Victoria rowers prevail at nationals championships

Victoria’s Patricia Obee won the under-23 and the women’s open lightweight single at National Rowing Championships

Victoria’s Patricia Obee continued her strong season winning both the under-23 and the women’s open lightweight single at the RBC National Rowing Championships in Welland, Ont., over  the weekend.

Obee bettered second place Lindsay Jennerich and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Tracy Cameron in third. Obee and Jennerich recently won silver in the double at the 2011 Worlds.

“It’s really motivating for the next year,” said Obee. At 20-years-old, Obee is one of the youngest team members entering the Olympic training camp.

Victoria’s David Calder paired with 2008 Olympic silver medal partner Scott Frandsen of Kelowna to win the men’s pair.

In the lightweight men’s pair, Eric Woelfl of St. Catharines, Ont., paired with Derek Vinge of Saanich to edge brothers Ben and Jacob Cushnie.

“It’s been fun rowing with Eric (who was a Pan Am team mate),” said Vinge.

“There was a big tailwind, so we’re hoping for a fast time, but it was windier than we thought. We caught a lot of the tops of the waves, but we finished, and then had a little bit of a flip.”

The lightweight pair were removed safely from the waterway.

Performances at the national rowing championships are a factor in determining the Olympic training camp and to determine future training camps and teams.