More than 750 teenage rowers showed up to race at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships in Racice, Czech Republic last week from August 7-12, 2018. Among them, 17 year old Claire Ellison from Halifax, NS. Claire and her crew in the Junior Women’s Quad (4x) – Lucy Black (Fredericton, NB), Emma Dockray (Grimsy, ON), and Anna Burnotte (Sherbrooke, QB) got off to a tough start in their opening heat. The Canadian women’s quad placed fourth in their opening heat missing a straight berth in the semi finals, although it was the fastest of all opening heats. The following day in repachage, Claire and her crew finished first qualifying the boat for the semi finals. In the semi final, the quad placed second in a very tightly contested races giving them a berth in the A final against the five fastest junior women quads in the world. In the A final, the quad faced extremely tough competition and although racing a courageous race they placed a respectable sixth place overall!
“It definitely lit a fire under everyone in our boat and gave us inspiration to push and make it out repachage and have a good race,” said Claire, who continued, “it also made us realize that we’re right in the middle of this and we do this…lining up against all those fast boats wish such great competition, it’s sort of something you dream of and we were finally there. It was pretty surreal but it was an awesome experience.”
Rowers from 57 countries descended on the small town outside of Prague to eagerly show compete with the top up and coming under 18 rowers in the world. The continental spread includes entries from Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and also Oceania’s Vanuatu.
Claire was joined in Racice by Row NS Provincial Team Coach Patrick Cody who was selected to coach the Canadian Junior Team at the World Championships.
More information on the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships can be found HERE.