Article Submitted by Tim Ulsaker
135th Annual Royal Canadian Henley
Henley Island, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Mobjack RA Results
The Mobjack Rowing Association's junior summer racing program returned to Mathews from successful racing at the 135th annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, held in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Royal Canadian Henley Commission owns the 8 lane site for two past World Rowing Championships and uses it to run the largest rowing regatta held in North America, taking six days to complete with 6 to 8 lane races run on 6 minute centers most of each of the 6 days. Over 2600 athletes, representing 138 rowing clubs, made 2,115 entries. Rowing clubs from all over the US and Canada competed with a record number of visiting crews coming from Spain, Scotland, Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Argentina, Monaco and England. Ranging in ages 13 to 19, the 15 Mobjack racers had only 4 members that had attended the Henley before.
Junior events were categorized by age: U17 for rowers who would not reach their 17th birthday before December 31st, likewise, 19 for U19 and 23 for U23. There were also lightweight, open age senior and elite championship events. The Canadian Henley organizers take great pains to make this championship a purely club and very fair regatta and require photo ID with birthdates to assure that all those racing in age specific events are truly legal. Out of the 23 events MRA entered, the young racers placed in the upper 50% of 9 entries, made semi finals in 6, and finals in the Men's U19 Double event. U17, 19 and 23 events numbered anywhere from 34 to 77 initial entries, all racing to make the 6 boat final. Canadian Henley only awards a gold medal for first place so making finals is even more competitive than most regattas.
MRA standouts were James Raha and Sebastian Knebl who made the finals in the Men's U19 double which also put them in the top 3 US doubles in attendance. Katelyn James and Taylor Hummel made semi finals in the U23 Women's double (James 20th birthday is three days from December 31st and Hummel is 17!). James was also 28th of 50 in the U23 single. Raha and Knebl also made semis in the U19 single placing 23rd and 28th respectively out of 76 entries. Knebl, Raha, Zach Cummings, Troy Montcrieff and coxswain Ailiegh Daniel also pulled 24th of 55 in the men's U19 four and then the boys combined in theU19 quad to make semi finals putting them 18th of 48 entries. Another good performance by Knebl put him 7th of 26 in the Senior lightweight single 500 meter dash. Other impressive first timer performances were Olivia Wood and Maddy Polson advancing to semis and placing 18th of 61 in the U17 double and Sean Carlson, who just learned to row this summer, placed 48th of 65 in the men's U17 single.
Coach Tim Ulsaker was very impressed with the Mobjack performance commenting "this is one of the most motivated and well behaved groups I have taken to Canada in a number of years. They have improved continually throughout the summer and are showing a strong desire to train hard and return to the 2018 Henley for a second shot at the coveted Henley Gold medal. I look forward to working with them over the coming year." All of the summer Mobjack racers plan to race again this fall and swim in the 2017 11th annual L. Wayne Hudgins Wharf to Wharf swim, held Sunday the 17th of September to benefit the Capital Campaign to complete the Owens Center for Environmental Education and Rowing currently under construction at Williams Wharf.