This year’s St Patrick’s College firsts crew is stronger and fitter than the 2017 boat that took out the Head of the Lake.
St Pat’s is well accustomed to being the hunted on Lake Wendouree and this season has been no different.
A 19-second gap separated it and Ballarat Grammar in the Wendouree Ballarat 2km Regatta, underlining the gap it has on the rest of the competition.
Rowing Director Brendan Scott said it was a much more even boat than last year’s crew – who won in a controversial re-row.
James Crilly (three seat) and cox Jackson Long return along with three new rowers to the boat.
Scott spoke to The Courier in the lead-up to the Nagambie Regatta, where St Pat’s again delivered an imposing victory in excess of 12 seconds, and said the group was still working on improving its boat speed but was on track in its preparation.
“We’re getting there, preparation’s been good, we’ve learnt a lot,” Scott said.
“It’s a learning process. That was their first 2km race on Saturday (Wendouree Ballarat Regatta) so we didn’t get it quite right, but it was a good account of ourselves.
“We’re very even – there’s no holes in this crew, physically. They’re fitter, they’re stronger – they’re very good upstairs.”
Scott expected the margin between it and its nearest rival to be closed come the Head of the Lake, but undoubtedly St Pat’s has a quiet confidence about it.
However, it won’t be getting ahead of itself.
Scott said his group paid no attention to whether it was the hunter or the hunted on the lake, it was simply focused on it’s lane and it’s boat speed.
“If we execute on the day we’ll be tough to beat, but there’s no guarantees – anything can happen.
“We’re very focused internally. We just focus on boat speed and what we can do.
“That’s one of the beauties of rowing, you’re in an independent lane and the opposition can do very little to impact what you can do.
“We tend to just block all of that out, we try to keep everybody else out our head...we may be in the minds of the opposition, we may not be – it doesn’t worry us.”
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