It’s a Newfoundland rower’s dream come true — being triple-crown winners.  This year, it’s a title both the male champions, Rogers Bussey, and the female champions, Roebothan McKay Marshall, claimed at the 2012 Royal St. John’s Regatta.

The Rogers Bussey Lawyers crew crossed the finish line in a time of 9:06:64. The Roebothan McKay Marshall crew came in at 5:04:18.

Fresh off wins in Placentia and Harbour Grace both teams were driven to win and take the prestigious title.

"It’s an awesome feeling. I guess [it’s] the joy and happiness of working so hard to get there," said rower Craig Whittle.


The 2012 Royal St. John's Regatta Women's Champions celebrate their win. (CBC)

Whittle said even though the team took a commanding lead in the last half of the race, the competition was tough to beat.

"Toyota really pushed us down the pond," he said. "

Three minutes in we started to inch ahead and coming out of the turn our strength really kicked in and we started to push away a little bit."

His teammate, Matthew Manning agreed the race was a challenge.

"If there's someone pushing alongside you, it’s a little bit easier to find that gear," said Manning.

"This is my last year rowing," he said. "So it feels great to end it off with a championship and a triple crown. It just feels awesome," added Manning.

Sweet victory

The winning women of Roebothan McKay Marshall were equally excited after capturing their triple crown.

"It feels fabulous," said Beth Davis. "There’s nothing like winning. It's just wonderful."

Jennifer Carroll has been rowing competitively for six years.

"There’s some people who row for 20 years and never get it so it’s a sweet victory," she said.

The victory is especially sweet because the team finished second last year, even though they were favoured to win. They lost to M5 in the 2011 championship race by two seconds.

"That’s the past," said Davis. "We had a good race and we followed our race plan."

Participation up

105 crews participated in the 2012 races at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s, 26 more than the previous year.