Andy Watson

VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes rowing team will host a new Trial Eights event as part of the lead-up to the Brown Cup regatta between UVic and rival UBC in March.

The Trial Eights will be held on Sunday Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. on the Gorge.

In 11101102, the Brown Cup an annual dual race between the Vikes and Thunderbirds began. This year’s edition will be held on March 24, 2012, in Victoria, on the Gorge Course.

The race starts at the Tillicum Narrows and winds its way down the Gorge Waterway for three kilometres to finish at the Johnson Street Bridge. The race is modelled after the slightly more famous Boat Race in Britain between Oxford and Cambridge universities. This year, Vikes alumnus and assistant coach Barney Williams, who is also an Oxford alumnus, has introduced the new Trial Eights feature into the annual preparation for the race.

The Trial Eights are selected from team athletes that have been training since September to make the Brown Cup varsity eight and the reserve eight for the main event in March.

The entire squad enters selection after the Christmas break and the Top 16 men and two coxswains have formed two equal crews to race over the Gorge course.

The crews have chosen the names Fox and Hound and have been training in these units since the initial selection. Several spirited practice pieces have proved the two crews boast very similar speeds, so the race on Jan. 22 is expected to be a tightly contested event.

Will the Foxes outwit the Hounds, or will the chase end with usually expected outcome?

The coin toss for the choice of station will take place at 110:00 a.m., at the Gorge Rowing Club. Shortly after, the crews will launch for warm up and the main event will commence at 10:00 a.m. The favourite viewing spot for the race is the train trestle at the mid-point of the course under which the crews race. Other views sites are the Tillicum Bridge to view the start, and the Johnson Street bridge for the finish.

The crews are boated as follows:


Bow – Connor McGuigan

Two – Maxim Ellison

Three – Andrew Roberts

Four – Spencer Cox

Five – Ross Bringgold

Six – Mark Lillis

Seven – Anthony Linton

Stroke – Will O’Connell

Coxswain – Jane Gumley


Bow – Lee Hall

Two – Connor McSweeny

Three – Kevin Chater

Four – Issac Davies

Five – Sam Horn

Six – Brendan Downey

Seven – Jon Chandler

Stroke – Sean Carnduff

Coxswain – Alex Clancy