The stakes have been raised for many Shepparton Rowing Club members.
Rowers will take to Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree this weekend in search of more success, but most will be out of their comfort zone after being promoted to higher grades.
Outstanding results so far this season have seen Tom Schier, Lydia Todd, Maoinin Dooley-Heath and Sophie Reinehr promoted in the classification ranks ahead of the Ballarat event starting today.
With the Rowing Victoria State Championship Regatta on the horizon, it does not give the quartet long to adjust to the new competition benchmarks.
You will not find any of the competitors complaining though, with history already made through their achievements.
Schier is the first rower since the club’s re-formation in 2011 to qualify for B-grade as a single sculler.
It has been a meteoric rise for the Goulburn Valley Grammar School student, who has been in the sport for 18 months.
Todd and Dooley-Heath moved into C-grade after dominating various D-grade double scull fields together, as has Reinehr.
The double scull pair will take on 10 crews in the C-grade event tomorrow.
Club president and head coach David Schier has put the improvement needed by his dynamic duo at about 10 seconds from the silver medal at last year’s state titles to be competitive at the higher level.
In another first for Shepparton, the club will boat a C-grade women’s quad, with Isabella Bennett joining Todd, Dooley-Heath and Reinehr. The quartet will also compete individually in the single scull at the same level.
Jack Puise and James Darbyshire will compete against five other scullers in the under-15 event, while the men’s D-grade double scull crews of Toby Crichton and Tom Dooley-Heath and Cameron Boal and Michael Eldred will also vie for victory in the same race.