THERE is a resurgence brewing out on the water in Ballarat's rowing ranks.
When emerging talent Lucy Richardson and Katie Jackson won bronze in the world under-19 rowing women's pairs in August, junior winter memberships for Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club alone boomed by 150 per cent.
The Ballarat Clarendon College exports made international success seem tangible at such a young age.
Now their coach Jamie McDonald has his name in lights as Rowing Australia's pathways coach of the year in a ceremony in Canberra this past week.
Together, for the first time in rowing's 160-odd year history on Lake Wendouree, an all-Ballarat team training in Ballarat made a splash in a world championship regatta.
This came in the wake of Ballarat Grammar rower Lucy Stephan winning Olympic gold for the women's four in the 2021 Tokyo Games.
St Patrick's College rower Austin Reinehr also got a Rowing Australia award nod as the nation's pathways crew of the year award in the under-23 men's four.
There is no doubting this city's rowing reputation on national and world rowing stages - headlined by Ballarat's first Olympic medallist Gary Gullock, who won silver in the quad sculls in Los Angeles 1984.
But these efforts reinforce and re-imagine the sport for a new generation on Lake Wendouree.
School crews are already out in force training for the summer ahead, always headlined by Ballarat Associated Schools' Head of the Lake regatta.
Boat Race, dating back to 1912, has been the foundations for a string of Olympic rowing careers through generations - and that is with girls only officially able to compete from 1980.
But this takes quality coaching too, a strong pool in Ballarat from which McDonald has taken his game to the next level.
McDonald also follows in a decorated coaching pathway from Ballarat, following the likes of Chris O'Brien who worked extensively with Australian sweep crews to the Olympics, Paul Reedy, who is at the helm of Team Great Britain's rowing program and Rob Richards now coaching the Canadian rowing system.
Richards' Olympic silver medal winning lightweight four teammate, five-time Olympian Anthony Edwards, has also led Tasmania's state development program and has moved into a school-based rowing program in Hobart.
For all Ballarat rowers who do reach international stages, the power in the swell behind them is just as important as the inspiration they spark.
Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club head coach Paul Blanchfield said there was a steady flow of Ballarat school rowers who continue the sport via different pathways.
Predominantly the next step is a powerhouse club in Melbourne but increasingly students, such as Richardson, are being courted for college scholarships by universities in the United States.
Wendouree Ballarat and Ballarat City rowing clubs are continuing to develop the sport at grassroots levels. This has allowed for the addition of Phoenix College and Damascus College to train and enter crews in regattas, namely Boat Race.
Now Ballarat Specialist School, another non-traditional rowing school, has been developing crews.
Outside of schools, clubs have also been opening up to encourage new or returning rowers and athletes from other fields to take up an oar.
Blanchfield said rowing has become an incredibly accessible sport in Ballarat and, regardless of what level rowers reached, this all came together in building the Ballarat rowing brand.
We are one of only three Olympic host cities in Australia, with Lake Wendouree home to the 1956 Melbourne Games' regatta.
The way we have been able to build on and evolve this legacy is truly remarkable, a point emulated by Richardson, Jackson, McDonald and Reinehr's recognition.