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Erik Horrie crowned Para-rower of the Year at the Hancock Prospecting 2018 Rower of the Year Awards

Men’s and Women’s Fours take out Men’s and Women’s Crews of the Year; Josh Booth wins Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award; Campbell Watts named 776BC Rowers’ Rower

Former Australian Rowing Team Manager Ray Ebert made a Life Member of Rowing Australia; Bairnsdale Rowing Club named Aon Club of the Year

Five-time World Champion Erik Horrie was tonight crowned the 2018 Para-rower of the Year at the Hancock Prospecting 2018 Rower of the Year Awards. Alongside Horrie, Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Fours were named the Male and Female Crews of the Year at the glittering function held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney.

Amongst the 13 awards presented this evening, Ian Wright, the coach of Australia’s Men’s Four, was named Coach of the Year, while Jason Baker collected the Para-Coach of the Year Award for his work with Horrie. Josh Booth was named the recipient of the Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award, while World Championships silver medallist, Campbell Watts, was voted the 776BC Rowers’ Rower of the Year by his teammates from the Senior Australian Rowing Team.

Horrie, the first Australian rower to win five consecutive World Championships said, “It’s a real honour to receive this evening’s award. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received this year from Rowing Australia, NSWIS, the Australian Paralympic Committee, Sydney Rowing Club and Hancock Prospecting.

“Thank you to my family, Michelle and my three children for all their support, without them I don’t think I would of come this far. Lastly, but by no means least, Jason Baker, he has been my coach for the last six years and I don’t think I would be where I am today without him. I cannot thank him enough for his dedication and commitment in training me to my fifth world Championship and one Paralympic silver medal.”

Jack Hargreaves of Australia’s Men’s Four said on winning the Men’s Crew of the Year for a second year in a row, “Thank you so much to Rowing Australia for our award. We also want to thank our Head Coach, Ian Wright, and all the athletes in the Men’s National Training Centre.”

The Women’s Four were once again crowned the Female Crew of the Year, Molly Goodman said on accepting the award from Mrs Gina Rinehart, “We’re really honoured to receive tonight’s award, we couldn’t do what we do without the support of our fellow athletes, the coaches, our families and of course Mrs Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting.

Josh Booth, who recently finished his medical studies, added, “It’s a real honour to have been acknowledged this evening with the Gina Rinehart Leadership Award. I didn’t expect it and to be honoured for my work outside the boat, as well as in it, is a real honour.”

Rowing Australia Patron and Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group, Mrs Gina Rinehart said, “It has been a wonderful evening celebrating the outstanding athletes of the Australian Rowing Team and the Australian rowing community.

“Our dedicated rowers are wonderful role models for our young people, and older Australians too. Thank you for your contribution to our nation. A heartfelt congratulations to all of this evening’s winners, it was fantastic to be a part of such a celebration of rowing and to be able to present so many important awards.”

In addition to the elite awards this evening, South Australian Brett Ralph was named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year. This year also saw the introduction of the Aon Club of the Year, with Bairnsdale Rowing Club in Victoria picking up the award and a $2000 cheque from Rowing Australia sponsor, Aon.

The Pathway Coach of the Year, which recognises the integral part the Pathways Program plays in developing the future talent of Australian rowing, was awarded jointly to ACT Academy of Sport Head Coach, Nick Garratt, and Sydney University Boat Club’s Don McLachlan.

Cormac Kennedy-Leverett won the 2018 Pathways Athlete of the Year Award after his exceptional performance at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships where he won a silver medal in the Junior Men’s Single Scull, and after his strong performances at the Australian National Championships this year.

The Queenslander, who was crowned national champion in the U19 Men’s Single Scull, U21 Men’s Double Scull and U23 Men’s Quadruple Scull, recently returned from Argentina where he won a bronze medal representing Australia at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

he Hancock Prospecting 2018 Rower of the Year Awards also saw a special presentation to Olympic gold medallist Kim Brennan and Olympic silver medallists Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, Matthew Ryan, Francis Hegarty, James Marburg and James Chapman for their contribution to the sport.

Former Australian Rowing Team Manager, Ray Ebert, received Life Membership of Rowing Australia for his outstanding contribution and service to the sport of rowing in Australia at local, State, National and International level. Life Membership is the highest Australian honour that can be bestowed upon an individual in rowing and is reserved for those members of the rowing community that have made an exceptional and outstanding contribution to Australian rowing.