St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.
St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.

Preparation pays off for St Josephs in Head of the Clarence

ROWING: It was a worthwhile trip from Sydney for St Joseph's schoolboy eights after taking out the 2000m main event at the Head of the Clarence River Regatta in Grafton yesterday.

While hard work from the powerful athletes had them out in from early, it was the meticulous preparation from the team that made all the difference in difficult conditions.

"The weather certainly made it more difficult but we've been here since Wednesday and we had been talking about how to row in these conditions," team cox Xavier Horton said.

"I think when it came to the race, no one panicked and everyone knew what to do.

 

St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.
St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.

 

"Straight from the start we were out in front. Before the race we said to each other 'if we get out in front, we're staying in front.

"It's a culture at our school. We don't give up, we just keep pushing and pushing and pushing."

 

St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side celebrate after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.
St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side celebrate after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.

 

Horton's teammate, Hugo Lumb was pleased to notch a win against some northern opposition on the Clarence River.

"It felt pretty good to get the win. It was our first victory the season," Lumb said.

"It was good coming up here and taking on some fresh opposition. We knew King's from Sydney and they beat us in the first regatta's so it was good to get up over them."

 

Hugo Lumb from St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.
Hugo Lumb from St Josephs of Sydney's championship schoolboy eight side after winning the 2000m final during the Head of the Clarence River Regatta.

 

As bushfires continue to burn along the east coast, rowers were forced to battle through thick smoke on the river as they took on a challenging headwind.

"It's been a weird experience coming up here with all the smoke but we've adapted to it now," Lumb said.

"It's been good here, we went to the movies while we were here but it's been really hot."

Horton was also excited to be in the Clarence for the first time despite the smoky haze.

"It's beautiful. There is some lovely scenery and it was a great course," he said.

Full gallery and further results to come.