Elyse Depiante, of Lower Clarence, makes her way to the starting line.
Elyse Depiante, of Lower Clarence, makes her way to the starting line.

Lower Clarence the new rowing powerhouse

By TONY WHITE

LOWER Clarence have emerged as the Clarence Valley's new rowing powerhouse after Sunday's Northern Rivers Aged Championship on the Clarence River.

Lower Clarence dominated the regatta and medal haul, winning 18 heats and finals staged in 30 events for males and females.

"Lower Clarence have a lot of rowers and a great depth of talent," South Grafton High rowing coach Terry Vercoe said.

"It was expected they would dominate and they did.

"South Grafton and Grafton are beginning to narrow the margins in some areas, but the signs are there Lower Clarence will continue to dominate."

Some of the star performers for Lower Clarence were Saxon Ramon who won the womens Under-16/15 single scull, Rohan Hislop who won the B Final, men's under 23/21 single scull and combined with Matthew Cooper to win the men's Under-19/17 double scull.

Brendan Fischer won the men's Under-16/15 single scull easily and Stephanie Honeybrook won a heat of the womens Under-16/15 single scull and combined with Nicole Depiante to win the women's Under16/15 double scull.

Lower also dominated the double and quad scull events.

Star South Grafton High rower Ashleigh Peppernell won several gold medals including the open women's and Under-16/15 single scull over Lower Clarence's Nicole West.

Lewis and Marty Hemphill, from Grafton, had a walk over in the men's open double scull and Brenton Ford was impressive winning the mens Under19/17 and Under-16-15 single scull.

Stars from Lismore were Hanna Green and Jodie Butler.

This was the first time Grafton has hosted the Championship and while numbers were down, it proved an important lead up to next month's Head of the River and forthcoming State and National Championships.



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