High School rowing drought ends

IT’S been a while coming, but the High School boys are back on top of Ballarat’s rowing ranks.

Yesterday the school broke a drought going back to 2000, when they charged to victory in the feature event, smashing the Lake Wendouree course record set by Ballarat Grammar last year.

Captain of boats Patrick Hawkes and Geordie Lukich were part of the runner-up team 12 months ago and carried their crew to glory yesterday, taking the coveted Dowling Challenge Cup in the process.

“I just feel on top of the world,” an overwhelmed Hawkes, the stroke, told The Courier after the race.

“We knew we could do it. We knew if we rowed our best we could, and that’s what we had to do.

“We were really happy with the way we rowed. We knew we’d have to work really hard and that’s what we did.”

Hawkes said the crew felt it had the race in its keeping a long way from home.

“At about 750m to go we started kicking and I think we knew we had it from there,” he said.

Hawkes said bringing home the victory for Ballarat High School was “goal one reached” with focus now shifting to the national title.

The High School team, which also featured Nick Holding (bow), Jacob McMickan (two) and Milli Bilson (cox), ended Grammar’s three years of dominance of the race, leaving them in second, with St Patrick’s College third. The race time of 6.39.98min was just over two seconds faster than the one Grammar recorded in 2013.

Yesterday’s triumph completed months of hard work under coach Glenn Kallio and follows two straight years of second placings.