The Armidale School's rowers, parents and supporters gathered at Malpas Dam on Saturday to take to the water one last time and wrap up a season truncated by the impact of the coronavirus.
Before restrictions on sporting events had been put in place, the GPS crews were to have had their final outing at the AAGPS Head of the River Regatta in Sydney on Saturday (21 March).
When that event was moved forward four days at very short notice the crews - a Four and an Eight (made up of rowers from the First and Second IVs) - instead raced themselves at Malpas Dam at the exact times they would have been on the water in Sydney.
Meanwhile the TAS girls Quad was to take part in the NSW Schoolgirl Head of the River on 4 April, which has been cancelled by Rowing NSW.
To finalise unfinished business the four TAS crews held their own mini-regatta on Saturday, a handicap race between the three boys' Fours and the girls Quad watched by parents and coaches from the bank.
Thanking their coaches and supporters, rowing captains Henry Pitman and Bronte Garcia said it had been a season of challenges, from the ever-diminishing level of Malpas Dam, bushfire smoke which had affected air quality, a blue-green algae outbreak which had forced training to move to Grafton and then the coronavirus robbing rowers of their finales.
"To me it's a season summed up by resilience, courage, endurance and mateship," Pitman said, acknowledging the commitment and dedication of his fellow rowers through what was a season of challenges but personal growth.
"At our last outing at King's PLC Regatta on 7 March all crews recorded considerably improved times and we were all confident of making further gains at our last regattas but they were not to be."
Reflecting on her own time in the sport, Garcia agreed.
"The rowing program at TAS isn't just about making a boat go fast or showing off how good we might be but about developing the rower as a person," she said.
"This season in particular we have learnt about how to deal with failure, the need to have patience, the importance of a positive and focused attitude and how small changes can make a big difference. These are all lessons we will take out into the world beyond TAS rowing."