A special message – three decades on

February 21, 2020

As the Ballarat community prepares to celebrate all the colour and excitement of this weekend’s Head of the Lake Rowing Regatta, it presents an opportunity to look back at one of the most celebrated moments in our College’s history and relive some glory.

It has now been exactly 30 years since the famous St Patrick’s College “drought-breakers” crew of Anthony Edwards (stroke), Daniel Hayter, Aaron McInerney, Robert Calnon and Daniel Morgan (cox) rowed to victory in stunning fashion to claim the College’s first Head of the Lake title for 29 years.

That crew was coached by Kevin O’Brien and Chris O’Brien and the joyous celebrations at the finish line were captured brilliantly in this photo captured by The Courier’s Lachlan Bence.

Their winning boat – “The Old Collegians” – now hangs in the corridor at the main entrance to the College because of the generosity of those who rowed in that boat in the Head of the Lake Regattas between 1990 and 2001.

The following excerpt from the 1990 College Annual magazine describes the emotions that crew felt upon achieving something which had eluded so many crews before them.

One of the members of that crew, Anthony Edwards, became one of the most decorated rowers in Australia’s history.

Edwards competed at a remarkable five Olympic games making his debut at Atlanta in 1996 and then representing Australia in lightweight rowing competition in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

Anthony won a bronze medal in the lightweight pairs in 1996 and silver medals in the fours in Sydney and in Athens.

In 2011 Edwards was a member of the Australian lightweight four which competed at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

After finishing second in their heat, they had to qualify for the final through a repechage and a semi-final. In the final they rowed through the field from a fifth position at the 500m mark, to be 2nd at both the 1000 and 1500 and overtook the Italians in final run to take the gold medal with a 1.2 second margin. Edwards in the bow seat won his first senior world championship title, nineteen years after first representing Australia in green and gold.

Anthony was inducted as a Legend of St Patrick’s College in 2002 and, despite now living in Tasmania, has been a proud and passionate supporter of St Patrick’s College rowing.

In 2012, the College was delighted to be able to christen a new boat named in his honour.

This week we were able to reach out to Anthony and ask him to provide some words on encouragement for our crews this weekend.
We were thrilled when he took the time out of his busy schedule to send through the following video.

We echo Anthony’s sentiments and wish all our crews the very best for a big weekend ahead.