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VIDEO: Rowers compete in Fort Langley’s Bedford Channel

Head of the Fort regatta lead-in to racing season

Twelve clubs and 103 crews with 279 competitors ranging in age from teenagers to masters competed in the annual Head of the Fort regatta held in Fort Langley’s Bedford Channel on Saturday, April 13.

Event co-chair Laurel Glanfield, with the Fort Langley Community Rowing Club which hosted the event, said the regatta leads into the main racing season that begins in May.

“This is the way for people to get back on the water,” Glanfield explained.

“It’s the first head race and often the first regatta for rowing competitors. We have 12 clubs from the Lower Mainland as far away as Deep Cove in Vancouver [participating]. We also have an umpire crew of about eight to 10 people who are volunteers that officiate at all of our regattas.”

An online Rowing B.C. advisory about the Fort Langley event said the event was intended to provide a start-of-season racing opportunity on the Lower Mainland incorporating both 4,000m head racing and 700m sprint racing.

Head races are somewhat different from sprints “in that each boat starts one a time and they’re timed individually and then handicapped for different ages and types [of boats],” Glanfield told the Langley Advance Times.

For development athletes, it was a chance to be exposed to multiple types of racing and learn more about competition. For experienced athletes, a chance to prepared for upcoming events, with their coaches able to enter one or both race categories depending on what type of early-season opportunities the athletes need in order to be prepared for other upcoming events.

 Local clubs did well, winning seven of the 31 events.

University of the Fraser Valley won the womens and mens open eight-plus categories (the plus refers to the coxswain, the member who does not row but steers the boat), as well as the mens open single, while the Fort Langley Community Rowing Club won the mixed open four and women’s open single, and the Fort Langley Youth Rowing Society was first in mens open two, mixed open two, and mens junior single.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: More competitors take part in Head of the Fort regatta

READ ALSO: Langley Olympic rowing champion is rebuilding the UFV Cascades team where she started

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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