In its first big away regatta of the season, the Burton Beach Rowing Club traveled to the famous Brentwood Regatta on Vancouver Island in Canada this past weekend. The regatta is the largest sports event in North America put on by a single school, with 30 clubs and over 1500 athletes racing.
After a wind delay — not uncommon at Brentwood — racing started late Friday afternoon, and the BBRC U-19 women’s quad of Mabel Moses, Ruta Milewski, Ros Bellscheidt, Ava Lorentzen and coxswain Olivia White, set the tone by winning its opening heat in a really gutsy race among some very strong competition.
On Saturday morning, Mateo Ellner, Davis Kelly, Dylan Carmody, Jordon Rutschow and coxswain Alex Ryan, continued what the girls had started by winning their heat in the U-17 novice men’s race.
Over the course of the next 24 hours, BBRC showed a lot of character and depth through multiple heats and finals, resulting in Lorentzen, Bellscheidt, Kate Kelly and Gabbie Graves (and coxswain Ryan) winning three gold medals in total — the women’s four, quad and double (Graves and Kelly), to dominate the U-17 girls’ division.
“Even though it was exhausting, it was a really satisfying weekend of racing,” Kate Kelly said. “The parent, coach and teammate support was fantastic, and the racing was fun and really competitive. It was great to watch our boys row a bigger boat together and come so close to a medal.”
And from Richard Parr, who volunteers as coach for the young club: “I thought the BBRC athletes showed incredible maturity, both on and off the water. Not only are they a brand new club, but most of the members are 9th graders and younger. Winning three races, and some really hard heats, showed their determination and skill.”
— Heidi Tosterud