Teams are on the water at Brake’s Cove preparing for the Humber Valley Rowing Club Regatta happening this Saturday. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
CORNER BROOK Erika Lavers is anxious to see how things go in her rowing debut, but she admits she’s a tad nervous about putting her oars in the water.
The 29-year-old Corner Brook woman will be among the female rookie rowers hoping to claim bragging rights at the Humber Valley Rowing Club Regatta Saturday at Brake’s Cove.
Lavers crew — Team Loves It — is comprised of a group of young women trying their hand at rowing for the first time. Lavers and her teammates were just looking to get a bit of excercise in their daily lives and discovered that rowing was a pretty good fit for their common goal.
She is a little on the giddy side when she thinks about her first race although she thrives on competition, but she’s also worried about doing her part to help keep the boat steady and seaworthy.
“Anxiety is high or whatever and you don’t want to make a mistake to screw things up for your whole team so I’m kind of nervous,” Lavers said with a big chuckle.
Lavers is among the fresh faces who took up rowing when the Humber Valley Rowing Club was revamped earlier this year with a new slate of executive officers stepping up to play a volunteer role to get boats back on the water in Brake’s Cove. She has embraced the sport with her teammates and usually hits the water four times per week.
She believes her crew will hold its own despite going up against some crews who have become old hat at the sport.
“We’re all ambitious I guess and we’ve been training all season,” she said. “We’re all new to rowing so we set our own goal as a team to do the best we can for ourselves, but other teams have been telling us we’re doing really good for new rowers so we’re hoping to give the seasoned veterans a run for their money anway.”
Rowing has been a positive influence on Lavers as she has learn to love the serenity that comes with rowing up the Humber with a unique vantage point. She said it’s a neat experience to hear the oars hitting the water in sync on calm water, even though she said the wind is usually blowing on the river.
“When your team is all in sync it’s a magical moment, I guess,” she said.
A total of six female crews and two men’s crews will participate in the race. All entries hail from the Humber Valley Rowing Club, but Lavers is hoping the sport will be even better next year with this year’s regatta motivating other people to give the sport a try. She also hopes to see crews participate in the St. John’s Regatta next summer and maybe have a few boats from the east coast come west next summer
“Hopefully, next year we will get an earlier start to the season and we’ll have our regatta around the same time as St. John’s and we’re hoping to send some teams out to those and vice-versa invite them to ours too,” she said.
The men’s race, scheduled for a 10 a.m. start, will kick of the regatta festivities. A number of female racers will folllow with the championship race for the women scheduled for 4 p.m. at dockside.