Vikes set to reclaim Brown Cup title from hosting Thunderbirds


By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s rowing crew are set to race the annual Brown Cup competition hosted at the John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse in Richmond, B.C., on Apr. 4.


The head-to-head Brown Cup race is contested annually between UBC and UVic toward the end of the school year, and is modelled after the prestigious Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. This year, the crews will be racing over a three-kilometre course of the Fraser River.

“Racing the Fraser is always a challenge with the number of variables that come along on a major river port,” said Aalbert Van Schothorst, whose Vikes men’s eights won the 2014 Canadian University Rowing Championships, ahead of second-place finishers Brock and third-place finishers UBC.

“But we had some good racing at Elk Lake Spring where we tested a few rigs and performance profiles that helped solidify our boats,” added Van Schothorst. “Both the Varsity and reserve crews have found speed since then and we look forward to harvesting the hard work we put in since the championships.”

The men will be heading into their 24th annual Brown Cup competition, while this year will be the women’s 23rd time competing for the title. Since 1992, the Vikes men have won the title 17 times and will be looking to end UBC’s three-year winning streak from 2012 to 2014 this weekend.

The Vikes women, for their part, will be looking to reclaim the Brown Cup title also won by UBC last year. Over the years, the Vikes women’s team conceded the title to UBC only twice, in 2009 and 2014. This year however, the Vikes women will be facing a UBC crew who won the 2014 CURC eights.

“UBC are an experienced crew, but we’ve edged them close enough at the Elk Lake Spring and Crew Classic,” said Rick Crawley, whose Vikes women’s eights crew were within two seconds away from UBC at Elk Lake and one second at the Crew Classic. “We’ve worked hard for the past few weeks and the girls are looking to stay focused to beat UBC this weekend.”

The women’s Brown Cup race begins 11 a.m. on Saturday while the men’s race starts at 11:30 a.m.

Brown Cup History
UVic Men’s Record: 17-6
UVic Women’s Record: 20-2