More than 1,600 rowers and even more spectators, along with hundreds of coaches and volunteers, will convene at Brentwood College School this weekend for the 44th annual Brentwood Regatta, the largest sporting event hosted by a single high school in North America.
As of Tuesday, 37 clubs from across North America were registered and expected to bring 1,647 athletes. In 2013, more than 4,000 people flooded the Brentwood campus over the three days of the regatta.
"It’s very vibrant on campus," said Edna Widenmaier, one of the people handling publicity for the regatta.
Widenmaier noted that there will be musical entertainment from school bands and choirs on Saturday, as well as the traditional displays by the entrepreneurship class, selling international foods as they learn the ins and outs of running a business.
The school also makes a concerted effort at running a green regatta, with the help of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and local Scouts. The Brentwood Environmental Action Team will have an information booth outside of the Crooks Hall dining room and will be on hand to answer questions about the zero-waste program and other green initiatives at Brentwood.
The races themselves are scheduled to run about once every minute – provided that the weather holds – from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Organizers are hoping for cloudy weather, which will prevent the convection winds that whip up waves on Mill Bay. Rain won’t stop the rowers, but Brentwood’s hoping it stays dry anyway "We don’t want our audience to be unhappy," Widenmaier said. "The rowers are used to being wet on the water."
For those who can’t make it to the campus, all races will be live streamed at www.brentwood.bc.ca/live