Brentwood Regatta 2016

Brentwood Regatta 2016

After a month of competition in blustery spring conditions Vashon Junior rowers traveled to Canada for the 46th Annual Brentwood regatta. Its weather atoned for everything with 3 days of sparkling conditions on the shore of Vancouver Island at the Brentwood College (private high school) venue located 30 miles north of Victoria. In recent years, attendees of this event have become accustomed to layered clothing, rain gear and shivering. This year it was shorts, shirtsleeves and sunscreen. The juniors sleep on the gym floors, eat at the school cafeteria, row the 1500-meter course by day and attend street dances by night leaving their parents some time to explore the area and gather for potlucks and dinners at local restaurants. It is the favorite regatta of the year for most juniors (and their parents).

The east facing venue coupled with glorious sunny mornings lent a bejeweled feel to the races with reflections coming off oar blades and the water whooshing off of them at the end of each stroke. The Brentwood College School has rowing on its curriculum so it is no surprise that they are very adept at pulling off the largest junior regatta in North America. Races proceed with a clocklike cadence every seven minutes. The finish line area is punctuated by about a minute of screaming with teammates and parents urging their rowers to either hold on or catch up. Then six minutes of calm until the next race comes down the course. A total of 190 races are completed in just over two days of racing.

Vashon’s crew entered 27 events racing in 22 heats and 19 finals competing in a total of 41 races. Juniors returned with four gold, one silver and three bronze medals in this highly competitive event.

In addition to the usual event classifications (experience level, boat type, gender and weight) this regatta also has two age categories: an open age bracket (A) and an “under-sixteen” category (B). Winning Vashon crews were the women’s double competing in the A JV event (as lightweights) (Virginia Miller—stroke and Maddie McEachern—bow), B lightweight women’s eight (Maya Gould—stroke, Lelah Assink, Sam Zeigler, Mabel Moses, Ruta Milewski, Olivia White, Ivy Jaguzny, Brigit O’Rourke and Ellie Lande—coxswain), the B men’s quad (Connor van Egmond—stroke, Seth Rosen, Rohin Petram, Cooper Py and Kale Scheer—coxswain) and the B novice men’s quad (Aidan Teachout—stroke, Oz Hichens, Nelson Giorgini, Jack Monroe and Lucca Shattuck—coxswain). The silver medal winning boat was the B novice women’s quad. Third place medals were won by the B JV men’s quad, the A open women’s double and the B lightweight women’s four. The women’s double medal was noteworthy because Rhea Enzian and Riley Lynch row almost exclusively a pair but switched over to sculling and the double since the pair is not an event at this regatta.

Sporting a serious tan from 10 hours per day in the sun, coach Richard Parr commented on the weekend: “It was great to see our young team performing so well at one of the world’s biggest regattas, and bringing back four gold medals was outstanding. Now it’s time for fine tuning for Northwest Regionals, and hopefully on to Youth Nationals.“

Next Saturday a small number of Vashon Junior and Masters crews have been invited to participate in the Windermere Cup races at University of Washington’s Montlake Cut as part of the annual Opening Day festivities.

Article by Pat Call

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