Liam Keane

West Shore rowers net three gold at international regatta

Victoria City club packs punch at Royal Canadian Henley meet

With no medals given out at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta other than for race winners, there’s plenty of future incentive for the hundreds of rowers who don’t cross the finish line first.

Liam Keane, a 15-year-old athlete from Metchosin for whom last week’s Henley races wound up his second full year in the sport, has tasted both victory and defeat.

Rowing for the Victoria City Rowing Club, he was part of the winning under-17 men’s eight and men’s quad teams at the regatta and was second in the U17 men’s double final.

The wins erased narrow VCRC losses last year in the men’s eight (by 0.5 seconds) and quad (by two seconds) in his first trip to St. Catharine’s, Ont. for the regatta, he said.

“After those two losses, (training became all about) get hungry for the gold, get hungry,” said Keane, a student at St. Andrew’s Regional High School in Saanich. “The one mindset was to win. Everything really paid off and we were a lot more focused this time. Every stroke I took it was in the back of my mind, ‘half a second.’ It was pretty sweet winning.”

Vic. City’s quad boat won by more than 10 seconds, while the eights finished almost seven seconds in front.

In the double final Sunday, Keane and partner Sean Van Gessel crossed the line just 0.8 seconds behind the winners. “That’s the race that’s going to make me hungry for next year,” Keane said. “There’s always more to reach for.”

Among other West Shore athletes rowing at this highly competitive international meet, Emma Gribbon was part of the U17 women’s quad 4x winning boat, which captured victory by more than 10 seconds. She was also part of the second-place U17 women’s eight boat that finished about five seconds behind.

Keane’s older brother Patrick, 17, who rowed for Canada at the junior world championships last year, placed second in the U19 men’s single final and was fourth in the U23 men’s lightweight single.

Amanda MacKenzie was part of the fifth-place U17 women’s quad boat.

VCRC junior coach Scott Swinkles was thrilled with the team’s overall performance at Henley. He said the 34-athlete contingent collected a club-best nine wins – including a club record-tying four in the junior division – and finished fourth for the efficiency trophy amongst 137 clubs. Efficiency measures the number of wins divided by the total number of events entered.

“It showed there’s quite a lot of strength and depth (in the club) that we’re able to take such a large team and do so well,” Swinkles said.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Victoria Shamrocks win proves costly

Shamrocks lose Rhys Duch to a season-ending injury

Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

Jonah Shankar’s treatment for brain tumour involved trips to UK

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Most Read