GRAMMAR may be vying for a hat trick of boys’ and girls’ Head of the Lake titles.
And they may be the undisputed team to beat. But the 2014 Head of the Lake title is far from a sure bet.
Grammar has put forward 10 fresh faces to continue the school’s success in the boys’ and girls’ open division one crews.
Boys’ captain Geoff Creber will carry the family legacy through the firsts crew, continuing where his older brother Thomas left off in last year’s boat race.
Girls’ three seat Georgia Delahunty said it was paramount that the crew focused on their own row.
“There are high expectations but we have to just focus on our crew instead of the success of last year,” Delahunty said.
Boys have won the last three, girls the last two. Head of rowing Luke Pougnault said emphasis was placed on how to row a good race.
“We talk to them about how we can race well, not winning,” Pougnault said. “We have focused on getting the processes right and then everything else falls into place.”
Girls’ firsts coach Bill Gribble said the girls had gelled together well.
“It’s an all-new girls crew. It’s always a challenge to get them up to the standard you want them to be at.
Being the hunted school, the Grammar crews have focused on perfecting their race rather than picking rivals.
However, Creber said each school looked “sharper” this year when training on the lake and it would be a more open competition.
Grammar chose to split the summer training camp between Geelong and Ballarat to get the benefit of home and away courses.
“They’ve trained well. It was really good last year, but we are happy with where they are at,” Pougnault said.
“We tend to get the kids to just focus on rowing on the day.
“Weather will be a major factor on the day, but we train in all weather.”
Gribble said the girls’ training was “going really well” and the camp had seen significant improvements.
Grammar has entered 26 crews for the 2014 boat race.
“We’ve got a good mix of year 11s and 12s and selection is always pretty close,” Pougnault said. “The crews are clearly focused and committed.”
Pougnault said the event was a great asset to the community and was a highlight of the year.
“Head of the Lake is a great day for the community especially because the kids have been training for so long,” he said.