Close racing and controversy marks 24th Brown Cup


RICHMOND, B.C. – The UBC Thunderbirds men won a very close but controversial race to take their fourth consecutive Brown Cup on Saturday over the Victoria Vikes, narrowing the Vikes’ all-time lead to 17-7.

After a violent clash in the 2013 race on the Fraser River, anchored stake boats were installed at the start but this time, the perturbation occurred further down the course with the crews colliding just after the train bridge after numerous warnings to Victoria coxswain Jacob Koudys. Blade clashing intensified over a 100-metre stretch with neither coxswain giving way. Umpire Malcolm Fletcher called in the race to a standstill after Koudys was struck in the back by UBC’s second oar.

The crews were quickly restarted with Victoria at a one-length advantage. The Thunderbirds improved their position with a strong second start, rowing up level with the Vikes by the Moray Channel where UBC’s coxswain Kevin Chung received warnings as the crews again clashed blades. The umpire let this go and crews finally found their water in the final 1,200 metres. UBC led by as much as three seats coming into the final sprint. The Thunderbirds caught a slight crab while the Vikes surged again nearly getting even but UBC crossed the line first by a mere 0.03 seconds.

A flurry of protest and meetings followed but the umpires finally awarded the race to the Thunderbirds.

“I am sure it was not the way the guys wanted to win but they managed their effort well and stayed focused when it mattered,” said UBC men’s coach Mike Pearce “Both crews rowed a really great race and it was a shame that it was not without incident.”

UBC 10:25.72
Victoria 10:25.75

UBC roster
Cox: Kevin Chung
8. Aaron Lattimer
7. Harris Sheldon
6. Ben Coull
5. Adam Gant
4. Harlan Dohm
3. Callum MacKenzie
2. Marcus van der Sande
1. Angus Todd
Pundits would have favoured UBC to win the women’s Brown Cup given a 3-for-3 record against Victoria this season but the Canadian University champion Thunderbirds had a race on their hands from start to finish.

UBC got out to a slightly better start gaining a early half length lead but Victoria would not be shaken. The Vikes slowly clawed back to even over the next 1,500 meters and the crews were moving in lock-step through the halfway point. UBC again took the point with 1,000 metres to go but the final turn was in the Vikes’ favour and they used it to inch ahead UBC for a 0.5-second win and the closest margin in Brown Cup history.

Victoria 10:28.25
UBC 10:28.75

Cox: Emie Page
8. Katherine Enns
7. Zoe Fettig-Winn
6. Hillary Janssens
5. Emily Gerson
4. Erin Pierik
3. Miranda Kirker
2. Rachel Vukovich
1. Julie Sheppard
In Reserves racing, Victoria won both the men’s and the women’s races in close fashion. These crews are key to maintaining a high standard in varsity crews in years to come. Both programs demonstrated some solid depth in the JV races so stay tuned for a close rivalry next year.

Men’s Result
Victoria 9:40.01
UBC 9:41.18

Cox: Justin Dohm
8. Hugh Cartwright
7. Doug Euper
6. Gregor Allan
5. Ray Bell
4. Stefan Cvoric
3. James Allan
2. Jon Pusic
1. Chris Rener

Women’s Result
Victoria 11:31.79
UBC 11:34.50

Cox: Jocelyn Hutch
8. Jannelle Mackoff
7. Savannah Sami-Bacon
6. Lindsay Pistner
5. Nadia Beyzaei
4. Heather Murry
3. Colleen Nesbitt
2. Alexis Thind
1. Isabella Cina