Hutchins powers ahead to claim titles

HUTCHINS School enjoyed a successful day on the water at Lake Barrington yesterday on the final day of the 2014 Tasmanian Schools Rowing championships.

The Southern rowing powerhouse took out the open boys' eights title beating home Friends School and St Patrick's College.

In an unfortunate incident, the Scotch Oakburn College senior boys' crew had its race disrupted when it lost one of its rowers due to illness about 500 metres into the race.

The athlete was taken from the boat for medical assistance and the remaining seven crew members completed the course, a man down.

Hutchins was also successful in winning the prestigious Clark Shield for the open boys' coxed four.

Hutchins rowed well to beat home Scotch Oakburn and Friends with both challengers finishing strongly to fill the minor placings but unable to close the gap to the leaders.

In the senior girls' eight the Collegiate crew, from Hobart, caused an upset with a convincing win over pre-race favourite Launceston Church Grammar School and Fahan School third in a good race.

``It was probably the biggest crowd that we have ever had at Lake Barrington for a Tas School's rowing association regatta and  a very successful regatta at every level with a great two days of racing,'' Rowing Tasmania development manager Rob Prescott said.

``The weather was absolutely perfect and you could not have asked to row in better conditions.

``The standard of finals that we saw _ I don't think we've ever seen such close racing in all events and the standard was much higher than last year, and last year's was very high.''

Prescott said the success of the Sheffield High School girls' crews was particularly pleasing in only its second year of a rowing program as part of a Rowing Australia initiative.

``They had a number of crews today who came away with some success including Lilly Maddick, who won the under-14 singles with Sarah Rayner third.

``The two Sheffield girls then combined to win the under-14 double, which was the first time that Sheffield High School have won a rowing trophy.''

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