Rowers make a mark at nationals
BALLARAT school and community rowing clubs performed strongly at last month’s 2021 Aon Australian Rowing Championships on Tasmania’s Lake Barrington.
St Patrick’s College’s top crew won gold, becoming the schoolboys’ coxed fours national champions, over silver medal winners, Ballarat Grammar.
Grammar’s boys’ firsts raced with Melbourne University Boat Club and Wesley College in a composite eight, winning gold in the under 19 men’s eight final. In the following sprint quads over 500 metres, Grammar’s boys’ firsts won gold, while their girls’ firsts won silver.
Ballarat Clarendon College’s girls’ firsts won a silver medal in the coxed fours. Ballarat City Rowing Club’s Hamish Rowlands and Osborne Willison took silver in the club men’s double scull.
For Ballarat Grammar’s director of rowing Sam Pullin, the local presence at nationals showcased the sport’s growth in recent years, and how capable the city’s up-and-coming athletes are, especially scullers.
He said Ballarat rowing is “well and truly back up and going at a high standard” post-drought.
“There’s a huge development of sculling happening in the Ballarat school programs. We can match people, and nationals offers strong data to justify why sculling in our school programs is of benefit,” he said.
“Ballarat as a whole, clubs and schools, raced throughout the week. We had single scullers from Ballarat City and Wendouree, school kids rowing for those clubs, and doing really well.
“If crews didn’t medal, they were very close to doing that, and the commentators made note that some events wouldn’t have gone ahead without Ballarat schools and clubs. It’s a really exciting time.”
BCRC also nabbed bronze in the open men’s coxless quadruple scull sprint, Grammar’s Hugh Bond and Will Clarke took home bronze in the under 19 double scull, while St Patrick’s College were also awarded a bronze medal in the under 19 coxed fours.
Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club was represented by under 19 boys’ and girls’ fours, a schoolboy single sculler, and an under 17 boys’ quad. Lake Barrington also saw Loreto College’s open division one crew.