The APS Regatta was once again a triumphant day for Scotch rowing.
WORDS: MR TOM WOODRUFF – DIRECTOR OF ROWING PHOTOGRAPHY: PHOTOPLAY GEELONG (Richard Kumnick)
[Back row]: Matt Caldwell, Alex Strathmore, Ben Stops, James Croxford, Andrew Jelbart and Tom Woodruff [front row]: Nathan Lee, Adam Brown, Matt Douglas and Stuart Sim
In the 100th anniversary of the Fairbairn Cup, the Scotch College 1st VIII won the 144th Head of the River with Melbourne Grammar School second and Geelong Grammar School third.
In the Head of the River final, rowed into a strong headwind that kept increasing in strength through the afternoon, the 1st VIII gained a narrow advantage over Melbourne Grammar and a slightly larger one over Geelong Grammar through the first part of the race. With 750 metres to go, the crew had built up a length lead, and went to the line three-quarters of a length in front of Melbourne Grammar, who were around one metre in front of Geelong Grammar.
The crew of Stuart Sim (Year 12 – cox), Andrew Jelbart (Year 12 – stroke), Matthew Douglas (Year 12), James Croxford (Year 12), Adam Brown (Year 12), Ben Stops (Year 11), Alex Strathmore (Year 12), Nathan Lee (Year 12) and Matthew Caldwell (Year 11 – bow), were pleased with their results. The eight was again coached by Mr Tom Woodruff. Rowing with their tandem rigged boat, with four and five both rowing bow side, the Scotch eight became the 39th Scotch crew to win the Head of the River.
Scotch won two of the four divisions for senior eights, and came second in the other two. The 2nd VIII continued their recent strong form, and won convincingly by three to four lengths (10.9 seconds)over Melbourne Grammar and Geelong Grammar in the A final of their division. This was one of the larger margins on the day, and the boys were happy with their performance.
The 3rd VIII started well and were around three-quarters of a length in front of Geelong Grammar in the second 500 metres, before the race became very close over the following 750 metres, with the margin only a canvas to one-quarter of a length. With a few hundred metres to race the Geelong crew made a decisive move and won by around a length. It was a disappointing finish for the crew, who despite not quite being good enough on the day, were Victorian state champions and had also won the Scotch Mercantile Regatta in what was a strong season. The 4th VIII raced strongly but finished behind Geelong Grammar, with St Kevin’s College third.
The 10A crew rowed strongly to win the A final in their division, ahead of Wesley College and Caulfield Grammar School. The 10B VIII served it up early, racing strongly over the early stages to challenge the pacesetters, Melbourne Grammar. In the end MGS was too strong, with Wesley second and the 10B crew third. The 10C crew also raced hard early to challenge pacesetters, Melbourne Grammar. They finished second, several lengths behind MGS with Caulfield third. The 10D crew, racing in the 10C division, performed extremely well, coming fourth in this final, ahead of Wesley and Geelong College. Mr Luke Carey has done a fine job in his first year as Year 10 Coordinator, managing the program and the rowers.
The Year 9 quad sculls were very impressive, with all crews performing strongly while claiming four of the five quad sculling divisions. The 1st, 4th, 7th and 12th quads won the A, B, C and E divisions respectively. Well done to these boys and their coaches Messrs George Jelbart (‘00), Andrew White (‘10), Tom Browne (‘09) and Alex Reilly (‘10) on their wins. Most of these results were very close and the boys enjoyed the tough nature of the racing.
There was also great improvement in all crews that did not result in races being won. Andrew Emmett’s (‘10)10th quad made up a two-length deficit from the last regatta to lose to Geelong College by 0.69 of a second in the D division final – one story of many. The skills these boys have developed over their short time in the sport was a great reflection on the program and its coaches.
This season was very difficult, with the first few weeks of Term 1 affected by the flooding of the Yarra and the last three weeks by the Year 9 retreats. Mr Grant Phillips deserves a large vote of thanks for his efforts in coordinating the program at this level. Despite this, it was amazing to see the 30 or so Years 9 and 10 boys on the Saturday night of the Head of the River enthusiastically playing around on the ergos after their dinner.
Once again the Cardinal Club, led by President Mrs Cathy Emmett and the committee, has done a stellar job of supporting the boys as they pursue their rowing. This enthusiastic group helps to keep the Boat Club running smoothly. In particular, thanks to the breakfast volunteers, led by Mrs Helen Bartley and Mrs Sally Langley. Teacher-in-Charge of Rowing, Mr Tom Bowen has also been a significant figure in the administration and organisation of the rowers and the Boat Club.
The boatmen - Joshua Frichot and Bob Lachal - have worked hard to ensure equipment and the boatshed are always in top condition. Cathy Emmett has also made a difference in her role as secretary of the Boat Club, assisting with administration.
Last, but certainly not least, the Boat Club also extends its gratitude to all parents of rowers for their support of their sons, as they commit themselves to this genuinely demanding sport. GS
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)