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2019 Release


5 Junior Rideau Paddlers representing Canada this weekend at 2019 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Bratislava, Slovakia


image.pngOttawa, September 12th – Rideau’s junior athletes are preparing for one more opportunity to shine on the international stage this weekend at the prestigious Olympic Hopes Regatta in Bratislava, Slovakia.  Hosting athletes from 36 countries, the Regatta is the largest event in the world for paddlers age 15 to 17.

The Rideau Canoe Club will be well represented.  5 athletes earned their way on to the Canadian team based on their performances earlier this summer at National Team Trials, while Rideau’s U18 Coach, Reid Farquharson, has also been invited to be part of the Canoe Kayak Canada coaching team at the event. 

L to R (O’Neill, Graham, Farquharson, Besharah, Hodgson-Pageau, Price)

Despite both being only 16 years-old, Rideau Canoer Ella Hodgson-Pageau, and Kayaker Toshka Besharah will be providing veteran leadership for the paddlers representing Canada in Slovakia.   This will be their second trip to Europe this summer, having raced earlier for Canada at the ICF Junior World U18 Championships in Romania, and their second time competing in the Olympic Hopes Regatta. 

Hodgson-Pageau will be looking to build on her silver medal performance at the Junior Worlds in late July, as well as the 3 medals, including a Gold and 2 Silvers, she won at the 2018 Olympic Hopes Regatta last Summer in Poland. Besharah is also making a second trip to Olympic Hopes, and like Hodgson-Pageau, will be looking to sustain the momentum of a record-breaking Junior Team Canada showing at the 2019 Junior World Championships, where she contributed by winning bronze in the Women’s K4.   Besharah narrowly missed winning a medal at the 2018 Olympic Hopes Regatta, and will be aiming for the podium this weekend.

Matthew O’Neill is returning to the Olympic Hopes Regatta after a one-year layoff, having raced for Canada at the 2017 competition in Racice, Czech Republic.  O’Neill is coming off a strong performance at the 2019 Canoe Kayak Canada National Championships in Regina, where he was a double gold medalist in both his C2 events. 

For Jacob Price and Kieran Graham, the 2019 Olympic Hopes Regatta will be the first time either paddler has represented Canada, and raced internationally. Like O’Neill, Price and Graham reinforced their nominations to Team Canada with strong results at the National Championships in Regina last month.   Graham, a canoer, won the U16 Men’s C1-200m event, as well as the U16 Men’s C4-1000m.   Price won Gold and Silver in the K2-500m and K2-1000m events respectively.

In addition to the 5 Rideau paddlers, Canoe Kayak Canada acknowledged the outstanding performance of Rideau’s junior athletes over the past two years by naming Rideau’s U18 Coach, Reid Farquharson to the Team Canada coaching squad for Olympic Hopes.  Representing Canada was something Farquharson did not do as a paddler himself, and he is excited to finally have the opportunity to see his athletes compete internationally.


“Over the past few summers, we’ve had several of our junior athletes race for Team Canada.   As their coach, watching their success internationally from back home has been a joy I couldn't have imagined” said Farquharson. “The opportunity to now be there and support them in person is one I cannot wait for, and I look forward to seeing them compete against the best in the world”.

Racing starts Friday morning in Bratislava, Slovakia.   Regular race updates will be provided on both the Rideau Canoe Club Twitter feed @rideaucanoeclub, and Instagram site @therideaucanoeclub.   Races will also be streamed live at the Regatta website: https://oh2019.canoe.sk/

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About the Rideau Canoe Club

The Rideau Canoe Club is one of Canada’s oldest canoe clubs, and one of the City of Ottawa’s longest continually operating sports facilities.   Rideau Canoe Club Paddlers have been racing on the Rideau Canal and Mooney’s Bay since 1902.  Over the past 117 years, the Rideau Canoe Club has produced 10 Olympians, and Rideau athletes have won the Sprint Canoe and Kayak National Club Championship Burgee 9 times.  Rideau is the two-time defending National Champion, having won the 2019 Burgee in August in Regina, Saskatchewan.


The Rideau Canoe Club is proud to be hosting the 2020 Sprint Canoe Kayak National Championships from August 25-30, 2020.


For more information contact:

Hector Carranco

Executive Director

Rideau Canoe Club

2019 Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Champions



Hector Carranco,
Sep 12, 2019, 7:55 AM