Australia’s para-rowers had a strong start to their international season this past weekend (18/19 May), with the Australian Para-rowing Team taking home four gold medals, four silver medals and a bronze medal at the FISA International Para-Rowing Regatta.
The Australians were crowned the overall winners of the points score at the event held in Gavirate, Italy – in cold and wet conditions.
Paralympian Kathryn Ross made a strong return to the international competition after a three-year hiatus. The ANU Boat Club member picked up two gold medals in the PR2 Women’s Single Scull. Meanwhile, the Australian PR3 Men’s Pair of Jed Altschwager (Torrens RC) and Will Smith (Adelaide Uni BC) picked up two gold medals in their boat class.
James Talbot (SUBC) and Ben Gibson (Sydney RC) doubled up for the regatta, winning both a bronze in the PR3 Men’s Pair and then two silver medals in the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four. The latter boat class took two iterations at the regatta – Saturday saw Gibson and Talbot joined by Alexandra Viney (Barwon RC), Alex Vuillermin (Powerhouse RC) and coxswain Renae Domaschenz (ANU BC), while on Sunday, Viney was replaced with Canberra’s Nikki Ayers.
Finally, five-time World Champion in the PR1 Men’s Single Scull – Erik Horrie (Sydney RC) – picked up two silver medals in his first two international races of the season.
Congratulations to all the athletes and also the coaches supporting the Australian crews – Gordon Marcks (Head Para-rowing Coach), Lizzi Chapman (PR3 Coach), Renae Domaschenz (PR2 Coach) and Jason Baker (PR1 Coach).