Written by Meghan Jolley & Ravens Rowing
Near-perfect conditions made for great racing at this year’s PD Ross race held on September 17th. This race, which originated in the 1940s between the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, has been a long-standing tradition between the rowing teams at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The rivalry race commenced with a mixed alumni boat from each school, followed by the men’s varsity rowing teams and concluded by the women’s varsity rowing teams. The varsity crews raced 5 km starting from below the Parliament buildings to the Gatineau River, making an abrupt turn and finishing at the Ottawa Rowing Club (ORC), where both schools train. The alumni crews raced 2 km from the Gatineau River to the ORC.
The men and women from the Ravens Rowing alumni crew stepped away from the GeeGees alumni crew within the first 500 m of the start. They were able to hold them off for the remainder of the race and continued straight through the finish line.
The Ravens men got off to a great start, immediately pulling ahead of the GeeGees. They held on through boat wake and had a clean turn at the Gatineau River which solidified their lead and eventual win over the GeeGees.
The Ravens women had a close race out of the start and were side by side with the GeeGees for the first kilometre of the race. Their quick turn at the Gatineau River rewarded them with a lead on the other crew. By the last 500m, it was anyone’s race but the Ravens women were able to pull ahead and finished with a full boat length of water between them. The varsity crews were thrilled to have won their races and came back to the docks to receive their trophy.
The PD Ross trophy, which dates back to the race’s origins in 1950, is awarded to the school with the fastest combined time between the varsity teams.
The varsity men’s and women’s leads on the GeeGees got them an automatic win. The trophy was awarded by former Ravens rower, Kurt Herman, who revived the previously abandoned race in 1998.
Following the races, the ORC held a boat naming and christening ceremony. After many years of raising funds for the team, Ravens Rowing was able to purchase a brand new 4+ racing shell in partnership with the ORC. The new shell was named Prophecy and christened by long-time head coach Ed Fournier. The name was chosen by the athletes and coaches as the raven is seen as a common symbol for prophecy in many cultures.
After an impressive start to their racing season, the Ravens look forward to racing against the GeeGees and other schools in local, provincial, national and international races this Fall. Catch the Ravens racing at Head of the Rideau at Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa this Sunday, September 25th.
Caitlin McMann (coxswain), Brendan Edge, Ben Koskowich, Alex Ladage, Sam Hurtubise, Declan McCoy, Brendan McIntyre, Ben Grenier and Mackenzie Vaughan
Keana Cavero (coxswain), Ainsley Salmon, Abby Dyer, Megan Elekes, Kendra Hurtubise, Adriana Caswell, Maya Poziomka, Rosie O’Brien and Anika Searle
Loucas Diamant (coxswain), Fabian Erazo, Matt Lazurek, Hunter Amesbury, Devon Sutherland, Shane Brockbank, Luc Baudouin, Meghan Jolley and Aly Pastic