Story written with assistance of Michael Sasi
Megan Lewicki and Phil Malinas represented Hanlan Boat Club at the National Rowing Championships held November 8 to 10, 2013 at the Welland International Flatwater Course. The regatta gives athletes the opportunity to represent their province and row against the best national team rowers in singles and pairs.
In the three weeks leading up to the regatta, Lewicki and Malinas trained hard under Michael Sasi's direction after other Hanlan athletes had hung up their oars for the season. Many a morning was dark, chilly and challenging. Team-mates Alanna Komisar and Kate Sauks lent moral support some mornings, coming out to train along side them.
The National regatta was challenging not just due to the competition. The weather didn't co-operate. Wind and cold temperatures were an issue with a strong headwind on one day followed by an even stronger tailwind the next. In the end, only those in the AB Semis were able to qualify for finals as the CD and EF semis were cancelled due to the adverse weather.
Officially, Phil Malinas placed 13th overall in the Men's Lightweight Single as he advanced to the CD semi-final which was then cancelled. Had he been in another quarter-final he would have been in the AB semi-final with the chance to advance to the final. In an exciting quarter-final, he rowed through another boat within a hundred metres of the finish line.
Megan Lewicki also performed well in her first year of racing a lightweight single. She also advanced to the CD semi-final which was subsequently cancelled. In her quarter final, out of contention for the AB semi-final, she eased up to conserve energy for her next race (not knowing it would be cancelled) and finished 20th overall. Megan was at a disadvantage in the event as she is light and regatta organizers allowed the women a generous 3 kilograms extra just one week before the event.
Other Hanlan-related competitors were Michael Braithwaite who won the Heavyweight Men's Single. Braithwaite, a national team member, is a Hanlan and University of Toronto rowing alumnus. Mick Malowany, son of an Upper Canada College rowing parent, placed first in his quarter-final to advance to a cancelled semi-final.
Congratulations to these athletes for a strong finish to a memorable season representing Hanlan Boat Club.