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Rowers peak with a podium finish at AAGPS Head of the River

Posted 20th March 2017

The Armidale School’s three rowing crews powered their way to their best times of the season at the 120th Athletic Association of Great Public Schools (AAGPS) Head of the River regatta yesterday morning (18 March).

Rainy conditions at the Sydney International Regatta Centre did not dampen the performance of the crews who were highly competitive against their fellow GPS schools in three Fours events, over 2000m.

The Third IV crossed the line in sixth place in 7:32:41, the Seconds finished fifth in 7:09.78, whilst the First IV made the podium, coming third, in 6:55.72.

“The results were beyond our expectations. Across the crews we knew we were fit and in a good place, but we were all just so happy with today,” Captain of Boats Sebastian Scott said. “Although it was raining there was no wind and the water was flat, and it was everything we had been training for up at Malpas where we had encountered torrential rain and white caps, so we were really prepared for the water we had.”

Scott’s own First IV crew spent most of the race neck and neck with St Joseph’s College and St Ignatius College Riverview, with less than a second ultimately separating the three crews. TAS was second at the 500m mark behind ultimate winner Shore, then narrowly dipped to fourth at the 1500m before crossing the line in a photo finish with Riverview for third.

“We had a rocket start and were flying from the get-go, we had a good lengthen out through the middle thousand metre which was where we understood the race would be won, and we really tried to keep it up but saved enough energy to really push and bring it home,” he said.

Scott said the crew was particularly pleased to set a new TAS record on the course, knocking eight seconds off the previous best for the school at a Head of the River.

“Breaking sub-seven minutes was so good – we didn’t know about the photo finish sitting down there, then when it was confirmed we were third, and we were ecstatic.”

Rowing MIC Mr Will Caldwell said he had a lot of confidence in the ability of all three crews who raced beyond his expectation.

“Everyone was nervous at the start of the day and they did a great job supporting each other and keeping each other focused and that showed through in the results. As a coach you are always hoping a crew will do their best performance on the day and you prepare for it but anything can happen and your heart is always in your mouth on the bank. It is always a relief to see that first stroke and that they have got away cleanly,” he said.

“It’s such a big atmosphere and you just hope they have the composure to maintain what they have done in training- and they certainly did that today.”

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The TAS First IV (yellow hats) surge into third place in the First Fours event at the AAGPS Head of the River. pic Melba Studios

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A podium finish forTAS rowers Henry Hughes (coxswain), Sam Cannington, Sebastian Scott, Michael Baldock and Saxon Hughes