Adam Blok

Maple Ridge man the coxswain for Canada on the Thames

Competing in the 100th anniversary of the King’s Cup

In a re-enactment of a rowing event at the end of the First World War, military teams from around the world will race on the Thames River in England.

Maple Ridge’s Adam Blok will coxswain the Canadian boat in the 100th anniversary of The King’s Cup.

The Henley Royal Regatta is an international rowing competition held annually since 1839, with the exception of the years during the two world wars.

The Peace Regatta of 1919 marked the resumption of the storied Henly race after the First World War, and military crews from Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom the U.S. took part. They were soldiers in England, waiting to come home.

This year, on the 100th anniversary of that Peace Regatta, those nations as well as Germany and the Netherlands have been invited to re-create that event. Military teams will race again at Henley on the Thames, near London.

Blok is attending the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, on his way to becoming an army officer. The college was selected to enter and eight-person rowing team to represent the Canada Armed Forces.

“It’s the ultimate competition in the world of rowing,” said Blok. “I know our crew is incredibly honoured.”

Blok’s job is to steer the boat with a rudder, give directions to the crew during the race, and push them harder as they race down a 2.1 km course.

He’s not on an oar, so he is making it easier on the team’s rowers by dropping as much weight as possible. He trains as hard as any rower, running and hitting the gym. He started at a fighting trim 158 pounds, and has dropped to a sleek 137. His goal is 130 for the race.

He said the Canadians are younger than some of the competitors, but they are a close-knit group of classmates and friends, who have been training hard.

“The crew looks really good, and we’re definitely up for the challenge.”

The Maple Ridge secondary grad of 2016 is studying honours political science with a minor in history, about to start his fourth year, and then will continue training as an officer cadet.

He was a rugby player with the Ramblers and the Bruins club team. Rowing is new, but he loves the sport.

“It’s fantastic. The energy in a race is electric. To coxswain a crew to a win… there’s no better feeling in sports.”

The racing will be held from July 5-7.

READ ALSO: Head of the Fort rowing competition marks 10th anniversary

“This race honors the past, contributes to the alliances of today, and builds towards the future,” said Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. “The Canadian Armed Forces is honored to again be part of The King’s Cup, to have the opportunity to commemorate sacrifices made in the First World War, and, as this will be the first time male and female military athletes crew together in an elite international competition, to demonstrate the progressive and inclusive ethos needed to be an effective military force in today’s world.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents treated for smoke inhalation after fire in Maple Ridge building

Fire took place in the 11800 block of Laity Street

Muse proceeds with cannabis store in Westgate Shopping Centre

Private retail store would be within 1,000m of proposed government store in Maple Ridge

VIDEO: Person falls from roof in Maple Ridge

Air ambulance was called but victim taken by ground instead

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

Canucks fan risks life to celebrate at Surrey intersection

‘All fun and games until somebody falls out an open side door of the van’

Most Read