POWERING ON: Rockhampton's Dylan Dunne (centre) is part of the powerhouse Nudgee College Open Rowing first eight that will compete in the GPS Head of the River at Wyaralong Dam this weekend.
POWERING ON: Rockhampton's Dylan Dunne (centre) is part of the powerhouse Nudgee College Open Rowing first eight that will compete in the GPS Head of the River at Wyaralong Dam this weekend. Brody Grogan

Rocky rower aiming for coveted GPS title

ROWING: Mention the phrase "number two seat” at St Joseph's Nudgee College and many will tell you that it's Rockhampton's Dylan Dunne's seat.

But his seat is no ordinary seat. It's where Dunne is located in the boat of the powerhouse Nudgee College Open Rowing first eight.

Undefeated heading into this Saturday's coveted GPS Head of the River at Wyaralong Dam, Dunne can't believe what he could be about to achieve.

"I remember when I was rowing in Rockhampton in my early teens for my old school, Cathedral College, and thinking 'wow, what a dream it would be to row for a top eight in that competition one day',” he said.

"And here I am - and to be the favourites - wow!

"It might not have felt too good at the time but those 4am wake-up calls in the dorm have been well worth it.”

Dunne has had his eyes firmly set on the first eight since he began boarding at Nudgee College at the start of 2018.

"I made the Year 11 first eight and was given the two seat in that boat, and from then on I've wanted to make it my own,” he said.

"There were three seats available this year and one of my proudest moments was when I was named as the two seat in the open first eight.”

Born and raised in Rockhampton, Dunne said it was his love of aerobic and cardio sports that ultimately brought him to the famous Brisbane Catholic school.

"I think Mum and Dad saw a bit of potential with my rowing because I'd competed in Queensland state regattas back home,” he said. "Dad introduced me to rowing in Year 7 and then in Year 8 I took it up and have loved it ever since.”

Dunne said when he was younger he attended regattas where Nudgee College had been prominent.

"It's the school to go to if you want to be a good rower and go somewhere with the sport,” he said.

"I applied and I couldn't believe it when I got in.

"I couldn't think of a better place to spend my last two years at secondary school.”

Dunne, who has a twin sister at the Rockhampton Grammar School, said he hoped to carry on rowing after his school years.

"I'd like to perhaps be an electrician back home but at the moment all I can think about is Saturday,” he said.

"I can't wait - we have all worked so hard for this and it comes down to one race.”

The Nudgee College first eight has won GPS Head of the River in 2003, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.



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