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2011 Australian Rowing Championships

March 7 to 13
West Lakes, South Australia


Rowing Australia media releases

Sunday 13 March:
New South Wales makes it four in a row in the King’s Cup
Saturday 12 March:
New South Wales favoured for rowing’s greatest prize
Saturday 12 March:
WCSN takes rowing to the world
Saturday 12 March:
Ginn and Free set sights on Four in London
Saturday 12 March:
Olympic Champions claim national title
Friday 11 March:
Olympic champions aim for national title
Friday 11 March:
King Crawshay claims fourth national title
Friday 11 March:
WCSN streaming final day of Australian Rowing Championships Live
Friday 11 March:
Olympic legend snares national title
Thursday 10 March:
Australia’s best line up for golden opportunity
Wednesday 9 March:
Olympians single themselves out for finals places
Tuesday 8 March:
Olympic champions reunite at national titles
Tuesday 8 March:
Australia’s best perform in Adelaide
Monday 7 March:
Morgan flies South Australian flag on opening day
Friday 4 March:
Adelaide in readiness for Australian Championships

Sunday 13 March

New South Wales makes it four in a row in the King’s Cup

The New South Wales Senior Men’s 8 have continued their dominance of Australia’s premier Rowing event, the King’s Cup, with a comprehensive win over arch rivals Victoria.

Stroked by Olympian Dan Noonan, New South Wales started strongly and was never headed over the 2000 metre journey. They have now won the prestigious event four years in a row.

New South Wales crew (Bow James Chapman Two Samuel Loch Three Francis Hegerty Four Brodie Buckland Five Nick Purnell Six Matthew Ryan Seven Fergus Pragnell Stroke Daniel Noonan Cox Toby Lister) finished in 5:22:08, ahead of Victoria in 5:24:80 and South Australia in 5:33:49.

“We thought the Victorians were going to jump out at the start so we needed to counteract that” said Noonan. “We worked hard at the start and happily it worked out for us and we established a lead pretty quickly. By the 1000 metre mark the race was over. In these conditions (choppy with a tail wind) it’s hard to come back so we all knew that if we held our technique we were in a strong position to win the race. That’s how it turned out”.

In the Queen’s Cup for the Senior Women’s eight, Victorian won its seventh straight title.

‘Victoria has a really proud big boats culture” said Phoebe Stanley, Stroke of the Victorian Women’s Eight. “We’ve obviously rowed well in the past years and with 5 girls coming back from last year we were pretty confident that we had the ability to win the race. It’s all about just getting in and committing to the cause and happily for us that was good enough today”.

In the other Interstate Regatta Races today Victoria won the Men’s Youth Eight and Queensland the Women’s Youth Eight. Queensland won the Women’s Lightweight Coxless Quad scull while the experienced Tasmanian crew of Anthony Edwards, Sam Beltz, Blair Tunevitsch, and Tom Gibson won the Men’s lightweight coxless Four.

“They were really tricky conditions today and we were focussed on not making mistakes” said Tom Gibson, Stroke of the Tasmanian crew. “We know the Western Australian boys always go really really hard out at the start to we knew we had to get our nose ahead, particularly in these conditions. We did that in the first 500 so that was good. We also knew we had to be faster through the middle 1000 of the race because they always come home pretty hard. We inched away and carried the day. It was a good row.”

The Men’s single race was won by James McRae (South Australia) and the Women’s single was won by Sally Kehoe (Queensland).

The Interstate Championship was won by Victoria (47 points) ahead of Queensland (45 points).

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Saturday 12 March

New South Wales favoured for rowing’s greatest prize

The battle for Australian Rowing supremacy resumes tomorrow (13 March) at the West Lakes Regatta Centre in Adelaide when rowers from across Australia compete in the annual Interstate Rowing regatta.

The Interstate regatta is the final competition of the Australian Rowing Championships.

The two main prizes up for grabs are the King’s and Queen’s Cup.

The King’s Cup is an iconic Australian sports event.

The impressive trophy was first awarded in 1919 as first prize for an 8 oared rowing event between crews representing the armies of the First World War allies. The trophy returned to Australia under the care of the Australian army. Following a petition to King George V, the King’s Cup became the prize for the Australian Men’s 8 oared championship.

Other races in the Interstate Regatta are the Men’s and Women’s single sculls, the Women’s Lightweight Coxless quad scull, the Men’s lightweight coxless Four and the Men’s and Women’s youth eights.

New South Wales has won the last three King’s Cups.

“I’m tipping New South Wales in a tight one” said Noel Donaldson, the Australian Institute of Sport Men’s head coach. ‘Victoria has closed the gap this week on racing form and will be putting pressure on. New South Wales are going to have settle well if they are going to win it. If they don’t, Victoria will mow them down.”

In the Queen’s Cup, Noel Donaldson favours Victoria.

“To me they look to have the depth” said Donaldson. “The Victorian women have raced impressively all week and they will be hard to beat”.

Noel Donaldson’s previews the balance of tomorrow’s Interstate regatta races.

Women’s single scull – ‘It’s hard to split Kerry Hore (Tasmania), Sally Kehoe (Queensland) and Kim Crow (Victoria). Kim won the National title but it often happens that the result changes. Take your pick.

Men’s single scull – “James Macrae (South Australia) is the local favourite and I think he will have enough in him to win it. Threats will come from Karsten Forsterling (Victoria) and Scott Brennan (Tasmania)”.

Women’s lightweight Coxless Quad Scull – “I think Tasmania with Ella Flecker, Ingrid Fenger and Eve Mure will probably start favourites and it will be reasonably tight behind them between Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Men’s Lightweight coxless Four – “Tasmania will start the favourite. Western Australia has plenty of talent and they will be the ones to threaten.

Women’s Youth Eight – “New South Wales”.

Men’s Youth Eight – Victoria should win the Men’s youth eight.

Queen’s Cup – Women’s Eight – ‘Queensland are pretty keen about giving Victoria a run for their money but I think they will be one or two short in their boat so I think Victoria should win that.

King’s Cup – Men’s Eight – “I think on form during the week, Victoria has closed the gap. That one is going to be a doozy. New South Wales will need to settle well or Victoria will grind them down. New South Wales ….. just”.

ATTENTION ALL MEDIA: The Inter State regatta 12:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Daylight time.

PLEASE CONTACT DAVID PEMBROKE ON 0416 103 229 TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THE INTERSTATE REGATTA.

Media contact
David Pembroke, 0416 103 229

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Saturday 12 March

WCSN takes rowing to the world

World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) will webcast the finals of the Australian Rowing Championships from the West Lakes Regatta Centre in Adelaide from 10.15am (AEDT).

The webcast can be found at www.wcsn.com.au.

“For many of the Olympic Sports in Australia this is the most effective and efficient way for them to take their sport to the world” said WCSN CEO Jon Field. “Tomorrow you will see the best Australian Rowing has to offer from the elite schoolboys and girls all the way through to the final of the Queen’s and King’s Cups’.

In a further innovation, tomorrow’s racing can also be viewed on an IPAD or I Phone.

“We want as many people as possible to watch the racing from whichever device suits them. It might be an I pad or an I phone or it could be from a computer. The purpose of our service is to ensure the widest possible audience for this great event”.

Media contact
David Pembroke, 0416 103 229

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Saturday 12 March

Ginn and Free set sights on Four in London

Rowing superstars Duncan Free and Drew Ginn today teamed with Josh Dunkley-Smith and James Chapman to claim the Men’s Four crown at the Australian Rowing Championships at the West Lakes Regatta Centre in Adelaide.

‘We trained well over the past two weeks leading into this regatta so we were confident we would perform well”, said three time Olympic Gold Medallist Drew Ginn. “The idea was not to worry too much about what the other guys were doing and just look after ourselves. The aim was to keep the boat steady and fast and be really efficient in the first 1000 metres so we were in good shape for the backend and happily that’s how it worked out”.

The Mercantile/University of Queensland/AIS crew of Free, Ginn, Dunkley-Smith and Chapman(6:17:11) finished 4.6 seconds ahead of the Sydney University/AIS crew of Matt Ryan, Fergus Pragnall, Sam Loch and Nick Purnell. The Melbourne University/Sydney University/VIS crew of Josh Booth, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, James Marburg and Francis Hegarty finished a further 1.5 second further back in third place.

Ginn’s gold medal partner in the Men’s pair from the Beijing Olympics, Duncan Free, said that while it was a comfortable win, their opponents forced them to work hard.

“There is no question that the standard of the Men’s sweep rowing in Australia is as strong as it has been for many years’, said Free. “If you looked at the racing in yesterday’s Pair final and today in the Four, you can see that there is not much separating the top guys. It’s going to make it tough to gain selection in the team for the London Olympics”.

Ginn confirmed that both he and Duncan Fee are aiming for selection in the Four for the London Olympics.

“Duncs (Free) and I are both married with children so it’s going to be more manageable for us in a Four than in an eight but really the focus for all of us is developing two fast boats out of the Men’s sweep program’ said Ginn. “We’re just trying to position ourselves well in the squad but hopefully we can look to London and work toward achieve two Gold Medals. With the standard of performance we’re seeing in Men’s sweep rowing that’s certainly not out of the question.”

Media contact
David Pembroke, 0416 103 229

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Saturday 12 March

Olympic Champions claim national title

In a thrilling race in the Open Mens Double Scull saw Beijing Olympic Gold medallists, David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, team up once again to claim the national championship. After taking charge of the race from the first stroke, the pair demonstrated why they are the reigning Olympic champions powering down the course ahead of the five other crews.

The real battle was between the local South Australian crew of James McRae and Chris Morgan in Lane 4 and Daniel Noonan and Karsten Forsterling in Lane 6. Heat winners McRae and Morgan sat just behind Noonan and Forsterling for the majority of the race, but the final 500 metres saw the Adelaide based crew lift their rating to make a move on the Victorian’s. However, the Melbourne University/Mosman combination managed to hold on and claim the silver medal by just 0.14 of a second.

After a two year break after the Olympic games, Brennan is back in to training to heading towards London 2012.

“It’s been a pretty tough last couple of months coming back into it”, said Brennan.

“ We really didn’t want to have a tight race all the way down the course, yes, we wanted to win, but I guess we wanted to stamp our mark on it and make a bit of a statement”.

“This one was about continuing on from what we had in 2008 and just trying to get back into it”, added Crawshay.

Media contact
David Pembroke, 0416 103 229

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Friday 11 March

Olympic champions aim for national title

Olympic men’s double scull champions David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) will headline the second day of finals tomorrow of the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships at West Lakes, Adelaide.

Crawshay and Brennan, who had not rowed a race together since their triumph in Beijing in 2008, won their heat earlier in the week and looked as though they had never stopped rowing together.

They will face a challenge from South Australia’s Chris Morgan and James McRae.

The women’s double scull final promises to be a showdown between three crews. Kerry Hore (TAS) and Sally Kehoe (QLD), Kim Crow (VIC) and Brooke Pratley (NSW), and Sarah Cook (ACT) and Pippa Savage (QLD) will go head-to-head for the national title.

The women’s and men’s quad sculls will also take to the water, as will the men’s lightweight four and men’s coxless four in what promises to be a tightly contested day of finals in the big boat classes.

Finals Times:

Women’s Double Scull – A Final – 8.40am (Adelaide time)

Men’s Double Scull – A Final – 9.25am

Women’s Coxless Four – A Final – 9.50am

Men’s Coxless Four – A Final – 10.15am

Men’s Lightweight Coxless Four – A Final – 11.40am

Women’s Quad Scull – 1.55pm

Men’s Quad Scull – 2.15pm

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Friday 11 March

King Crawshay claims fourth national title

Olympic gold medallist David Crawshay (VIC) has won his fourth national title in the men’s single scull at the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships at West Lakes in Adelaide.

Crawshay, who had previously won the title in 2005, 2007 and 2009, led home local favourites James McRae (SA) and Chris Morgan (SA) to win in a time of 7:08.17.

Crawshay, who won gold in the men’s double scull at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, powered home in the final 500m after exchanging the lead with Morgan and McRae for the majority of the race.

Crawshay said his fourth victory was special considering the quality of his opposition.

“We’re aware that we’re (the men’s sculling group) in a lot better position than what we were four years ago and we know we can’t be complacent,” reflected Crawshay.

“I’m just happy to have come out on top of what is probably one of the most quality fields we’ve seen.”

Crawshay will team up with his partner from the Olympic Games, Scott Brennan, in the final of the men’s double scull on Saturday morning.

In the women’s single scull Kim Crow (VIC) won her first individual national title with an impressive victory over Kerry Hore (TAS) and Sally Kehoe (QLD).

Crow motored home over the last 750 metres after finding herself four seconds down from Kehoe at the halfway mark of the race.

She crossed the line in a time of 7:44.42, half a boat length clear of Hore.

Crow said it was a great feeling winning her first single sculls national title.

“It’s really exciting,” Crow said shortly after her race. “It was a really enjoyable race and I’m just really surprised!

“We have a great group of girls and to win my first single sculls title is amazing.”

Crow switched from sweep oar rowing to sculling at the end of 2009, and became the first Australian to medal in an international women’s single scull event, after claiming a bronze medal at the Munich World Cup in 2010.

Crow also combined with Hore to win the silver medal in the women’s double scull at the 2010 World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Friday 11 March

WCSN streaming final day of Australian Rowing Championships Live

In conjunction with Rowing Australia, WCSN will stream the final day of the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships and Interstate Regatta LIVE & FREE.

Coverage will begin on WCSN from 10.15am on Sunday 13 March as Australia’s best rowers battle it out in the Interstate Regatta, with the highlight of the program being the King’s Cup.

The King’s Cup, the interstate men’s eight race in which New South Wales will attempt to win their fourth straight title, will be live at 1.45pm (Adelaide time) on Sunday afternoon.

To register to view the exclusively LIVE and absolutely FREE racing visit www.wcsn.com.au.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Friday 11 March

Olympic legend snares national title

Three times Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn (VIC) has won the men’s pair with Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC) at the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships to continue his successful comeback to rowing.

Under sunny skies and on still water at West Lakes in Adelaide, Ginn and Dunkley Smith constructed the perfect race to win the national title in a time of 6:47.68.

Ginn, 37, only returned to competitive rowing in time for the 2011 season and has formed a formidable partnership with 22-year-old Dunkley Smith who burst onto the scene in 2010 when he stroked the Australian men’s eight to bronze at the World Championships in New Zealand.

In the final today, Ginn and Dunkley Smith hit the lead in the second quarter of the race and led by over five seconds with 500m remaining, eventually crossing the line just under a boat length clear of Sam Loch (NSW) and Nicholas Purnell (NSW), while Brodie Buckland (NSW) and Tom Larkins (VIC) won the bronze medal.

Ginn said the pair improved with each race across the week.

“I think it’s good to have had to race the repechage and to have a clear plan for the final,” Ginn said. “Our intention was to row really well through the middle and try and create a margin that way.”

Ginn said he was really enjoying rowing with Dunkley Smith.

“With 15 years age difference I think it’s a real credit for Josh to be able to put up with my old ways but I’m really enjoying being around the young fella.

“Josh obviously has a lot of potential and is already doing really well, so it’s great to row with him.”

In the women’s pair final, the current Australian representative pair of Sarah Tait (VIC) and Phoebe Stanley (VIC) held on over Beijing Olympians Pauline Frasca (VIC) and Kate Hornsey (TAS). Tait and Stanley won by half a boat length in a time of 7:30.84.

Sam Beltz (TAS) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) defended their national title in the men’s lightweight pairs with a comprehensive victory over Ben Cureton (WA) and Todd Skipworth (WA).

The Tasmanian duo won in a time of 6:53.48, finishing a boat length clear of the Cureton and Skipworth combination.

In the final of the women’s lightweight single scull, Hannah Every-Hall defended her national title after an excellent row that saw her record a time of 8:10.00.

Every-Hall led home her 2010 Australian crew mate from the women’s lightweight double scull, Alice McNamara, by over five seconds.

The pair will more than likely combine again in the women’s lightweight double scull this year for Australia.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Thurssday 10 March

Australia’s best line up for golden opportunity

Following a day of repechages and semi-finals in under age events the first finals of the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships will be held on Friday morning at West Lakes in Adelaide.

No fewer than 26 Beijing Olympians will be in action across the six major finals to be contested on the A.M Ramsay Regatta Course, with all results providing national selectors with some critical answers ahead of the 2011 National Selection Trials in April.

Much of the attention will focus on returning three times Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn, who is making his return in a bid to reach his fourth Olympic Games in London next year.

Women’s Single Scull – A Final – 8.15am (Adelaide time)

The women’s single scull final promises to be a tightly contested affair, with all six finalists part of the Australian team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Sally Kehoe (QLD) and Pippa Savage (QLD) won their semi finals on Wednesday and will row from the middle lanes in the final, but they are surrounded by a number of high quality athletes.

Kim Crow (VIC) and Kerry Hore (TAS) will both challenge for victory, while Sarah Cook (ACT) and Amy Ives (NSW) have shown throughout the week that they can’t be discounted.

Kehoe is the defending national champion and will look to claim her fourth national title in the event.

Men’s Single Scull – A Final – 8.35am

South Australian spectators will be looking forward to this final as local boy Chris Morgan aims to defend his national title on his home course.

Morgan became the first South Australian to win the men’s single scull national title last year and has shown in his heat and semi-final this week that he will be hard to beat.

Morgan will have to be on his best form however as he faces a field full of talent. Fellow South Australian James McRae has finished second behind Morgan at both the South Australian and New South Wales State Championships this year, while 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallists in the men’s double scull, David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) will also challenge.

Dan Noonan (NSW) is looking to win his second national title, while Karsten Forsterling (VIC) will look to add to his podium finish from last year’s final.

Women’s Pair – A Final – 8.55am

Sarah Tait (VIC) and Phoebe Stanley (VIC) will be the favourites heading into the final of the women’s pair.

Tait and Stanley finished fourth at the 2010 World Championships, but will be mindful of the combination of Kate Hornsey (TAS) and Pauline Frasca (VIC).

Hornsey and Frasca were both part of the women’s eight in Beijing and are looking to put pressure on the current Australian women’s pair.

Men’s Pair – A Final – 9.15am

In arguably what will be the final of the regatta, all six crews have the potential to claim the national title.

Will Lockwood (VIC) and John Linke (VIC), as well as Tom Larkins (VIC) and Brodie Buckland (NSW), won straight to the final from their heat on Monday, beating a host of more fancied crews in the tricky conditions.

Three times Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn (VIC) and new pairs partner Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC) however must be watched after their impressive debut win together at the New South Wales State Championships.

Ginn’s 2008 gold medal partner, Duncan Free (QLD), has been paired with James Chapman (NSW) in the last week and they also will be in the mix if they perform.

Sam Loch (NSW) and Nicholas Purnell (NSW), along with Fergus Pragnell (NSW) and Matt Ryan (NSW) make up the final, in which all participants have rowed for Australia and will back themselves for victory.

Women’s Lightweight Single Scull – A Final – 9.35am

2010 World Championship crew mates in the women’s lightweight double scull, Hannah Every-Hall (QLD) and Alice McNamara (VIC) will vie for the title in what could be a classic duel.

McNamara set the quickest time in qualifying for the final, but Every-Hall is the defending champion and will not want to give up her title easily.

Tasmanian Ella Flecker will attempt to challenge the duo for the title, while Alexandra Hayes (WA) will aim for a podium finish.

Men’s Lightweight Pair – A Final – 10.15am

Lightweight rowing always offers spectators close racing and the final of the men’s lightweight pair should be no different.

Sam Beltz (TAS) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) are a formidable combination and the Olympic duo will be eager to add to their plethora of national titles, including last year’s title.

Ben Cureton (WA) and Todd Skipworth (WA), Tom Gibson (TAS) and Ali Foot (TAS), and Rod Chisholm (NSW) and Blair Tunevitsch (TAS) will all fancy their chances however, and will have their sights set on the favoured Tasmanian duo.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Wednesday 9 March

Olympians single themselves out for finals places

Chris Morgan (SA) has firmed in favouritism for the men’s single scull title after another impressive performance at the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships at West Lakes in Adelaide.

Under overcast skies at the A.M Ramsay Regatta Centre, Morgan won his semi-final by one and a half boat lengths over David Crawshay (VIC).

Morgan, a member of the men’s quad scull at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, won in a time of 7:01.27, setting the fastest qualifying time across the three semi-finals.

Morgan said he was enjoying the tail wind conditions at his home course.

“It’s always good to get out there and make the final,” Morgan said. “Being a smaller bloke I like a tail and it really gives me a chance to push the boat along. It could do anything on finals day though, so you just take whatever conditions you get.

“I’m really looking forward to Friday’s final. Each year the sculling group gets stronger and stronger and this year it’s an achievement just to make the final.”

The other two semi-finals were won by James McRae (SA) and Daniel Noonan (NSW), with Karsten Forsterling (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) finishing second in their respective semi-finals to also progress to the main final.

Noonan clocked a time of 7:04.22, while McRae recorded a time of 7:04.06 and the final on Friday promises to be a showdown between all six athletes.

In the women’s single scull semi-finals, eight members of the Australian 2008 Beijing Olympic team lined up in a bid to qualify for the A Final.

Sally Kehoe (QLD), the defending and three time national champion in the event, showed her intent on winning for the third consecutive year as she powered to victory in her semi-final.

The Toowoomba rower constructed a solid race and was never troubled as she crossed the line in a time of 7:42.03, while Sarah Cook (ACT) and Amy Ives (NSW) finished in second and third to also qualify.

Pippa Savage (QLD), who rowed the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, won a closely fought corresponding semi-final, setting the quickest time in qualifying for the final.

Savage won the race in a time of 7:37.04, leading Kim Crow (VIC) and Kerry Hore (TAS) across the finish line.

An intriguing final of the women’s lightweight single scull has also been set up following the semi-finals.

Alice McNamara (VIC) and Hannah Every – Hall (QLD), who partnered each other in the 2010 World Championships in the women’s lightweight double scull, won their respective semi-finals and will go head-to-head for the national title.

McNamara set the quickest qualifying time for the final, winning her race in a time of 7:55.03 and leading Alexandra Hayes (WA) and Sarah Perkins (VIC) into the final.

Every-Hall won her semi-final in 7:57.93, while Ella Flecker (TAS) and Maia Simmonds (WA) also went through to the final.

The remainder of racing on Day 3 of the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships will feature a number of under 23, under 19 and under 17 races, while the repechages of the women’s and men’s double sculls will also be held.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Tuesday 8 March

Olympic champions reunite at national titles

2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medallists David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) have won their heat of the men’s double scull in convincing style on Day 2 of the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships at West Lakes in Adelaide.

Crawshay and Brennan, who claimed a famous gold medal at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing Park in Beijing in the men’s double scull, have not rowed a double scull race together since the Olympic final but showed their combination still has a lot to offer.

In drizzly conditions at the A.M Ramsey Regatta Course, Crawshay and Brennan had too much power for the challenge of Daniel Noonan (NSW) and Karsten Forsterling (VIC) to win Heat 1 in a time of 6:09.41 and qualify for the final.

After the race Brennan said it was a good feeling to strike up their partnership again.

“We’ve been looking forward to doing this for a while and it was a little bit nerve wracking going into the race with the memories of our gold medal row,” Brennan said. “Jumping back in a boat together you always think are you going to be up to it but it turned out really well and it was good fun out there.

“The sculling group has a lot of outstanding athletes in it at the moment and mixing it with these guys at training and regattas is pushing us all along.”

In the second heat, South Australian Olympians James McRae and Chris Morgan stamped their claim as a favoured crew for the title with a boat length victory over Nicholas Hudson (NSW) and Jared Bidwell (QLD).

McRae and Morgan claimed direct qualification for the A Final with a time of 6:14.37, while Hudson and Bidwell will move through to the repechages.

In the women’s double scull heats, Sally Kehoe (QLD) and Kerry Hore (TAS) showed their class in a strong performance across the 2000m.

Kehoe and Hore, who are both AIS scholarship holders in Canberra, led home Pippa Savage (QLD) and Sarah Cook (ACT), winning by just under a boat length in a time of 6:39.28.

Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley won the second heat, with both heat winners progressing directly to the A Final on Saturday.

Day 3 of the Australian Rowing Championships will be headlined by the semi-finals of the men’s and women’s single sculls, with racing commencing at 8am Adelaide time.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Tuesday 8 March

Australia’s best perform in Adelaide

Three time Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn (VIC) and men’s pair partner Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC) have bounced back to form in convincing style at the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships at West Lakes in Adelaide.

Ginn and Dunkley Smith finished fifth in their heat of the men’s pair on Monday and were forced to row a repechage to make it through to the A Final on Friday, and they beat a high quality field in the process.

In driving rain on the A.M Ramsay Regatta Course, Ginn and Dunkley Smith came through the field in the final half of the race to win in a time of 7:03.25, finishing just under a second clear of Fergus Pragnell (NSW) and Matt Ryan (NSW).

Both crews progressed to the A Final, while defending national champions and members of the 2008 Beijing Olympic men’s four silver medal winning crew, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC) and James Marburg (VIC), finished third to miss out on the A Final.

Ginn said he and Dunkley Smith had to improve after their row on Monday due to the standard of the field.

“To see the standard that the men’s sweep group has at the moment is great,” Ginn said. “It’s not necessarily a better standard than the past, as it’s hard to judge that, but there are people who have been to the Olympic Games and have medalled. They bring that experience back to Australia.”

Ginn said the pair have been trying to take the races out fast and will look for more of the same in the final.

“We’re trying to start fast and in the final you want to get yourself out of trouble early on and that will be a focus. The course here you get exposed at the back half of the race, so if you’re not moving from 750 out from the start, then it’s hard to recover.”

In the second repechage Nicholas Purnell (NSW) and Sam Loch (NSW) won another superb race ahead of Duncan Free (QLD) and James Chapman (NSW).

The two crews exchanged the lead down the course before Purnell and Loch triumphed in a time of 7:01.78, with both crews qualifying for the A Final on Friday.

Later today the heats of the men’s and women’s double sculls will be held, providing the racing highlight of the afternoon program.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Monday 7 March

Morgan flies South Australian flag on opening day

Local favourite Chris Morgan (SA) has begun his 2011 Australian Rowing Championships in the best possible fashion with a comprehensive win in his heat of the men’s single scull at West Lakes in Adelaide.

The athletes were tested by blustery head wind conditions on the opening day of the seven day regatta, while temperatures rose well past 30 degrees.

Morgan, the defending champion in the event, was not affected as he asserted his authority over the field with a comfortable two boat length victory.

Morgan cleared out on the field by more than a boat length after 500 metres and extended the gap over the course of the race to win in a time of 8:12.97.

Morgan, who earlier in the season had won both the New South Wales and South Australia State Championships, said it was good to get the first race out of the way.

“It’s always nice to race in a familiar environment with familiar surroundings,” Morgan said. “Being the defending champion puts a bit more pressure on mentally and there are some external expectations.

“The challenge will be staying focused and it is good to get the first race out of the way. I had a few more people pushing me to the line in my race, so it was a good start.”

The five other heats were won by David Crawshay (VIC), Scott Brennan (TAS), James McRae (SA), Daniel Noonan (NSW) and Karsten Forsterling (VIC).

Drew Ginn (VIC) and Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC) had to settle for fifth place in their heat of the men’s pair, as the new combination struggled to adapt to the choppy water.

William Lockwood (VIC) and John Linke (VIC) won the heat, while Duncan Free (QLD) and James Chapman (NSW) were in fourth place.

The opposite heat was won by Brodie Buckland (NSW) and Tom Larkins (VIC), with Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC) and James Marburg (VIC) in second place.

Earlier in the morning Kerry Hore set the quickest time in the women’s single scull heats as the four top ranked rowers all won their races.

Hore won her heat in a time of 7:40.82 while Kim Crow (VIC), Sally Kehoe (QLD) and Brooke Pratley (NSW) all prevailed.

Racing will continue this afternoon with under 19 and under 17 events dominating the program.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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Friday 4 March

Adelaide in readiness for Australian Championships

The countdown to the 2011 Australian Rowing Championships and Interstate Regatta is almost over with the regatta set to commence on Monday (7 March) at West Lakes in Adelaide.

The 2011 regatta has received a record number of entries, with 1261 athletes scheduled to compete across the seven day event in elite, club and school racing.

West Lakes will host the annual regatta for the first time since 1999, with many eyes focused on Australia’s elite rowers, who are beginning the long tussle to fill seats in the Australian team for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The 2011 season is an important one for the Australian Rowing Team, with the World Championships acting as the main opportunity to qualify boats for the Olympic Games. The Australian Championships, as well as the selection trials next month in Sydney, serve as the final opportunities for all national team hopefuls to press for selection.

Triple Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn (VIC) will continue his gradual comeback into the sport following two years out of the boat since his triumph in Beijing in the men’s pair, while fellow gold medallists from Beijing, Duncan Free (QLD), David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) will also be in action throughout the week.

Rowing Australia High Performance Director Andrew Matheson said the time had come for all athletes to show selectors their capabilities.

“The Olympic Games is not that far away now and the current season is one where we want to be getting the structures of our crews in place for next year,” Matheson said. “We have a multitude of talent on display in Adelaide this week and there will be a lot of hard fought racing.

“All the athletes know what the selectors are after, so it is a case of them showing us what they have.”

Racing will commence at 8am on Monday morning with heats of the single scull and pairs races.

Media contact
David Polglase, 0401 453 041

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