With half of Ridley’s entries reaching the CSSRA Championship finals on Sunday, Tiger Rowing fans knew they would have plenty to cheer about. And as "Row Blacks Row!" echoed from island to grandstand and back again, the Orange and Black surged to another day of fantastic racing results!
First down the Royal Henley course was the Junior Women's 59kg Quad, rowing their best race of the season and finishing 6th in the National final. That tenacity clearly set the tone for the crews that followed as, in rapid succession, the Senior Women's 63kg Double won bronze, the Senior Men's Quad won silver, the Senior Women won gold, the Junior Men's 72kg Cox Four won silver, and the Junior Men's 66kg Quad won gold - all before the clock struck 11:30am on Sunday. Gutsy races but the Senior Men's Pair and Senior Men's 72kg Cox Four were also turned in before the Junior Men's 72kg Eight came from out of nowhere to earn Ridley its sixth podium in nine races, another National silver medal.
The two National Champion Crews, the Senior Women's Quad (of which three members will return in 2019) and the Junior Men's 66kg Quad, headline the overall excellence that the 50 member Ridley Rowing team has demonstrated all year. The season started in the fall with head racing, continued through winter training and erg championships, and culminated in a fantastic spring season, including commendable results at the CSSRA National event.
Capping off the successful final weekend was a gathering of more than 100 Parents, Alumni and Friends of Ridley Rowing who joined the crews at the boathouse to christen four new shells (two Ridley, two Grad Boat Club) and to enjoy the year-end BBQ and award celebration.
Thank you to the Rowing Parents who did a masterful job of keeping the athletes fueled both physically and emotionally all year.
Thank you to the coaches who continue to build on Ridley’s tradition of excellence while deepening the bonds of school spirit through rowing.
Most of all, thank you to the student athletes who rose to the challenges of early mornings, inclement weather, of balancing training with substantial academic demands and community responsibilities, all to represent Ridley at the highest level of school-based rowing in Canada.