Best young rowers show their skills

A tight finish in the coxed quad sculls semi final. (Ivan Kemp) 272938_06

Ash Bolt

Perfect rowing conditions greeted rowers for the 2022 Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta held on the Barwon River last weekend.

Rowing Geelong president Sam Elliott said it was a great spectacle to have a full crowd back lining the banks of the Barwon River for the first time in years.

“I think Geelong and the Barwon River lived up to their reputation as having the best rowing course in the state,” he said.

“We saw perfect racing conditions all weekend [and] the course was beautifully presented.”

Elliott said it was great to parents and schoolmates cheer on the rowers in one of the most unique regattas in the world.

The regatta has been held in Geelong on the Barwon River since 1987 and injects around $2.5 million into the local economy each year.

In the main races the Eight Open Division One was hotly contested between Melbourne schools, St Catherine’s School and Melbourne Girls Grammar School, with St Catherine’s winning in the narrowest of margins.

Local Geelong College sculler Issy Batrouney took out the Single Open Division One in a very dominant display over SEDA College Geelong rower Zara Kfouri.

Geelong Grammar School took out the Eight Open Division One in a commanding display over St Catherine’s School. It also won the Eight Year 10 Division One just ahead of the crew from Ruyton Girls’.

The girls from Ballarat and Clarendon College had a very strong win in the Four Open Division one, while Strathcona took out the Quad Scull Open Division One for the first time.

Across the weekend’s 51 events, which saw races start every three minutes, Methodist Ladies College led the medal tally with seven gold medals.

Geelong College led the way locally with six medals, including three gold.

It won gold in both the Coxed Four Year 10 Division Three and Four along with Batrouney’s gold.

Geelong Grammar was also strong, winning five medals, including two gold.

Along with the Eight Year 10 Division One, it also won gold in the Eight Open Division Two

Christian College picked up a silver medal at the regatta and Kardinia International College claimed two bronze medals.

Rowing action now heads up to Nagambie Lakes this weekend with the APS Head of the River on Saturday followed by the National Championships from Monday.