2014 South Australian Schools' Head of the River
The follow report on racing comes from Phil Mangelsdorf.
The favourites won the boys and girls Head of the River rowing races Saturday but they had to work lots harder than anyone expected for their success at West Lakes.
Prince Alfred college won the boys first eights but only after a torrid race where they were led early by both Scotch College and St Peters before PAC took the lead through the middle stages of the 2000 metre race. Then St Peters mounted the bravest of challenges as they stormed home over the closing stages to throw down the gauntlet and nearly overtake the PAC crew. PAC held on to win the Gosse Shield trophy, their third title in a row but only by 1.67 seconds from the gallant St. Peters crew with the equally brave Scotch crew barely a boat length back in 3rd place.
The girls first eight for the Florence Eaton Cup was even closer and more exciting as no less than three crews took on Walford who have been dominating their competition all season. Loreto surprised by taking the early lead and Scotch and Pembroke also were ahead of Walford in the early stages of the race. Loreto continued to lead as Walford worked their way up in to 2nd place and when Walford took over the lead by the half way mark everything seemed to be going as expected. But the Scotch crew were not finished with their race effort and made another challenge for the lead in the second half of the race.
The Scotch schoolgirls are coached by two time Olympian Amber Halliday and they raced with Halliday’s type of courage and persistence when they lifted their racing stroke rating to 40 per minute and made a breathtaking dash to the finish line as they overhauled Walford with every stroke of their oars. Walford somehow held on to win by just 1.19 seconds from Scotch whilst Loreto faded to finish in a dead heat for third with Seymour but three boat lengths behind the leaders.
This was the sixth title in a row for Walford and they continued their record of close wins under pressure at this main event of the SA school season.
The win to PAC in the boys eights means its 20 years since any other school has won the event other than PAC and St Peters Colleges.
Scotch had some consolation winning the boys first fours for the Cudmore Cup whist Pulteney won the girls 1st fours.
And one of the newest rowing schools, St Peters Girls won the year 9 quad scull title in what may be a sign of new school on the future results.
The full regatta program is available through this link.
Full results can be found through this link.
Boys First Eight
Boys Second Eight
Boys First Four
Boys Second Four
Boys Year 10 Quad Scull
Boys Year 9 Quad Scull
Girls First Eight
Girls Second Eight
Girls First Four
Year 10 Quad Scull
Year 9 Quad Scull
Regatta commentary - Phil Mangelsdorf
Regatta program - www.saheadoftheriver.com