27.06.2008 – Alan Bennett
This year SURowing will be hosting the Trans-Tasman Universities Rowing Challenge in a three race series held in different locations across Sydney. This annual grudge match between Australian and New Zealand Universities is held on alternate years in New Zealand and Australia.
The Australian contenders each year are the Universities that won the Men’s and Women’s eights, the Lightweight Men’s coxless four and the Women’s quad scull at the preceding Australian University Games. This win gives that University the right to represent Australia in that boat class at the next Trans Tasman series.
Having won all four boat categories for the first time at last year’s AUG’s, SURowing will be boating crews to take on the Kiwis, who are selected into crews from Universities across New Zealand.
As rowing is “off season” at this time of the year, the normal lightweight limits have been relaxed to a maximum weight limit of 75kg for males and 62kg for females. A time penalty of 1sec per 100grams overweight is imposed if individuals are a bit heavy.
This year’s M8+ crew will comprise of former National team reps, Andrew Conolly, William Townsend and Ed Alexander plus our seniors and school leavers from last season. This is similar in the LM4- which boasts promising lightweights. The W8+ includes the W4- and W2x selected for the World University Rowing Championships (WURC) to be held in Belgrade later this year. The W4- includes two athletes (Emy and Georgie) who have relocated from Melbourne. These six will be joined by Women’s Captain Lucy Marshall and Golden Child Sophie Coolican. The LW4x will be spearheaded by ex-International Elsa O’Hanlon along with three girls relatively new to the delights of lightweight rowing.
This year sees the inclusion of an invitation contest for Men’s heavyweight coxless fours to allow the M4- who are also representing Australia in Belgrade at the WURC. The crew trains from the Sydney Uni shed and is formed from athletes from SUBC, Sydney Rowing Club and MUBC.
The format is match racing and the first location will be Mosman Rowing Club in Pearl Bay, with racing being conducted on the 2km Middle Harbour course. The second location will be the Nepean River, using the 5km time trial course used for Institute and National team selections. The final venue is the Olympic course at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith. Here the Kiwis will try to emulate NZ legend Rob Waddell as he rowed into immortality by winning the 2000 Olympic Men’s single scull.
TRANS TASMAN ROWING
Race I – 1st July – Mosman Rowing Club, Pearl Bay (near Spit Bridge)
Race II – 3rd July – Nepean Rowing Club, Penrith
Race III – 4th July – SIRC, Penrith
1030hrs M4- (invitation race)
Ed De Carvalho