The Armidale School’s three rowing crews are confident they will be at their peak when they take to the water at what many consider to be a pinnacle of schoolboy rowing, the AAGPS Head of the River regatta in Sydney on 7 March.
This is the fourth year TAS has competed in the event, which attracts around 10,000 students from the nine NSW GPS schools and their families to the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) which was built for the 2000 Olympic Games. The three TAS crews have been training since November on Malpas Dam near Black Mountain and took part in camps and regattas at Grafton and Taree during the school holidays, and competed in the State championships earlier this month.
While they will be competing in different events, the First and Second IVs are likely to maintain their friendly rivalry to the end, with less than half a second splitting their times at both the State championships and at the Taree Summer Regatta.
“After having the opportunity to row at SIRC two weeks ago, all three crews are familiar with the course, yet only six of the 12 rowers and two coxswains know the much anticipated energy of the Head of the River,” Captain of Boats Ben MacDougall said.
“Having trained five days a week for most of the past two terms, all crews are feeling prepared and optimistic to what will be the last schoolboy-row for many, and of course the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. We compete this weekend as underdogs of the GPS, and as always, are keen to surprise. However, regardless of results, it is comforting to know that the guaranteed pride of being a TAS rower waits for us at the finish line in front of our supporting friends and family.”
It will be the first time TAS has competed in the event in all its own boats, following the addition to the fleet of a new ‘Four’, the Jason Lincoln, last year.
The crews are:
First IV: Dan Allen (Armidale), Graham MacDougall (Armidale), Lachlan Apps (Armidale), David Williams (Armidale) coxswain Jack Berry (Rowena)
Second IV: George Rodgers (Merriwa), Will Raleigh (North Star), Harry Wright (Armidale), Lewis Erskine-Smith (Macksville), coxswain Henry Hughes (Glen Innes)
Third IV: Will Brissett (Armidale), Edward Howard (Sydney), Joe Kingham (Limbri), Angus Lloyd (Armidale), coxswain Hunter Hine (Armidale).