The exciting annual Standard Bank South African Schools Boat Race on the Kowie River saw St Benedict’s emerge victorious in the boys’ A final – their first win in ten years.
In first place for the girls’ quad race was St Mary’s School, beating St Andrew’s School for Girls in a time of 14 minutes 24 seconds. St Stithian’s College was in third place, beating Clarendon High School.
Hosted by St Andrew’s College and South African Schools Rowing Union, the semi-finals were held last Friday, and on Saturday the finals saw about 35 schools and clubs from across South Africa competing against each other for top spot in the races.
In the boys’ race, two boats raced at a time over a distance of 6.3km. The girls’ quads race over 4.5km. The annual race is based on the Oxford-Cambridge rowing race on the Thames River in London, said boat race committee member Ed Goodier.
“Tides play a very important role and the wind as well, especially when it comes from the back it helps push you forward. An average race can be about 17 to 25 minutes depending on the speed of the team. Before they get on their boats safety checks are always done before they get on their boats,” Goodier said.
The crews received strong support from parents and school staff who devoted their weekend to the well-attended event, with everyone striving to put on a memorable race. The event was based at the Halyards Hotel.
The finals started at 7am on Saturday and the last boats raced at 3pm.
The young sportsmen and women used the Kowie River as a platform to show their skills and dedication to personal and team achievement.
“This year’s boat race was amazing. We worked very hard as a team and we are very proud of ourselves,” St Mary’s School cox Caitlin Miller said.
In the boys’ A final St Benedict’s beat Rondebosch Boys’ High School in a time of 17 minutes 42 seconds. Rondebosch had the time of 17:55.
Racing for third place, Bishops beat Parktown Boys’ High in a time of 18:10.
BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU