A fabled British sporting tradition is also an Island one, thanks to this area’s strong association with rowing. There is guaranteed to be a winner from the Island today in the 166th Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge (7:30 a.m. on TSN 2).
Brentwood College graduate Martin Barakso will be racing for Oxford against Shawnigan Lake School graduate Quinten Richardson of Cambridge along the 6.8-kilometre course on the Thames.
“I remember thinking about the Boat Race during high school and the idea was always there,” Richardson, 29, said in a statement.
“When you take up any sport, but in my experience, particularly rowing, it consumes so much of your time and your energy.” Richardson is studying for his master’s degree in planning, growth and regeneration at Cambridge, after rowing as an undergraduate in the Ivy League at Brown
“And I’m passionate about my academic work. But looking back, rowing has really transformed my year in lockdown and I couldn’t be more thankful that I stuck with it.”
Barakso, 26, from Nanaimo, is also an Ivy Leaguer who rowed at Princeton.
He got his start in representative racing with gold medals for B.C. in the eight and four at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., and won gold with Canada in the eight at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, and is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Richardson and Barakso continue an Island lineage in the Boat Race.
The Brentwood College and Harvard graduate Malcolm Howard, of Victoria, who won gold with the Elk Lake-based Canadian eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Olympics and is now a doctor, stroked Oxford to victory in the 2013 Boat Race.
Kip McDaniel, from Cobble Hill, rowed for Cambridge in 2006.
Barney Williams, of Victoria, 2004 Athens Olympic silver-medallist in the four, won two Boat Race championships as an Oxford business student in 2005 and 2006, the latter as captain of the Oxford crew.
Up to 250,000 people line the Thames in normal times to watch the race. Cambridge leads the series 84-80 with one tie.