It was a cooler start for day six of the 2019 Aon Sydney International Rowing Regatta, having poured with rain overnight, there was a continuous drizzle throughout morning.
Racing kicked off with finals in the quadruple sculls and eights. The U19 Women’s Coxed Eight had a great display from both clubs and schools with the Queenwood/Sydney University crew taking the win in a time of 6:43.83, followed by Toowong in second and third place Geelong Grammar.
There were competitive times in the U23 Men’s Coxed Eight; Melbourne University/UTS took the win and clocked a speedy 5:39.18, followed closely by Sydney University in second and the Mercantile Composite taking third by 0.60 of a second. Rohan Lavery from MUBC reflected on the race sayding, “We were pushed right to the end but hung on for the win.”
The Open Lightweight Men’s Four was a tussle all the way down the course. The Mercantile/Banks crew just took the win from Toowong, who were pushed to the line by the ANU/Canberra; the three crews crossed the line together in under 1.4 seconds.
Australian Rowing Team athlete Hamish Parry (Toowong) said he had no idea how the race was going to play out. “I haven’t been in a club boat since Nationals last year; it’s really good fun and encouraging that we can jump in a boat and we’re still all on the same page. I think we did a good job to pull off the silver; it shows that there’s still depth in the program at that club level.”
The PR3 Mixed Coxed Four showed a dominant performance by the composite crew comprising of Sydney University BC, Barwon RC, PowerHouse, Sydney RCand ANU Boat Club athletes. Alex Vuillermin and Alexandra Viney were elated to go back to back getting the gold in the pair yesterday and the four today. The combination has only been rowing together for 10 weeks and say they are excited about the prospect of Australian selection for the boat class. “I think these results show what we’re capable of,” said Viney. Vuillermin commented, “It’s great to see a full race! The turn out to this event has been great, and to actually have some competition is brilliant.”
A dominant finish in the Under 23 Women’s Coxed Eight saw the Sydney Composite crew command the race and take the win by 11.48 seconds. However, it was a fight to the line for second and third with Swan River Composite coming in second with only a 0.30 margin to Mercantile who scraped through to third with an even smaller margin of 0.20 to Melbourne University. The race summed up from Mercantile`s two seat, Ruby Gioulekas, saying, “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or if you win by a mile.”.
Griffith University Surfers Paradise and Capital Lakes Rowing Club teamed up to take out the win in the U23 Men’s Quad. Former Junior World Champion Cormac Kennedy-Leverett of the winning boat said, “It was a nice culmination of a season’s worth of work, meeting these boys (Grzeskowiak, Glackin and Free) and hitting our goals through the season has been great. We wouldn’t be getting there without really strong competition, so it’s great to be part of a positive environment the everyone’s created here, and awesome to be on the podium at all!”
The early afternoon saw some exciting racing in the club repechages. The Club Men’s Coxless Four repechage required a photo finish to distinguish UTS as the winner with Tasmania University only 0.07 of second behind! Melbourne University and Banks finished in third and fourth. These boats will join Sydney, Swan River, Mercantile and Melbourne University in the final on Sunday.
Strong racing in the Schoolgirl`s single scull saw Ruby O’Keeffe (Queen’s Gate School) as the stand out, winning her Semi-Final with a margin of 7.65. This leads her into the A Final tomorrow with the fastest time of 8:13:70. Grace Sypher (Rockhampton Grammar) also clocked in a competitive time of 8:17.51. Sypher and O’Keeffe will be the ones to watch in tomorrow’s final.
As the eights rolled in so did the wind, providing a tough head-wind for the crews to race in. Despite the conditions, the Schoolboy’s Coxed Eight Semi-Final proved a competitive race with Brighton Grammar taking the win over Christ Church in 0.74 of a second. In third place Melbourne Grammar and fourth St Peter’s College, all of which have progressed to the A Final tomorrow. Scotch College dominated the other Semi-final of the Schoolboy coxed eight, skilfully handling the conditions to beat Nudgee by 6.86 seconds. In third place was Shore and Geelong Grammar came fourth to progress to the Final tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the sprint events this afternoon were cancelled due to weather conditions. Tomorrow we look forward to more finals in the school and club divisions. The Interstate Regatta will round out this week’s racing where we will see the states line up against each other for the ultimate bragging rights.