Battle of the Blades

Monday, December 09, 2019 - By: Jim Ganley, Privett ‘34

Saturday night was the annual Snowball gala featuring a spectacularly decorated Crooks Hall, a sumptuous dinner, a photo booth, and, to the embarrassment of some, a very successful hypnotist. It was an evening that featured high heels, dapper suits, corsages, boutonnieres, and well-groomed hair.

Post-hypnosis, the student body went to bed with their stylish attire draped over their chairs and dreamed of a long sleep-in and a luxurious Sunday brunch.

For 21 hardy rowers and their four coaches, 6:30 Sunday morning brought an abrupt halt to such indulgences. Uncoiffed, unrested, and uncannily ready for vigorous exercise, these athletes headed over the Malahat for a competitive practice with their counterparts at the Victoria City Rowing Club.

VCRC lent us shells, oars, coachboats, and all the flat water we could handle as the Senior Boys Heavy 8+, the Senior Girls 4x & 2x, the Junior Girls 4x and two Junior Boys battled it out over four 2000 meter pieces with crews from the BC capital.

Head of Brentwood Rowing, Ms Laryssa Biesenthal, reflected on the session: Training against VCRC is ‘training up’ for our Brentwood rowers. Utilizing this opportunity to test the speed of our club against one of the best junior clubs in Canada offers our athletes the opportunity to calibrate themselves on how hard they need to row - every day - not just during their practice sessions with VCRC.”

Rightly exhausted from the volume and intensity of exercise, our Brentwood rowers clambered awkwardly out of their shells at the end of practice only to be revitalized by the smell of fresh-made pancakes with fruit toppings, real maple syrup, and sweet treats - all courtesy of the generous VCRC parent volunteers.

Fatigued, fed, and far better rowers for the experience, we thanked our hosts, reminded them we will return the favour on February 9, 2020 and dragged ourselves back to the bus.

After almost 800 full pressure strokes, it was a quiet bus ride home.

Thanks to the VCRC for hosting us, Ms Biesenthal for arranging the outing, the 21 athletes for engaging the challenge, and Mr Crawley and Edwards for their coaching.

This afternoon brings our final Best in Boathouse competition of the term and Wednesday will feature a euphemistically named ‘Celebration of Erging’.

Are you ready? Row!

Jim Ganley, Privett ‘34

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