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On Sunday 28 March, St Peter’s College created history becoming the first rowing crew since 1968 to win gold in the Australian Schoolboy’s Eight at Lake Barrington, Tasmania.

The win in this blue riband Australian schoolboy race, is a first for the School and has been described by club stalwart David Bishop as “the best win in the history of the St Peter’s College Boat Club”.

Captain Nick Burr, who has been rowing at St Peter’s College since Year 7, described the winning feeling as one he’d never previously experienced.

“As we crossed the finish line we were all in such shock and amazement at what we had just achieved that we didn’t really know how to act. It was a feeling of complete euphoria and a feeling I’d never felt before,” said Nick.

After qualifying through the repechage the St Peter’s College crew won the final from the outside lane in a time of 6:28.33. In challenging headwind conditions, the crew established an early lead in the first 500m of the race which they held for the entirety, crossing half a length in front of Shore School (NSW) in second and the fast-finishing crew from Queensland’s, Brisbane Boy’s College in third.

Coached by three-time Olympian James McRae the crew consisted of five Year 12s Nick Burr, Tom Oldfield, Felix Packer, Jeremy Beale and cox Aidan Hughes and four Year 11s Edward Chipperfield, Faris Harb, Jake Nesbitt and William Howard.

Jeremy Beale, Vice Captain, credits the success of the crew on the coaching staff’s  in-depth understanding of what schoolboy rowers are capable of achieving.

“Our coach James McRae understands our student mindset and created an atmosphere at training where everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal. Everyone has been totally focused and we’ve trained smarter not harder,” said Jeremy.

Director of Rowing Tim Hennessy echoes these sentiments claiming the win is the culmination of a fantastic season of rowing for the entire senior squad where our athletes have taken ownership of their process and in doing so, their success.

“The coaching group, led by James McRae, have imparted on the boys the art of rowing and hard work while fostering a culture of high standards and having fun,” said Director of Rowing Tim Hennessy.

“It has been this year’s senior squad led by Nick Burr (C), Felix Packer (VC) and Jeremy Beale (VC) who have left a legacy for younger boys aspiring to perform on the national stage and, when the world allows us, the international stage.”

King’s College (now Pembroke) was the last South Australian school to win the event some 53 years ago.

St Peter’s College also claimed silver in the Under 19 Men’s Coxed Four and our St Peter’s College/Scotch College composite crew took out bronze in the Under 19 Men’s Eight.

Click here to watch this historic win (skip to the 3:59:50 mark).