Newfoundland and Labrador in good shape

Robin
Robin Short
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CANADA GAMES/ROWING

Say one thing for Mark Perry and the rest of the Canada Games rowing team: they're sure in shape.

In addition to training for the 2009 P.E.I. Summer Games, the rowers also worked out for the 191st Royal St. John's Regatta held a couple of Wednesdays ago.

Say one thing for Mark Perry and the rest of the Canada Games rowing team: they're sure in shape.

In addition to training for the 2009 P.E.I. Summer Games, the rowers also worked out for the 191st Royal St. John's Regatta held a couple of Wednesdays ago.

It's paid off.

For starters, the JAC-Marketing and Advertising team won the women's championship race at the regatta.

Jane Brodie, Steph Davis, Allison Delong, Alyssa Devereaux, Hilary Sinclair and Shannon Driscoll crossed the finish line first in the women's championship race. Their spare, Amanda Ryan, is also on the Canada Games squad.

While Browne's Auto Supplies came second to East Coast Maintenance Services in the men's final, their time of 9:34.35 was nothing to sneeze at. Tyler Young, Paul Hussey, Mark Perry, Chris Clarke, Josh Sutton and Brent Payne are also here in P.E.I. for the Games.

Between fixed-seat and sliding-seat rowing, the Games rowers were on the water 19 times a week in June and July.

Some days, it was three spins a day; other times it was twice daily.

Monday was an off day.

"We'd go at it 5:30 every morning and then from 5:30 to 9 every night," said Perry. "It was pretty intense."

Perry and Payne were the first sliding seat rowers to qualify for the finals here in Clinton, one of the tiny picturesque hamlets just outside Summerside where the rowing is being staged on South west River.

They're rowing men's pairs.

The women's pair of Brodie and Devereaux, men's lightweight four (Young, Hussey, Sutton and Clark) and women's eight (cox Karen Brodie, Jane Brodie, Davis, DeLong, Devereaux, Sinclair, Ryan, Driscoll and Holly Whelan) also advanced to finals.

Each morning and also from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., the rowers would train in their sliding-seat shells. Following the evening spin, they'd grab their gear and jump into the fixed-seat regatta shell for a 40-minute spin.

Rowing's rowing, Perry points out, but the differences are obvious.

"It's the same motion in sliding seat except you can get more push with your legs, and you're ass doesn't hurt as much," he said with a grin. "The (stroke) rate is higher with sliding seat and pressure on the oar is greater. But it doesn't hurt as much."

Hauling a regatta shell around Quidi Vidi Lake might be more taxing on the body as the boats are far more heavier than the sliding seat versions. There is, said Perry, a 400-pound difference.

"It's harder to move the boat, to get it up to speed faster," he said.

"But the technique in the same, as long as you follow the person in front of you, keep the hand levels the same and the body slide the same. When you do that, the boat with stay perfectly still."

Here in P.E.I., the sliders are engaged in more of a sprint than the annual St. John's Regatta. The differences in the course, he said, are half, from 2,400 metres to 1,200 metres.

But the Canada Games rowers are up to the challenge.

"I'm in the best shape of my life," he said.

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: CANADA GAMES, St John's, JAC-Marketing East Coast Maintenance Services

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Summerside Quidi Vidi Lake

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