Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Brown Cup, 2012: UBC and UVic Renew Their Rivalry on the Gorge Waterway



The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is fast approaching, and the buzz around the Tideway is growing to fever pitch in anticipation of Saturday's contest. The 2012 Brown Cup, however, is already in the books. The above video shows the 21st contest between the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia men's squads (the women raced this year for the 19th time), over a 3k course on the Gorge Waterway that ends at the Johnson Street Bridge in downtown Victoria, BC. The 2012 race was a hard fought and closely contested event, with the UBC crew just edging UVic by less than one second at the line, marking the fourth win in 21 tries for the UBC Thunderbirds, who won the Cal Cup at the 2011 San Diego Crew Classic, and who bested Temple to win the Petite Final of the Men's Copley Cup in San Diego last weekend.

The race has seen a great deal of elite level athletes take part over the years, including Olympic silver medalist Barney Williams, Beijing gold medalists Adam Kreek and Kyle Hamilton, Mike Lewis (Bronze medal in the LM4- in Beijing), Ben Rutledge (who filmed the above video), Gabe Bergan (bow of the current Canadian men's eight), and Doug Csima, among others. Also, Tom Watson who is now at Oxford gearing up to stroke Isis in the reserve race this Saturday, has raced for UVic in the past. Given all this, it's no wonder that national team athletes take an interest in the race, and the results–prior to last year's Brown Cup, Kevin Light put together a feature on the event, giving an added insight into the athlete experience.

A complete recap of this year's racing can be found here.

Heading back across the pond, there has been a great deal of build-up for this year's Oxbridge contest, and it wouldn't be right if we didn't throw our collective hat in the ring and make a pick, which we'll release later today (how's that for a cliff hanger?).

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is set for this Saturday, 7 April at 1415 GMT. For more on the Boat Race, please visit the official website.

-RR

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