Though Mother Nature, thanks to a combination of wind and freezing temperatures, limited the rowing team to only five water-training days through February, hopes were high that improved conditions would allow for a fine opening weekend of racing at the Elk Lake Spring Regatta, March 1-2.
Unfortunately, the weather gods did not fall into line, with plenty of rain, ice and snow greeting the hundreds of oarsmen who braved the elements to compete. Among this number was a group of Masters athletes who rowed in SMUS colours!
For the SMUS novice rowers, these were their first races against clubs and schools from outside Victoria. Indeed, visiting boats from as far afield as Seattle took part.
In the end, SMUS captured seven bronze medals from 11 races entered. All the athletes learned a great deal, look forward to further training in March, and await the traditional series of regattas at Shawnigan, Brentwood, Lakeside and Maple Bay in April and May.
Of course, the big event is set for early June, when literally thousands of rowers from all across North America will descend upon St. Catharines, Ontario for the Canadian Schools Championship.