Rowing Australia today announced the Junior and Under 23 teams set to compete at their respective World Rowing Championships this year, as well as the Under 21 team set to race in the 2018 Trans-Tasman Regatta against New Zealand.
Australia will be represented by seven crews at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships set to be held from 8 to 12 August in Racice, Czech Republic. Seven crews will also be competing for Australia at the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships due to be held in Poznan, Poland from 25 to 29 July.
The U21 Australian Rowing Team will compete in Sydney from 28 to 30 June and then again on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand, from 23 to 25 August. The team will be looking to retain the Rusty Robertson Trophy in the annual Trans-Tasman Regatta. The U21 series is a positive development opportunity for Australia’s Pathway athletes transitioning between the Junior (U19) and Under 23 categories.
Deputy Performance Director, Jaime Fernandez, said of the selection announcement today: “The standard and depth of the triallists and crews in 2018 is very pleasing. A number of the athletes/crews selected have been performing strongly throughout the season and we look forward to their continued improvement and positive performances, along with wishing them the best of success at their respective competitions.”
The Junior Australian Rowing Team will see some familiar faces back on the world stage this season. 2017 Junior World Champion in the Men’s Double Scull, Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, returns to the team this year, this time in the Junior Men’s Single Scull, with the young Queenslander coached by Australian Rowing Team alumni, Marcus Free.
Taylor McCarthy-Smith returns to the team this year, moving from the Junior Women’s Double Scull into the Junior Women’s Single Scull, the same boat class she recently helped Australia qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Australia will also be represented in the Junior boat classes of the Women’s Double Scull, Women’s Four, Men’s Coxed Four, Men’s Pair and Women’s Coxed Four.
Queenslanders Phoebe Robinson, Hilary Ballinger, Jessica Scott and Leukie Smith will race in the Women’s Four, while fellow Queenslander Laura Chancellor will partner with UTS Rowing Club’s Nicela Martincic in the Junior Women’s Double Scull.
Victorians Hamish Wynn-Pope and Jack Thornton, will make their debut this year, with the Geelong-based duo selected in the Junior Men’s Pair. Australia’s Junior Men’s Coxed Four is a crew combining West Australians and Queenslanders – with the crew consisting of Ben Gerrard, Logan Ullrich, Miller Rowe, Hamish Henriques and coxswain Isaac Schmidt.
A new boat for this year’s World Rowing Junior Championships is the Junior Women’s Coxed Four. The Australian crew features junior athletes from both Sydney Rowing Club and Sydney University Boat Club, with Lauren Graham, Ella Mentzines, Rachel Balcomb, Isabelle Furrer and coxswain Hannah Cowap all set to make their debuts in the Czech Republic.
In the Under 23 Australian Rowing Team this year, there are plenty of National and State Champions returning or making their debuts in 2018.
2017 World Rowing Championships silver medallist in the Women’s Pair, Bronwyn Cox, returns in the same boat for 2018, and this time partnered with fellow West Australian, Georgia Patten.
Also returning this year are a number of last year’s Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull, with Wallis Russell selected to race in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull, while her 2017 crew mates of Verayna Zilm and Georgina Masters will compete in the U23 Lightweight Women’s Double Scull.
National and New South Wales State Champions, Matthew Curtin and Leon Chambers, will be hoping to continue their winning performances in the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull with the New South Wales-duo set to make their U23 debuts in Poland. Fellow Sydney-siders, Andrew Judge and Jack O’Brien, who have also had a very impressive season to date, will join them, having been selected in the U23 Men’s Pair.
Mosman RC’s Sean Murphy will make his return to U23 racing, this time in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull.
2017 U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull silver medallist, Harriet Hudson, returns to the U23 team this year, however this time the Sydney Rowing Club member will team up with Mercantile Rowing Club’s Ria Thompson in the U23 Women’s Double Scull.
Of the crews named today in the Under 23 team, additional crews may be added in June when the US-based U23 Australian athletes return for trials alongside other U23 athletes invited back for further trialling opportunities. Athletes at the June trials must meet performance standards to have a chance to be selected and join the crews named today.