Summer Games outside Fort MacMurray, Alta.

There’ve been plenty of medals along the way for this Claremont secondary student, whose season has included winning a mittful of under-17 division gold in quads and eights at such competitions as the Brentwood and Shawnigan regattas and the B.C. championships, and most recently, a bronze at the Henley.

Rowing in the No. 3 seat in the women’s quad event, Gribbon and company finished just over four seconds behind the second-place boat from Nanaimo and about 10 behind the winners from St. Catharine’s.

Teamed with Emma Reinsch, Gribbon finished fourth in the U17 women’s doubles final after winning their heat and semifinal races. In the women’s eights, her Vic City crew fell just short of making the semifinals.

Before leaving for her eastern swing, Gribbon, who begins Grade 11 at Claremont secondary in September,  reflected on her season to date.

“It’s going really good; I think my season’s been going really well,” she said. “I’ve improved a lot, but it’s definitely a team effort.”

The goal heading into the Henleys was to make finals, which her boats did twice. “For Westerns, we’re all pretty confident in ourselves and we’re anxious to see what we can do.”

Also rowing at Westerns from the West Shore will be Belmont grad Miles Krakowec-Tickner, and the Keane brothers from Colwood, Patrick and Liam, who will row up an age category at this event.

Patrick Keane, who will row for the UVic Vikes this upcoming season, competed at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Bulgaria in late July. Liam, competing at the Junior Worlds (19-under) just last week in Rio de Janeiro, won the ‘C’ final in the men’s four on Friday.

As for Gribbon, she wasn’t sure which boats she’d be in for the Westerns, but she was nonetheless anticipating the event.

“I think it’s exciting to get to represent the province on a bigger scale than club,” she said, noting that she already knows many of the mainland rowers from other regattas. “We’re a pretty tight-knit group.”

The rowing events run Friday (Aug. 14) through Sunday.

Keep track of the results at by following the links to results and sports.

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