Kyle Fredrickson and Andrew Todd repeated as world champions in the PR3 men’s pair. (Submitted)

Vancouver Island’s Kyle Fredrickson defends title at rowing worlds

Fellow Islander Jessye Brockway makes world championships debut

Duncan’s Kyle Fredrickson defended his gold medal at the World Rowing Championships in Austria late last month, while Mill Bay’s Jessye Brockway had a strong showing in her first appearance at Worlds.

Fredrickson and his partner Andrew Todd of Thunder Bay, Ontario won the PR3 men’s pair at the World Championships for the second year in a row, edging out William Smith and Jed Altschwager of Australia in an epic battle in the final on Aug. 30.

Fredrickson and Todd beat Altschwager and James Talbot to win gold at the 2018 World Championships in Bulgaria. The Worlds marked the pair’s first chance to compete together this year.

“It was harder this year to accomplish what we did for sure,” Fredrickson said on Rowing Canada Aviron’s website. “It was a mentally tough year not being able to race and we knew the Aussies were going to be fast. We just took it 15 strokes at a time.”

This year, the Canadians finished the course in 7:16.42, while the Australians crossed in 7:17.83, and France placed third in 7:24.00.

“It’s pretty cool to win again,” Todd said. “We felt like we had a target on our backs coming into this final, but we pulled it off and it’s really special. I have had a year of illness and injury to the point where I was actually in a cast right up until the day we left to come here.”

Brockway and Jeremy Hall of St. Paul, Alberta finished 11th overall in the PR2 mixed double sculls. They placed fourth in their heat, then earned a second chance by placing second in the repechage. After a sixth-place finish in their semifinal, Brockway and Hall then finished fifth in the B final with a time of 9:04.80.

Already a decorated para-athlete with several national and international medals in throwing events, Brockway also represented B.C. in para-nordic skiing at the Canada Winter Games earlier this year, finishing fourth in the sitting 2.5km race.

“This event has illustrated that we have a lot of work to do for next year, but it was a good start,” Brockway said. “There has been so much learning all week. Jeremy has been so helpful and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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