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Photo finishes and fast racing for Day Three in Penrith

Another beautiful morning sunrise provided a picturesque start to Day Three of the 2019 Aon Sydney International Rowing Regatta. The glassy water in the morning made for a great day of racing. There were 58 races held today with a combination of Semi-Finals, Repechages and Heats showcasing a diverse competition.  

It was a morning of photo finishes and final sprints with the Semi-Finals for the U17 and U19 Single Sculls, the top four boats progressed through to the A-Final and the rest the B Final.  The Under 17 Women’s Single Scull Semi-Final opened the day with a thrilling battle paddle to the finish with the top five competitors finishing within 2.90 seconds of each other. Lily Gaven (Sydney) took out the win closely followed by Lily Eales (Loreto Kirribilli), daughter of former Wallabies Captain John Eales. Meanwhile, Laura Sypher from Rockhampton Grammar was in third place and a final sprint to the line led to a photo finish, which saw Elizabeth Holtheuer from Redlands take fourth place over Team Japan’s Fuka Nakai by 0.98 of a second.

Townsville boats filled the Under 17 Men’s Single Scull Semi-Final 1 with five of the eight competitors representing Townsville clubs and schools. This race provided another exciting end with another photo finish for fourth in the Semi-Final. Zachary Judge of Townsville & JCU unfortunately missed out from progressing after a photo finished showed Michael Campbell (Sydney) in front by a mere 0.22 of a second. 

Team Japan had two boats featured in the Under 19 Women’s Single Scull though unfortunately both just missed out on progressing through to the A Final after Hinkako Ino finished fifth and Misaki Anan in seventh position.  Rebecca Bye of North Esk took the win in Semi-Final and finished with the fastest time of 8:13.54.

Another international representative Jonte Wright of Waikato Rowing Club, New Zealand, son of Australian Men’s Team Head Coach Ian Wright, had an impressive race today after he took the win in the Semi-Final of the Under 19 Men’s Single Scull. Jonte is the one to watch coming into the A-Final with the fastest time of 7:21.62.

Cormac Kennedy-Leverett from Griffith Uni Surfers Paradise dominated the Under 23 Men’s Single Scull Semi-Final and won his final by 12.59 second in a time of 7:03.52, which is the fastest time coming into the A Final. Kennedy-Leverett, a Junior World Champion, also competed in the U23 Men’s Double Scull Heat with his doubles partner Harry Glackin (CLRC) where they finished first in a time of 6:26.48, the fastest time in this heat as all competitors progress to the finals.

There were many National Training Centre athletes competing in the Open Men’s Single Scull semi-finals displaying some first-class racing. Alexander Hill from Adelaide and Caleb Antill of ANU won their respective semi-finals, Hill has the fastest time coming into the A-final with a time of 6:54.85. They will race in the A-final tomorrow amongst other NTC athletes David Watts (Sydney Rowing Club), Campbell Watts, Jack Hargreaves, Cameron Girdlestone and Nicholas Purnell all from Sydney University Boat Club.

The smallest margin of the day came from Georgina Howe (MUBC) and Lilly Tinapple (Swan River RC) as they won their Open Women’s Coxless Pair repechage in a quick last stroke across the line by 0.13 of a second!

Later in the morning, Sarah Pound (UTS) and Olympia Aldersey (Adelaide) rowed an impressive repechage for the Open Women’s Double Scull finishing first with a 7:14.7, progressing through to the A-Final.  

As the afternoon came around the wind picked up but that didn’t affect the Under 19 Men’s Coxed Eight with Scotch College VIC taking out the first heat in 5:50.23 which was the fastest time for the category.

Tomorrow we look forward to watching the A & B finals for the small boats including the Single Sculls and the Coxless Pairs and the first of our para-rowing. One to watch will be the Schoolboys and Schoolgirl’s divisions as they make their first appearance at the 2019 Aon Sydney International Rowing Regatta with their heats in the afternoon.