The 2018 Combined High Schools Rowing Championships were conducted on the Olympic course at Penrith on Monday 26th February. Six members of Endeavour Rowing Club attended the championships, racing in the colours of Maitland Grossmann High School.
At the 2017 championship regatta in Grafton, Maitland Grossmann had dominated the senior sculling events, winning the champion quad and double events as well as placing second in the single. Jack Davey and Robert Weatherall were to be together again for the double but fellow crew members Carter Ward and Brendan Budworth, who had been with them for their champion quad wins in 2016 and 2017, had graduated from school and would not be available. Jack and Robert began their preparation for 2018 in the second term of 2017, recruiting new rowers for the crew. During the winter and early spring, several prospective crew members came and went, sampling the joys and rigours of rowing until three recruits made a definite commitment. Mitchell Scales, Cameron McConville and Michael (Mitchell) Eveleigh had six months to progress along a steep learning curve from raw novices to racing oarsmen.
In the heats of the 2018 championship regatta, Jack progressed to the single final with an easy second place followed by a first place with Robert to progress in the double.
Maitland Grossmann’s first final was the quad with the crew being a mixture of two novices and two experienced campaigners. After 750 metres of the 2000 metre course, Maitland was in fourth place. Jack and Robert decided that they had to increase the intensity if they were to feature in the medals and upped the rating. The extra effort saw them steadily move through the field until they hit the front and pulled away to win by a length from Sydney Boys High School in second and Sydney Secondary College in third. The crew of Mitchell Scales, Cameron McConville, Jack Davey and Robert Weatherall with coxn Michael Eveleigh had won the third consecutive Champion Mens Quad Sculls title for Maitland Grossmann.
Rebecca Davey raced next in the Womens Under 17 Single Sculls and was leading the event at the half way mark when she hit a lane buoy. Rebecca lost the lead before she could recover, finishing in fourth place after a very promising start. The crew of Michael, Cameron, Mitchell and Robert with coxn Rebecca also took a fourth place in the Mens Champion Four.
In his heat of the single scull, Jack had broken his foot-stretcher in the pressure of the racing start and had to nurse his boat down the course to qualify for the final. After efforts to repair the stretcher or to replace it from a different boat both failed, Jack toured the boat park to find another single scull. Maclean High came to his rescue enabling Jack to contest the final in a borrowed boat. Despite racing in an unfamiliar scull, Jack lead from the start, winning comfortably by six lengths.
Maitland Grossmann’s final race was the Champion Mens Double Sculls. Jack and Robert have had three consecutive wins in this class of boat: Under 16 Double in 2015, Under 17 Double in 2016 and Champion Double in 2017. The result for 2018 was never in doubt with Jack and Robert opening up a big lead from the start which they steadily increased to win by 35 seconds.
At the end of the regatta when the outstanding individual competitors were announced, Jack Davey was presented with the Reg Galvin Memorial Award as the outstanding male rower for the second year in a row.
Congratulations on an outstanding performance Bec, Mitch, Cameron, Michael, Robert and Jack!