The 3rd Annual Brentwood vs Shawnigan Duel & Alumni Challenge

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - By: Mr. Brian Carr

It was an amazing afternoon up at Shawnigan Lake School on Saturday, October 22 for the 3rd Annual Brentwood vs Shawnigan Dual Race and Alumni Challenge. This was a special year for many reasons. First, it was Shawnigan’s Centenary, celebrating their 100th anniversary. There were eight different Shawnigan alumni crews out on the water at different times during the afternoon. 

The afternoon started out with a dedication to the late Peter Yates, Shawnigan rowing coach 1981 - 1993. It was a touching ceremony where Shawnigan dedicated a wall of excellence in his honor. 

Once the ceremonies were over, it was time to get some races underway. The first race of the day was the Senior Girls. From all reports, the first 500 meters was a great battle between the two schools. In the last 500 meters of the race, the Brentwood girls took control of the race and won by a length of open water. The second race of the day was the Senior Boys challenge. Brentwood, with seven Grade 12’s in the boat, took charge right from the start and cruised to a comfortable win. 

Senior Girls 8+: Cox - Chaya N, 8 - Kate L-W, 7 - Zoe N, 6 - Andrea M, 5 -Tasmin W, 4 - Amaya V, 3 - Danielle M, 2 - Katherine B & 1 - Hanna M

Senior Boys 8+: Cox - Emma H, 8 - Lion T, 7 - Peter L, 6 - Joe M, 5 - Phil K, 4 - Aidan W, 3 - Logan P, 2 - Justin M, & 1 - Leon S

Alumni 2 8+ (Composite): Cox - Chaya N, 8 - Oliver W, 7 - Jacob P, 6 - Benett L, 5 - Paolo T, 4 - Liam C, 3 - Patrick W, 2 - David B, & 1 - Mark W

The third edition of the Brentwood vs Shawnigan Alumni Challenge was another barn burner from start to finish. Shawnigan were celebrating their 100th birthday, so they went out and got some serious talent from the 2004-2005 and 2009 crews. Brentwood put together a formidable crew including the following.

Coxswain – Rielly Milne - Class of 2014 - currently one of the coxswains for the University of Washington Varsity, Rielly was the Varsity Men’s coxswain last year at UW. He has spent the last two summers as the coxswain for the American Under 23 Men’s coxed four. He flew up from Seattle this afternoon after his practice (22 km) and flew back tonight.

Stroke – Harrison Backer Class of 2014 – A four sport athlete at Brentwood (rowing, rugby, soccer and Captain of the basketball team), Harrison is currently working in the hospitality industry in Victoria.

7 seat – Nico Praun – Class of 2014 – Nico was National Champion in the Sr Men’s quad at the 2013 CSSRA Championships. He rowed in the Varsity 8+ in his senior year winning the bronze medal at the 2014 CSSRA Championships. Nico rowed for two years at the University of Victoria.

6 seat – Hayden Frisch - Class of 2014 – Hayden was National Champion in the Sr Men’s quad at the 2013 CSSRA Championships. He rowed in the Varsity 8+ in his senior year winning the bronze medal at the 2014 CSSRA Championships. Hayden  rowed for one year at the University of Washington and one year at the University of Victoria. He is currently in third year at UVIC working toward, hopefully, a way into the business school.

5 seat – I could write a novel on this guy! 2001 grad, Malcolm Howard – Three years at Brentwood and 3 CSSRA gold and 2 CSSRA silver –Harvard grad – 2005 (undefeated for three years as a member of Harvard’s Varsity 8+ – 2008 Olympic gold medalist, 2012 Olympic silver medalist. President of Oxford 2014 and two-time Boat Race winner. Now in his third year of medical school at the University of Victoria.

4 seat – Lance Bai – Class of 2012 – Three time CSSRA silver and one CSSRA bronze, Lance went on to UVIC where he rowed for a term with the UVIC team before turning his attention to his studies. Lance graduated in June with a degree in chemistry. He has been an excellent supporter of the school since graduating, participating in a number of alumni events.

3 seat – Stephen Frisch – Class of 1985 – First time racing with his son! Steve graduated from Brentwood and went to the University of Washington where he had a very good career. He came back to Canada where he rowed on the National team for a few years. A highlight was rowing in the Pan American Games in Cuba, winning the gold medal and being presented that medal by Fidel Castro.

2 seat – Sam Storey Class of 2015 – The youngest member of the crew. Recruited right out of the UVIC pub late last night … Sam rowed in the Crew of 2014 and won a bronze medal with the Men’s Varsity 8+. Fully engaged in a tough academic schedule, Sam is not rowing at UVIC. Great to see him back out on the water wearing the colors!

Bow seat – Jeff Birtwistle – Class of 2013 – Jeff was a two-time member of the Brentwood Varsity 8+ in 2012 and 2013. Two silvers at the CSSRA’s in his Grade 11 year, Jeff was a member of our last senior crew to win the Calder Cleland in 2013. Jeff rowed at UVIC for a season before moving to his real passion and that is fire fighting.

Alumni “Composite” Boat - There were six present students and a coach rowing with our two alums bumped from the other boat. 

3 seat - Patrick Walter - Class of 1977 - And most likely still the fittest one here. Was out on Elk Lake this morning rowing 16 kms getting ready to race at the Tail of the Gorge tomorrow in Victoria. Patrick was a standout with Rowing Canada in the 80’s being selected to three Olympic teams in 1980, 1984 and 1988. Patrick got poor instructions from me and therefore, ended up at Brentwood when we were up at Shawnigan. He would have definitely been in the other alumni boat - Sorry Pat! My fault! 

2 seat - David Burton - Class of 1993 - David was and will always be a National Champion! David won the Junior Heavy Eight in 1991. Brentwood’s CFO - It was great to get him out on the water again. Have to get more 1990s next year back at our place! 

If you are still following, the 350 meter race came down to the last few strokes…. The Shawnigan crew jacked the rate up for the final ten strokes and eked out the win! SLS alumni 2 – BCS alumni 1 – Malcolm Howard has decided to forgo fourth year of medical school to dedicate himself to preparing for the 4th Annual Brentwood – Shawnigan Alumni Dual – next year back on home turf.

Thank you to Coach Robyn Amiel for organizing the alum crews and a huge thank you to the 11 alum to give up their Saturday afternoon to participate in the 3rd Annual Brentwood vs Shawnigan Dual and Alumni Challenge. 

Mr. Brian Carr

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