7 March 2018

Rowing – SA Champs 2018 report

Somerset College Rowing Club ended the rowing season off with a sizeable bang with the crews putting in some very decent racing at the National Schools Championships in Pretoria this past weekend. This regatta is the last regatta for the season, but is certainly the most difficult with the best oarsmen and women from 59 schools coming together to try to claim the title of national champion in a plethora of boat classes.

The weather was perfect, the water flat and warm, all of which added to the splendour of the weekend. A welcomed change to the wind that we have experienced in the few local regattas leading up to the event.  While there were many thrilling races throughout the three days of racing,  a handful of exceptional results stood out.  Daniel Abelson worked tremendously hard to make an A final and finished fifth in the country in the U16 Boys’ Single Sculls event. This is one of the more competitive events with over 60 entrants and a result like this bode well for future years. Secondly, the Open Girls pair of Katherine Williams and Celina Gruber placed third in the country in a very tough race. Additionally, the U15 girls and boys did very well in their respective events with the U15 Girls’ Octopule firing at the right time as they put together their best race of the season finishing sixth in the country. The boys worked very hard to make the semi-finals in the U15 Boys’ Quads, putting together a race to be very proud of. Lastly, the U16 Boys’ Quad, Coxless Four, Open Girls’ first and second Quads and the Open Girls’ first Four all made A finals in their respective events, with the U16 Boys’ Quad having a thrilling and gutsty race for the line in their fourth place finish.

With regard to the results, Somerset College Rowing Club had a noteworthy regatta, especially considering this being the first time we took a touring group of this size to the event. The Rowing Club represented the school proudly, being complimented everywhere we went. The girls and boys made many finals despite having to  traverse some challenging progressions in the heats and semi-finals. In total, 10 of the 28 events that were entered resulted in finals.

In summation:
A bronze medal was awarded to Katherine Williams and Celina Gruber for their impressive result in the U19 Women’s Pair.

A silver medal was awarded to Aninke Burger, Imke Tiaden, Hannah Ernstzen, Sophie de Villiers, Leah Visagie, Gabi Callow, Sarah Turner-Orton, Neeleshwari Naran and Dani Blythe in U19 Women’s Eight (the first time this event has ever been rowed).

U19 Womens’ First Double placed fifth in the country.
U19 Womens’ First Coxed Four placed eighth in the country.
U19 Womens’ First Quad placed sixth in the country.
U16 Boys’ Single Scull placed fifth in the country.
U16 Boys’ Quad placed fourth in the country.
U16 Boys’ Coxless Four placed eighth in the country.
U15 Girls’ Octopule placed sixth in the country.

Once again, the products of the Somerset College Rowing club speak for themselves.

Bevan Stephens
Head of Rowing
Somerset College