Rowing crews maintain dominance over top NSW schools

Posted 21 March 2019 1:31pm

Canberra Girls Grammar School finished second in the overall point score at the 2019 NSW Schoolgirl Head of the River last weekend.

Competing in a field of 40 schools, the 107-strong crew were only surpassed by Pymble Ladies’ College, which boasts 30 more rowers than CGGS.

Typically CGGS ranks in the top three at the annual regatta, this year’s performance improved on third place in 2018.

Principal, Mrs Anna Owen travelled to Sydney to throw her support behind the students and found herself fielding questions from at least two Sydney-based Principals, asking, “What’s going on down in Canberra? What are you doing to produce such strong crews?”

“My response was, ‘I’m not telling you!’” joked Mrs Owen.

Miss Caz Pijpers (2003) who is Head of Rowing at CGGS is tremendously proud of all the rowers, noting the conditions at the regatta were less than ideal.

“It was cold and rainy, but they gave 110% and that’s all I can ask,” said Miss Pijpers.

“They are really resilient, especially with all the school work that’s going on at the moment, and exams, the girls are really able to prioritise and organise themselves.”

Next week the crew will head to Sydney again, this time for the Australian Open Schools Championships.

“They’ve got a big week ahead of them, they’ve been hit pretty hard with training this week.”

“The girls really take it in their stride, to be able to compete and do testing constantly. We don’t just pick a team at the start of the season…the girls are always switched on.”

Reminiscing about her time at CGGS as a rower, Miss Pijpers says it is great to see so many students participating in rowing and loving it as much as she did at school.

“Even just seeing the friendships, at the moment we have a mixture of Years 10, 11 and 12 in the boat, and it’s that realisation that these might be the friends you have in fifteen years’ time.”

We wish all the rowers well for a successful regatta next week.

spinner gif