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Rowers Come Second Overall at Nagambie
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Saturday 25 March saw all 198 Geelong College coxswains and rowers compete in the 150th running of the APS Heads of the River Regatta. The College had 29 crews competing across the day, providing the second largest fleet of crews from all schools at the regatta. 

It was a terrific day of racing for all crews with an emphasis to row their best race possible on the day. Effort by all crews culminated in an outstanding result for the school, finishing second on the unofficial medal tally compiled by Rowing Victoria. Our coaches and crews are to be congratulated for their effort and application towards Saturday’s racing and being able to focus on rowing well technically to produce maximal physical effort. Combined with this was an understanding for rowers and coxswains to undertake each role required in their boat to the best of their ability.  

Our Year 9 crews, rowing in the regatta for the first time, enjoyed the positive atmosphere as they rowed back after each race. Our Year 9 coaches' focus for their crews was to have fun on the day, to sit up tall, keep their heads in the boat, keep a good rhythm and row as hard as they can. A number of Year 9 crews achieved great results, with our Year 9 Girls' Division 1, 3 & 5 all winning their races. Three of our Year 9 boys' crews made A Finals, with the Div 3, 7 & 8 all making the top final. This is the best result for the College for more than a decade in Year 9 boys' quad sculling. 

Our Year 10 girls and boys also continued the positive racing, with both boys' divisions racing in the A Final. This was a terrific effort for both crews who certainly got the most out of themselves this season. Both these crews achieved their best races for the season on Saturday, showing a true commitment to row hard right through the 2km course. The Div A crew achieved a great time of 6:27.32 in the heat! Our Year 10 girls have had a wonderfully successful season and this continued Saturday. This division is also a difficult one to predict, as some crews do not always row in the Coxed 4 class throughout the normal season. Our girls rowed well to win the Div 3 & 4 races, along with a third in the Div 6 race. The Div 6 crew rowed out of their skin to achieve their fastest time of the season, despite only having a small window to prepare after injuries to a number of other crews. 

Our senior crews  were again very impressive with our girls' and boys' 1st and 2nd VIIIs all seeded first, second or third going into their final. This is a great effort across the season with consistency in their racing, which is the key to a positive season. Our Girls' 3rd VIII nailed their race and achieved their fastest time of the year, coming second with 7:55.96. This crew has shown great improvement in their racing over the past three weeks and all girls are to be congratulated for their fantastic race Saturday. The Boys' 3rd VIII raced in one of the most competitive divisions of the day and achieved a huge PB of 6:35.72 in their heat. This crew showed determination and resolve to go out in their B Final and hammer down the course one final time. 

The Girls' and Boys' 2nd VIIIs, both State Champions, continued their impressive season with the girls easily taking out their division for a second straight year and claiming the fastest time by a girls' 2nd VIII crew with 6:55.30 in their heat. These girls have now claimed four major races this season - the HOSG, Schoolgirls 2nd VIII and Female U19 Coxed Eight Championships and the HOR Division 2 title. The boys again showed how to race hard with two very strong races, starting with a fast 6:08.14 and backing it up in the final with a hard-fought third place just ahead of GGS.  

The final two races of the day saw our 1st VIII girls and boys put all their training and hard work on the line. Our girls certainly achieved their best race of the year to finish a very close second to GGS and achieve their fastest time of the year, 6:58.97. The girls committed extremely well to a race plan to row hard through the second and third 500m of the race. It was fantastic for them to experience the joy of knowing you have competed with full effort throughout the race. Our boys, who were seeded second-fastest going into the day, have had a very successful and consistent season, where they have had overlap with MGS on the finish line several times, and a best result of third at the State Championships. They finished the very fast A Final in fifth position and will take this experience with them to Nationals, where they will look to continue to push for an even faster race that they know they have in them. 

Thank you to all parents and supporters for what was a truly fantastic day for The Geelong College. Finishing second on the medal tally and having a third of the Senior School compete for the College was great reward for all involved. It was fantastic to see so many supporters in the tent when we presented our Year 9 Girls, Boys and Year 10 Girls. Thank you to Rohan Gow and the many parents of the RPSG for their efforts in creating a fabulous marquee for our supporters. Stay tuned to find out how our 1st VIIIs went in Penrith at the National Rowing Championships. 

Peter Blanchfield
Director of Rowing

*All photos from the day will be distributed next week.

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