MILL BAY, British Columbia – Bainbridge high school rowers faced top U.S. and Canadian crew teams at the Brentwood International Regatta on Vancouver Island last weekend.
High winds shut down the 1500-meter racecourse on Friday, but races resumed late in the day and continued through the weekend in unusually favorable weather conditions.
More than 90 Bainbridge Island rowers and coxswains competed in 30 qualifying heats and final races throughout the three-day regatta.
The Varsity Lightweight Girls 8 battled powerful Brentwood and Pocock crews throughout their race, then “walked on” and beat Pocock by .35 seconds, snagging a second-place win. The rowers were Shay Michel, Sofia Wilkinson, Ellie Genkinger, Lydia Goss, Jessie Sheldon, Elsa Derrickson, Tica Drury, Jemma Blazina and coxswain Chrina Munn.
In the Varsity Girls School 8 race, Bainbridge rowers were bow to bow in a field of seven boats, then gradually pulled forward to take bronze with open water.
The rowers were Abby Leigh, Olivia Pells, Sophie Townsend, Amalie Millerd, Rosie Brown, Faith Eckford-Prosser, Kira Rain, Carly Lant and cox Caitlin Deavy.
Another seasoned Varsity Girls 4 team raced with determination in a tight field to a third place finish, defeating a challenging Pocock crew.
The girls in the boat were Julia Batson, Grace Nikunen, Liz Fawley, Mira Rosenkotz, and cox Olivia Zachariah.
A strong Varsity Boys 4 offered a stout challenge in a fiercely contested final race, taking fourth in a photo finish with four boats finishing within one second of each other.
The Bainbridge rowers — Cole Sander, Alexander Welch, Michael Aber, Konner Vander Leest and cox Matthew Carlson — finished 1/10 of a second behind Mount Baker with a time of 5:15.4.
The Novice Boys 4 dominated their race, holding off Victoria City by sprinting in the final seconds and taking second with open water. In the boat: Roberto Allen-Felts-Blackmon, Miles Hogger, Collin Oliver, Noah Faust and cox Nikolai Sublett.
At the start of the Novice Boys 8 race, the Bainbridge boys sprinted ahead and led a cluster of boats, beating back a threat by Mount Baker and earning bronze. The team consisted of Carter Goldby, Mark Arends, Greg Suhrstedt, Chandler Johnston, Roberto Allen-Felts-Blackmon, Miles Hogger, Collin Oliver, Noah Faust and cox Nikolai Sublett.
In a thrilling final race of the three-day regatta, the Bainbridge Novice Girls 4, showing poise and grit, were in the lead most of the race by one seat.
At 750 meters, Cox Audrey Elliott called a power piece and the Bainbridge and Sammamish crews battled it out, with Bainbridge finally winning the race by 3.2 seconds.
The girls in the boat were Remi Rosencrans, Natalie D’Amato, Tessa Longley, Isabella King and cox Audrey Elliott.
Bainbridge’s Novice Girls 8 raced bow to bow with an Everett crew much of their race.
In a sprint, Bainbridge nosed ahead, taking on Sammamish. Cox Grace Campbell called a power 10 and the Bainbridge crew took third, beating Sammamish by less than a second. The island crew was Elana Dorsey, Laura Murphy, Katie Hoch, Hannah Lee, Eve Hurd, Grace Dymoke, Caroline Najarian, Emily Fink and cox Grace Campbell.
In all, Bainbridge Island rowers earned seven medals, including one gold, two silver and four bronze.
Many of Bainbridge’s finishes were fourth by less than a second.
The team’s performance across the board was marked by strong sprints and the rowers’ signature grit and determination.
Now in its 46th year, the Brentwood International Regatta hosts 1700 athletes and coaches from the U.S. and British Columbia.
It is the largest high school regatta in North America.
Complete race results are posted on regatta.brentwood.bc.ca.
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND ROWING – TOTAL MEDALS AT BRENTWOOD
Varsity Girls Lightweight 8 – Silver (Time: 5:28.63)
Varsity Girls School 8 – Bronze (Time: 5:07.84)
Varsity Girls 4 – Bronze (Time: 5:54.31)
Novice Boys 4 – Silver (Time: 5:22.78)
Novice Boys 8 – Bronze (Time: 4:54.11)
Novice Girls 4 – Gold (Time: 5:53.03)
Novice Girls 8 – Bronze (Time: 5:33.96)