Frostbite in Seattle

Sunday, November 13, 2016 - By: Mr. Brian Carr

The fall rowing programme is not our competitive season. We just do not tell our rowers that. From the first day in September we develop a long-term plan with the Canadian High School Rowing Championships (CSSRA’s) being our ultimate goal. Along the way there are events we attend and compete in to see how our speeds are compared to the rest of the rowing world.

This past weekend down in Seattle was one of these training points. Though this was our mid term break, sixteen senior boys and six senior girls made the warm and comfortable bus trip south to the great city of Seattle for the Frostbite Regatta, hosted by Green Lake Crew and the Head of the Lake, hosted by the University of Washington and the Lake Washington Rowing Club.

On Thursday afternoon we arrived at Green Lake, rigged the boats and spent the afternoon training with our friends from GLC. We were blessed with beautiful conditions for rowing - flat water and sunny skies. The guys competed in four 500 meter races with our two eights and Green Lake’s Varsity and JV crews. There was not much between the two varsity crews. With one of our U17 crew members playing with the senior boys soccer team, assistant coach Mr.Braithwaite rowed for John E. Back at the hotel the students were given a few hours to run around Northgate Mall before getting ready for Friday’s sessions.

On Friday we split the day up with two training sessions on Green Lake, a trip to Pike Place Market downtown Seattle and then back to the lake where the students went with their billets from GLC. From all reports it was a great night as most of them went to a “Friday Night Lights” football game at Garfield High School.

We woke up Saturday morning to a typical November morning with a deluge of rain and light winds. It rained all day – all day! This was not going to deter our crews from racing the 1000-meter sprints at the Frostbite Regatta. Over the course of the one-day regatta, Brentwood crews raced in nine events: Here are the results

·      Women’s Varsity 4x+ (Coxed quad) – Bronze

·      Men’s JV 4+ (Coxed four) – Gold

·      Men’s Varsity 4x+ (Coxed quad) – Gold

·      Men’s Varsity 8+ - Silver

·      Men’s U17 4+ (Coxed four) – Silver

·      Women’s JV 4+ (Coxed four) – Silver

·      Men’s U17 8+ - Gold

·      Men’s Varsity 4+ - Gold

·      Women’s Varsity 4+ - 6th


Overall results

§  Four gold

§  Three silver

§  One bronze

Special shout out to the following people:

1.     The five girls raced in three races and won a silver, bronze and a competitive 6th place finish.

2.     John E for stepping in and coxing the JV and Varsity Men’s fours and winning gold in both.

3.     Emma H – coxed four races and won two gold and two silver medals.

4.     Riley T – three races with two gold and a silver.

We brought the students back to the hotel, since Green Lake was not racing in the Head of the Lake the next day. For most of the students, ordering pizza and decompressing in their rooms was the popular choice. Quick meetings and everyone was in bed early looking forward to the extra hour of sleep from the clocks falling back at midnight!

On Sunday morning at 5:40 am, Emma H, Thea H went to the always-exciting coaches and coxswains meeting for the 37th Annual 5km Head of the Lake Regatta at the University of Washington. There we met up with Isabel K, Green Lake’s Varsity Women’s coxswain. With Felix W not able to make the trip at the last moment due to illness, we had to recruit a new member to the Brentwood College Rowing Club.

Up first was the Under 17 Men’s 8+. This group of Grade 11’s has been training all fall specifically for this event. Seeded last the Brentwood boys were going to have to come up with a miracle to win the event. An unfortunate incident in the first 500 meters of the race put us even farther behind the other crews. An amazing middle few kilometers (fastest in the field) was just not enough to beat Pocock Rowing Club from Seattle. Our crew placed second, 12 seconds behind the eventual winners. Best result ever by a Brentwood 8+! Brentwood’s Varsity 8+ placed 3rd in 2002 and 4th in 1997.

Up next were the two Senior Men’s coxed quads. Since we have been focusing on sculling all fall, we wanted to see how we measured up to the rest of the big sculling programmes in the Pacific Northwest. The “Lyons” quad started in the third position and passed both crews in front of them and held off a charging crew from the Seattle Rowing Centre to win the event; a first since 2010 for Brentwood to walk away with the championship trophy and the incredible blown-glass gold medals. In the 20 years we have been coming to this regatta, this is only the third time we have won an event. 2010 we won the Jr Men’s coxed quad and coxed four.

The “Howard” quad started off seeded fifth and passed a few crews and rowed a solid middle of the race to finish fourth overall. With two Grade 11’s in the boat, the seeds have been sown for next year and a shot at repeating in this event.

The Senior Women’s coxed quad was the last crew to take the water and race down the course. A solid piece from start to finish, Thea and her crew placed 6th overall.

After the races were over, we quickly loaded the trailer and headed north to go and catch the 5 pm ferry. Along the way we dropped off students to go and spend a few days of holiday before we all meet up again on Wednesday afternoon to start the next season of training. 203 days until the CSSRA’s and the much anticipated “competitive season…”

Brentwood grads rowing at the Head of the Lake

Terran Senftleben – Brentwood grad 1992, Harvard University 1996 - Commencement Bay – Silver - Mixed Master’s 40+  8+ D-F

Mara Burnett (Cowan) Brentwood grad 2003, Brown University 2007– College Club Seattle – Gold - Masters Women C event

Rielly Milne – Brentwood grad 2014 - University of Washington Men’s JV 8+ - Gold – Fastest time of the day by all crews!

Rene LaFreniere – Brentwood grad 2016 – University of British Columbia JV Women’s 8+ - Silver

Mr. Brian Carr

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