Nfld. & Labrador

Hyflodraulic Limited, Fine Strokes are the new Royal St. John's Regatta champs

A Hyflodraulic Limited rower snapped her oar in half, and the team still won the St. John's Regatta.

The Outer Cove men's team rowed under Fine Strokes Plaster and Painting banner

Meet the new Royal St. John's Regatta women's champs. (Malone Mullin/CBC)

As the Hyflodraulic Limited women's team flew toward the finish line Wednesday evening at the Royal St. John's Regatta, the unimaginable happened.

Rower Teresa Butler said she nearly fainted when she realized her oar had snapped in half.

Luckily, their boat was far enough ahead that nobody could catch them.

Teresa Butler holds up her broken oar at the finish line. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

Hyflodraulic Limited took the Regatta women's title with a final race time of 5:02.23.

The Fine Strokes Plaster and Painting men's team, formerly the Outer Cove men's team, took home gold medals with a final race time of 9:04.71.

In the women's race, the Cahill Group, last year's third-place finishers, was second. Steers Insurance, last year's fourth-place finishers, was third. 

The members of the men's Fine Strokes team throw raise their hands in victory. (Mike Rossiter/CBC)

The second- and third-place teams in the men's race also saw some gains over last year. Belfor finished second, up from fourth in 2018, and NTV took bronze, up from fifth.

The M5 women's team set a new course record of 4:56.10 last year in their morning run. They didn't compete in this year's race, throwing the door wide open for a new women's title.

A first time for gold

In her 15-year rowing career, Butler has been on a number of second-place teams.

"Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!" she said.

The new Regatta women's team share enthusiastic, Hyflodraulic hugs at the finish line. (Malone Mullin/CBC)

She hoisted the championship trophy for the very first time Wednesday night, along with her Hyflodraulic Limited teammates Tracy Roche, Wendi Young, Amanda Butland, Jenni Wadden and coxswain Craig Whittle.

"I'm on Cloud 9," she said.

Justin Trudeau on the pond

The centuries-old event attracted a high-profile name early in the day. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived pondside late Wednesday morning. 

The PM took many photos with people, but didn't take questions from reporters.

Many people appeared excited to shake hands or take a selfie with the prime minister. Other reactions included "Lovely teeth he has" and "I met his father before."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the trophy to the Telegram/Robin's Donuts team in the Female Labour race. (Marie Isabelle Rochon/CBC)

Another person wasn't as complimentary and demanded an apology for all the years "Quebec has screwed us." Trudeau didn't respond and kept moving through the crowd.

Trudeau was an official guest starter for one of the races and attended a private luncheon hosted by the Regatta committee. 

Perfect snacking conditions

In an unusual turn for the Regatta, winds stayed low throughout the day, barely hitting 15km/h.

It was bright and sunny, but not scorching, which made for optimal snacking and strolling conditions.

One of the best things about the Regatta? The food. Oh, the food.

The Quidi Vidi lakeside has undergone $2.7 million in renovations over the last year, with work finishing just in the nick of time for the event. Additions include a new winner's circle for the victorious rowing crews.

On top of that, this year the beer tent is under new management. 

Strolling the pond

What can you do with $20 at the Regatta? Zach Goudie and Katie Breen found out! Watch the replay below.

Show us your best lakeside photos (especially if they're of delicious pondside eats) using #cbcnl on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Peter Cowan, Malone Mullin and Katie Breen

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