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Area Rowers Shine at World Meet

Ten Connecticut rowers, including six from Fairfield County, represented the state well at the 2010 World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand earlier this month. The United States brought home four medals, including gold in the Women's 8+, silver in the Women's Lightweight 4x and bronze in the Women's 4- and 2-.

In the top result from the region, Victoria Burke from Redding captured a silver medal in the lightweight quadruple sculls. The U.S. chased Germany the entire 2,000 meters, but finished second with a time of 6:47:99 to Germany's 6:44.94. Burke got her start at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport and currently trains out of GMS.

Wilton's Guenter Beutter, who runs GMS Rowing Center in New Milford, coached the Men's lightweight double team of Brian de Regt from Rowayton and Jon Winter from New Haven, who finished fifth in the B final with a time of 6:51.62. They finished 11th overall. Germany won the race in a time of 6:45.57.

"Our B final ended up being a very tough race," de Regt said. "The conditions were pretty horrible out there, and so it's difficult to feel as if we had an opportunity to demonstrate our speed. Getting 11th is an Olympic qualifying slot, one of our original goals, but I think in better conditions we could have easily placed ninth or better. On the other hand, Jon and I have posted one of the best results (in the lightweight doubles) for the U.S. in the past decade, so that's encouraging and we have our sights set now on the 2011 World Championships in Bled, Slovenia."

After a stunning win by just over half a second in the repechage, the Men's 8+ finished sixth in the Grand Final. The team included Charlie Cole from New Canaan in the six seat and Dan Walsh from Norwalk in the three seat. The U.S. had a strong repechage, overtaking Canada in the last 500 meters. The U.S. needed to win the repechage to make the Grand Final, and did so, but could not duplicate the feat in the next race. The team finished six seconds behind gold medalist Germany.

Nick LaCava of Weston competed for the lightweight men's four, which competed in the B final. The U.S. squad started fourth, climbed into third in the middle half but fell back and finished fourth in a time of 6:05.57 to capture 10th place overall. France won in a time of 6:02.19.

Rowing in the first championship race of the week, the adaptive four with coxswain crew, including Andrew Johnson of Riverside, finished sixth in a time of 3:52.26. Canada won gold in a time of 3:36.53.

In what has been touted as one of the most successful World Championships ever, attendance on the last day of the racing was 15,243, taking the cumulative total for the Championships to 66,771 — a record for a World Rowing Championships. The world meet concludes the 2010 World Rowing season. The 2011 World Rowing Championships will be held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4 in Bled, Slovenia. The 2011 Samsung Rowing World Cup season begins May 27 in Munich, Germany.

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