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Vernon rowers snag four podium spots at Island event

Both current members and graduates of the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club mopped up medals
Marijn Butterfield (left) and Elena Masyte (right) docking after their silver performance in the U19 Women’s Double Scull Final A. (Contributed)

In an early season regatta where more than 400 crews were registered, four podium boats had rowers from Vernon.

The rowing season in British Columbia is well underway, despite still frosty conditions at Swan Lake in Vernon. Last weekend in Victoria crews were racing at the Elk Lake Spring regatta.

The regatta was successful for both active Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat (VRDBC) club rowers, and its graduates. In the University of Victoria women’s rowing team currently there are four VRDBC graduates who started the sport in Vernon.

Natalia Ariano (UVIC) crossed the finish line first in the Novice Eight race. Jonas Masys (VRDBC) was the fastest among U17 Men’s Single Sculls, rowing in extremely rough water where every wave was breaking over the gunwale. Elena Masyte (UVIC), with her partner Marijn Butterfield, came second in U19 Women’s Double Scull race. Masyte and another VRDBC graduate, Annika Van Vliet (both UVIC), finished third in Women’s Novice Eight race.

Danica Ariano (UVIC) was fourth in the Women’s Open Pair race, while Christa Akins (VCRC) showed an impressive performance in Women’s Para Single.

All these athletes have started their rowing careers on Swan Lake, with VRDBC, without any prior rowing experience.

VRDBC will start the 2023 season in May, and is already accepting registrations for the upcoming programs at Rowing is a low impact, low injury risk sport. In Vernon, it offers an unrivalled combination of affordability and opportunity, and is especially welcoming for late starters.

Since 1997, Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club is a hub for rowers and paddlers on Swan Lake. It consistently strives to provide affordable opportunities for local community to engage in physical activity and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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