Bundaberg North shows it is up for the fight

Bundaberg North State High School students Piper Rochford, Richard Wake, Kaitlyn Rochford, Jayne Wake and Sarah Wake will compete for the school at the Head of the River this weekend. Picture: SHANE JONES

By Shane Jones

It doesn’t matter what happens this weekend, Bundaberg North State High School are already winners at this weekend’s Head of the River.

Just turning up has been an achievement in itself.

The school will participate with six students this weekend after the hiatus from the coronavirus pandemic of competition last year hurt Bundaberg North.

The school finished fourth in the last event in 2019 but didn’t compete last year like other schools.

The year off, combined with others leaving, left the rowing team at the bare minimum.

Now, those that who are left are hoping to do well this weekend and build the program back up.

“It was a big effort to get everyone there and training this year,” Jayne Wake said.

“Last year a lot of people stopped and didn’t return.

“A few of us are sticking together, we’re going to do as well as we can with the limited people and resources we have.”

The six person team will compete in the mixed quads that decides the Head of the River as well as a girls quad and a Year 11 quad.

This means that some students in Year 8 and Year 9 will compete against others who might be two or three years older than them.

Wake will compete in the mixed quad with Kaitlyn Rochford, Fionn Houston and Richard Wake with Sarah Wake as the cox.

The goal is simple: give it their all this weekend, hope it leads to some medals and start to boost numbers for rowing at the school.

“I reckon next year we’ll do more advertising and get more juniors involved and seniors back,” Wake said.

In relation to the Head of the River, Wake said controlling the tempo of rows would be the best way to potentially beat the top schools in the event.

Rochford added the team needed a good cox to the team that will shout positive reinforcements to the team the whole way through.

The regatta starts tomorrow with the Head of the River on Sunday.