Vikes prepare to face Thunderbirds in annual Brown Cup

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by James Nielsen, Vikes Communications

March 26, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – The annual Brown Cup race between UBC and UVic returns to Victoria for its 23rd installment, Mar. 29 at Gorge Waterway in Victoria. Beginning with an alumni race, the annual event culminates with both UBC and UVic’s varsity rowing crews dueling in a head-to-head battle.

BROWN CUP INFO  /  WOMEN’S TALE OF THE TAPE   /  MEN’S TALE OF THE TAPE

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A young Vikes women’s squad will look to extend their Brown Cup winning streak to five in a row, while the men’s crew will aim to finish first after back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013 by UBC.

“UBC’s had our number this year but I’m pleased with the work our women have done in the last three weeks,” said Vikes women’s head coach Rick Crawley. “I think the girls are pumped to give it a go and see if they can knock off the T-Birds this weekend.”

Aalbert Van Schothorst enters his first Brown Cup as head coach of the Vikes men’s rowing program, taking over for longtime head coach and Brown Cup founder Howard Campbell.

“This will be the first Brown Cup since its inception without Howie Campbell’s involvement,” said Van Schothorst. To say this is a big step without his involvement is an understatement.”

The Vikes have dominated the event since the inaugural men’s race in 1992, with UVic’s women holding a 20-1 record, while the men hold a 17-5 edge. The inclusion of a reserve crew race has seen both sides splitting wins in the previous two years with Victoria holding a 3-1 all-time advantage, the Vikes men hold a 4-0 record.

“Our men have a had a couple of successful outings recently at Elk Lake and in a decisive win at the Oregon State Dual that shows our boat is moving well,” said Van Schothorst. “We won’t underestimate our rivals however, we know they’ve made changes to their crew that have added more speed so we’re looking forward to an exciting race.”

Racing at the 23rd Brown Cup begins at 11:30 a.m. at Gorge Waterway with the men’s alumni race, followed by the reserve crew races 12:45 p.m. The men take to the water in the main race of the day, beginning at 1:35 p.m., with the women’s race following shortly thereafter. Reserve and varsity crew races will be broadcast live on the Vikes Ustream channel for those unable to attend.

The weekend’s events will also include a reception to honour former coach Howard Campbell, as well as a Vikes Rowing awards brunch on Sunday, Mar. 30. For more information, please visit www.govikesgo.com/browncup.

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