With schoolboy racing set to begin tomorrow in Penrith, below we run through some of the top contenders for the schoolboy boat classes at the 2019 Aon Sydney International Rowing Regatta.
Schoolboy’s Single Scull
The Schoolboy Single is always a great event with schools entering some of their fastest athletes to take home the title. Unfortunately, the defending champion Mitchell Reinhardt has withdrawn from the regatta due to injury; the athlete will be unable to defend his title leaving the title open to any one of this year’s 42 entries.
Returning from last year’s B final is Nick Blackman and Daniel Webb, both athletes to watch, with another year of training under their belts they would be sure to look for the title this year. Blackman looks to be on form – looking at the times from the U19 Men’s Single Scull, the only athletes to have gone faster than him are not entered in the Schoolboy event. Cormac Hayes is also one to watch, entered from Marist College in the ACT, Hayes posted an impressive time of 6:56.48 over the 1800m course in the Head of the Lake early this month.
With such a large number of entries we look forward to seeing these athletes in action as heats begin Thursday at 3pm.
Schoolboy’s Coxed Quadruple Scull
The Schoolboy’s Coxed Quadruple Scull is a classic event, with 27 entries (up on the 19 entries last year) this is sure to provide some competitive racing.
The Kinross Walaroi crew that finished fifth position in the A-final last year is back to better their standings; the combination of Henry Ponder, Thomas Richardson, Cody Kelso and Richard King, coxed by Harrison Straw is coached by the dynamic duo of Olympian Sarah Cook and husband Tobias Wehr-Candler. With the only change to the line-up of the crew from last year being the coxswain, we expect big things from the New South Wales crew who have had another year to develop their speed.
Xavier College have entered a crew of Matthew Donoghue, Axel Cortada-McCorkell, Rory Calvert, William Benston, coxed by Zac Whelan and coached by current Australian Women’s Eight coxswain James Rook. Xavier did not enter the event last year so we will watch the young coxswain’s crew with interest.
Reigning champions Newcastle Grammar have also entered the event with a quad of Jadon Routley, Kyle Riley, Max Boyd and Nicholas McGrath coxed by Acacia Ozturk and coached by Bronson Elsley. This crew have also entered the U19 Men’s Quad event with a single substitution of Connor Hudson for Schoolboy Kyle Riley; the crew posted a respectable time of 6:34.05 in a very competitive division.
Schoolboy’s Coxed Four
The Schoolboy’s Four boat class has also had a large influx of entries with this year seeing 22 boats fielded versus last year’s 13. The previous winners, St Patrick’s College, Victoria, have entered a crew of Brayden Sands, Connor Shugg, Will Peucker and Thomas Barry, coxed by Jackson Long. The crew coached by Brendan Scott were eliminated in a fast repechage today in the U19 Coxed Four but posted a respectable 6:48.13 which should make them competitive for the Schoolboy division. 2018 second and third place getters Melbourne High School and Newington College have not entered the event this year.
Scotch College Victoria have entered four boats to the event; the school has split one of their Eight’s into two coxed fours, a tactic that St Peter’s College adopted in the U19M4+ but not for the schoolboy division. Damascus College Ballarat have entered two schoolboy fours into this event, the only boats the college has entered.
Rockhampton Grammar have one boat entered of Riley Godwin, Reece Byrne, Bradley Burr and Nicholas Storey, coxed by Jack Koerner; Godwin and Byrne along with Koerner are rowing in a composite U17 Coxed Quad Scull that posted a good time today (Wednesday) so it will be interesting to see what the young guns can do in the sweep boat coached by John Smyth and Jack Barwick.
U17 Schoolboy’s Coxed Eight
It is great to see the U17 division of the Schoolboy Eights also growing with nine entries up on last year’s six which ended up being only a four-boat final.
Defending champions St Augustine’s have again entered, the strong crew is looking in form as stern four of the eight Ben Di Staso, Beau Nicholas, Fynn Laughton and Tom Gerrans won their heat in the U17 Men’s Coxed Quad Scull today, so this crew looks like the one to beat.
Shore have also entered the event, and as all of the boys in the crew of Henry Collins, Joseph Walker, Hamish Hunter, Max Deutsch, Nicholas Donoghue, Ben Brunker, Charlie Boyd and Thomas Livingstone coxed by Oliver Wilson have been brought to the regatta by coaches Peter Koster and Jessica Wickenden for only this event, we will no doubt see some strong, focused young men in this race.
Newington College, Scots College, St Augustine’s College and Wesley have only entered the U17 event; these schools have no entry into the Open Schoolboy Eights. There are very few athletes doubling up between Under 17 and the Schoolboys Eights – showing great depth in the rowing programs to allow the clubs and schools to enter in both divisions and give the young guns a real chance in the boat class.