The Brentwood Regatta is a well-established affair, hitting its 48th year this past weekend, April 27-29. The event draws 1600 rowers and coaches from 34 teams hailing from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Bainbridge Island Rowing sent its entire juniors squad to the prestigious competition. At the regatta’s conclusion, five BIR crews walked away with medals, and all rowers had an experience not to be forgotten.
The wins included a hard-fought silver medal in the Under 19 Lwt72 Men 4+ Final A and a second-place finish in the Under 19 Men 8+ Final B. BIR rowers earned bronze medals in the Under 17 Novice Men 8+ Final A, the Under 19 3V Women 4+ Final A, and the Under 19 Women 4+ Final A. All races were 1500 meters, across the bay, with a finish right in front of the campus docks.
The Brentwood Regatta is in Mill Bay, BC, about forty minutes north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. The BIR teams rode two buses to Port Angeles early Friday morning where they walked on to the Black Ball Ferry. In Victoria, they boarded two new buses, which drove them to Brentwood College School, an exclusive college preparatory boarding school on 70 waterfront acres, host of the annual regatta. BIR camped out on the racquetball court floors. Other teams were relegated to the gym floor. In all, the gym provided accommodations for 700 athletes.
Races on Friday were postponed due to windy weather, but rowers were able to enjoy the campus in the sun, listening to bands performing in the quad, visiting the Brentwood gear store, and checking out the food stands. The competition began fierce and fast early on rainy and chilly Saturday, the organizers needing to cram in Friday’s races to the day’s schedule. Eleven BIR crews qualified in their Saturday heats to advance to the Sunday finals.
Sunday was a little drier, and the teams sped through their finals before packing up gear, derigging, and loading up the trailers. As a generous parent volunteer watched over the team’s mountain of gear at the ferry, the rowers were able to enjoy a few hours for lunch and sightseeing in Victoria before boarding the 4 p.m. Black Ball for the ride back to the U.S. and buses home.
Photos courtesy of Regina Bellody, Michele Bianchi, Susan Brandzel, Tim Dore, Jodi Forslund, Theona Jundanian, Sarah Lane, Jen Pells, Imelda Sanches, Tracy Smyser Sublett, and Danielle Somes Stoehr. Thank you, photographers!