Rowers gear up for Gallagher Great Race

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Four returning 2012 Sydney Uni Olympians have travelled along with the rest of their senior eights rowing squads to Hamilton, New Zealand, to prepare for Sunday’s annual Gallagher Great Race and further fan the trans-Tasman rivalry on the mighty Waikato River.

Cox Toby Lister and rowers Nick Purnell, Sarah Cook and Sally Kehoe – all 2012 London Olympic finalists – will compete in the Sydney University men’s and women’s crews respectively, coached by Sydney University Boat Club’s (SUBC) 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 Queensland University and the University of Waikato crews, as they battle it out on a 3.85km upstream course on the fast flowing Waikato River through central Hamilton. Waikato University, based in Hamilton, is the major development centre for New Zealand rowing.

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

Crews will be competing in a three boat race format introduced in 2011 as a tactical element that sets it apart from any other rowing event.

The Sydney University men’s eight team is:

Alexander Griorgievich Belonogoff
Ryan Edwards
Nicholas Purnell
Christopher Cunningham-Reid
Jon Rundle (replacing the injured Ryan Barraclough)
Thomas Sacre
Nick Wheatley
Hamish Playfair
Tobias Lister (Captain and Coxswain)

The Sydney University women’s eight team is:

India Evans
Holly Lawrence
Nicola Metcalfe
Jessica Buttel
Maddie Cavanagh
Jo Wood
Sarah Cook
Sally Kehoe
Genevieve Fick (Coxswain)