Countdown to the Australian Boat Race

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Sydney and Melbourne University Men’s and Women’s Eights are primed to do battle in the Australian Boat Race this Sunday 23 October, 2016.

The University of Sydney is hosting this year’s event on spectacular Sydney Harbour, with the main crews set to slug it out over a gruelling 4.3 kilometres ending at Cockle Bay.  

A huge drawcard will be seeing Sydney University Boat Club (SUBC) Rio silver medallists, Sasha Belonogoff and Cameron Girdlestone in action. Our Men’s Eights will be striving to retain the Edmund Barton Trophy and continue their dominance over Melbourne in the modern era of this epic rowing race. Coach of our Men’s Eight is Mark Prater, who was honoured to be a Rowing Coach with the Australian team in Rio.

In the women’s crew, five SUBC rowers from last year have achieved selection again, including Fiona Ewing; Carina Simpson; Laura Triggs; Rebecca Humphris and Emma Fessey, who was Reserve but is promoted to Stroke for 2016. Sydney University’s women crew are determined to cause a major upset and claim the Bella Guerin Trophy for the first time ever. The task is not made any easier with two Rio Olympians backing up for the University of Melbourne in this race. Coxswain and Captain, Sarah Banting was Cox for our Women’s Eight in Rio and Jennifer Cleary represented in the Women’s Quadruple Sculls. All up the Australian Boat Races will feature four Rio Olympians.

The preliminary races will also be hotly contested between Men’s and Women’s eights from our own St Andrew’s College and Melbourne University’s Ormond College, over 2 kilometres. The Drew’s crew won both the Rawson (Men’s) and Rosebowl Cups (Women’s) 2016 rowing crowns in the annual University of Sydney Intercollegial competition, the Women in a new record time.

The first race on the program, St Andrew’s v Ormond Women’s Eights, is set to start at 8:20am with the main Women’s and Men’s Australian Boat Races to commence at 9:00am and 9:40am respectively. Everyone is welcome to come and catch all of the action on the big screen television located right near the IMAX theatre at Darling Harbour for FREE. Live race commentary will be broadcast on loudspeakers at Cockle Bay Wharf. Then, as the boats approach the finish line, supporters can take a short stroll up to the Pyrmont Bridge to see who comes out on top.  

The presentation of trophies is scheduled for 10:00am at Druitt’s Landing, near Imax. There will be a post-race brunch at Dockside from 10.30am (ticketed event).

Good luck to our 2016 Sydney University Representatives:

Women’s 2016 Australian Boat Race crew: Rebecca Humphris, Captain; Rebecca Harrison, Coxswain; Emma Fessey, Stroke;  Emily Partridge; Dyone Bettega; Laura Triggs; Carina Simpson; Lucie Holden; Loren Parsons, Bow and Isobel Sherwood, Reserve. Coach: Debbie Fox. 

Our Men’s 2016 Australian Boat Race crew is : Cameron Girdlestone, Captain and Stroke; William Raven, Coxswain; Alexander (Sasha) Belonogoff; Campbell Watts; Jacob Bicknell; Marcus Britt; David Bartholot; Andrew Judge; Jack Hanley, Bow; Franz Forster, Reserve 1 and Matthew Murray, Reserve 2. Coach: Mark Prater.

As it stands the University of Sydney has won the men’s race 5 times but is yet to taste victory in the women’s race. Melbourne has won the men’s event 1 time and 6 times in the women’s.

Visit the Australian Boat Race website for more information.