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Crawshay and Girdlestone to face-off in 2015 University Boat Race

World Rowing Championship silver medal-winning crewmates in the Men’s Quadruple set to race this weekend

Earlier this year Cameron Girdlestone and David Crawshay won a silver medal together rowing for Australia in the Men’s Quadruple Scull in Aigubelette, France. However, this weekend (Sunday 25 October) the two rowers will be pitted against each other when they compete in the annual Australian Boat Race in opposing boats.

Crawshay is set to race in Melbourne University’s Men’s Eight, while Girdlestone will compete in the Sydney University crew. The yearly event also features a women’s eight race where the respective female crews of the same universities will compete. This year’s event will be hosted on The Yarra in Melbourne.

Girdlestone, a graduate in Education and Crawshay, will each be one of two graduate members allowed in each crew. Victorian Crawshay will take the five seat in the MUBC boat, while Girdlestone who currently teaches at Shore School will be in the six seat of the Sydney crew. Olympic gold medallist, Crawshay, stroked the Melbourne crew to victory in 2013, on the Yarra, while in 2014 Girdlestone was part of the crew that won for SUBC on the Sydney Harbour.

Joining Crawshay in the Melbourne crew will be notable recent national team rowers Josh Booth (stroke of the winning 2015 Victorian King’s Cup Eight), James Marburg (2008 Olympic silver medallist in the coxless four) and John Linke.

Girdlestone will row with fellow Australian Rowing Team member, Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff, the latter taking the seven seat in the crew. Belonogoff who won the President’s Cup at this year’s Interstate Regatta (for Men’s Single Scull) represented Australia in 2014 and 2015 in the Men’s Double Scull.

With strong international representatives in both crews it should make for a good race. On paper reviewing the crews the balance would seem to be slightly in favour of Sydney but as the 2013 race showed combination and local knowledge on the winding Yarra course are of equal or greater importance. The Australian Boat Race is one of those races that will unfold in the first two kilometres with the pre-start odds slightly favouring Melbourne.

Whatever the result on Sunday, Crawshay and Girdlestone have one very important common goal they both share – gaining selection again in the Australian Men’s Quadruple Scull for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

After the Men’s race, the Women’s Eights will take to the Yarra with SUBC desperate to get a win under their belt, with MUBC having won every race the crews have competed in when it comes to the Women’s side of the competition (six races).

The Melbourne crew this year will feature a number of athletes who have recently represented Australia at either a senior level, U23, U21 or World University Games. Sarah Banting (coxswain), Jennifer Cleary, Hedda Cooper, Claudia Zucchelli, Phoebe Stanley and Alice McNamara have all pulled on the green and gold, while the SUBC crew includes Olympian Elizabeth Kell and recent U23 athlete Holly Lawrence who is also the crew captain.

No doubt both the men’s and women’s competitions will make for an exciting day on the Yarra on Sunday. The Men’s and Women’s Eights in The Australian Boat Race (Toorak to the City) starts at 0930 for the Men’s race and 10:15 for the Women’s race, this coming Sunday 25th October and is live streamed here.