April 25, 2015, Mercer County, New Jersey— At the 2015 USRowing National Selection Regatta I Vesper Boats showed success in first step towards the 2016 Rio Olympics. All seven Vesper boats which raced at the NSR made the A finals.
• Men’s Pair: Yohann Rigogne and Tom Peszek finish 2nd in a very fast field of US Training Center athletes. The winning time was 6:31.34. Vesper BC was 6:33.10—93.4% of gold medal time standard of 6:08—with four other USTC boats close behind. The winning pair may stay in the men’s eight, which will determine next steps for the remaining boats. As a result of their performance at NSRI, the Vesper athletes Yohann and Tom have been invited to the 8+/4- camp.
A third Vesper athlete, Dariush Aghai, also made the A final in the pair, rowing for USTC.
• Women’s Lightweight Double: Michelle Sechser and Devery Karz posted the best times in the preliminary races. Winning the final with a time that was 95.6% of gold standard time, the Vesper boat beat the 2013 world championship silver medalists in this event. The VBC duo may be going to the FISA World Cup II or III, with the goal of finishing in the top 4. This top 4 placement at a World Cup regatta would give the Vesper women an automatic placement on the World Championship team for 2015, in the LW2x.
• Women’s Double: Nicole Ritchie and lightweight Mary Jones finished 3rd in the A final, behind two Training Center boats, including the world championship boat from 2014. The Vesper duo were 93% of gold standard time. The second Vesper W2x included Lindsey Meyer and Jamie Chapman, who finish 6th.
• Men’s Double: Nick Goode and JP Kirkegaard finished 5th behind some very experienced boats filled with prior US team athletes. Nick and JP have not logged many miles and have a lot more speed to find. They will continue to train and likely show at trials for the 2X later this year.
• Women’s Single: Kate McFetridge won the women’s single. Kate raced against a strong, but not complete field, as the women’s single will be contested at next set of races, NSRII, with a National Team berth up for grabs.
• Men’s Lightweight Single: Colin Etheridge, rowing in our program from Malta BC as part of the Schuylkill Navy Cooperative, finished second in the men’s lightweight single, rowing a time that was 94% of gold standard time. Colin is one of a handful of very good lightweight men that will be vying for a seat in the Lightweight Men’s 2X for the Rio Olympics.
We congratulate the entire Vesper team, Coaches John Parker, Sean Clarke, and Libby Peters, on the outstanding performances at this first National Selection Regatta of 2015. The news could not be better at this point and the results put the program ahead of schedule. However, this is a long-term program, with eyes on looking out to Rio in 2016, and also towards the 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo, Japan.