Adversity breeds success at Canadian Henley Championship

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Sydney University Boat Club’s (SUBC) under 23’s men’s eight crew put a series of injury, illness and eligibility issues behind them to finish second at the Canadian Henley Championship earlier this month.

SUBC’s best young rowers – Jonny Rundle, Tom McClintock, Jack Hargreaves, Peter Koster, Kit Cunningham-Reid, Hamish Playfair, Tom Sacre, Nick Wheatley and Ryan Barraclough – set off for a three week tour to Canada on July 21 and were joined in North America by one of Australia’s best Under 23 coxswains, SUBC’s Will Raven. All of these rowers are current SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holders apart from Playfair and Wheatley.

A string of injury, illness and eligibility issues hampered the SUBC squad early in the tour, before they put in a storming performance in their final race at the Canadian Henley Championship to finish in second place behind St Catherine’s in the Championship (Open) men’s eight.

In other good news, four returning 2012 Sydney Uni Olympians will take their place in the two Sydney Uni senior eights crews selected to compete at the Gallagher Great Race Festival in New Zealand next month.

Cox Toby Lister and rowers Nick Purnell, Sarah Cook and Sally Kehoe will join the men’s and women’s crews respectively, coached by SUBC’s Mark Prater and Sydney University Women’s Rowing Club’s (SUWRC) Debbie Fox.

Sydney Uni’s men’s and women’s crews will take on the University of Waikato crews, as well as a host of international competition on Sunday September 9 as they battle it out on a 3.85km upstream course on the Waikato River through central Hamilton. 

The penultimate race of the festival pits the two women’s crews racing for the Bryan Gould Cup. The final race is between the two men’s crews who race for the coveted Harry Mahon Trophy.