For Oates, m5 is all about family

John Browne
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After rowing with her 'sisters' to a women's title, she shares tears with Dad at the dock

The father of the Royal St. John’s Regatta’s female rower of the year fought back tears.

“My daughter has always been kidded about being Eddie Oates’ daughter. Well, she’s not Eddie Oates’ daughter today. I’m Kim Oates’ dad,” said the well-known provincial senior hockey player and coach as he stood at the Boathouse waiting for the m5 female rowing crew to receive gold medals after claiming the female championship in the 192nd Regatta Wednesday at Quidi Vidi Lake.

Kim Oates, m5’s No. 1 oar, said she’s often been teased as the daughter of such a prominent Newfoundland athlete, but doesn’t expect it any more.

“I’m just so proud of her,” said Eddie Oates, his voice cracking with emotion.

The 22-year-old Oates rowed with North Atlantic, runner-up to John Atkins and Company (JAC) in the 2009 women’s final.

She was so upset, she considered not rowing this year.

She changed her mind, “when I was given the opportunity to work with these girls. We didn’t just become a team…we became a family.

“It’s been an unreal experience,” said Oates, named female rower of the year about an hour after the championship race. “I’ve made friends for life.”

The m5 crew, which also includes coxswain Mark Hayward, stroke Katie Wadden, Heather Stone, Ashley Peach, Amanda Hancock and Alison Peach, posted the fastest time of the day in the morning Female Amateur race with a time of 4:58.60, could only manage 5:05.22 in the championship race, finishing ahead of Smith Stockley (5.11.46) which also placed second in the early race.

Lamb’s Rum finished third 5:17.00), followed by John Atkins and Company (JAC) in 5:17.57 and Proactive Physiotherapy (5:54.15).

While pond conditions were just about perfect in the morning and afternoon races, the wind picked up for the final.

“We were so close this morning … I know we can do better than that in the future,” said Hancock.

“My daughter has always been kidded about being Eddie Oates’ daughter. Well, she’s not Eddie Oates’ daughter today. I’m Kim Oates’ dad,” Eddie Oates

“But we had three girls (Alison Peach, Stone and Oates) who were new in the boat, and to do it for them is something special. We had a really good year, record or not.”

If m5 defends its title next season, it will do so without Wadden, who is moving to British Columbia where she will work on her PhD over the next for years.

 “I’ll be back,” she promised.

 When asked about having to replace the team’s stroke, Hayward said, “We’re not going to think about that until we have to. We’ve got some celebrating to do tonight.”

Teresa Butler, Smith Stockley’s fourth oar, said the crew should not be too disappointed with its second-place effort.

“We put it all out there. We couldn’t have given anymore,” said Butler.

A former basketball and rugby player, Butler has in the Regatta women’s  final each of the past four years.

“We did the best we could,” she said, “and we’ll start again next year. I love the girls and Paul (coxswain Paul Ring) is awesome.”

Proactive Physiotherapy was the only crew in the final that didn’t come out of the Amateur Race. Proactive earned a spot in the final with a time of 5:31.72 in the Female General Workers Race in the afternoon, the 11th race of the day.

“We’re shocked that we even made it to the final,” said No. 2 oar Lisa Sweet, one of three rookie rowers on the crew.

“And we’re still in shock,” added Sweet with a laugh. “All we wanted to do was go under six minutes.”

Organizations: John Atkins and Company, Female General Workers

Geographic location: Newfoundland, North Atlantic, British Columbia

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Recent comments

  • randy stockley
    August 05, 2010 - 09:05

    congratulations kim on your win and reconition

  • John
    August 05, 2010 - 07:25

    There are no losers here. The work they had to do to even race makes them all winners. Congrats to all.