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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Rowers happy to race at Head of the Rideau regatta, Ottawa rink just short in Olympic curling trials chase

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

WEEKEND WRAP: After cleaning up from the spring flood of 2019 and continuing to deal with the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, the Ottawa rowing community had a chance to pull together in a more enjoyable and positive way Sunday.

The Ottawa Rowing Club staged its annual Head of the Rideau regatta, which attracted 230 entries from 19 clubs across Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

“We were just happy to be back out rowing and be able to feel part of the great rowing community again,” ORC’s head coach Zak Lewis wrote in an email, adding the sunshine and low wind made for perfect conditions.

ORC’s Rhiannon Murphy was a triple winner, scoring firsts in the mixed recreational fours and eights with coxswain and the mixed open double with Fabian Erazo. Adam Okoye and Matthew Clahane also were in the fours and eights crews with Murphy.

Erazo was one of several ORC double winners as he also placed first in the men’s open lightweight.

ORC’s Adam Griesbach, Leo Kristal-Polci, Matthew Lokhonia and Marco Youngson won the men’s junior fours with coxswain and then joined Ben Grenier, Jack Bon, Russell Lonsdale and Euan Coulson for the men’s U19 eights with coxswain victory.

Mia Viens was the ORC’s coxswain for those two crews and also provided valuable in-boat guidance for the mixed recreational fours crew and the winning women’s U19 fours boat of Darcy Cole, Zoe Mae Fedoruk, Ellie Keith and Keelin Saranchuk.

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Sam Sloan also raced with Murphy, Okoye and Clahane in the mixed recreational eights and teamed with Ryan Hatcher to produce the fastest men’s recreational double time.

Alyssa Pastic was busy competing for two clubs and recording two first-place finishes. She was part of the women’s masters eights for the ORC and the women’s varsity eights for the University of Ottawa.

Carleton University recorded wins in men’s varsity fours and lightweight varsity fours and the women’s novice varsity eights. The University of Ottawa’s other win was from Ronan Sampson and Owen Falkenham in the men’s lightweight varsity pairs.


RA Centre Curling Centre of Excellence. Photo: Dan Plouffe

The RA Centre’s new Curling Centre of Excellence had a grand christening last week with two major Olympic-related competitions staged by Curling Canada.

The Canadian Direct Entry meets qualified three women’s and two men’s rinks for the Tim Hortons Olympic Curling Trials Nov. 20-28 in Saskatoon. The Pre-Trials Direct Entry saw two men’s and two women’s four-player teams advance to the Home Hardware Olympic Curling Pre-Trials Oct. 26-31 in Liverpool, N.S.

Lauren Mann’s Ottawa Curling Club rink of Karen Trines, Cheryl Kreviazuk, Kira Brunton and Marcia Richardson lost its first match in the triple-knockout Pre-Trials Direct Entry competition, won its next two, but lost its final two matches.

Lauren Mann. Photo: Dan Plouffe

Edmonton’s Laura Walker, who played for Rachel Homan’s successful 2010 rink, defeated Corryn Brown of Kamloops, B.C., in a sudden-death match Sunday night for the third and final berth in the Direct Entry Trials. Walker helped the Homan rink win the Ontario and Canadian junior women’s championships 11 years ago and a silver medal at the world juniors in Switzerland.

Rideau Curling Club’s Hailey Armstrong played third for Laurie St-Georges of Quebec in the Pre-Trials Direct Entry competition. The St-Georges rink had a 1-3 record.


Kurtis Barkley of Williamsburg, ON., and the Cedar Glen Golf Course was the only player to beat par in both rounds as he won the inaugural Canadian All Abilities golf championship at the Humber Valley Golf Course in Toronto.

Barkley registered rounds of 69 and 67 for a four-under-par 136 to capture the national championship by a 16-stroke margin over runner-up Craig Dowling of Vancouver.

The All Abilities championship is for golfers with neurological, intellectual, sensory or physical impairments.

Barkley’s victory came one week after winning his third consecutive Ontario title. He is No. 12 on the World Gross Ranking for Golfers with Disability.

“I usually set little goals and try to minimize my mistakes,” Barkley told Golf Canada, after his win.

At the Canadian senior golf championship at Club de Golf Le Manoir Richelieu, Gatineau Golf Club’s Ricky Coulombe climbed seven places in the standings on the final day to finish fifth overall at 10-over-par 298. He fired rounds of 76-78-74-70. Ottawa Hunt’s Peter Harrison tied for 15th place at 80-74-76-73-303.


Christopher Perkins of Athens, ON., will have to wait another year to see if he can become the first men’s compound archer to win a second title at the world archery championships.

He’s familiar with waiting. It has been 10 years since he won the 2011 world men’s compound championship in Turin, Italy. And he has been away from the world championships for the past six years.

After qualifying in difficult conditions with the third-best score of 699, he earned byes through the first two rounds. By defeating Julio Barillas of Guatemala 147-145 and Mario Vavro of Croatia 147-144, Perkins advanced to the Elite Eight, which started talk of Perkins possibly winning an unprecedented second world title.

But in his quarter-final match, Perkins, 29, lost to Estonia’s Robin Jaatma, the U21 world champion. Perkins won the first end 28-27 (maximum point total is 30 using three arrows), but Jaatma tied it 54-54 after two ends.

Perkins earned a two-point lead after three ends at 84-82, but Jaatma closed that gap winning the fourth end 30-28 and evening the match at 112. Jaatma scored a 10 on his final shot of the fifth end and Perkins notched a nine, which eliminated him and left him eighth overall.

Since winning the 2011 worlds, the calm Perkins has become a well known athlete in archery circles, spending the majority of his time following 3D discipline professional circuits in the United States.

“This (world compound championship) is a completely different game than what I’ve been playing,” Perkins told Jeff Kirshman in Yankton, South Dakota, the site of the worlds. “It’s a completely different set-up, a completely different mental game and visual picture. The total aspects of both types of archery are completely different.”

Ottawa’s Eric Peters qualified 73rd in the men’s recurve category. But he won one of his two elimination matches to place 33rd overall.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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