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Perfect start for Australian Under 23 Team

Cool, wet and breezy conditions remained at the Willem-Alexander Course in Rotterdam for Day 2 of the 2016 World Rowing Championships.  While the forecast for the remainder of the regatta is for more pleasant temperatures, the three young Australian crews on show still had to perform in the weather that they were faced with.

After a long wait through the morning session the Under 23 Women’s Quad hit the water first needing to place in the first two to progress to Thursday’s A-Final and taking on Great Britain, France and China.  The crew contains two members of the 2015 World Under 23 silver medallists in the same boat class in Tessa Carty and Rowena Meredith, and were joined by younger members Caitlin Cronin and Bridget Badenoch.  This medal-winning experience was on show early in the race as they crossed through the 500m mark in 1st place, then eased through the rest of the course just behind the French.  The crew from Great Britain attacked strongly in the last 200m however the Australian’s has done enough and held on for 2nd place to progress through to the A-Final.

The Under 23 Women’s Eight followed, and possibly showed affects from a slight delay at the start to be slow out of the blocks, and 5th through the 500m mark needing a top 4 finish to progress.  They built into their race well from there however and had moved through the field to directly challenge Great Britain and New Zealand for the lead with France, Czech Republic and Germany having been left well behind.  It was a grandstand finish as all three crews hit the line with less than two second between all three – Great Britain in 1st, New Zealand in 2nd and Australia in 3rd place, all of them to progress to the A-Final on Friday along with Germany.  This leaves every Australian Under 23 crew having progressed through to their respective quarter, semi or A-Final, a fantastic result for the team.

The afternoon session saw the heats of the non-Olympic World Championship events, seeing the senior athletes into racing for the first time.  The sun snuck out from behind the clouds for the first time, however the wind swung around to almost a straight tail creating particularly challenging and rough conditions all the way down the course.  It was in this wind that Georgia Nesbitt faced her first race of the regatta in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull, and required just a 1st place finish to progress directly to the semi-finals.  With the strong wind some significant margins opened up with all placings remaining the same at all stages in the race.  The Danish sculler proved to be too adept in the conditions to place 1st with Georgia finishing in 4th, and will contest the repechage on Tuesday.

Racing on Tuesday 23 August will commence with Cara Grzeskowiak in the quarter-finals of the Under 23 Women’s Single Scull at 9.50am local time (5.50pm AEST).  Follow all racing and get the results live on the World Rowing website – http://www.worldrowing.com/.  The regatta Organising Committee have also announced that all A-Finals will be live streamed on the event website – http://www.wrch2016.com/.