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Day One of Gavirate International Para-Rowing Regatta

On a perfect European spring day in mid-20 degree heat, our rowers took to the water on day one of the Gavirate International Para-Rowing Regatta.

Representing the green and gold, we had seven athletes across four boat classes who competed against crews from across the world, with 19 countries representing across the three day Regatta.

We had a mix of experience across the crews with returning athletes including Erik Horrie OAM, Kat Ross as well as Teesaan Koo, the cox of the PR3 Mix 4+ who is also a returning athlete, having coxed for Australia in the early 1990s, with his last international race in 1995.

Erik Horrie OAM, Triple Paralympic Silver Medallist had a strong row, winning his heat comfortably and seeing him progress directly to the final.

Kat Ross, Paralympic Silver Medallist and four-time Paralympian who raced in the PR2 W1x and came second in her heat to Double Paralympic Champion, Lauren Rowles (GBR), said: “It is pretty exciting to be back racing internationally and blow out the cobwebs.”

The PR3 Mix 4+ crew (Thomas Birtwhistle, Nicholas Neales, Jessica Gallagher, Alex Viney and cox Teesaan Koo), a new combination, raced in their heat and came second to the British, who are the reigning World and Paralympic Champions. Cox, Teesaan Koo shared his thoughts on being back in the boat racing:

“It is fantastic to be back (racing), it is a great regatta and great to be back in the Aussie team.”

The PR3 M2- of Thomas Birtwhistle and Nicholas Neales raced for the first time internationally together and came third in their heat. They will race for lanes before racing in the Final.

The four racing crews all progressed to the final, which they will be competing in on Saturday morning on the ‘Lago di Varese’.

Results:

FIRST – PR1 M1x, Erik Horrie OAM

Progression → straight to Final

SECOND – PR2 W2x, Kat Ross

Progression → race for lanes, then Final

SECOND – PR3 Mix4+, Thomas Birtwhistle, Nicholas Neales, Jessica Gallagher, Al Viney and cox Teesaan Koo.

Progression → race for lanes, then Final

THIRD – PR3 M2-, Thomas Birtwhistle and Nicholas Neales.

Progression → race for lanes, then Final

Full results can be found here.

Crew list:

PR1 M1x

Erik Horrie OAM (NSW)

PR2 W1x

Kathryn Ross (ACT)

PR3 4+

B Alexandra Viney (VIC)

2 Jessica Gallagher (VIC)

3 Nicholas Neales (ACT)

S Thomas Birtwhistle (NSW)

C Teesaan Koo (VIC)

PR3 M2-

B Nicholas Neales (ACT)

S Thomas Birtwhistle (ACT)