Head of the Lake: Ballarat and Clarendon College


THERE is hype surrounding the cream of the College fleet’s crop. 

Besides James Simpson in stroke seat, the boys’ division one crew has seen four members step up to the elite challenge.

The boys’ crew is vying to put College back in the history books since its last boys’ division one crew win in 2001.

Boys’ division one coach Ian Peel said College had compiled one of the best teams he had coached. 

“They’re going pretty well. They are probably one of the better crews I’ve had in the past few years,” Peel said. 

“They did a lot of training in term four and they are travelling fairly well.” 

Co-head of rowing and girls’ firsts coach Ross Henderson said the crew had partially rowed together for a number of years.

Victory is in the memory of the girls’ crew who last took the title in 2011. 


Henderson said College’s sights would be set on closing out Grammar and High School.

“Grammar and High School will be strong, but it’s a pretty open event this year,” he said. 

Peel agreed with Henderson in that it would be a fair race.

“It’s obviously been a pretty short season. I don’t think anyone has a huge advantage over anyone at this point,” he said. 


Favourable weather graced the College training camp in Nagambie, maximising results and development among the crews.

“We had nice weather in Nagambie for a change. It was good to get away,” Henderson said. 

Simpson said the summer training camp in Nagambie had bonded the boys’ crew and individual results had been improved.

Despite a summer training program pockmarked with injuries, Henderson said crews were in tip-top condition ahead of Friday’s regatta.

“Training has been really good aside from a couple of injury spells,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of whether they can transfer the hard work into a two-kilometre race.”


The College fleet size has remained consistent from the 2013 regatta, with 26 crews entered this year.

“We’ve had good numbers and great enthusiasm from the coaches. We’ve got 35 (coaches) this year,” Henderson said.


The roar of College has been building for weeks now.

“It’s pretty much all their friends giving them a rev-up on the day. It’s a festival-type atmosphere,” Peel said. 

“In the long run, it’s hoping that some of these kids might want to do a little bit more in their rowing careers.”