Loreto will put forward its “best team ever” in a bid to secure the 2014 Head of the Lake title.
Head of rowing Nathan Sims said the girls had been posting impressive results for a team with young blood.
“We are rowing better than we ever have been,” Sims said.
“We are a lot stronger this year than in previous teams. It’s a sense of that attitude to have a red hot go.
“Rowing helps with their resilience and determination to be the best they can be and this attitude flows on to their school work.
“It’s the ultimate team sport.”
Zoe Wilson, in cox seat as captain, is the sole year 12 member of the crew and said the crew responded to encouragement rather than barking orders.
“A lot of people might struggle when it gets a bit stressful, but when I encourage them everyone comes together as a crew. It’s quite good. We push each other,” she said.
The Loreto girls would not point the finger at any one school to beat, but after trailing in third at last year’s boat race behind Grammar and College it is clear they would not mind the title.
Sims said it was an open competition this year and it would come down to who performed the best on the day.
“Our culture is to go out and do the best we can. If they come first, then that’s great,” he said.
“We tend to take that focus away from winning and more on what they can achieve.
Since weight training began in term three last year, Loreto has stepped it up a notch since the boat race preparations for the 2013 event.
“We stayed here in Ballarat for our training camp. We got a lot out of it,” Sims said. “We’ve probably increased the workload at the camp since previous years from three to four sessions a day.”
Sims said the senior squad had trained five times a week outside of the camp.
Petra Oates, in two seat, said the training regime had not been a walk in the park.
“It’s such vigorous training but it’s really an addictive sport,” Oates said.
Sims said there had been an impressive increase in the fleet size.
“Numbers are stronger than last year, with 70 rowers in 14 crews. We have a young senior squad this year with more year 11s than 12s,” Sims said.
“It’s the largest amount of coaches ever (20).
“The junior and senior crews are the best we’ve ever had.”
Sims said the boat race was ingrained in Loreto’s culture and the support for the crews would be spine-tingling on the day.
“They’ll have their usual war cries. It’s been a big part of Loreto life,” Sims said.
“We just ask them to go out and do the best they can but we try to keep that pressure spread among everyone.”