Following the success of the 2013 Sydney International Rowing Regatta the President of Rowing Australia Mr Colin Smith, the Chairman of the Organising Committee Mr John Boultbee and the CEO of Rowing Australia Mr Andrew Dee have published an open letter to share the plaudits and congratulations that have been received by RA, and to thank all individuals that contributed to the success of the event. Read the open letter here (pdf, 127kb).
Rowing Australia again extends its sincere gratitude to all members of the Organising Committee, volunteers, athletes, coaches, spectators, officials, staff, contractors and others whose hard work, dedication and professionalism made the 2013 SIRR such a successful event.
In what was an action packed day of racing of schoolboy and schoolgirl racing at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Sunday, 24 March 2013. Victorian schools reigned supreme with five of the nine titles, including the marquee school eights races with Scotch College and Melbourne Girls Grammar once again claiming the mantle of best school eights in Australia. With multiple titanic struggles and blanket finishes, the 2013 edition of the schools regatta will go down as an epic with many outstanding performances.
As part of a new concept for schools racing in Australia, the school finals were spread across the day in between racing from the first Rowing World Cup. The chance to rub shoulders with international stars of the rowing world on the warm-up lake and racing course no doubt provided inspiration for the next generation of Australia’s rowing elite as multiple grandstand finishes were produced.
The schoolgirl eights contest was incredible display of racing with four crews locked together with 250m left to travel. In a sprint for the finish line Melbourne Girls Grammar edged Walford Anglican by 0.26sec to record their third straight national title. In a hurry for the line Methodist Ladies College (VIC) snuck in for bronze with the early pace setters Genazzano having to settle for fourth only a fraction back.
Olivia Douglas, MLC: “It is just so amazing, and great to improve from the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta. But what was even better was that we were not focusing on winning honestly, we just were trying our absolute best. It was the toughest race I have ever done, in fact it was hell. But I just thought mind over matter and it paid off. This was the last race in schoolgirls for 7 of us, so it is just so special. ”
In the boys event, the ever-dominant Scotch College held off a barnstorming Shore School by 1.68sec to secure their third national title in four years and fourth of six years. International school invitatee Gavirate were only 0.21sec behind Shore as they too made a desperate sprint for the line, holding of Nudgee College by a bow ball margin of 0.06sec.
Joshua Nothnagel, Scotch: “Just unreal. It has been an amazing journey, you know, we were undefeated this year and to finish of like this is just fantastic. So different to last year when we didn’t win a thing. The plan was to go out and really work the second 500m in order to put us in the best possible position, and that is was we did. It is awesome to come out with the win.”
The under-17 schoolboy eights race was again a Scotch affair as they proved to strong for St. Josephs Sydney (1.91sec), notching back-to-back titles under Ed Monteith with a winning time 6.09.49 . The Shore School again featured in the placings as they secured the bronze medal a further five seconds adrift of silver.
Lauriston Girls School again secured another schoolgirl coxed four title as they comfortably took care of Kinross Wolaroi and Ballarat Grammar, who placed in the silver and bronze medal positions respectively. Lauriston were never headed as they recorded victory in a time of 7.29.77, a full 6.30secs in front of the rest of the pack.
Lexi Jeuniewic, Lauriston: "We wanted to make this our best row and just wanted to have a killer race and make it the best we can and we did, so we are very happy girls right now."
The Ballarat Grammar boys avenged their girls counterpart loss by a stirring win over Brighton Grammar. In what was largely a dual race for the entire length of the course, both crews were never split by more than one second for the duration of the race. With Brighton inching closer to the lead for most of the race, Ballarat Grammar held their nerve to once again win the national championship and defend their title from 12 months earlier in strong style.
The schoolgirl quad proved a close finish also for the minor medals as the Queenwood School showed some class to produce a 3.80sec victory. The lime green boat of Somerville House won the race to the line for the minor medals, narrowly in front of Ruyton Girls by 1.06sec with Loreto Normanhurst and Radford College missing out by no more than half a second.
Lilly Lillas, Queenwood: "We're really happy. We've been training really hard and this is a great way to end the season. Winning on home ground at the last race of school is very memorable. Also, racing here with all the international athletes around was a great experience."
The boy’s edition of the coxed quad scull saw hot favourites Kinross Wolaroi triumphant over the ACT’s Radford College in a time of 6.30.83 for the 2000m course. In what was a powerful display by the boys from Kinross Wolaroi, they eventually crossed the line with a healthy margin of 4.53sec. Rural Victorian school Gippsland Grammar produced a great row for the bronze medal.
Ben Watt, Kinross Wolaroi after the race: "It was good to get gold. This was our 2nd gold back to back as we won the same event last year too. We train nine sessions a week, and it makes it all worthwhile. We've been undefeated this year -- look out for us again next year. The atmosphere here has been awesome, being on the water with some of the best rowing crews in the world has just been great. "
The single scull races are always a great show of holding composure under pressure and Tom Schramko demonstrated so with a gutsy win in the schoolboy single scull event, holding off fast finishes from Smith of The Southport School (1.30sec) and Nicholas Powers of St. Josephs Geelong in third.
Ellen Pozzi of the All Hallows School in Queensland also showed class under pressure with national championship title in keeping after getting the better of Canberra Girls Grammar’s Bonnie Andrews and Perth College’s Kelsall in a time of 8.02.95sec.
Copy thanks to Lachlan Millar
Quotes thanks to SIRR media team members Hannah Every-Hall & Liz Wray
Home waters proved a happy hunting ground for Australian rowers competing at the opening round of the Samsung World Cup at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith on Sunday. Australia won four gold medals, four silver and five bronze, with gold in the men’s coxless four, women’s eight, women’s single scull and women’s quadruple scull. Australian crews won a total of 13 medals, on the back of a huge week of racing, which also included the Australian Open Rowing Championships as well as the King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta as part of the inaugural Sydney International Rowing Regatta.
The Women’s quadruple scull set the tone for the day by winning a gold medal in the first race in a time of 6:21.94 beating the USA by almost five seconds (4.57). USA raced with four Olympians on board, including three Olympic gold medallists and one bronze medallist. New Zealand came third. This capped off a long week and marked the successful Senior A team debut for scullers Sarah Perkins (VIC) and last year’s Under 23 World Rowing Championships in this boat class Jessica Hall (QLD), Madeleine Edmunds (QLD) and Olympia Aldersey (SA). Aldersey said: "The first part of our race we stuck to our guns and stayed confident. I looked around at the 750m mark and realised that we were in front so we just had to work hard and stay in the rhythm. I was a bit surprised by our dominance, but we had a great preparation, and we’re all young, so it is all just very exciting”
Australia’s single sculler Kieran Kobelke (NSW) also impressed at his first World Rowing Cup by winning the silver medal, behind Bulgaria and ahead of German Olympian Jost Schoemann-Finck. Kobelke after the race: “The whole experience of rowing for Australia in the single in the World Cup at home has been amazing.”
Kim Crow (VIC) delighted the partisan crowd with a convincing win in the single scull in a time of 7:35.80 ahead of China 1 with Olympian Bin Tang and Eleanor Logan from the USA, gold medallist in the women’s eight in London. The London Olympic double medallist enjoyed the international racing on home waters and the home crowd support: “It was really fun out there. Just amazing. I could hear cheering and it all made me feel really, really special. There was a fabulous mix of international, club and local atmosphere around, and the schoolgirls sitting on the bank were just going crazy. I felt like Justin Bieber.”
Australia’s men’s coxless four, silver medallists in London last year, won despite a disrupted preparation. The win by Josh Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Josh Booth (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and William Lockwood (VIC) at this first World Rowing Cup for 2013 and the new Olympiad may have pundits wondering if the new oarsome foursome has been discovered. Josh Booth was adopting a cautious tone, and said “It was great to come out with the win after a bumpy lead in. We had lots of small things and challenges that make a big difference when you add them together. We had injuries, geographical logistics and they all add up. With regards to Rio, four years is a long time and we are just working one week at a time.”
Also promising in this race was the silver medal winning performance from Australia’s second crew with Angus Moore (ACT), Alexander Hill (SA), Spencer Turrin (NSW) and Alexander Lloyd (NSW). The 2012 U23 World Rowing Championships bronze medallists in the men’s eight and current AIS scholarshipholders were just over one second behind the gold medal winners with New Zealand coming third.
One of the sweetest victories of the day was in the women’s eight event. With an average age of just 21 years, the young Australian crew hung onto an early lead to upset the USA and claim gold in a time of 6:06.98 and 0.85 ahead. The US boat had three gold medallist from last year’s Olympics, and have not lost an international women’s eight race since 2006. Olympic silver medallists Canada took second place, so it was a fantastic result for the Australian women, who had been sixth in the eight in London last year.
Alexandra Hagan, London 2012 Olympian, could hardly control her excitement: “I cannot believe we actually did it. We knew that you would be able to throw a blanket over everyone at the 1000m mark, but we made a promise as a crew to stay internal until that point and that is exactly what we did. We then executed our tactics perfectly and stuck together and it all just worked out so well. It was amazing getting out of the boat and walking up the pontoon to a whole grandstand cheering for us. It was a fantastic feeling .”
And 2008 and 2012 Olympic coxswain Elizabeth Patrick added: “The young energy and the willingness of the girls to learn are very inspiring and really motivating. There is such amazing potential in this crew and the future for women’s rowing in Australia is very exciting.”
The successful day of World Rowing Cup racings for Australia was capped off by the gutsy fight the young Australian men’s eight put up to win the bronze medal. The winner of this race Great Britain raced with no less than three 2012 London Olympic gold medallists in the boat.
Rowing Australia’s National High Performance Director Chris O’Brien said: “The team did a great job today. Of course this was the first international competition and it is only year one of the new Olympiad but it was great to have our young talent out there in some very gutsy racing and they have really stepped up to the plate.”
He continued: “It has been a great motivation for everyone to have an international competition in Australia and to race so many London 2012 Olympians on our home waters. This has been a great start to the Olympic cycle. From here we will go on to pick the teams for the next World Rowing Cups, as well as the Junior, Under 23 and Senior A World Rowing Championships in August.”
Rowing Australia also finished at the top of the overall World Rowing Cup points table for the event, ahead of Great Britain and New Zealand.
AUS World Rowing Cup Medals tally:
Women’s Quad scull (Sarah Perkins, Jessica Hall, Madeleine Edmunds, Olympia Aldersey)
Men’s Four (William Lockwood, James Chapman, Joshua Booth, Joshua Dunkley-Smith)
Women’s Single (Kim Crow)
Women’s Eight (Hannah Vermeersch, Renee Chatterton, Genevieve Horton, Katrina Bateman, Tess Gerrand, Alexandra Hagan, Charlotte Sutherland, Lucy Stephan, Elizabeth Patrick)
Men’s Pair (James McRae, Bryn Coudraye)
Men’s Four (Angus Moore, Alexander Hill, Spencer Turrin, Alexander Lloyd)
Lightweight Women’s Double (Alice McNamara, Maia Simmonds)
Men’s Single (Kieran Kobelke)
Women’s Pair (Tess Gerrand, Katrina Bateman)
Men’s Double (Alexander Belonogoff, Ryan Edwards)
Lightweight Men’s Four (Nicholas Silcox, Alister Foot, Blair Tunevitsch, Darryn Purcell)
Men’s Quad Scull (Christopher Morgan, Thomas Swann, Shane Jackson, Nicholas Purnell)
Men’s Eight (Jordan Hooper, Matthew Cochran, George Ellis, Christopher Cunningham-Reid, Jack Hargreaves, Nicholas Weatley, Thomas Sacre, Scott Laidler, David Webster)
More information, including all event reports and media releases of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta can be found on the event website: www.rowingdownunder.org
The inaugural 2013 Sydney International Rowing Regatta included the Samsung World Rowing Cup 1, the Australian Open Rowing Championships, the Australian Open Schools Championships and King's and Queen's Cup Interstate Regatta.
It was the first time the Samsung World Rowing Cup has been held in the Southern Hemisphere. The World Rowing Cup I is one of three World Rowing events, which will lead up to the annual World Rowing Championships, this year to be held in Chungju, South Korea 25 August - 1 September 2013.
No longer carrying the label of the ‘Motley Crew’, the new Australian women’s eight is brimming with youth and ready to kick start the new Olympiad with a bang when they take the water for their final at the first Rowing World Cup in Sydney today at 12:30.
They had a great start of the new Olympiad on the way to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro by winning their heat of the Samsung World Rowing Cup I on Friday ahead of the USA.
With this win the crew wrote rowing history as the United States women’s eight has not lost a race since 2006 despite who was in the boat line up. But on the waters of Sydney’s Olympic regatta course the United States found themselves trailing Australia for the entire race. The Americans tried to sprint it out at the end and managed to close slightly on the Australians, but the Australians held it together and will make up a middle lane in the final. For the first time in a long, long time the United States had to race in a repechage.
In today’s final they will line up against New Zealand, the USA, GB, CAN and CHN1, which promises to be one of the most exciting races of the day.
And they are ready for it.
With an average age of just 21 for the eight rowers, the crew is well positioned for the next Olympiad with five members of the London Olympic crew returning. Joining the Olympians in the World Cup crew will be two U23 World Championship silver medallists from 2012 and two international debutants; including an athlete who is still eligible to compete as a junior.
With that, let’s introduce the Australian Women’s Eight for the Sydney World Rowing Cup 2013…
Lucy Stephan, 21, Melbourne Uni BC
The next of what is seemingly becoming endless line of ‘Ballarat Bashers’ who have made it to the top of the sport, Stephan has taken a relatively conventional path to the top, but not without an incredible amount of hard work. Originally from Ballarat Grammar, Stephan comes from the regional rowing centre that has had its challenges over the last decade with training conditions. Still quite raw out of high school, Stephan spent two years in the MUBC youth program under Pete Kupcis and managed to earn a spot in the 2-seat of the Victorian Youth Eight in 2011. Spending another year on the domestic circuit with improved results in the pair, four and eight, Stephan was rewarded with an appearance stroking Australian U/23 coxless four to a silver medal in 2012. SIRR will be Stephan’s Senior A debut.
Charlotte Sutherland, 22, Mercantile RC
Originally hailing from Tooma, New South Wales, Sutherland, and her rowing twin sister Sophie, attended boarding school at Geelong Grammar School where they were both two-year members of the first eight. After being part of silver medal winning schoolgirl eight in 2009, Sutherland joined Mercantile’s highly successful women’s program, which subsequently led to a berth in the bronze medalling Victorian women’s youth eight in 2011. Now training through the VIS, the World Cup will be Sutherland’s first international team altogether, let alone her Senior A debut.
Alexander Hagan, 21, Bunbury RC
An elite junior sculler from Bunbury, Western Australia, Hagan has an impressive rowing resume, having won back-to-back schoolgirl single scull titles in 2007 & 2008, and back-to-back U19 single scull titles in 2008 & 2009. These results formed the basis for Hagan’s selection in the national junior team in 2008 and 2009 in the single and quad respectively. From there Hagan made back-to-back U23 teams in the women’s quad before making a successful transition over to sweep rowing in early 2012 in her bid for Olympic selection. Hagan is one of five crewmembers that was part of the Olympic eight that went on to finish 6th in London. The Sydney World Rowing Cup will be Hagan’s sixth consecutive Australian team at just 21 years of age.
Tess Gerrand, 25, Sydney RC
A product of Sydney schoolgirl powerhouse, Pymble Ladies College, Gerrand narrowly missed national selection in the single scull as a junior before shipping off to prestigious Ivy League university Yale. Four years, four All-American honours and three NCAA National Championships later, Gerrand returned to Australia and paired up with Athens Olympian Monique Heinke in the pair to contest Olympic trials. Having earned her seat in the ‘Motley Crew’ eight, the Olympic qualification regatta in Lucerne was Gerrand’s first Australian representative team before eventually going on to contend the Olympics.
Katrina Bateman, 20, Mercantile RC
Like fellow crewmember Renee Chatterton, Bateman grew up competing in a fellow water-based sport other than rowing. It wasn’t until she was spotted in 2010 at Mercantile whilst training as a Kayaker that her talent was spotted. Within five months she had won three state titles and was soon on her first national team. 2011 and 2012 saw consecutive silver medals at the U23 world championships in the quad and four respectively. Now transitioned into sweep oared rowing, Bateman is training out of the VIS and will also contend the women’s pair at the World Cup with fellow crewmember Tess Gerrand.
Genevieve Horton, 18, Mosman RC
Having vowed to make amends after missing out of the Australian junior team last year, Horton is possibly the most staggering story of the Australian women’s eight this year. Still eligible to race as a junior, Horton, a product of Pymble Ladies College like Gerrand, destroyed all comers in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with a 10sec victory in the women’s pair to begin her pursuit of making the Australian team. Under the tutelage of Australian Eight co-coach Nick Garratt at Mosman RC, Horton’s rapid ascent is even more impressive considering she missed the national junior team only 10 months earlier. At just 18 years of age, Horton will not only make her international debut for Australia at SIRR, she will do so in the marquee boat for women.
Renee Chatterton, 23, Adelaide Uni BC
Having grown up as a swimmer, Chatterton fell into rowing after being identified as having the right physical attributes as part of the SASI Talent Search program in 2009. Within six months of taking up the sport she gained a temporary SASI scholarship where her rowing career quickly accelerated. After winning big events Chatterton was subsequently put on a high performance scholarship in October 2009. April 2010 saw Chatterton gain her first national team with the U23 Women’s Four, which was followed up in 2011 with selection in U23 and senior crews. Her transition climaxed in April 2012 when, as part of the ‘Motley Crew’ eight, she was selected to compete at the Final Qualification Regatta in Lucerne where she earned her place on Australian Olympic Team only three short years after starting in the sport.
Hannah Vermeersch, 20, WARC
Having come through the system as an elite junior, representing Australia at junior level in 2009 and 2010, Vermeesch originally had her sights set on the Rio games in 2016. After a year in the U23 system representing Australia in 2011 in the women’s four at World Championships level, focus shifted towards London when she teamed up with Alex Hagan in early 2012. That pair went on to win silver in the Open Women’s event at nationals and ultimately put Vermeesch into contention for the Olympic eight. At just 19 years of age, Vermeesch was the youngest member of the Australian Olympic rowing team.
Lizzy Patrick, 28, Melbourne Uni RC
The most experienced member of the Australian eight, Lizzy Patrick has been the number one women’s coxswain for the better part of a decade having come through the ever-reliable MLC school rowing program. Patrick’s first Australian team was the World Champion Women’s Eight at just 20 years of age in 2005. Since then, every Australian Senior Women’s Eight has had Patrick at the helm, including the Beijing and London Olympic campaigns where they finished 6th both times.
Copy thanks to Lachie Millar / CZ
The New South Wales Men’s eight have continued their dominance of Australia’s premier rowing event, the King’s Cup, with yet another win over arch rivals Victoria.
Reclaiming their 2012 title in the King’s Cup made this New South Wales’ longest continuous winning streak ever, taking gold for the sixth time by the skin of their teeth, after Victoria came within three-quarters of a second of stealing their thunder.
The victory, in a time of 5mins 37.37s, was the “light blues” 34th victory in the famous men’s interstate race, that has been running since 1920. NSW took command early but could not shake the Victorian crew who produced a determined finish to close the gap to only .7 of a sec.
Stroked by 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Dan Noonan, the New South Wales crew which also featured Olympians Fergus Pragnell, Matt Ryan, Nicholas Purnell, James Chapman, Francis Hegerty, Samuel Loch, coxswain Toby Lister and first time King’s Cup rower Spencer Turrin, looked to have the race sewn up by the 1000m point but Victoria put on a ferocious challenge in the last 500m.
James Chapman after the race: “Victoria always races hard and also South Australia brought a good crew. Every year, this is such an exciting race. One day a year we get to come together as a state team and there is a lot of pride. We all want to win for our states and we forget we’re racing against our national team mates.”
Fellow Olympian Sam Loch added: “It was a very competitive race, we went out well and felt comfortable, but it was a race towards the line. It is different to the Olympics but it is the same emotional feeling and doing it with your great mates, sharing the same passion is fantastic. We all bonded really well.”
Victoria, stroked by Olympic silver medallist Josh Dunkley-Smith, backed up by Olympic bronze medallist Karsten Forsterling and Olympians Tom Swann, Joshua Booth, David Crawshay, William Lockwood, plus Jordan Hooper and Matthew Poulter and coxed by David Webster, succeeded in pulling back New South Wales’ length lead to just over a canvas, but they ran out of course and had to settle for second place yet again.
Victoria and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Joshua Dunkley-Smith about the effort going into this race: “The way we fight for this is unlike anything else. It’s absolute state pride that fuels the big strokes.”
South Australia performed very well to take third place and make the podium. Olympian Bryn Coudraye: “We were out there at the start, but we were a bit underdone. We haven’t quite had the time together as a crew that we needed, and we suffered a bit towards the end of the race.”
The NSW Kings Cup win capped a successful day with the “light blues” winning both the women’s and men’s youth eights. These three wins meant that NSW won the covered Rowing Australia Cup and the 2013 Interstate Championships title for the most successful state team at the 2013 King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta.
In the big women’s event of the day, Victoria showed no signs of resigning its crown in the Queen’s cup women’s eight interstate race, with an emphatic ninth straight victory in the event at the 2012 Sydney International Rowing Regatta in Penrith.
Their win in the event took Victoria’s total number of victories to 12 out of the 15 races held since the women’s eight replaced the women’s four as the premier women’s event at the Interstate regatta in 1999.
Stroked by Lucy Stephan the crew, which also featured Olympians Pauline Frasca, Phoebe Stanley, plus Bec Daniher, Katrina Bateman, Rebekah Hooper, Sophie Sutherland, Jennifer Cleary and Olympic cox Lizzie Patrick, finished over two lengths ahead of Queensland.
Despite a challenge from Queensland and Western Australia off the start, the experienced Victorian crew had soon established a lead and with clear water over the rest of the field by 500m, they never looked at risk of losing their title, crossing the finish line in 6mins 25.83s
Olympian Pauline Frasca: “This is great and makes it ten years of Queen’s Cup for me. I only missed out last year after I got injured and that makes this extra special.”
Queensland and Western Australia battled all the way down the course for the silver and bronze positions.
The Interstate Women’s Single Scull for the Nell Slatter Cup, was won by Queenslander Sally Kehoe after an epic battle to the line between her and Sarah Perkins of Victoria, a late replacement for Kim Crow who withdrew from the Women’s single event to concentrate on her World Cup appearance.
Sally Kehoe’s win in 7mins 58.75 was her fourth victory in the Interstate Women’s Single and the twelfth win for Queensland since the Nell Slatter cup was first awarded in 1963.
In the men’s single sculls race, Western Australia finally regained the President’s Cup for the first time since 1961 after a decisive win by Rhys Grant.
Western Australia had an excellent Interstate Regatta winning both the Men’s Single Scull and the Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull. With consistent results across all of the races they finished 2nd (42 points) to New South Wales (45 points) in the Rowing Australia Cup, ahead of Victoria (40 points).
For race reports on all Interstate races check the SIRR event website www.rowingdownunder.org
Full results can be found on RegattaCentral here: SIRR Results
The 2013 Sydney International Rowing Regatta concludes tomorrow, Sunday, 24 March 2013 with the finals of the Samsung World Rowing Cup 1 and finals of the Australian Open Schools Championships.