The first weekend of the holidays saw a group of about 25 Somerset rowers brave the heat in Grafton for the inaugural ‘Head of the Clarence’ Regatta. Being the first regatta of the summer training programme, the competition was largely a learning experience - we had the opportunity to race new clubs and schools and develop goals and aspirations for the upcoming season.
Saturday morning began with Jade Mansell setting the tone of the regatta with a silver medal in the Schoolgirl’s Under 15 Single Scull. Shortly after this, she teamed up with Madizen Wilkins in the Under 15 Double Scull to win the gold medal. We then saw Katie Plume and Hannah Neumann pull above their weight to receive a silver medal in the Schoolgirls' Under 17 Double.
Lorenz Muhlbauer courageously competed in the Under 17 Single Scull, placing fourth, and soon backed it up with a silver medal alongside Sam Platt-Muniz in the Under 17 Double, coming second to the Churchie crew.
Declan Roberts and myself teamed up for the Schoolboys' Pair and had a great first kilometre of racing, however, we couldn’t hold on to The Kings School in the late stages of the race and settled for a comfortable second place.
Perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend, the Under 15 Boys Double, saw some of our young rowers triumph over the innumerable crews of Brisbane Boys College. Declan Thew and Harrison Cripps raced exceptionally well to achieve a tight 3rd place against crews from South Grafton and five Brisbane Boys crews. This performance exemplifies the young talent we have coming through the squad and shows signs of another exciting year of rowing at Somerset.
Somerset’s participation in the regatta could not have been possible without the efforts of our coaches and supporting parents. We would like to extend our thanks to Mr and Mrs Eksteen for their assistance in transport and catering. Also, thanks, as always, to our coaches Miss Ali Barry and Mr Andrew Butler.
Following the Head of the Clarence, rowers in Years 10 to 12 have since set their sights on the Australian National titles in March, with a heavy training programme over the summer break.
A reminder for any student interested in rowing; the final ‘Learn to Row Day’ is being held on Saturday 30 January. For more information, please visit the Rowing page on the College website here.
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