Parksville’s Paiton Stewart capped off his high school rowing career on a high note recently, as he and his teammates powered their way to bronze medal at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Associations’s national championships back East.
Played out at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Course June 3-5 on a body of water known as Martindale Pond which surrounds Henley Island in St. Catharines, Ontario, the 66th annual regatta was open to any registered rower from any collegiate, high school or secondary school student in the world.
Paiton, 18, and his teammates have had a terrific season in the Mens Lightweight 4s division.
The week before they garnered third in all the country they garnered gold at the prestigious Shawnigan Lake Rowing Regatta.
“That was a great win for them — it was their last race of the day on the Sunday in sideways rain and typhoon winds, and those kids, wow, they came out of nowhere and blew the field away,” recalled Paiton’s dad Richard. “That was a cool win.”
This same group of four boys have been training and competing together for the last two plus years.
Earlier this month iconic Canadian comic Rick Mercer took his show to Brentwood College where he took a spin in one of the boats.
All four rowers are seniors and weigh in between 140 to 150 pounds soaking wet, “and just cut.
“These kids have shoulder muscles like no tomorrow and thighs and calves there so cut. It’s insane.”
Paiton, 18, didn’t have long to savour the excticing win as it was back to school and preparing for his final exams.
A regular on the honour roll and the captain of Ellis House, Paiton embraced the sport of rowing three years ago.