St Joseph's Nudgee College is proudly back in possession of the O'Connor Cup after its 1st VIII won the Brisbane GPS Head of the River at Wyaralong Dam on Saturday, for the sixth time in seven years.
The win, a boatlength or nearly four seconds ahead of Gregory Terrace meant the crew was undefeated throughout the 2018-19 schoolboy rowing season.
Head coach John Bowes said that had placed huge expectations on the crew as Saturday grew closer and they became more nervous.
"It wasn't their best row on the day - the rain was torrential by then," he said.
"Handles get slippery and it's all about making good choices under pressure.
"We knew the other crews would give it to us in the first half of the race, which they did, so we responded and then we didn't need to step it up at the end."
They won in a time of 6:00.87. Gregory Terrace was second in 6:04.60, holding out dual third place-getters ACGS Churchie and last year's winners The Southport School, who were each three-tenths of a second away in 6:04.90.
The winning crew consisted of Leighton Friedrich (bow), Dylan Dunne, Zane Kirk, Sam Green, Dylan Rhodes, Pat Long (captain), Ben McMillan, Ethan Ferraro and cox, Darcy Carmody.
Dylan Dunne, a boarder, is from the Rockhampton region.
Five of the crew - Leighton, Sam, Dylan Rhodes, Pat and Ben - were part of Nudgee's 1st VIII beaten by a second in last year's epic Head of the River battle with TSS that ended Nudgee's five consecutive GPS Head of the River pennants.
The Nudgee crew went to England last year to participate in the Henley regatta, where they made it through to the quarter-finals before being beaten by eventual finalists, Eton.
John Bowes said that had helped give those going on this year experience in big races.
He has been the head coach at Nudgee for nine years, clocking up seven Head of the River 1st VIII wins and two seconds in that time, after two wins with Gregory Terrace.
"One of the advantages I have is that I'm a school teacher," he said. "We tend to take the skills we have in dealing with adolescents for granted."