BUNDABERG'S Ethan Weder knows his tactics almost cost him a gold medal.
Competing at this week's Queensland Schools Regatta at Bucca, the Shalom College student was the only winner from the region after claiming the under-16s single sculls event.
But it almost didn't happen.
Using a tactic similar to swimmers when they race, Weder conserved energy to be fully fit for the final.
After getting through the heats, the strategy almost backfired in the semi-finals when he didn't finish in the top two that automatically went through to the final.
Waiting nervously for the other semi to finish, Weder qualified with the next fastest time to make the final.
He took out the gold in a time of six minutes and 49.7 seconds.
After the win, Weder said he couldn't describe his emotions.
"The feeling and the emotion, you can't say much about it,” he said.
"Nothing can describe how I feel (at the moment)”
After opting to miss out on the double and quad sculls events, the 14-year-old only competed in the U16 and U17 single sculls as well as the inter-regional quad event for Shalom.
Weder said the U17s were just too good for him on the day after he finished up in the semis.
"They were bigger athletes than me,” he said.
"I now know what I need to do before I get into that group next year.”
Weder is now gaining some attention having beaten some Brisbane athletes who train and invest heavily in their rowing.
Later this year he will train with Brisbane State High School and potentially compete at the nationals with one of their students in the doubles next year.
"I'll probably be going to a lot more regattas in the future,” he said.
"For now though we'll be putting our head down and doing a lot of training.”
Before that though Weder is going to rest and enjoy his school holidays.
Turn to page 29 for photos from the event.