Zak Lewis Joins ORC as Head Coach

The Ottawa Rowing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Zak Lewis as the club’s full-time Head Coach.

As Head Coach, Zak will work with our team of dedicated and hard-working volunteer coaches to establish strong, vibrant rowing programs from recreational to masters to competitive rowing. Zak will also be the primary club contact and leader that will establish program goals and methods to support ORC strategic objectives and make the ORC a powerhouse in Canadian rowing.

Zak holds a Bachelors in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier University and a Masters in Sport Performance from Brock University. He is a former collegiate rower and national team development athlete and has been formally coaching since 2016 in Canada and Australia, most recently as a development coach for the U17 RowOntario women and as an assistant coach in the uOttawa rowing program. Zak is also a certified strength and conditioning coach, a specialist in fitness nutrition, a certified personal trainer and is completing the NCCP RCA performance coach certification.

Also, it was recently announced that Zak has been selected to the RCA coaching team for Canada’s NextGen crews headed to CanAmMex in 2020 and to the 2020 FISU coaching team (pending team size). The ORC would like to congratulate Zak on these Team Canada coaching assignments.

Please join us in welcoming Zak as our Head Coach. Zak can be reached at

AGM Wrap Up

Thank you to all of our members that attended the AGM on February 13.

We’d like to recognize the hard work and dedication of outgoing Board members, Lilianne Page and Marika Kay. Lilianne had served as Secretary and Marika as Club Registrar. Big thanks to both for their service.

We’d like to thank and welcome Julia Fournier and Stewart Taylor who will join the ORC Board as Registrar and Secretary, respectively. Julia and Stewart bring a wealth of experience as long-time ORC members and have served the club in a variety of volunteer roles.

Peter Thompson will begin another two year term in the role of President and Lauren Essiambre will continue as VP Recreation and Instructional Programs. Thanks to both for continuing to serve on the Board.

Lastly, congratulations to Declan McCoy who was recognized at the AGM for his volunteer service, leadership and athletic accomplishments. Declan was presented with the Wes Kuran Award and a $500 scholarship to support his academic and athletic pursuits.

ORC Junior Rowers Finish on Podium at Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships

On Sunday, February 9, junior rowers from the Ottawa Rowing Club competed at the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships in Mississauga, ON. The CIRC is a major competition in the rowing off-season where athletes race a 1,000m or 2,000m distance on rowing machines. ORC was well represented by our junior crew, finishing the weekend with 5 trips to the podium – 3 gold and 2 silver:

  1. Gold – in U19 Women 2000m – Rachel Weber – 1st out of 55 with a time of 7:21.1
  2. Gold – in Club 4 Women 1000m – Rachel Weber, Madeleine Lauriault, Lauren Blume, Zella James with a time of 3:44
  3. Gold – in Club 4 Men 1000m – David Johnson, Erik Watkins, Matthew Lokhonia, Aidan Hembruff with a time of 3:16
  4. Silver – in Lightweight U17 Men – Matthew Lokhonia – Field of 38 with a time of 6:52.7
  5. Silver – in U19 Men – Aidan Hembruff – Field of 31 – 2nd by one-tenth of a second with a time of 6:19.3

Others notable finishes included:

  • U17 Junior Women 2000m – Madeleine Lauriault – 5th in a field of 59 with a time of 7:45.8
  • Junior Women, Novice 1000m – Maia Hembruff and Dahlia Rostom – 5th and 6th in a field of 30 with a time of 3:50.4 and 3:52.2, respectively.

More indoor racing awaits ORC rowers on Saturday, February 22, beginning at 8am at the Taggart YMCA in Ottawa, to be hosted by the ORC.