SA Schools Rowing Champs - St Andrew's College

SA Schools Rowing Champs

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SA Schools Rowing Champs

The St Andrew’s College rowers across all age groups competed at the South African Schools Championships over the past weekend. This event followed a productive training camp over half term where the rowers were able to enjoy perfect training conditions on Roodeplaat dam, honing their skills ahead of their season finale.


For the U14s, the highlight of the regatta was on the Saturday with 11 out of the 13 boys managing to qualify for finals in the Octuple and Double in what is always a tough event for the coastal competitors in their first experience of a national regatta against the inland schools and after only 6 weeks of rowing.

The Octuple crew fell behind off the start in their final but raced their hearts out to gain positions through the second half of their race. In a very commendable performance they finished in 5th, 1 boat length off the silver medal position.


The U15 squad had taken a huge step up as they came into the event – a strong showing against the Gauteng schools and a win in the quad the weekend before had done much to boost confidence. It was, however,  to be a weekend of near misses for the squad.

In the quads event, contesting in a field of 40 crews, the A Quad missed out on their final by less than two seconds in what was without question their best performance of the season with the B crew only a short distance behind them on time.

On the Sunday, the focus shifted to the Octuple crew. In their morning heats race they got off to a great start and were in a comfortable qualifying position alongside the top seeded crews when a misplaced stroke brought the boat to a standstill, allowing the rest of the field to pass, along with their chances of making the final. A tough end to their regatta to say the least but these boys should be commended for their efforts and ‘rolling the dice’ to put out their best performance under pressure.


Throughout the open crews, there was some excellent racing over the weekend to end off the season especially after a tough few days on the Buffalo river a few weeks prior.

The Coxless Four of Joe Kroon, Connor Moorcroft, Josh van Renen and Nicolaas Swart had a strong row in their heat to come across the line first and qualify for their final. They put together an exceptional final row to take third place and the Bronze medal just behind St Benedict’s and SACS.

On the Sunday, two afternoon finals were contested by College crews.

The Second Eight came down the course first and with much experience still to gain in their first competitive race of the season, they were able to finish in 7th place overall.

The First Eight, having made some significant improvements and in a new crew lineup for the event, went into the afternoon final as the seventh fastest qualifier although having not beaten any of the seven other crews lining up against them at the start over the course of the season so far. In the race itself, although down in 7th at the halfway stage, the crew drew on every last reserve in the fight for positions over the final kilometre, eventually taking a 5th position ahead of St John’s, Rondebosch and KES.

St Stithians were the overall winners.

Well done to all the crews for their efforts over the weekend!

Joe Kroon, Connor Moorcroft, Josh van Renen and Nicolaas Swart were awarded bronze medals.


Mr E Goodier