As the sun rose over the Barwon River early last Saturday morning, and our junior and intermediate girls worked with their coaches to set up their boats, I was struck by both the beauty of the river and the energy with which crews of girls from many schools across Victoria were preparing for a forecast hot day of rowing. Our bus had travelled to Geelong the night before, staying in Portarlington overnight, to compete in the Victorian Junior Girl’s State Championships. Our senior girls and boys crews were in Nagambie at the Victorian Senior State Championships. It was a wonderful day. Four energetic and enthusiastic Mums prepared breakfast, snacks and lunch for our rowers as they came and went from their races. Overall, the juniors performed well, improving their times over the day and the Intermediate crew made the A final. Disappointingly, the regatta was cancelled due to heat just prior to the final.
The Nagambie regatta was an outstanding success for our students. With support over the weekend from a great team of McColl Club parents, Gippsland Grammar won 13 medals: six gold, four silver and 3 bronze. Lachlan Wilmot enjoyed success with gold in both the Male School Single Scull Open Division 1 and the Male Under 19 Scull. Harrison Singer achieved gold in the para single scull. Gold medals were also won by the Male A Grade Coxed Quad Scull, the Male B Grade Coxed Quad Scull and the Male D Grade Coxed Four. Silver medals went to our Male B Grade Single Scull, Male C Grade Coxed Quad Scull, Male C Grade Single Scull and the Female Under 17 Coxed Quad Scull. The Male D Grade Single Scull, Male School Coxed Quad Scull Open Division 1 and Male Under 19 Coxed Quad Scull gained Bronze medals. Gippsland Grammar placed fifth in the medal tally for this regatta but only behind university boat clubs, coming first out of more than 30 schools. A fantastic achievement to be the top placed school at the Victorian Senior State Championships!
Rowers are now preparing for the Head of the School Girls Regatta in Geelong and the Junior Boys State Championships. This will be followed by the National Rowing Championships held in Sydney from 24 March to 1 April. I congratulate the following students on their selection in our Nationals squad: Lachlan Wilmot, James Thompson, Paige Barr, Ailish McGrath, Lachlan Rose, Thomas Phelan-Penson, Rebecca Strauss, Ella Johnson, Amy Baker, Thomas Condron, Alex Coleman, Rhianne Grimble, Elana Krcevinac, Malia Wheal, Ari Wight, Billy Osborne, Sarah Beyer and Miya Hancock. All rowers have trained hard this season for their success and have been fortunate to have terrific coaches in Thomas, John and Robyn. Congratulations to Mr Nick Bartlett, our Director of Rowing, and all crews on the wonderful season to date. It was a privilege to see our crews in action last weekend and to share time at the river with them.