School rowers flock to river
By TONY WHITE
GRAFTON'S growing reputation as a centre of rowing excellence on the banks of the mighty Clarence river has been further enhanced with visits on Sunday by a large contingent from Brisbane Grammar School and St George Rowing Club, Sydney.
More than 100 schoolboy rowers and officials from Brisbane Grammar are scheduled to conduct a five-day training camp in Grafton.
Twenty rowers from St George arrive on the same day and will stay until Friday.
"Normally at this time we have a camp in Maroochydore due to its closer proximity to Brisbane, but the property has changed hands," Brisbane Grammar's director of rowing, John Galton said.
"Someone down there had sent us a poster of Grafton and its facilities, so we decided to come down in November to check out the area.
"The Clarence River is well known.
"We were very impressed and were well received by members of the Grafton Rowing Club and the community.
"After negotiations with Roches Family Hotel and the Crown Hotel we were able to organise satisfactory terms and accommodation and decided to come on down."
Brisbane Grammar, with 1250 students, has more than 170 in its rowing program and is considered one of Australia's most powerful rowing colleges.
"We're the real deal," Dalton said. "This will be the school's first visit to Grafton.
"If we're happy with how things go and on what we've seen so far it looks ideal, we'll endeavour to make Grafton an annual training camp.
"We intend to support the local rowing community."
Galton said the school was already looking at attending the annual Schools Head of the River and Grafton Rowing Club regattas held each year in December.
Brisbane Grammar boasts a number of outstanding rowers including State champions Angus Morton, Andrew Wondowski, Alex Molloy, John Han, Jack Anderson and coxen, Doug Lucas.
"We have a number of promising juniors too," Galton said.
"The Grafton training camp should be beneficial to everyone."
St George visited Grafton two years ago and return this year under new coach, Ron Batt.