New, old friends rowing to win the Head of the Lake


MORE THAN a decade since High School has taken out the number one place at boat race, both boys’ and girls’ crews are eager to take out the main races at Head of the Lake on March 3. 

Boys’ three seat Geordie Lukich and two seat Patrick Hawkes have been placed in the same crew together for the past four seasons, and know each other well. 

“Winning is our main goal, we wouldn’t be rowing if we didn’t think we could win,” boys’ stroke and captain of boats Mark Nikolic said. 

“We were all friends before, but as a crew we’ve worked together and just moulded well together,” Lukich said. 

The girls have a different story. All were from completely different social groups and have become friends through rowing. 

Two of the girls, Rochelle Lundall and Remi Bilson are completely new to rowing. “The first training session we had on water was the first time I’d been in a boat – I didn’t know what was going on,” Bilson said.

She said she had never even seen a boat race let alone rowed in one.  


HIGH school kept very tight-lipped about specific schools they would like to take down in the big event. Geordie Lukich said boat race, and the result on the day, mattered a lot. “I’m not worried about next year, I’ll worry about that when it comes. I’m going to put everything in now,” Lukich said.


EAT, sleep and row. That has been the life of High School rowers the past few months. Girls’ stroke Tsipouras said it felt like they had been training for 1000 years for the race, so hopes their hard work will show on the day. 


ROWING director Dean Collishaw said all the crews were working well together, with different groups on the water most nights. “The crews have done all they can to have the best chance possible when Sunday, March 3, rolls around,” Collishaw said. “All up we have 18 crews from years 9 to 12. And we’ve got some great junior crews coming through.” 


CAPTAIN of boats Nikolic said there hadn’t been much talk yet of what would be happening in the lead-up to boat race, but it was at the top of the next meeting’s agenda.

“All the year 12s are coming down,” he said. “Nothing is in stone yet – but our supporters will be there in full force,” he said.