What an exciting few weeks it has been for the Saints Boat Club!
The boys went on their usual rowing camps to both Renmark and Finniss throughout the Summer holidays. These trips set up the season for all of the Saints rowing squads, as they all prepared for a busy term of racing.
Midway through term 1, Saints competed in the annual South Australian State Championships at West Lakes. Normally for a school-aged crew, the School Eight or U19 Eight are the priority events. However, this year Saints set their sights on the prestigious Open Men’s Eight event. Historically, this event is consistently won by the top crews from each senior club. Although, this season Saints re-wrote history by winning the Open Men’s Eight event, ahead of Adelaide University Boat Club and Adelaide Rowing Club, with a time of 5:52 at the West Lakes Rowing Course.
On the 20th of March, St Peter’s came prepared to compete in the 99th Schools Head of the River regatta. Saints had 26 crews competing in the hotly anticipated event, with 17 of the 26 crews winning their race. Some highlights of the day included, 7 of our 8 intermediate crews coming out victorious, with wins also in the Schoolboy First VIII and Schoolboy Second VIII.
Saints then went on to compete at the Australian National Championships at Lake Barrington in Tasmania. Straight after the annual Head of the River Dinner event at the Showgrounds, the Saints boats made their way over to Tasmania in order to arrive in time. St Peter’s saw some very promising results early on in the week, including 4th place in the U19 Men’s Pair A-Final event, and a silver medal in the U19 Men’s Coxed Four A-Final event. On Saturday, Saints competed in the U19 Men’s Eight event, with two Scotch rowers forming a composite crew. The crew performed strongly to record a time of 5:59.98, which lead to a bronze medal in this event.
To conclude the weekend, St Peter’s College competed in the Schoolboy Eight event. The crew demonstrated their strong skills but unfortunately narrowly missed out on a chance to head directly to the A-Final, coming in at 4th place in their heat. However, the Saints crew used this as a learning opportunity, and performed very strongly in the repechage, booking them a spot in the Schoolboy A-Final. On Sunday morning, the crew took their position in lane 2 on the Lake Barrington Rowing Course. Saints made their intentions very clear from the start, leading through both the 500m and the 1000m mark. The Shore School challenged Saints throughout the race, however with every push that the Shore crew made, Saints managed to fight off. Saints crossed the line in 1st place, ahead of Shore and Brisbane Boys Grammar, with a time of 6:28.83, racing against a strong headwind. The crew was greeted by great excitement from all coaches and parents, watching keenly on the bank. This amazing result for the School would not have been possible without the outstanding standard set by the entire senior squad. The tireless efforts by coach James McRae and Director of Rowing Tim Hennessy (SCH 1996) must also be recognised. All parents and students of the St Peter’s College Boat Club should be proud of this victory, as everyone has played an important role in securing this historic victory for St Peter’s College.
Saints have never won the Barrington Cup before and it was the first time since 1968 a crew from SA triumphed in the event. King’s College (now Pembroke) was the last South Australian school to win the event some 53 years ago.
We would also like to recognise some of the outstanding efforts from our old scholars at the National Championships.
A massive congratulations to Oscar McGuinness (WDK 2017) for getting SILVER in both the Open Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull Final and in the Under 23 Lightweight Men’s Double Scull Final. Oscar also coached at Saints with the junior program this season. Well done Oscar!
Image: Open Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull Final Champions featuring Oscar McGuinness (WDK 2017) (2nd from left)
Congratulations to Angus Dawson (S&A 2018) and Alex Hill for winning the Open Men’s Pair at the National Championships at Lake Barrington! Angus also won silver in the Open Men’s Coxless Four event in a composite crew.
Image: Alex Hill and Angus Dawson (S&A 2018) winners of the Open Men’s Pair at the National Championships
Tom Beresford (MAC 2018)