Bedford Channel To Remain Racing Hot Spot

By Gary Ahuja - Langley Times - July 01, 2008

With a light breeze blowing in off the water, and bright beautiful sunny skies, the picture could not have been more perfect as an official announcement confirmed that the Bedford Channel will remain a hot spot of rowing activity for years to come.

Friday afternoon saw a pair of major races confirmed (The Times, May 14) as well as the announcement of a new rowing and paddling facility for the Bedford Channel.

The Western Canadian university rowing championships - which will be hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley on Oct. 18 - and the Canadian university national championships - hosted by the University of British Columbia Oct. 31-Nov. 2 - are the two major races coming to the Bedford Channel.

The latter is the Lower Mainland's largest rowing event in the past 54 years.

Not since 1954, when Chilliwack's Vedder Canal hosted the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, has an event of this magnitude come to the Lower Mainland.

The new rowing and paddling facility, being constructed by ParkLane after consultation with both the Fort Langley Rowing Club and the Township over the past year, is expected to be completed between late August and September.

"This has the potential to be one of the best courses in Canada," said Mike Pearce, the head coach of the UBC rowing team. "They will come to this site. It is a magnet."

Pearce said the Bedford Channel offers perfect racing conditions.

It has a two-kilometre, Olympic-length stretch of straight channel, wide enough to accommodate a minimum of four lanes...