Vikes rower Caileigh Filmer crowned world champion

- Ali Baggott

Photo: UVic Vikes /

Vikes rower Caileigh Filmer is making a name for herself on the world stage. On Sept. 15 Filmer crossed a finish line on the waters in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with teammate Hillary Janssens and was crowned a world champion in the women’s pair event. Filmer and Janssens defeated the reigning world champions and world best time holders from New Zealand. The win set a new Canadian best time at a world rowing event.

Looking back, the victory seemed nearly inevitable as the pair had won gold at a World Cup 1 event and Silver at the World Cup 3 event earlier in the year. For Filmer, who is also pursuing degrees in earth and ocean science and physical geography at UVic, it’s unbelievably still just the beginning.

“I was in Rio at the Olympics but I still hadn’t competed at a World Championships so this was just an amazing feeling to achieve what we had been imagining,” said Filmer, who raced at the 2016 Olympic Games in the women’s eight. “I’m taking the next two years to focus on preparations for the 2020 games but I can’t wait to get back to joining the Vikes after 2020.”

Filmer transferred to UVic after a season with the University of California Berkley and raced her first year with the Vikes in 2017-18. She capped off that season as UVic’s co-winner of Female Athlete of the Year after winning three gold medals at the Western conference level and two gold medals at the Canadian University National Championship, including gold in the women’s single and eight. Filmer was also named December 2017 Rising Star of the Month by World Rowing.

“It’s been difficult juggling my school work and athletic commitments,” added Filmer about balancing life as an international athlete and a university student. “When we are away, some teammates are often resting when I would go sit in a coffee shop and being studying ahead of a big race.”

Although Filmer won’t suit up for the Vikes again until the Fall of 2020, she still feels as much a part of the Vikes as she did last season.

“The Vikes team are like my family and they were getting in touch with me after we won Worlds,” highlighted Filmer, whose mother Helena Filmer also raced for the Vikes. “Last year we were always getting together to have potlucks, to watch movies or just hang out. It’s so hard for me to not be racing with them this year and next but I can’t wait to come back and join them. I still feel part of the team.”


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Keywords: athletics, sports

People: Caileigh Filmer

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