On Thursday the 17th of March, MGC rowers and coaches arrived at school at 6:00 AM and travelled to the Barwon River for the School Sport Victoria/Head of Schoolgirls regattas.
School Sport Victoria Regatta
In great conditions, the MGC rowers once again defended their title as overall Female Rowing School Sport Victoria champions.
Throughout the day’s racing, MGC won the Year 10 Division 1 and Division 2 quad scull, Year 9 Division 3, Division 2 and Division 1 Quad scull, as well as the Division 1 Quad scull (the only division). All crews raced strongly and represented our school with pride, with encouraging performances across the board.
Head of Schoolgirls
Despite being decimated by COVID, our Year 9’s performed strongly in carefully reconstructed crews, with many progressing through to the higher ranked finals either directly through quarter finals, or through the repechage. Our sole Year 9 crew unaffected by COVID placed 3rd overall, which provided an indication of what we could have achieved had we not lost over 30% of our Year 9’s to COVID or isolation during the week of the event. We could not be prouder of the manner in which our Year 9’s handled the disappointment of constant crew changes in the lead up to and beginning of the event. We look forward to welcoming back all the rowers who missed the regatta for next season, where we are primed for an exceptional season.
Our Year 10 crews raced strongly, with impressive heat and repechage performances leading to high-ranking finals. With the vast majority of Victorian schools competing in the quad scull at this age group, it is the most competitive age group at the regatta. Given that all our crews recorded a string of very pleasing performances and the fact that the vast majority of crews ranked in the top 8 crews in their division, we look forward to seeing what out senior squad can achieve next season with a full pre-season.
Our seniors once more performed exceptionally well, with every quad scull qualifying for the A final, and our double scull reaching the B final. Sadly, our sole single sculler had to withdraw due to injury in her heat.
By the end of the regatta, we medaled in the Senior Division 1 quad (2nd), Senior Division 2 quad (3rd), Senior Division 3 quad (3rd) and Senior Division 4 quad (3rd) as well as the Junior Division 5 quad (3rd). Impressively, we also recorded an additional 7 B finals across the regatta, along with 4 C finals, 1 D final and 1 E final, indicating that across the regatta, MGC was incredibly competitive and most crews ranked in the top 8 crews in their division, which is impressive considering the results at Nationals the following fortnight highlighted that Victorian school rowing is undoubtedly the highest standard of any state, despite losing 50% of training time over the past two seasons.
On Thursday the 31st of March, MGC finally returned to the Australian National Rowing Championships. After an exhaustive selection process, three crews were selected to attend. After COVID once again intervened and the crews were adjusted due to isolation requirements, MGC entered three quad sculls in the Open Schoolgirls Quad Scull.
The crew of Victoria Trentin, Lily Ritson Morrison, Mia Harrison, Zoe Korr and Georgie Watson raced strongly over the event, and despite being unlucky with their allotted Semi-Final and missing the A final by a tiny margin, placed 7th overall, winning the B final.
The crew of Lucinda and Gwyneth Opt’Hoog, Kimmy Nguyen, Kate Umseher and Sophie Close placed 29th of 36, racing strongly in tough conditions across their four races. Sadly, their crew was consistently unlucky with lane draws and were punished with the worst conditions of the regatta for each race.
Our Year 10 crew, reinforced at the last minute with our Captain of Boats, Oliva Burns-Bradley improved dramatically over the course of the regatta. Olivia, Imogen Otter, Gemma Watson, Sienna Fenton and Sara Lay ultimately placed 21st overall, which is an exceptional result given that their first 2km race was their heat on the first day of the regatta.
The regatta also highlighted the on-water prowess of our coaches, teaching staff and former students. Assistant Director of Rowing and MGC teacher Jess Fischmann placed 3rd overall in the Female Club Coxless Four, with senior small boat coach Erica Smith winning the Female Club Double. 2021 Year 12’s Bethany Zmak and Harper Waring won the Club Eight, and Bethany Zmak placed 3rd in the U19 Coxless Pair.
2019 MGC Year 12 student Olivia Sargeant represented Victoria in the Interstate Womens’ Youth Eight racing against the top youth eights from each state and territory and winning the bronze medal.
As a club, we are incredibly proud of the group of strong, focused, supportive and resilient young women that represented our school this year. Regardless of whether they raced in the A or E final at HOSG or Nationals, or whether they missed the regatta due to COVID or isolation rules, every rower this season contributed to building and maintaining the fantastic MGC culture on display throughout the season.
On behalf of the coaches and rowers, we would like to acknowledge the great work of our parent volunteers and wider parent community this season, who ensured we could compete throughout the regatta season and eat at the Head of Schoolgirls and SSV regatta. Their generosity and time contributed immensely to the performances of all our rowers.
Thank you also to our dedicated coaches, who despite the many, many challenges this season, once more rose magnificently to the challenge.
Director of Rowing