Kai joins dad in rowing record books

Moves on from national championships to World Cup in South Korea this week

Qualicum Beach’s Kai Langerfeld — above powering his way over the finish line at Elk Lake to capture the Canadian title in Mens Single — and his National Team teammates are in South Korea for the World Rowing Championships which got underway Thursday.

From the bumped-but-definitely-not-forgotten files comes word Christmas came early for Oceanside rower Kai Langerfeld, as the dedicated UVic student powered his way to a Canadian title in the Men’s Single event.

In the mix on the waters of Elk Lake for the 2012 Canadian National Rowing Championships, Kai finished top of the heap in Mens Single (aka 1x) made up of a big strong field of 54 rowers.

The nationals capped off a busy 2012 for Kai, who made the trip with the national team to London during the Summer Olympics where he trained.

After that Kai was back “training a ton” with the national team as it prepared for the upcoming World Cup races and the World Championships in South Korea which started yesterday (Jan. 3).

What makes Kai’s national senior men’s title even more notable is that by doing so Kai and his dad, York, a former national team rower himself, appear to have earned a place in the record books as the first father-son duo to win national titles.

In a classic case of full circle, York was the Canadian champion in the same event in 1978.

Contacted down-Island before he left for the World Cup, Kai confirmed “it was nice to have the fall training pay off and be able to win a national title.

“It feels pretty good to be able to start the next Olympiad with a win like this.”

AT THE NATIONALS on Elk Lake, Kai and his counterparts started off with a time trial on the Friday, which put the top 21 into the quarter finals. Kai won his quarterfinals heat which put him through to the semis where he placed top three to advance to the A Final.

“The final went really well,” surmised the easy going Kwalikum Secondary grad, “and I was able to stay fairly calm and lay down a pretty good sprint to win by two seconds.”

His final time was 7:06 — all the races on Elk Lake are 1,850 meters in length.

“That was probably the most complete race I have done in the single,” he said.

Kai as the story goes was originally going to challenge in the 2x (that means pair without coxswain) with Will Crothers. Crothers was the stroke of the men’s eights crew that mined a silver medal in London.

But their new head coach wanted all his national team members to race in the 1x (that’s the single scull). Kai does not train in the 1x, pointed out his dad, adding “it takes years to learn how to race in it, so he was pretty nervous about the event.

“It was nerve wracking,” York confirmed said when asked how it felt watching on from shore, explaining “I know how much these races mean for the athletes and how it effects their being invited to the National Team training camp. I also know how competitive Kai is. It was a really proud moment for our family to see him succeed,” said his dad.