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Brentwood International Regatta underway in Mill Bay

The Brentwood International Regatta is back underway in Mill Bay waters. It’s the second year back for the staple event after a hiatus during the pandemic.

Brentwood College’s Regatta Chair Spencer Manton says they’ve been planning for this one since they closed last year.

“I got a message on Sunday evening last year after regatta saying ‘364 days to plan for the next one, here we go,'” says Manton.

She says the planning really kicks into gear after Christmas and the infrastructure starts getting into place around February.

In terms of attendance, the event continues to grow, post-pandemic.

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“With the athletes that we have coming in this year, we’re back to our 2018-19 numbers, which is right where we wanted to be,” says Manton. “We’ve seen about a 50% increase in athlete participation this year and I expect after this year it will probably grow a little bit again.”

This year they have 1,250 athletes from 24 clubs making waves in competition. The school is playing host to 700 athletes, sleeping in their new athletic centre which has been transformed into an accommodation centre.

While they’re still increasing attendance again, they are still waiting on more international competitors to return to the fold. While Manton says over half of the 24 clubs involved are from the United States (mostly from Washington State and Oregon), other countries are still a bit timid to return to the Brentwood grounds.

“I think with COVID last year [and] lots of restrictions, clubs are waiting another year. Next year we’ve got some crews slotted in to come from New Zealand,” says Manton.

Along with the rowing, they’ll have live music, food, and other activities on the school grounds.

“We have our legacy art show, celebrating 50 years of women at Brentwood, that’s happening on Saturday evening,” she lists among other activities. “We have a ton of different activities to offer over the course of the weekend.”

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The event is a team effort with 560 student volunteers who are involved in some shape or form. Some of those are helping run food booths, keeping some of the stress off of their cafeteria’s kitchen staff.

“A huge shout out to our community neighbours who help support us through this,” says Manton. “They all play a part in making this possible for the Brentwood community.

If you’re on the fence about coming, Manton says it’s worth a visit.

“Brentwood is a really unique place,” she says. “As soon as you step onto campus you’ll understand why we’re so excited to open our gates to the community.”

Festivities will be running Friday from 2-8 pm, Saturday from 7 am until 8 pm, and Sunday from 7 am until noon. More scheduling information can be found on their website.

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