Thrilling End to Rowing Nationals

The Geelong College has experienced an exciting and successful 2017 National Rowing Championships at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

The Boys' and Girls' 1st VIII crews rowed in a number of different races. Our boys travelled to Sydney on Sunday 26 March to compete in small boats with Nick Kemp rowing in the U19 Single Scull. Nick produced two excellent races against more than 30 boys, some of whom dedicate their rowing season to this class of boat. He came away with a third in his heat and fifth in the repechage.  

Thomas Page and Bentley Fitzgerald rowed in the U19 Men’s Pair on Tuesday and Thursday where they had an incredible race in their A Final against Brisbane Grammar to agonisingly miss a bronze medal by 0.13 seconds. Tom and Bentley were only four seconds behind a number of crews who rowed in the Open Men’s Pair event, they rowed 7:07.13 despite having not had the same amount of training in this boat and their efforts through their heat and final were first-class. 

Our remaining 1st VIII boys rowed in the U19 Men’s Coxed Four where they took away a bronze medal in a great race among eight crews. These boys have won a number of medals through the year and came up against new competition who helped bring out the best in our crew. Our College Coxed Four of Ian Bell, Jack Thornton, Oscar Malone, Lachlan Sutherland and Edwina Doery were extremely brave through the second 1000m of their A Final race to claim the bronze in 6:48.78. 

Our Girls' 1st VIII have continued to row extremely well in the back end of their season, beating a number of crews who they previously had not, to finish fifth in the B Final and 13th overall in the Schoolgirls' Coxed Eight event. They also rowed under the magic 7-minute mark twice that week, which is a sign of a crew that continually works hard. Well done to Sophie Walmsley, Grace Stewart, Claire Morrison, Charlotte Midgley, Grace Bond, Eliza Lawson, Isabel Tierney, Mimmi Balaam and Ruby Gow on their efforts throughout the week, they have certainly finished the season well. 

Our Boys' 1st VIII gave an all mighty effort in the heat and final of Schoolboys' Coxed Eight. They won their heat to qualify third-fastest and put themselves in the middle of the course against the two big competitors in Scotch College Melbourne and Shore School Sydney. Our boys were able to relax and enjoy their rowing as a crew for one final week. They had fun each time they hit the water and wanted to excite themselves and take their racing right up to both Scotch, Shore and Melbourne Grammar. Our boys rowed the race of their year in the A Final to perfectly execute their race plan both technically and physically to dead heat with Melbourne Grammar and claim a bronze medal. Their time of 5:57.30 gave many parents and their coach a near heart attack upon waiting. Our boys were 5.68 seconds behind Scotch (1st) and 2.71 seconds behind Shore (2nd).

It was a great moment when the official result came through for our crew, who along with MGS showed true sportsmanship to enjoy the result together. The excitement between TGC and MGS was made even more special by the fact these two crews had trained together a month earlier, forging friendships and racing experiences they will take with them for life. Congratulations to Tom Page, Bentley Fitzgerald, Ian Bell, Cary Foley, Jack Thornton, Nick Kemp, Oscar Malone, Lachlan Sutherland and Edwina Doery for their thrilling efforts to give maximal effort and commit as a team to bring out their best. Well done!

Peter Blanchfield
Director of Rowing

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