Back to back wins for BBC at 2022 Brisbane GPS Head of the River

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
Updated March 22 2022 - 9:26am, first published March 21 2022 - 8:45pm
That's two - the 2022 winning BBC crew and its coaches at the Head of the River trophy presentation. Pictures supplied.

After a 19-year drought, the Brisbane Boys College 1st VIII rowing team got to feel the joyous rain of back-to-back triumph on Saturday, winning the GPS Head of the River open eight division one pennant for the second year in a row.

Although unconfirmed on Monday, the times set at Wyaralong Dam by both the BBC crew and its nearest rival, The Southport School, are believed to be new GPS course records.

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That's despite a rollercoaster season of training and competing, thanks to pandemic restrictions and then flooding, which meant the postponement of the regatta for a week.

The finely tuned BBC crew crossed the line in the most important 2000m race in the season in a time of 5:38.46, some 2.05 seconds ahead of the TSS boat, with Nudgee College another 3.5 seconds back in third place.

BBC co-coach Scott Laidler said the day had felt like the start of the season again, because they hadn't raced for four weeks when they turned their boats over and fixed their oars at Wyaralong on Saturday.

"We didn't have our final crew until Head of the River, because of injuries, and flooding made it hard to train, for us all," he said.

As well as making use of Moogerah Dam near Boonah and locations around Pine Rivers on Brisbane's north side, TSS invited BBC's open and Year 11 1st VIII crews to row on their turf at the Gold Coast, the weekend before the postponed Head of the River event.

"The final went to plan - you could throw a blanket over the boats at the start, and then our boys began inching away," Mr Laidler said.

The BBC crew consisted of a number of members from the triumphal 2021 win - captain of boats and Goondiwindi local Toby McPherson, cox Lachlan McLean, stroke Monti Martin, Robbo Robertson, Lex Tucker and Robert Atkinson - plus three new crew: twins Matthew and Dan Cashman, and Finlay Harris.

Mr Laidler said a special shout-out should go to coach Randall Martin, for his enthusiasm at all times.

BBC 1st VIII coaches Randall Martin and Scott Laidler at Wyaralong Dam.

TSS didn't go home empty-handed though - the school took home the Old Boys Cup with the highest accumulative total in recent history.

As TSS's Dean of Students said on social media, "It was one of the most dominant Old Boy Cup victories in recent memory - all our rowers should be extremely proud!"

The question all are asking now is, what are the odds of a three-peat for BBC?

Given that crews representing the school won both the Year 11 division one and two pennants on Saturday, the signs are portentous for the school in 2023.

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Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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