Brentwood College Honours Rowing Olympians and Alumni

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

October 17, 2015, Mill Bay, BC (ISN) – Brentwood College in Mill Bay paid honours to a number of former rowing alumni, including members of past Canadian Olympic teams, during the second annual Brentwood-Shawnigan Rowing Duel that took place and a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the waters of Mill Bay adjacent to the college.

Former Brentwood College Coach and founder of the Brentwood Regatta John Queen, christens his namesake boat at the Brentwood-Shawnigan Rowing Duel on Saturday in Mill Bay (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

The 2015 version of the Duel featured three races, including the Senior men, Senior Women and the Alumni race, as well as the christening of the John Queen II and the AC Carr VI, two racing sculls named in honour of two esteemed figures in Brentwood College rowing.

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It was no contest as the Brentwood College Senior Boys (top photo) cruised to an easy win over Shawingan Lake (bottom) in the first race of the day (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

John Queen coached Brentwood’s lightweight programme from 1972 until 1997. He is also co-founder of the Brentwood Regatta. Tony Carr started with the Brentwood College Rowing Club in 1964. Of the 100 national championships the School has won, he had his hand in over 55 of them. He, with John, co-founded the Brentwood Regatta in 1971 with three schools; Lakeside School of Seattle and Claremont School from Victoria. The first regatta took place on a Sunday afternoon and took three hours to run. Today’s regatta takes place over three days in the spring and there are 24 hours of racing to get the 180 plus races done.

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The Shawnigan Lake Senior Girls (foreground) gave it a good effort, but eventually fell to the Brentwood College Senior Girls (background) in the second race Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

With the christening of the two boats, many alumni were in attendance to honor Tony and John. This included eight of the College’s 22 Olympic rowers, who between them, have 17 Olympic appearnces. Medal winners included Malcolm Howard (gold 2008, silver 2012), Darren Barber (gold 1992), Blair Horn (gold 1984) and Dave Calder and Scott Frandsen (both silver 2008). Also in the Olympic Alumni boat were Dave Ross, Spencer Crowley, former world champion Pat Walter and cox Tan Barkley.

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In the highlight race of the day, the Brentwood Olympians (top photo) would edge out the Brentwood Alumni (bottom photo) at the finish (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

Non-Olympic Alumni in attendance included Malcolm Conn, Julian Subda, Noah O’Connell, Connor McGuigan, Oliver Amiel, Lance Bai, Jeff Birtwistle, Jordan Wille, and Andrew Higginson.

In the racing events of the day, the Senior Boys kicked things off with a 1,000 metre race and the eight man Brentwood boat of Lion Tautz, Peter Lancashire, Alex Ridenour, Brett Vilk, Ellis Hollands, Phil Kirker, Francesco Maulini, Nate Elmes and coxswain Paige Ledingham got off to a quick start and cruised to an easy win over the Shawnigan Lake boat.

The senior women followed and while the Shawnigan women put up a fine effort, Brentwood College was once again the victor.

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Former Olympian Dave Calder (left) receives the champagne from Tony Carr (right) during the christening of the AC Carr IV scull (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

In the highlight Alumni race – a 500 metre affair – the Brentwood Olympian and Brentwood Alumni boats were joined by a mixed men’s and women’s Shawnigan Lake Alumni boat and it came down to a battle of the Brentwood boats, with the younger Alumni’s looking poised to upset the Olympian’s, but a big push at the finish gave the Olympian’s the win by nose.

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Members of the Brentwood College Men’s and Women’s rowing teams pose with former Olympians and Alumni during Saturday’s event (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /ISN)

The three races were followed by the christening of the boats, where John Queen and Tony Carr dribbled the obligatory champagne over the sculls – no smashing of the bottles on the fragile fiberglass sculls here – and then over each of the eight seats, asking for each boat to produce many more victories in the future.

Given the storied history of the Brentwood College Rowing Program, including its 22 former Olympians, that should not be a problem.

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