Let Them Eat Cake! - The 30th Annual Cake Race

Thursday, December 27, 2018 - By: Phoebe H, Hope ‘19

Practices, workouts, and bonding are all part of the preparations for the rower's favourite event of the term, the Cake Race.  This year marks Brentwood’s 30th annual Cake Race. Aas Mr Carr put it out on the water “A large portion of the coaches here were hardly alive when we created this event.”

Rowing is offered on Arts afternoons for Brentwood students; it takes place during 2nd and 3rd block and is divided up into Junior Girls, Junior Boys, Senior Girls, and Senior Boys. But when Cake Race comes, all groups are forgotten as the athletes get split into mixed 8s (girls and boys of all grades). Not only is it a great event to get the boathouse to bond, it also helps show some of the newer rowers the more exciting parts of what all their hard work is for.

The groups must all compete not only to win the race but also to win the coveted best costume prize. The costumes and groups were divided up into The Nautical Nativity led by Jesse H, The Tacky Tourists led by Zoe M, DominEIGHT led by Erika dAC, Santa and his Reindeer led by Allulah Beth C, Back to the Eighties led by Yale H, Incredibles led by Karl D, and Pyjama Party led by Anne HL. 

Team captains and their coxswains arrived early to check out the course and strategize. Soon the rest of their teams joined to help. Warm-ups, pep-talks, and last minute costume adjustments took place before they started bringing down the boats so that they could practice on the water. 

Once on the water, teams got some last minute practicing in before lining up at the starting buoys. The races started quickly and furiously with rowers zipping along the water to the coach boat finish line. Sadly, “Back to the Eighties” and “Nautical Nativity” were seconds too slow and didn’t make the cut to the final round: they rowed back in to wash off their shells and watch the rest of the race from the shore. In the next race, The Tacky Tourists led the pack while The Incredibles and Pyjama Party both had to return to the boathouse. This left us with DominEIGHT, The Tacky Tourists, Santa and his Reindeer, and the Incredibles, all very strong groups.

The final race was an incredible push through sore arms and legs; rowers gave it their all and worked hard. In the end, The Tacky Tourists - Yaya J, Sarah G, Zoe M, Ethan S, Dylan K, Ben Z, Sophie H, Shaelyn L & Bung P - won a sweet victory and were crowned champions of this year's event. DominEIGHT pulled in second and Santa and his Reindeer came in third. They all rowed back to the shore to wash off their boats and exercise their ample bragging rights. 

To conclude the event, all of the rowers gathered in the McNeill Centre to be presented the awards and eat cake (or cupcakes to be precise). Santa and his Reindeer won the best costume for their wonderful antlers and tinsel all over the boat. The final note of the afternoon were speeches from all potential Boathouse Captains. Choices will come after voting.

It was a wonderful event to take part in, even if I was only in the coach boat. I thank the coaches for letting me tag along and congratulate all the incredible rowers for showing off their skills. It almost makes me want to pick up the sport - but I may be over-influenced by the cupcakes. ;-)

Phoebe H, Hope ‘19

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