Many "Hands On" Regatta

Monday, May 06, 2013 - By: Ian McPherson

In my first months here at Brentwood I have absorbed a number of things: the pervasive positivity of the student body, the commitment of the staff, the beauty of the campus, and the sense of direction the school has. All of these things came into sharp focus over the weekend of the 43rd Annual Brentwood International Regatta.

I have been fortunate to go to sporting events all around the world both amateur and professional. I have seldom, however, been privy to the behind-the-scenes aspects of those events. I have enjoyed, with my fellow spectators, watching these matches with little thought to the logistics and support needed. In fact, these aspects have only been noticeable when they were not working to expectations at which point fault is usually easy to apportion.

The Regatta gave me the opportunity to pull back the curtain and witness the logistics. It was invigorating to be surrounded by so many dedicated athletes in such a supportive environment. The already beautiful campus took on a new vibrancy as the Brentwood community galvanized to welcome more than 1,700 coaches and athletes plus the thousands of spectators from all over the Pacific Northwest. There was a smooth and studied approach to the preparations. The maintenance staff moved with a cool efficiency ensuring everything from signage to starting docks were addressed according to the Regatta Manual built on 42 years of experience.

Students were assigned duties and faculty slid into roles of previous years or embraced new challenges. The student entrepreneurs busily went about setting up and financing their own businesses and Mr. Minckler settled into his perch on roof of the Ross Building to supply 25 hours of race livestreaming to over 2,400 viewers worldwide. There were challenges as I expect there always are, but led by Debbie Sage and the steady hands of a practiced team, there was never panic, there was never a moment of uncertainty only an aplomb befitting a major professional event.

All this meant that participating crews were given the opportunity to concentrate on the racing and the spectators were left to enjoy 177 races over three days with little thought to the logistics and support needed. This is truly befitting a world class event.

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