Ballarat Grammar aims for fourth-straight Head of the Lake title

BALLARAT Grammar will be hunted at today’s Ballarat Associated Schools’ Head of Lake regatta, with four other schools vying to stop its run of boys’ and girls’ open division titles.

Ballarat Clarendon College, Ballarat High School, Loreto College, St Patrick’s College and newcomer Damascus College will join Grammar on the shores of Lake Wendouree.

Grammar looms as the favourite prepares to claim its fourth-straight boys’ and third-straight girls’ Head of Lake trophies.

The annual event has been scheduled today, rather than as a weekend program, with Lake Wendouree set to play host to the Victorian Rowing Championships across the weekend. 

Regardless, Grammar director of rowing Luke Pougnault believes the school has had an excellent preparation for its title defence, but says the two senior crews have paid no attention to the added pressure of retaining the trophies.

“Each year is independent – it’s not really relevant for each crew each year – we don’t make it an issue of what’s come before, we just want to make sure that they go out and execute on the day,” Pougnault said.

“I think we have a really good culture in our shed, the kids train really well and the seniors lead the way with how we operate.”

Pougnault is co-coach of Grammar’s senior crews, alongside Sam Pullin.

High School is tipped to be Grammar’s biggest rival in what is an even senior boys’ section – it could be won or lost in the blink of an eye, while College is considered to be a contender for the girls’ title.

Loreto is still chasing its maiden win while St Pat’s will be looking for a return to the glory days of the 2007-2010 era, when it claimed four titles in a row.

Meanwhile, Damascus has entered six crews in its maiden regatta bid.