The traditional curtain raiser for the main competitive season, The New South Wales Rowing Small Boats Regatta was held last week at Penrith in warm conditions with high humidity.
This is also an important selection regatta for the New South Wales State team.
Sydney University athletes excelled with some terrific performances.
Gen Horton from the NTC Penrith took out the women’s single from a top-class field that included Australian best female rowers. Cam Girdlestone won the men’s elite single.
In U23’s Morgan Brooking was the winner in the men’s single, Andrew Judge and Jack O’Brien won the U23 pair in the smart time of 6 m 41 secs.
The U21 men’s pair was a close tussle between Marcus Britt and Will O’Shannessy of SUBC and the Sydney Rowing Club pair of Nichol and Kench. The two crews had a pitched battle for the lead from 400 meters out with the Sydney Uni pair prevailing by just under two seconds in 6 m 46 secs. In the women’s U21 pair Rachel Balcomb and Ella Mentzines won easily in 7 m 47 secs. The same combination also won the U19 and U21 women’s pairs.
The open pair also went to Judge and O’Brien while another highlight for the club was the men’s U21 single scull where schoolboy member Keiran Riach won by two seconds from Matt Murray with Devlin Walsh in fourth – all from SUBC.
In lightweights Wallis Russell continued her excellent 2017 form finishing fourth in the open lightweight women’s single behind three athletes from the NTC including SUBC’s Georgia Miansarow in third. Wallis then combined with Georgie Masters of UTS to win the women’s elite lightweight double scull in the outstanding time of 7 mins 08 secs.
The men’s U23 lightweight singles saw a stirring contest between Leon Chambers of Sydney Uni and Matt Curtin of UTS with Matt Curtin prevailing in what was a very quick time.
The next major test for our squads will come on 16-18th February at the New South Wales Rowing Championships. This regatta will have the top clubs from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in attendance along with all National Training Centre athletes from Penrith and Canberra.