Double triumphs for St Andrew’s rowers at Buffalo Regatta and Selborne Sprints

ST ANDREW’S College Rowing Club ventured out to the blustery Buffalo River last week, from February 8 to 10, for the annual Buffalo Regatta and Selborne Sprints in East London.

The St Andrew’s College 1st eight seen after winning the Buffalo Regatta in East London last Saturday, from left, back row, Sebastian Paton, Liam Little, James Plumbridge, Joshua Purdon, Caleb Jevon, Ben Kroon, Tracy Pringle (RMB) and Ron Beard (ELBA); front row, Dane Van Duren, Alexander Pezarro, Geir Wilson.

The Buffalo Regatta was first raced in 1881 and was only interrupted during the war years. It is considered the oldest domestic sporting contest in South Africa and is celebrated across the rowing fraternity. Joining up with schools, clubs and universities from all over the country, St Andrew’s had to step up to some intense competition over the main 2 000m course as well as the sprint course of 500m.

Well drilled from their training base on the Kowie River, the St Andrew’s crews dealt extremely well with the arduous conditions, qualifying for a total of 13 A finals right from the junior U15 age group, through U16 and ultimately to the senior Open category.

In a great highlight for St Andrew’s, the school 1st VIII won both the sprint contest over 500m as well as the main 2 000m event, beating off very stiff competition. The 1st VIII toiled hard for the victory but the result was clinched by two very impressive sprint moves in the last 300m. The final times gave St Andrew’s just over three seconds lead over the closest opposition, St John’s College.

Further podium finishes from the U16 squad include the single scull, coxed four and eight. From the Open squad the 2nd coxed four, 2nd VIII as well as 1st pair and 1st coxed four also achieved top three finishes. Full details of the race results can be found at www.regattaresults.co.za.

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