Rowers wrap with skills tests

Twenty eight young competitors from around the province gave it their all on the Bedford Channel this weekend.

North Vancouver’s Mike Bagshawe is among rowing referees.

North Vancouver’s Mike Bagshawe is among rowing referees.

Roxanne Hooper

Black Press

Thirteen umpires from around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island oversaw the rowing component of the BC Summer Games in Fort Langley this weekend, and heading up that effort was North Vancouver’s Mike Bagshawe.

Not much gets this retiree out of bed before 8:15 a.m. on a normal morning, but he’s been up at 5:30 every morning of the Games.

The early hour and commute from the North Shore to Langley have been the only lowlights of the weekend for the chief ump, who began preparing for the BC Summer Games back in early June.

The weekend’s highlight: “The smiles!”

“Watching the kids come off the water with big smiles on their face, and listening to the spectators and parents raving about the experience, that’s the reward,” Bagshawe said, constantly surveying the water, the rowers, and the judging stations peppered throughout the Bedford Channel.

While most of the Games competitions were based in Abbotsford, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, and synchronized swimming were hosted in Langley.

“I’ve watched some very professional turns out there on the water today,” Bagshawe said Sunday morning, smiling as he watches the  28 young competitors getting on and off the water for the skills testing.

The competition portion of the weekend began with 1,500-metre time trials on Friday, the 1,000-metre sprint on Saturdays, and the   tests on Sunday.

Winners were expected to be announed before 11 a.m. today (Sunday).