School rowing crews in Australian open titles

HEAD of the Lake winners Ballarat Clarendon College and Ballarat High School are ready for their ultimate test on the water – the Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships.

In the past month, College has won the Ballarat Associated Schools’ marquee girls’ prize, then backed it up with the prestigious Head of Schoolgirls crown in Geelong a fortnight ago. 

College’s girls firsts crew of Marion Peters, Hilary Jones, Madeleine Ross, Sarah Maher and cox Ellie Dowling is now set to race against the nation’s best schoolgirl coxed four crews in heats starting today but its toughest challengers in Sydney could come from rivals it knows best.

Ballarat Grammar edged out College in a Head of Schoolgirls on the Barwon River.

Fellow BAS firsts crews from Loreto College and Ballarat High School will also hit the water in the national schools championships, which are part of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

College girls firsts rowing coach Ross Henderson said his crew had maintained focus on improving, just as it had all season, leading into the national regatta.

Boys’ Head of the Lake winner Ballarat High School will be in the mix for the schoolboys coxed four heats with College and Grammar.

Crews will have a chance for a training paddle this morning before racing starts at 8.30am.

School fours heats start at 4.10pm.