Rowers ready for nationals

RGS rowers are ready to test unfamiliar waters when they compete at the Australian Rowing Championships at the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre in Victoria, starting Monday (28 March).

This year’s nationals were only recently shifted to Victoria after water quality issues at the Penrith course.

Representing RGS at the nationals are: Fletcher Hewitt, Jed Napper, Joshua Sparks, Karl Stanke (Year 12), Jessica Cook (Year 11), Austin Alloway, Georgia Brennan, Greta McCosker, Caroline Sparks and Asha Stewart (Year 10).

RGS Rowing Captain Jed Napper said everyone had been training hard.

“The new venue has been talked about a bit but it hasn’t changed things for us,’’ Jed said.

The nationals squad started training late last year and continued training through the school holidays.

“The training hasn’t been too hectic this year, but it’s still a high workload which involves less kilometres but at a higher intensity,’’ Jed said.

This is new territory for the rowers, with only Fletcher previously competing at a national level in Tasmania last year.

“I’ve been rowing since Year 7 and have watched the others rowers go to nationals. There’s definitely a few nerves, but I’ve been rowing long enough now to know you really have to row hard to beat the good crews at this level,’’ Jed said.

Jed has also welcomed the opportunity to work with new RGS Head of Rowing, Miss Caitlin Hockings.

“Miss Hockings has a great way of training. She gets to the point and explains a lot in depth which means no one is confused about what should be happening,’’ Jed said.

Miss Hockings has coxed for Australian national crews, but this is also a new experience – attending nationals for the first time as a head coach.

It will be the first time Miss Hockings has also seen the Victorian course.

“It’s all about controlling the controllables,’’ said Miss Hockings, referring to the late change of venue.

“Our training hasn’t changed. We’re still going to row the national championships and it’s a great experience. The students just have to harness that and buy into that as a team.

“They have all been training really hard since November last year. That’s a big block of training for them, training twice a day almost every day of the week, and over holidays.

“Now they just have to trust the training.

“We have done everything we can do now and it’s about enjoying the experience. There will be Olympians and world champions walking around so that’s an awesome environment to be a part of.”