A small group of rowers from the Burton Beach Rowing Club (BBRC) made the journey to Vancouver Island to participate in the 50th Brentwood Regatta with 19 other clubs from as far away as Ontario and California.
Given the chance to compete in an international regatta, the local rowers didn’t disappoint, bringing home two gold medals and one silver.
BBRC’s Davis Kelly, a senior at Vashon High School, won gold in the U19 Men’s Single. On Friday, during the time trials, Kelly was the fastest with a time of 5:26.6 over 1500 meters. This gave him the top spot in Saturday’s final.
The weather had a say in things though. Due to winds, races were delayed on Saturday and ultimately shortened to 500m. The change in length didn’t phase Kelly, who rowed to victory in a close race with a time of 1:49.3.
“The team did such a great job across the board,” said Kelly. “I was able to come away with the win thanks to the support from Foss Miller and our coach, Richard Parr.”
Zack Merrigan, an 8th grader at McMurray, took the team’s second gold of the event when he won the U17 Men’s Single. The weather also played a role here. Merrigan recorded the fastest time during a full-length time trial on Saturday that didn’t take place until after 7 p.m. Twelve hours later, he was back on the water rowing to victory in the final on Sunday morning in a time of 6:14.3.
“It was really nice to have such close competition before regionals later this month, especially against crews we have never raced before,” said Merrigan.
In addition to his gold medal, Merrigan teamed up with Forest Macnab to take silver in the Men’s U17 double. Macnab is a ninth-grader at Vashon High School. The two finished third in the time trials on Friday evening and returned on Saturday to take silver in a final that was also shortened due to weather.
Kez Rutschow, a sophomore at VHS, also had a strong showing. In the time trial of the U19 Women’s Single, Kez finished seventh. She returned the next morning with a strong showing on the shorter course, winning heat B of the finals with a time that placed her second overall.
BBRC also entered in the U19 Men’s Quad, with a team consisting of Kelly, Merrigan, Macnab, and VHS senior Simon Grant. They finished in eighth place overall, which the team was happy with, especially considering that two of the rowers (Macnab and Merrigan) are still in their first year of rowing.
“This weekend was really about giving our seniors one last chance to experience this event,” said BBRC coach Richard Parr. “The success we had is just icing on the cake.” ”