IF THE idea of coming to Rockhampton was to enjoy the area's renowned warmer winter climate, rowers at the weekend would have been disappointed.
Schools from all around the region were in Rockhampton for the first major regatta of the year.
The Central Queensland Schools Regatta is seen as a lead-up to the state championships, with crews from schools and colleges checking out their progress against rowers their age.
Rockhampton Fitzroy Rowing Club representative Robert Lang said the weather didn't put off any competitors, although he conceded it was not too pleasant on the Fitzroy River, especially yesterday, with a heavy drizzle accentuating the chill in the air.
"The regatta was a resounding success," he said.
"We got through it and it was very well organised."
While conditions were less than ordinary, the consolation for those racing was the river was flat.
Lang said the Rockhampton area did well overall when it came to making finals.
"We got our share," he said.
Lang said the results achieved were proportionate to the numbers competing.
"We had 22% of the 400 competing." he said. "There were a total of 21 schools represented."
There were five Rockhampton schools taking part - Rockhampton Grammar, Rockhampton Girls Grammar, Emmaus College, The Cathedral College and North Rockhampton High School.
Lang said he had been involved in schools rowing for a long time and one of the things he had noticed was the growth in the number of female competitors.
He said about 20 years ago the girls were very much a minority in rowing.
"This year, in the girls' under-15 single sculls, there were five heats," he said.
"That's where the sport is growing."
While the Rockhampton schools did well, they found it difficult to match some of the traditional heavyweights of schools rowing.
Lang said Townsville's Cathedral College, Coomera Anglican College and Trinity Lutheran College all brought quality teams to the event.
- The Fitzroy River is being used by rowers again today.
- Lang said there was a two-day development camp in progress, with two high-profile rowers coaching the youngsters. In town for the camp are Sam Conrad and Tara Kelly, who have both performed at the highest levels of the sport.
- Kelly has a list of achievements to her name, including winning national championships and world championships gold medals.
- Conrad is another whose achievements on the international scene are impressive. He has competed in a variety of crews, including pairs, sculls, and eights.
- The camp ends today.