With one Qualification Regatta to go before the Paris 2024 Olympics, two women’s rowing teams, each with rowers who train at the Kingston Rowing Club, have stroked their way into the international competition.
The Women’s Lightweight Double team of local rower Jenny Casson, along with partner Jill Moffatt (Western), won their semi-final race ahead on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 of New Zealand and the United States with a time of 7:23.12, advancing to the A Final, which guarantees qualification for the Paris Olympics.
“At the end of the day, we had to come top 3 no matter what, and how that happened wasn’t really top of mind but our experience rowing together really played in our favour. Jill made all the right calls at all the right moments, and it just feels really special to accomplish this with our coach Jeremy and the support of our friends and family back home,” Casson said after the match in Belgrade, Serbia.
The second Team Canada boat to qualify in Belgrade was the Women’s Coxed Eight on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. According to a release from Rowing Canada Aviron, the Canadian crew initially held the third position, pursuing the leading Romanian and Australian crews. However, a powerful surge from the United States crew during the third 500 meters upset the field, pushing the Canadians to fight tooth and nail to retain the precious final qualification spot.
According to John Armitage, Head Coach at the Kingston Rowing Club, Cassidy Deane, who began her rowing career as a novice at Queen’s and maintains membership in the Kingston Rowing Club, is a member of this crew which qualified the boat. He also noted that defending gold medallist Avalon Wasteneys — also on this team — is the daughter of former Queen’s rowers Hardolph Wasteneys and Heather Clarke.
The Final Qualification Regatta will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland, in May 2024. Local rowers Will Crothers and Gavin Stone (Men’s Eight) and Kristina Walker (Women’s Four) will attempt to qualify next spring, according to Armitage.