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Rowing Canada at Elk Lake


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#1 Bingo

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 11:43 AM

The South Island could be losing one of its national training centres as Rowing Canada searches for a new home base.

The organization has operated its men's training program at Elk Lake for years, with the team rowing to Olympic gold in the men's eights in 2008.

The women's program also recently moved to Elk Lake from London, Ont. so Rowing Canada could keep both teams together.

https://vancouverisl...-lake-1.4072041

 

 

With the multi-use Elk Lake becoming crowded, especially over the summer season, a call for proposals from Rowing Canada went out in the spring for communities wishing to host the national team.

It came as a shock to those in the rowing community on Elk Lake. Go anywhere across Canada, they say, and the one sport most mentioned in association with Greater Victoria is rowing.

The Island, however, remains in the hunt with two of the five proposals expected to be submitted by Friday’s deadline.

A Lower Island group is proposing a revamped national team training centre that would utilize Elk Lake, Shawnigan Lake and Finlayson Arm.

https://www.timescol...home-1.23426871

 



#2 Cassidy

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:10 PM

This must be some sort of ploy on the part of Rowing Canada to get something from somebody locally that they want, but for some reason they can't have.

 

Rowing Canada already pretty much runs Elk Lake, with boaters and fishermen not able to access the lake until after 11:00am in order to give the rowers exclusive access.

The Saanich cops have even been known to sit at the boat ramp and turn folks away ... telling them there's no lake access until after 11:00am, when the rowers are out of the water.

 

But at the end of the day, actual use of Elk Lake as a body of water is a Federal Government affair, as dictated by the Canada Shipping Act and its Vessel Operating Restriction Regulations... so it would be interesting to find out what's really behind this? ... because declaring the lake as "too busy" for Rowing Canada to continue to use the lake as a practice base seems just straight up B.S. 


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#3 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:13 PM

it does seem fishy.  but maybe you can get communities to bid for your presence nowadays.  didn't the cov give some team free office and training space at the arena to lure them?

 

edit yes  https://www.timescol...oria-1.20708860


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 September 2018 - 03:16 PM.


#4 Bingo

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:21 PM

Elk Lake is ideal because there are no tidal currents to contend with like there would be on Finlayson Arm as they are suggesting as an alternate location.

Another place that is being proposed by a mainland group is Buntzen Lake which is isolated and prone to freezing in the winter.

The best solution would be to close Elk Lake more than they do now and leave this well established lake to the rowing club.



#5 Cassidy

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:24 PM

Some of the apparent proposals seem somewhat of a stretch, such as Buntzen Lake in Port Moody, which spends most of the winter covered in snow, and is very often frozen solid.  EDIT*** (was typing this as Bingo was posting)***

 

But I suspect Victoria Watcher is right ... this is about getting free perks by using threats of departure.

 

Nobody is promising to build them a complete facility though, so you're probably looking at a couple of million bucks to replicate what's already established at Elk Lake.

 

It really doesn't make much sense at all.


Edited by Cassidy, 11 September 2018 - 03:25 PM.

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#6 shoeflack

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:27 PM

Rowing Canada has basically been going through a bit of an overhaul the past few years. They have had some extremely disappointing results at the Olympics, which has resulted in a lot of staff changes in the organization. Terry Dillon came on as CEO and has gotten a mandate from his board to consolidate the national training centre (right now they are mostly here, but also have some operations in Ontario).

 

Now, Rowing Canada has often used Quamichan Lake in Cowichan for training and some events, and the Municipality of North Cowichan has been gung-ho about bringing them there full time. I think once Rowing Canada saw how much they were being wined and dined by North Cowichan, they opened up a more formal RfP process to test the waters outside of Victoria, which is the natural full-time fit.

 

Ultimately I believe the final decision will come down to Cowichan or Victoria. North Cowichan desperately wants Rowing Canada and is doing pretty much anything they want to get them there. But Victoria has far more resources to support carded national team athletes, so I have a hard time believing they will go with Cowichan. The biggest challenge with Elk Lake isn't the traffic, it's space. Consolidating their national training centres to one location is challenging and requires more infrastructure than what Elk Lake can currently handle, thus why the expanded joint bid.

 

At the end of the day, Rowing Canada just wants all their athletes and staff in one spot, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be on one lake. So again, I see the Victoria bid as the frontrunner.


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#7 Cassidy

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 04:28 PM

The biggest challenge with Elk Lake isn't the traffic, it's space. .......

There was a 27 acre golf course right at the other end of the lake that was for sale that could have solved their space problems if they were serious ... along with multiple warehouses, offices, and bare land within 10 or 15 minutes of the lake.

 

The excuse they used was ... "the waters are too crowded at Elk Lake" ... which speaks more to B.S. than it does to simply needing more office space.



#8 shoeflack

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 04:59 PM

There was a 27 acre golf course right at the other end of the lake that was for sale that could have solved their space problems if they were serious ... along with multiple warehouses, offices, and bare land within 10 or 15 minutes of the lake.

 

The excuse they used was ... "the waters are too crowded at Elk Lake" ... which speaks more to B.S. than it does to simply needing more office space.

 

I'm not referring to office space. I'm referring to space on the water. In order to accommodate consolidating their national training centres to one location, it means lots more people on the water at any given time, or having exclusive lake use for a much larger part of the day. That's why the Victoria bid has multiple bodies of water included, so they can move teams around more freely. The benefit of the North Cowichan bid is that it is all on one larger lake. So that's the big piece for Rowing Canada; do they consolidate to a single lake in an area with fewer athlete services, or stick with Victoria which is home to a massive support network for carded athletes but requires more bodies of water to be used.



#9 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 05:46 PM

Conversely - and I am completely spit balling here - but it could also be an opening salvo by Rowing Canada in a pre-emptive move to re-locate the program to Ontario; remember St Catharines was long the rowing hot bed of Canada for decades before the rise of Elk Lake. Combined with an excellent rowing training facility at nearby Brock University, I suppose this line of thinking could be a factor, particularly as noted above recent rowing results internationally have been less than stellar.



#10 shoeflack

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 06:29 PM

Brock does currently host a Rowing Canada regional training hub...the Leo LeBlanc Centre on campus is a great facility. But Rowing Canada has long soured on the Niagara Region as a major training hub. Just not enough athlete support resources. Phenomenal competition venues in both St Catharines and Welland, but they’ve largely used London for any national team camps. Mostly just have competitions in Niagara these days and I haven’t heard much of an appetite for that to change.

Victoria and Cowichan are both year-round options, which are huge benefits and the primary reason why Rowing Canada moved the women’s program from London to join the men in Victoria.

#11 Cassidy

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 06:30 PM

It's all about the weather, and the weather in Ontario in the winter isn't too friendly to rowing about (or a boat) on a lake.



#12 Baro

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 08:05 PM

If they leave it will open up the lake and facilities for more recreational rowing,  so no loss either way.


"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#13 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 08:15 PM

TC, it seems a no-brainer to me

Elk Lake retains a sentimental tug for many in the sport. It is really the only choice, says 2004 Athens Olympic silver-medallist and UVic Vikes women’s rowing head coach coach Barney Williams.

“Elk Lake is still the best place for the national team to row in every sense,” he said.

“It’s year-round, has community support and a history that has allowed athletes for many years to pursue their Olympic dreams. It ticks all the boxes.”

The Elk Lake/Shawnigan Lake/Finlayson Arm advocates also point to the extensive Canadian Sport Institute and Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence systems of support in Greater Victoria to which national training centres for Triathlon Canada, Swimming Canada, Athletics Canada, Cycling Canada, Golf Canada, Tennis Canada, Surfing Canada, Rugby Canada and Field Hockey Canada are also hooked into.

https://www.timescol...home-1.23426871
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#14 Bingo

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 08:05 AM

The resurgent Elk Lake-based Canadian team, held to a lone medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is making encouraging waves at the 2018 world rowing championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

 

Caileigh Filmer of Victoria and Hillary Janssens of UBC won their preliminary race in the women’s pair to qualify for Thursday’s semifinals.

https://www.timescol...hips-1.23428157



#15 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:52 AM

the lightweight women's double also advenced to the semis. our stroke seat broke the world record for 2000m on the erg earlier this year.

#16 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 07:28 PM

Something else that occurred to me is that they just hired Dick Tonks to run the men's team less than a year ago. He's the one who made Rob Waddell, Mahe Drysdale, the Evers-Swindell sisters & the recent men's pair household names, and in NZ, a country with a population less than the greater-toronto area. I tend to think moving the men's team anywhere but Elk Lake with its existing infrastructure & vast support network would only make his job more difficult. If he were working for me I'd want him to have everything he needs close by.
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#17 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 08:12 AM

If they're thinking about 2020 & 2024 why did they put out this rfp in the middle of the world championships rather than wait until next week which is the beginning of the off-season? I know athletes are supposed to focus on their events but that seems a totally unnecessary distraction. Did they just not think of that or what?

#18 shoeflack

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 08:24 AM

If they're thinking about 2020 & 2024 why did they put out this rfp in the middle of the world championships rather than wait until next week which is the beginning of the off-season? I know athletes are supposed to focus on their events but that seems a totally unnecessary distraction. Did they just not think of that or what?

 

This plan would not impact 2020. That training cycle is underway. This plan would be implemented for the 2024 quadrennial. Also, the RfP has been out for some time...the deadline happens to be during the WCs. The timing of this RfP (the middle of the Olympic cycle) is actually very well positioned.



#19 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 10:30 AM

Well that makes more sense, I must have misread something then

#20 Bingo

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 03:51 PM

The University of Victoria and University of British Columbia have a spirited and long-established rivalry in sports.

But UVic and UBC rowers combined Saturday to deliver a stunning gold medal for Canada in the women’s pair at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

 

The world title launches Vikes star Caileigh Filmer of Victoria and Thunderbirds rower Hillary Janssens of Cloverdale as podium favourites for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

https://www.timescol...ship-1.23432594



 



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