16th annual McGill-Queen's Challenge Boat Race on Saturday



MONTREAL -- The 16th annual McGill-Queen's Challenge Boat Race is scheduled for Saturday morning (April 28) on the Lachine Canal. The Queen's Gaels lead the all-time series 9-6 between the long-time foes since the head-to-head competition was first introduced in 1997. This unique regatta is the Canadian equivalent of England's annual Oxford-Cambridge and the annual Harvard-Yale race in the U.S.


Queen's also holds an 8-7 edge in the men's competition for the Challenge Blade and a 6-4 margin in the women's category for the Challenge Trophy.


Each crew will compete in a 3,000-metre head race, followed by a 500m sprint. Two points are awarded for a varsity win and one point for a novice victory. Three trophies will be up for grabs (men, women, overall) and the points accumulated from each race will decide the overall winning university, which will claim the Lorne Gales Challenge Cup. Queen's has won the Cup seven times in the last eight years.


The launching point will be at the Lachine Rowing Club, located at 2801 Boulevard St. Joseph, Lachine, Que. The long-time rivals traditionally bet their crew shirts on the sprint, with the winner receiving the shirt off the back of his opponent.  A trophy presentation is scheduled to follow the last race.


This year's event begins with novice boats (women at 9:20 a.m., men at 10:05 a.m.), followed by the varsity women's heavyweight eight launch ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and the men's heavyweight eight launch at 11:15 a.m.


Queen's dominated the competition last year in Kingston, winning six of eight races on the Cataraqui River.


In 2010, the last time the event was held at the Lachine Canal, Queen's needed the assistance of a tie-breaker based on race times, to edge McGill by one second and win the overall title.


The Queen's-McGill Challenge adds another dimension to the long-standing athletic rivalry that has existed between these two schools since 1884 when the first football confrontation began.


The long-standing rivals alternate host the event from year to year, and the traditional format has usually been a 5km or 6km headrace, depending upon course conditions, followed by a 500m sprint. The inaugural Challenge Boat Race, held in 1997 at the Olympic rowing basin in Montreal, was comprised of a men's 2,000m head race and a 500m dash. That year, McGill claimed the Gales Cup.


The McGill rowing club is a varsity level team representing the University in various prestigious regattas, including the Head of the Charles in Boston, the OUA championships in St. Catharines, Ont., and the Canadian university championship. This club dates back to 1924 and has developed many Olympians who have represented Canada on the international scene. Among those is current Canadian national team member Doug Vandor, who began his rowing career in a McGill novice boat, a program that continues to develop and produce rowers for the varsity boats and beyond.


The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, featured four McGill rowing grads, including Vandor, plus Sarah Pape, Mara Jones and Gen Meredith. Other Olympians produced from McGill's rowing program include Alison Korn, Bradshaw Crombie, Greg Stevenson, Tosha Tsang and Ben Storey.


2012 Schedule of Events

9:00 am Novice Women launch

9:20 am Start of the 3000m

9:40 am Start of 500m sprint

9:45 am Novice Men launch

10:05 am Start of the 3000m

10:25 am Start of 500m sprint

10:30 am Varsity Women launch

10:50 am Start of the 3000m

11:10 am Start of 500m sprint

11:15 am Varsity Men launch

11:35 am Start of the 3000m

11:55 am Start of 500m sprint

12:15 p.m. Trophy presentation at Rowing Club



(listed by seating order in each boat)


Varsity Heavyweight Women's Eight:


Bow Seat - Clémence Fortier-Morissette, bio-resource engineering, sophomore, Montreal, Que.

Seat 2 - Juliette Robert-Bigras, French literature, junior, Montreal, Que.

Seat 3 - Jennifer Jones, psychology, junior, Gatineau, Que.

Seat 4 - Emily Collins, history, junior, West Roxbury, MA

Seat 5 - Mira Anand, environmental science, sophomore, Dundas, Ont.

Seat 6 - Ronalee Gutland, anatomy & cell biology, junior, Woodstock, Ont.

Seat 7 - Kalyna Franko, linguistics & psychology, junior, Toronto, Ont.

Stroke Seat - Luce Bourbeau, political science, sophomore, Cap-aux-Meules, Que.

Coxswain - Laura Marks, history, sophomore, St. Leonard, Que.



Varsity Heavyweight Men's Eight:


Bow Seat- Luis Orozco, architecture, junior, Toronto, Que.

Seat 2 - *Andrew Tozer, earth system science, senior, Port Hope, Ont.

Seat 3 - Yann Beaulieu, civil engineering, sophomore, Quebec City, Que.

Seat 4 - Philippe Toren, mechanical engineering, sophomore, Pierrefonds, Que.

Seat 5 - Graham Boechler, electrical engineering (Masters 1), Calgary, Alta.

Seat 6 - Mark York, particle physics (PhD 1), Toronto, Ont.

Seat 7 - Liam Kirwin, economics, junior, Edmonton, Alta.

Stroke Seat - Robert Laniel, mechanical engineering, sophomore, Gatineau, Que.

Coxswain - Nicole Bewski, physical education, sophomore, Winnipeg, Man.

(Alternate coxie - Philippe Bouchard, medicine, freshman, Quebec City, Que.)


Novice Women's Eight:


Bow Seat - Andrea Toren, occupational therapy (Master's 1), Montreal, Que.

Seat 2 - Patricia Goerner-Potvin, microbiology (Master's 1), Deux Montagnes, Que.

Seat 3 - Amy Lorincz, economics & molecular biology, freshman, Toronto, Ont.

Seat 4 - Carolina Campos, physiology, freshman, Mississauga, Ont.

Seat 5 - Elana Evans, arts & science, sophomore, Calgary, Alta.

Seat 6 - Genevieve Munro, psychology, junior, Chelsea, Que.

Seat 7 - Charlotte Skinner, political science & history, junior, London, England.

Stroke Seat - Mieke Hagesteijn, arts & science, freshman, King City, Ont.

Coxswain - Kathryn Jones, nursing, freshman, Toronto, Ont.



Novice Men's Eight:


Bow Seat - Vince Tuyen Ta, physiology, freshman, Montreal, Que.

Seat 2 - Kyle Leroux, architecture, freshman, St. Lazare, Que.

Seat 3 - Michael Orenstein, anatomy & cell biology, freshman, Montreal, Que.

Seat 4 - Shaun Lampen, anatomy & cell biology, freshman, Cape Town, South Africa

Seat 5 - Matthew Chaim, management, freshman, Montreal, Que.

Seat 6 - Alexander Langslow, psychology, freshman, Hong Kong, China

Seat 7 - Marc Bedard, science, freshman, Montreal, Que.

Stroke Seat - *Andrew Tozer, earth system science, senior, Port Hope, Ont.

Coxswain - Pierre-Luc Laforge-Garant, mechanical engineering, sophomore, Trois-Rivieres, Que.


*competing in two different boats


Past Lorne Gales Challenge Cup Recipients (overall champions)

2011 - Queen's

2010 - Queen's

2009 - McGill

2008 - Queen's

2007 - Queen's

2006 - Queen's

2005 - Queen's

2004 - Queen's

2003 - McGill

2002 - McGill

2001 - Queen's

2000 - Queen's

1999 - McGill

1998 - McGill

1997 - McGill


Past Challenge Blade Recipients (men's champions)

2011 - Queen's

2010 - McGill

2009 - Queen's

2008 - Queen's

2007 - Queen's

2006 - Queen's

2005 - Queen's

2004 - Queen's

2003 - McGill

2002 - McGill

2001 - Queen's

2000 - McGill

1999 - McGill

1998 - McGill

1997 - McGill


Past Challenge Trophy Recipients (women's champions)

2011 - Queen's

2010 - Queen's

2009 - McGill

2008 - McGill

2007 - Queen's

2006 - McGill

2005 - Queen's

2004 - Queen's

2003 - Queen's

2002 - Queen's

2001 - Queen's

2000 - Queen's

1999 - McGill




Philippe Bouchard


McGill University Rowing Club


philippe.bouchard [at] mail.mcgill.ca

514 216-7040




Earl Zukerman

Communications Officer

Athletics & Recreation

McGill University


m.athletics.mcgill.ca (mobile website)


earl.zukerman [at] mcgill.ca?subject=E-mail%20hyperlink%20for%20Earl%20Zukerman"> earl.zukerman [at] mcgill.ca