A bugs life

By Corowa Free Press

Caitlin Somerville from Rutherglen Lake Rowing Club competed at the Victorian Secondary Schools Regatta at Geelong Thursday last week.  

This regatta was followed immediately afterwards by the Victorian Head of the School Girls, also conducted on the Barwon River at Geelong from Friday through to Sunday.  

These regattas along with the Victorian State Titles are the pinnacle of the season and are the races that many crews will aim for from the start of the season.

Rowing conditions were ideal on Thursday with the strong northerly winds largely non-existent at Geelong.  

There was a field of 12 in the Female Year 10 single sculls. Caitlin was in the first heat against Kyra Ansell from Frankston High School and Netaanya Jiju from Balwyn High School.  

The first 200m was close between all three scullers before Caitlin was able to continue her early pace and move out to a substantial lead.  

At the end of the race, Caitlin was not troubled to take out the heat by 28 seconds.

The final shaped up as a quality field with the other heat winners being Chloe Robinson from Maribyrnong Secondary College, Bella Heagney from Xavier High School (Corowa Rowing Club), and Tara Petschel from Dimboola Rowing Club. 

Once again, the first 400m was very close with Caitlin suffering from a relatively slow start but the other 3 scullers having a great tussle for the lead.

Caitlin was able to work her way back into the race and by the 500m mark had worked her way into second spot, trailing the favourite Chloe Robinson by ½ length and holding off Bella Heagney by a similar amount.  

In the final 500m, Chloe and Caitlin were able to push away from the field with Cloe Robinson always maintaining her advantage over Caitlin.  

At the end, Chloe Robinson won the year 10 schoolgirls title from Caitlin Somerville by 3 seconds with Bella Heagney in 3rd spot.

On the Friday the heats for the prestigious Head of the School Girls was conducted.  

There were 19 entries for the Year 10 Female Single Sculls with 8 heats. 

Once again, Caitlin Somerville drew the first heat and this time was up against scullers from Shellford Grammar School and Belmont High School.  

Despite issues with hitting some buoys mid race, Caitlin was able to row away with the win by 8 seconds.  

Emily Tidd from Corowa Rowing Club also won her heat and it was shaping up for an interesting weekend of finals.  

The scullers would have to work their way through the heats, quarter finals and finally the semi-finals on Sunday morning to make the A final. 

Unfortunately, with the spread of the Coronavirus, the race organisers cancelled the regatta after all the heats were completed on Friday.  

This was a terribly disappointing blow to many of the crews who had been in training for this event for the past 6 months and training upwards of 8 times per week.  

In football parlance, it would be equivalent of having the grand final cancelled midway through the first quarter.

It appears that all further rowing regattas for the season have been suspended.  

So, unless something miraculous occurs, the 2019/20 rowing season has come to an end on a low note.