SUBC Annual General Meeting Sat 4th May 5 pm Thyne Reid Boatshed



 Notice is hereby given that the 2019 Annual General Meeting of The Sydney University Boat Club will be held at the Thyne Reid Boathouse at 5.00 pm on 4th May 2019

Election of Office Bearers:

Nominations are called for positions on the Executive Committee:

President Vice President Men’s Captain Women’s Captain

 Treasurer Secretary Undergraduate Committee Member

Nominations close with The Secretary at 5 pm on WEDNESDAY 1st May.

Email nominations to

A Club BBQ and Drinks will happen at 6 pm immediately after the AGM

Patron's Program of Sydney Uni Boat Club Foundation Launched

Om Saturday 6th April, our cub President, Sarah Cook, officially launched the 2019 Patron’s Program as part of our ongoing efforts to raise funds for the club through the Boat Chapter of the University of Sydney Sports Foundation.

Sarah noted the huge effort made by many alumni in supporting the Boatshed Appeal over the past three years. The requirement for the club to contribute a large amount to this objective meant that fundraising towards expanding and upgrading our fleet has had to be suspended over this period.

The launch of the Patron’s Program will see our efforts now concentrated on fundraising for our equipment needs. As President Cook noted, we will need at least our target of $600,000 to meet our projected needs over the next 4-5 years.

Alumni and Parents who can contribute are urged to contact one of our Committee listed on the Foundation page or email

Sarah announced after the Patron’s Cocktail Party t,hat $190K had now been committed or pledged toards our initial target of $600K.

Sarah Cook SUBC President on left with past Women’s Club Presidents, Jane Spring, centre and Bronwen Watson, right

Sarah Cook SUBC President on left with past Women’s Club Presidents, Jane Spring, centre and Bronwen Watson, right

Sydney University finishes Top of Medal and Points Tables at 2019 Nationals

For the second consecutive year SUBC’s rowing team has topped the National Rowing Championships Medal Table and Club Point score Table.

At the end of six days of racing with 13.25 Gold medals and 274 points Sydney University was again the top club in Australia despite hot competition mounted by Sydney Rowing Club.

2019 National Point Score Medal Table – Top Five

Club                                  Gold           Silver             Bronze 

  1. Sydney University 13.5 7.25 3.0

  2. Sydney Rowing Club 7.125 9.25 5.625

  3. Toowong Rowing Club 7.0 6.25 3.0

  4. Aus National University 4.625 2.25 4.75

  5. Swan River Rowing Club 4.5 5.75 4.75

    2019 Nationals Club Point Score - Top Ten

    1. Sydney University 274

    2. Sydney Rowing Club 253

    3. Toowong Rowing Club 170

    4. Swan River Rowing Club 161

    5. Melbourne University 157.5

    6. Mercantile Rowing Club 137

    7. UTS Sydney 118.5

    8. Aus National Uni 100.5

    9. Uni of Qld Boat Club 85

    10. West Australian RC 84

We don’t have space to mention all our medallists in this story but here a a few highlights.

Our U23 men’s and women’s pairs both won gold with Britt and O’Shannessy doing a podium time of 6m 32 secs in their final. Dyone Bettega and Tara Rigney won gold narrowly in their final.

After being disqualified for being in an underweight boat in 2018 Fiona Ewing took gold in the open women’s double, The men’s coxless four of O’Brien, Purnell, Purnell and Hargreaves won convincingy in 5m 56 sec. Sophie Houston won gold with Ruby O’Keeffe in the U19 double sculls and also in the U19 eight and also picked up silver with Danielle Stuart in the U19 oair.

James Talbot had three wins in the PR3 category with gold in single, pair and four.

Gen Horton took gold in the Open Single sculls.

Finally congratulations to our coaches who were more often than not at SIRC before sunrise and often there till well after dark rigging boats.

Without their dedication to coaching, their hard work at the regatta these performances would not be possible. Don McLachlan, Alfie Young, Chris Holliday, Debbie Fox and Jack Hanley.

All of SUBC’s performances can be accessed at Rowing Australia Regattas - and at this link:


In recent years New South Wales had finally started to do consistently better in the Rowing Australia Cup for the Interstate Regatta. Winning only 3 times from 1999 to 2016 but gaining victory in 2017 and 2018.

Gen Horton lifted on Podium.jpeg

Even with these wins in 17 and 18 there were events in which we had experienced long droughts. The Penrith Cup was won in 2018 for the first time in 20 years. The Victoria Cup (Women’s Lightweight Quad) was also won in 2018 for the first time in 15 years.

In business a “rainmaker” is one who brings in the money – in Interstate Rowing the “rainmaker” for New South Wales was Gen Horton. She broke a 20-year drought with a comprehensive win in the Interstate Women’s Single Scull (Nell Slatter Trophy) in the third event of the regatta and about 90 minutes later led the New South Wales Women’s Eight to a heart stopping victory in the Queen’s Cup. Our state’s first win in this event in 15 years. Double drought breaker!

In a “light blue” afternoon New South Wales became the first state ever to win the four eights in the Interstate Regatta – The Men’s and Women’s Youth Eights, The Queen’s Cup and the King’s Cup. Add to this Horton’s win in the women’s single, two silvers in the lightweight quad (women) and lightweight four (men) and silvers in the men’s and women’s PR3 single and it became one of the most comprehensive victories ever in The Rowing Australia Cup.

The New South Wales Queen’s Cup eight have been competitive the last two years but race tactics and nerves might have impacted them in those races. This year under the guidance of coach Don Mclachlan and with support from former state rowers,  the crew rowed a smart race and responded to their coxens call to hold out a fast finishing Victorian crew.

In other events New South Wales trounced the field in the Women’s Youth Eight – winning by over 7 seconds and recording our first win since 2013. In the Men’s Youth Eight New South Wales continued its domination of this event beating Victoria by 2.5 seconds. Our state’s sixth win in 7 years in this event.

The final race saw New South Wales seek to retain its grip on the King’s Cup – and the crew did not disappoint.  They led narrowly at the 500, by 3 seconds at the  1000 metre and were not threatened  in the run home to record their 10th victory in the last 12 King’s Cup races.

The final points were NSW 67, Victoria 51, Qld 40, SA 3, Tas 30, ACT 24.

One other special milestone set on Sunday was that set by Nick Purnell in the King’s Cup. With this win Nick equals James Chapman, Fergus Pragnell and Sam Loch with seven wins for New South Wales. Nick’s winning races are 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019.

Prior to the Interstate Regatta the Victorians in the VIP area were handing out small sheets with words for the “Victorian” song – these were only required for one of the eight events.

Our winning Kings and Queen’s Cup crews were:

Queen’s Cup:  Rowena Meredith, Fiona Ewing, Harriet Hudson, Gen Horton, Georgie Rowe, Rowe, Leah Saunders, Georgie Gotch, Emma Fessey, cox: Talia Barnet-Hepples, Coach Don McLachlan

King’s Cup: Angus Moore, Jack O'Brien, Spencer Turrin, Alex Purnell, Nick Purnell, Hamish Playfair, Jack Hargreaves, Rob Black, cox Kendall Brodie, Coach Don Cech

SUBC Prevails in Tight Finish at 2019 Men’s Riverview Gold Cup

The 135th Gold Cup Regatta saw a repeat of 2018 when arch rivals Sydney University and Sydney Rowing Club went to the line in one of the tightest finishes for some time.

SUBC claiming 2019 Gold Cup

Sydney Uni grabbed lane 1 with the fastest heat time leaving Sydney in lane 3.

Sydney had a lead on the staggered start but once the flag dropped they went away quickly increasing their lead to a length in the first few hundred meters. The university boat worked back into the race in the middle 800 metres and as they turned at the leaning pile looked to be University in front.

With 200 meters to go the commentator called the lead to Sydney Rowing Club but soon after SUBC had the break of about a canvas. The Sydney crew came back strongly in the last ten strokes – just failing – by 0.45 secs to catch the Blue and Gold.

This was our club’s second win in succession with the 2018 crew winning in a controversial re-row. The university men’s eight have now won 12 Gold Cups since 2000.

The crew was:

Marcus Britt, Devlin Walsh, Tom Anderson, Kieran Riach, Jordan Duff, Morgan Brooking,

Lachlan Miles Will O’Shannessy. Cox Dani Pettit

2019 Gold Cup men 8 racing.jpg
2019 Gold Cup men 8 racing 2.jpg
2019 Gold Cup men 8 rwith gold oars.jpg

2018 Rowing Blues Awarded

At the Annual Blues Dinner at the end of November 8 rowers were among around 45 Blues awarded the prestigious Blue jackets of Sydney University for sporting performances.

The rowers awarded in 2018 were Will O’Shannessy, Devlin Walsh, Lizzie Treloar, Michael Franz, Emma Cook, Morgan Brooking, David Bartholot and Jaime Ford.

Some of the New SUBC Blues for 2018: Michaela Franz, Lizzie Trelaor, Jaime Ford, Morgan Brooking and Will O’Shannessy

Some of the New SUBC Blues for 2018: Michaela Franz, Lizzie Trelaor, Jaime Ford, Morgan Brooking and Will O’Shannessy

2019 Learn to Row - Semester 1 Intake

2019 Learn to Row - Semester 1 Intake

Learn to Row Semester 1 intake registration is now open. Date is TBC though likely to be the first Saturday concluding O-Week (23.02.19). If you are a university student (regardless of institution) who has never rowed before WE WANT YOU! First year students are highly encouraged though we take anyone up to 30 years of age. 

Last year we taught nearly 30 students how to row giving them the opportunity to develop new friendships and get into a whole new sport. Some went on to represent the club in Korea, China, as well as the Australian Div 1 Nationals. 

Course is 8 weeks, 2 sessions per week, during which you will learn how to row on an indoor rowing machine as well as on the water doing the real thing!

Fill in our google doc to register your interest.

Cost is $325  

Initial Email enquiries should be made to

Once Jack has put you in the program please pay online at Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness.

All users of our facility must join Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness as an initial step.

This will ensure you are covered under the SUSF Insurance Plan.
Usyd Students: $50, Community Members: $65, Junior (18 and under): $25

              Boat Club 2018 Dinner sees Annual Awards Presented

Boat Club 2018 Dinner sees Annual Awards Presented

Decked in their finest clothing including New South Wales and Sydney Uni Blues Blazers members of our club assembled at the No 1 Oval Grandstand on Sat 1st December for the Boat Club Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards.

Our top award for 2018 - the Rebecca Wilson Shield - chosen by the President was awarded to Nick Purnell (aka Big Dog, Big Purnee etc). Nick came back after a year of rowing to join the National Training Centre in October 2017 and this year won a silver medal at the Worlds Championships in the men’s eight.

Nick joined SUBC in 2009 and represented NSW in the Youth eights. The following year he was in senior ranks rowing in the winning NSW Kings Cup Eight that set a still standing course record at Nagambie of 5.27.9. Nick went on to join the Senior team that year and to be in winning King’s Cup crews for 2011 to 2013 inclusive. Nick was selected in the Australian men’s eight for London and on national teams from 2010 to 2015.

Nick has rowed in many winning crews over the years for SUBC and is leader in our club both on and off the water.and a major contributor to the culture of SUBC.




Nick Purnell


Georgie Gotch


Campbell Watts

Alex Purnell


Jaime Ford


Morgan Brooking


Richard Ledger


Jack Hargreaves


Georgia Miansarow


Jack O’Brien

Andrew Judge


Wallis Russell


Martina Schele

Sydney Uni Sport Announce Record Bequest for SU Hockey Club

Sydney University Sport have announced a what is thought to be the largest donation to university sport ever - the approximately $6.3 million dollar bequest from the estate of Bruce and Jenny Pryor.

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) is extremely humbled and honoured to announce it has received its most generous philanthropic donation ever, with the late Bruce and Jenny Pryor bequeathing in excess of $6 million towards hockey at the University of Sydney. 

This extraordinarily generous bequest has provisions that SUSF continue to advance the sport of hockey at the University. The home of Sydney University Hockey Club (SUHC), at the Cumberland campus of the University of Sydney, was proudly named The Bruce Pryor Hockey Field last year in dedication to Bruce Pryor’s love, service and generosity to the Hockey Club spanning an astonishing 61 years.

“This is an incredible act of generosity by the Pryors, who had already done so much for the University with an earlier gift of just over $1 million which helped us establish the Bruce Pryor Hockey Field at The University’s Cumberland campus,” said SUSF Executive Director, Robert Smithies.

“The Pryors have become the largest donors to SUSF, or any of our clubs, in the process, and they have left the biggest bequest to University sport in Australian history. It may well be the biggest bequest to University sport in the hemisphere – we are unaware of anyone else ever being so generous in this way.”

The funds are to be used for the benefit of the Hockey Club and to improve hockey infrastructure – something that was very close to Bruce’s (and Jenny’s) heart.

Bruce played at the Hockey Club from 1956 to 1972 and gained a degree from The University of Sydney in Architecture in 1961 and a Masters in Architecture in 1963. He lived at Wesley College whilst studying at Sydney University, and retained a close affinity with the College and its buildings.

Bruce was a first grade player from 1956 to 1964, and was Vice-captain from 1959 to 1964. He then played with the 2nd grade team when he started working, and captained it from 1968 to 1972.

He also played in 5 intervarsity competitions from 1957 to 1961, winning the Syme Cup in 1959 in Melbourne and 1961 in Hobart. It would be 50 years until Sydney University won it again.

Bruce was awarded a University Blue in 1959.

At a representative level, Bruce was selected for the Combined Universities Team in 1959, the Combined Sydney 1sts in the NSW State Championships in 1961 and 1962, and played against Pakistan, New Zealand, and Japan.

Bruce's love for the Hockey Club extended into volunteering his time on the Hockey Club Board - he was a Club selector for many years, Club Secretary, and later became the Club President and Club Patron.

This is an extraordinary moment in SUSF’s history and in the Hockey Club’s own 112-year history.

Bruce and jenny Pryor.jpg

SUBC President Sarah Cook Appointed as Steward of Henley Royal Regatta

SUBC President Sarah Cook appointed as Steward of Royal Henley Regatta. Third Australian to be appointed in this role in the history of Henley.





Today, Henley Royal Regatta is delighted to announce the election of three new Stewards:

  • Alison Faiers

    • A British Rowing Multi-lane Umpire. Alison has volunteered at the Regatta for many years.

  • Sarah Cook

    • Australian rower and former World Champion. Sarah has been contributing to the Commentary team at the Regatta for over five years.

  • Luke Dillon

    • Rowed at Henley Royal Regatta in six different crews from 2005 to 2011. Luke became an assistant to the Regatta’s Chairman in 2016.

Throughout recent years, each has been heavily involved in the Regatta.

Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Regatta’s Committee of Management, said: “We’re delighted to have Alison, Luke and Sarah in their new posts. They’ve all played integral roles at the Regatta in recent years. The Stewards are a tribute to the long-standing history of the Regatta; we look forward to seeing them all in their new roles at next year’s event.”

Sarah Cook.jpg

        SUBC's Largest Ever Team to Head of The Yarra  24th November

SUBC's Largest Ever Team to Head of The Yarra 24th November

The Boat Club will send its largest ever contingent to the 2018 Head of The Yarra.

Our team will consist of :

Senior Men’s Eight:

MO8+ Sydney University Leon Chambers, David Bartholot, AndrewJudge, Jack O'Brien, Nicholas Purnell, Campbell Watts, Jack Hargreaves, Alex Purnell, William Raven(c)

Senior Women’s Eight: (with Sydney and Adelaide RC)

FO8+ Sydney University Composite Olympia Aldersey,Georgia Miansarow,Fiona Ewing, Genevieve Horton,Rowena Meredith,Harriet Hudson,Leah Saunders, Georgina Gotch, Talia Barnet-Hepples(c)

Club Men’s Eight - in Open Eights:

MO8+ Sydney University Marcus Britt, Devlin Walsh, Lachlan Miles,Kieran Riach,Jordan Duff, Morgan Brooking,Jack Hanley, Will O'Shannessy, Andrew Le(c)

Club Women’s Eight - in Open Eights

FO8+ Sydney University Lizzie Treloar, Sarah Parsons,Tara Rigney,Jaime Ford,Rachel Balcomb ,Carina Simpson, Lauren Fornasaro, Dyone Bettega,Danielle Pettit(c)

Women’s Junior Eight - In C Grade Eights:

FC8+ Sydney University Mardi Downing, Caitlin Shewell,Olivia Dent,India Hobbs, Michaela Franz ,Eliza Entwistle, Hannah Westhuizen, Ellie Clubb, Caroline Kotch(c)

Women’s Masters Eight:

FME8+ Sydney University Composite Joanne Gray,Julie Wass, Ann Tout ,Penelope Wass, Lisa Cottee,Martina Schele, Stephanie O'Malley, Gillian O'Malley ,Susie Edwards(c)


             Sydney Women's Masters Eight at 2018 Head Of Charles

Sydney Women's Masters Eight at 2018 Head Of Charles

The call went out around the Sydney waterways earlier in the year - who could come together to go and compete in one of the world’s greatest rowing festivals - the 2018 Head of The Charles Time Trial in Boston.

They rounded them up - a small core of three from Sydney Uni Pollett, O’Malley and O’malley were soon joined by some nearby locals from Balmain RC, Ypma and McDonald and the they found Pendleton wandering down the Lane Cove River. Throw in Nisbett from Drummoyne and Liljeqvist from Sydney RC on the Parramatta River - and hey presto - the “Sydney Harbour Stars” are in training and ready to tackle this regatta.

The crew in detail: Gillian O'Malley (SUBC), Jo Pollett (SUBC),Renate Ypma (Balmain RC),

Cassie McDonald (Balmain RC), Lindy Nisbett (DRC),Kirsten Liljeqvist (Sydney RC and SUBC Masters coach), Jannet Pendleton (NSRC),Stephanie O'Malley (SUBC)

Throw in veteran masters rower and coach, Phil Titterton and this high functioning unit is ready to head to Boston.

There were 44 entries in this years women’s masters eights. The event was won by the 1992 Canadian Olympic eight with the “Stars” coming in 21st.

The Sydney Harbour Stars - Women’s Masters Eight for Head of the Charles 2018

The Sydney Harbour Stars - Women’s Masters Eight for Head of the Charles 2018

       Double Win to Sydney University in 2018 Australian Boat Race

Double Win to Sydney University in 2018 Australian Boat Race

Sydney University wins Women’s and Men’s Eight for 2nd Year Running

Fresh Winds make for tough rowing conditions

Matt Cleary followed the 2018 Australian Boat Race across the inner harbour of Sydney on Sunday morning.

(Photo credits: © The University of Sydney /  Maja Baska: © The University of Sydney Stefanie Zingsheim and Steve McArthur of Rowing Celebration (

It’s a cloudy and woolly-wet morning on Sydney Harbour as the men’s and women’s eights from Sydney University and Melbourne University prepare to contest The Australian Boat Race, a facsimile of The Boat Race that Oxford and Cambridge contest each year on the River Thames. And like the delicious quarter-pounder burger of McDonald’s known as a “Royale with Cheese” in France, the Australian version is just a little different.

For one it’s held on two different waterways. In odd years it’s on Melbourne’s Yarra River. On even ones it’s held on the glittering harbour of Sydney town, where it winds 4.6km from Onion Point in Woolwich, past islands named after a cockatoo and a goat, and into Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour. And it’s all a bit of a thing.

It’s all quiet on the waterfront as we sit bobbing about in the media boat surrounded by sexy sandstone real estate. The women’s eights jockey into position as a helicopter buzzes above and a media man releases a drone like a falconer setting free a bird of prey. There are police boats with lights a-flashing, yellow water taxis with official flags, and a small flotilla of pleasure craft out for a look.

The starter barks “Go!” from a mega-phone and go they do, the rowers, oars ripping in, carving, heaving, the boats sluicing fluidly through the sea. And they’re quickly away and we after them in the camera boat, close on their tails, photographers lying prone shooting clenched teeth and rictus faces, the money shots of rowing photography.

And it’s all quite cool for no reason you can put a finger on. It’s like mariners enjoying dolphins at the bow. Or like that bit in Jaws when they put three harpoons in the great shark and it toes the barrels and we chase them, and there’s jaunty music and laughter.

And so, two teams of eight row in harmony, surging powerfully through the sea. To the lay eye they all look the same. To the rowing fellows on our boat – who include Harald Jahrling, who trained East German gold medal winners in the double sculls in the 1980 Olympics – the form individual rowers is critiqued.

 “There’s your bridge!” says Harald, as the mighty arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge haws into view. Even seasoned commuters will poke their heads up from their phones to look at The Bridge. And they will think as one: it’s a bloody great bridge.

A nor-easter picks up and whips specks of salt water across our stern. Sydney pulls a length clear. Sea spume blots the journo’s notepad. Rough water now, and choppy. Rio was like this. Beautiful setting. But as Egyptian sculler Nadia Negm said: “If you are rowing this week you better know how to swim.”

The water smoothes in Walsh Bay and the Sydney eight draws clear, open water now between the crews, lengths negligible. Skyscrapers are the backdrop as the teams row into the shade of Barangaroo and giant bank buildings. And Sydney University wins the Bella Guerin Trophy.

Ms Guerin? Activist, suffragette, teacher. In 1883 she became the first woman to graduate from an Australian university. Aged 33 she married an 80-year-old. Aged 50 she married a 21-year-old. She protested wars, decried religion and walked to the beat of her own drum. Hero.

The men’s trophy is named after Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton, who rowed in the first official intervarsity race in 1870. Barton later umpired a cricket match between Australia and Lord Harris’s XI that turned into “the Sydney Riot of 1879”.

And so back to Onion Point for the start of the men’s race. Boats jockey. Helicopter buzzes. Police boats flash lights. And a media releases the drone. Rules guy on the megaphone barks “Go!” and releases the hounds, and they carve into the briny with long paddles, heaving ho, fast as they can, propelling the 100 kg carbon fibre boat through the green seas of Greenwich. And again we’re off after them and it’s that pod of dolphins feeling again, something about it.

And so, the young boaters sluice through the briny, multiple man Turks in harmony. The bodies on these people! Long levers, tight muscularity. They are like rowing machines. Their discipline demands equal parts anaerobic and aerobic high-function. It’s lactic acid in the limbs. As the Sydney women’s coach told her charges: “The winner will be the one who keeps their hand in the fire the longest.”

Melbourne’s cox is a girl, a recent initiative that would have pleased Bella Guerin. And as her crew sluice ahead of us she’s into them with good lungs, variations on “Row! You bastards! Row!” Her commands punctuate across the waters of Greenwich. Be funny if she had a whip.

Out past Greenwich Point we plunder, into a nor-easter equal parts head and cross-wind, tips of the oars bare metres apart. And the sun comes out! And it’s magnificent. Sea spume and white caps, and glints diamond points of sunlight on the seas. The mighty bridge haws into view again and it’s a grand place to be. Apologies to Rio – this is the world’s best harbour.

Sydney goes a length clear. And then two lengths. Lactic build-up and hard yards now. The race is a long one by rowing standards. Normally the eights will row for one or two kilometres across flat water. This is nearly five kilometres over lumpy seas. But they’re good with it, these people. They train over ten times a week – on the water, on the rower, in the gym. Outside that they’re studying, eating or sleeping. Sasha Belonogoff won silver in the quad sculls in Rio. David Bartholot is heading to Canberra to try out for same. These people are rowing machines. And this is what they train for – the pleasure of pain.

Sydney owning it now. They tear into Darling Harbour multiple lengths clear. Pre-race they had joked about sledging the Melbourne lads across the water. Impossible now - Melbourne’s too far away. And they’re too buggered anyway.

They slide by a Star Ship, a paddle steamer, a submarine. Into the winner’s circle and the Sydney celebrate. There’s much man-hugging and chesty bumps. They pick up the boat over their heads, water rains, a much-photographed shot. They pile it on their truck, work not done. Discipline will stay with these men forever.

There’s a presentation and medals, watched on by boat people in stripy blazers and Trump-like red caps, and a smattering of rubber-necking tourists. The race is brilliant yet something of a hard sell to an Australian public so saturated with sport.

Yet a great race down the Yarra and across Sydney Harbour is a very good idea indeed. And you’d think it would make decent TV with Ray Warren commentating, and various cams, and drones, and the jaunty soundtrack of Jaws. Perhaps the race – even the odds - could be live-streamed and beamed onto the sails of the Opera House.

Perhaps not.


The 2018 Australian Boat Race crews were:

University of Sydney

Men’s Eight: William Raven, Coxswain; Will O’Shannessey, Stroke; Leon Chambers; Alexander (Sasha) Belonogoff; Andrew Judge; David Bartholot; Jordan Duff; Morgan Brooking and Marcus Britt, Bow. Reserves: Devlin Walsh and Andrew Le, Coxswain. Coaches: Don McLachlan and Chris Holliday.

Women’s Eight: Talia Barnet-Hepples, Coxswain; Wallis Russell, Stroke; Dyone Bettega; Lauren Graham; Harriet Hudson; Jaime Ford; Carina Simpson; Georgia Masters; Tara Rigney, Bow. Reserves: Lizzy Treloar and Michaela Franz. Coaches: Alfie Young and Debbie Fox. 

University of Melbourne

Men’s Eight: Sarah Ben-David, Coxswain; Robert Corden-McKinley, Stroke; Carl Tomczak; Josh Booth; Max Fisher; Edward Walmsley; Carl Doedens; Thomas Page; James Heath, Bow. Reserves: Joel Cain and Chris Hargreaves. Coaches: Michael Poulter and Matt Ryan.

Women’s Eight: Phoebe Georgakas, Coxswain; Ria Thompson, Stroke; Jacqueline Hart; Brigid McKeagney-Douglas; Jennifer Cleary; Eleanor Price; Kate Duggan; Charlotte Wirtz; Milla Marston, Bow. Reserve: Bianca Litchfield. Coach: James Smith.

SUBC Novices at RNSW Spring Regatta

Huge weekend for our SUBC novices at RNSW Spring Regatta. The boys lined up for a mix of 1000m and having started rowing in April they were thrown in the deep end for the 2000m races. They had to negotiate a multitude of new factors including steering on a buoyed course as well as lining up for a held start. Many thanks to Chris Holliday for driving the trailer out to SIRC! Stand out performance of the day goes to Matt Lighton for an incredible 5thin the Men’s B single, having only rowed it a handful of times!



Men’s C 2x:

-      Lachlan Renwick, Matthew Lighton: 3rd

-      Harry Rowston, Philipp Kaufmann: 5th

Men’s C 4x:

-      Harry Rowston, Philipp Kaufmann, Lachlan Renwick, Matthew Lighton 5th. 

Men’s B 4x:

-      Harry Rowston, Philipp Kaufmann, Lachlan Renwick, Matthew Lighton 4th


Men’s B 2x

-      Harry Rowston, Philipp Kaufmann: 5th


Men’s B 1x

-      Matthew Lighton 5th

           BOAT RACE PREVIEW 2018 with Matt Cleary

BOAT RACE PREVIEW 2018 with Matt Cleary

In the Olympic Games at Rio in 2016, eight of Australia’s 29 rowers came from Sydney University or Melbourne University.In London in 2012 it was 18 out of 46. These fine, sandstone establishments have long been the sport’s centres of excellence. It’s where a lot of money goes – because it has to: it takes a lot to feed these people.

Rowers from the two university boat clubs – who on Sunday will race on Sydney Harbour in Australia’s version of Oxford versus Cambridge on the Thames – train ten or more times a week. On the water, on the rower, in the gym. When they’re not training they’re studying, sleeping or eating. And they can eat for Australia. Food is fuel for oft-revving engines. It’s estimated a rower costs $15,000 a year to feed, clothe and move about.

Money and opportunity is one reason Australia’s rowing stocks have come from a relatively small catchment. Yet the sport is looking to spread the love. Talent spotters are heading to swim meets, to basketball and rugby tournaments, to wherever long, strong and athletic people gather.

David Bartholot was discovered like this. Though it was more that he discovered himself. 

Bartholot – who on Sunday will row number 4 from bow (front) of the Sydney boat – grew up in Forster on the NSW Mid North Coast with a brother, a single mum, and a father overseas. He went to year 12 at Great Lakes College in Tuncurry and there he ran and swam and ran again. “I liked to keep fit,” he says. “I tried all sports. Enjoyed them all. I was an okay runner, an okay swimmer.” But he was looking for something else. And when he was 18-years-old opportunity – even serendipity – knocked. 

On a life-saving patrol on Crowdy Head Beach, a man called Rod Croker approached Bartholot and said words to the effect of, “Son, you are a likely-looking lad. How would you like to try out for our surf boat crew?” Bartholot, you see, stands 197cm and weighs 93kg. Long arms, long legs, good lungs. In surf boat parlance, a perfect specimen.

Yet he was not that fussed. His brother had been a boatie but Bartholot declared that he’d like to try rowing on flat water instead, for no other reason than he’d tried all the sports and he’d like a new way to keep fit. 

David Bartholot - Rowing New South Wales Novice of the Year 2016 - racing tomorrow in the 2018 Australian Boat Race

David Bartholot - Rowing New South Wales Novice of the Year 2016 - racing tomorrow in the 2018 Australian Boat Race

So Croker made a call.

Enter Phil Chalmers of Manning River Rowing Club. The Manning has produced it’s share of rowing world champions and Chalmers had benefited from their teaching. He was keen to spread the love. He took the boy out for double-scull on Wallis Lake. And it was a bit rocky early. “I had a couple of goes and was wondering what I’d got myself into,” says Bartholot. “I found it quite difficult to stay in!” 

His next go wasn’t much better. 

But the seed was sown. 

He headed to Wollongong University and there was little rowing there. He rang Sydney Uni to tell them he wanted to row. They brought him up for a trial, worked him on the stationary machine over 500m and 1000m. And said to him: “You can do this. You have the physical attributes. But it will be very hard yakka. Your grades have to be High Distinction or better. You must be all-in.” 

Bartholot went all-in. He flogged himself, studying and rowing. He won a scholarship. He won the best rookie award. And today he rows for the Sydney Uni eight in the blue riband Australian version of Oxford vs Cambridge. On Sydney Harbour. As people line the shore. As helicopters cover the event from above and police boats keep the flotilla of spectator craft from getting too close.

Bartholot says the race is one of the highlights of the year. “It’s right up there. Everyone looks forward to it. It’s a bit of a grudge match. The two universities produce most of the top rowers. At the uni games you always look out for Melbourne. You don’t want to lose to them.”

Is it like State of Origin? “I guess you could say that,” he smiles. “There’s a little bit of chat before and during the race, though nothing untoward. If you’re ahead you’ll be enjoying it, maybe saying a few things. Across the water you can hear their cox talking. And if you say something they’ll hear you.”

Bartholot has raced in one other Australian Boat Race, in 2016. Sydney Uni’s men’s eight have won the last four races. Their crew contains Olympian Sasha Belonogoff, who won silver in the quad sculls in Rio. Yet the race will be as tough for him as anyone.

“It’s 4.6km long through pretty choppy water,” says Bartholot. “Normally we race in lanes on flat water over one or two kilometres. This is a staying race and we don’t really train for it. But we’re in our pre-season so it’ll be good for us.”

Both crews’ plan will be to get ahead as early as they can and force the other crew to row in their wake. If you’re behind it’s hard to overtake because there’s less purchase for an oar in moving water. Bartholot says his crew is known for slow starts but strong finishes. “If we can hold Melbourne off early we should be able to bring it home,” he says. If fans are lucky the race will be a repeat of the first modern match on the Yarra River when the lead changed three times and Sydney won by less than a foot won.

“But if we hold this race for a hundred years,” says race organiser Chris Noel OAM, “we’ll never see a race that close again.”

Once the race is done Bartholot will head to Canberra and spend a week trying out for a place in the National Training Centre. It’s where Australian Olympic rowers are made. Which means a bit over four years since those first wobbly paddles on Wallis Lake, David Bartholot is trying out to row for Australia. In the Olympics. In Japan in 2020. And he would recommend the journey to anyone.

“If I wasn’t doing it I’d be exercising on the rower in the gym. It’s a good way to keep fit. You also travel. I’ve been to China, to Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane. And it’s nice doing it with a club. It’s more fun than going to gym on your own.

“It’s an ‘all-in’ sort of sport. It’s not something you can really do recreationally. The fitness, the time. But if people have goals to be good at it, as I did, I’d recommend it 100 per cent. I’ve never looked back.”



                                   THE AUSTRALIAN BOAT RACE – THIS SUNDAY 14th OCTOBER



                                               COLLEGE EIGHTS at 8.15 AM AND 8.30 AM

                       WOMEN’S EIGHTS 9 AM                              MEN’S EIGHTS 9.40 AM


                                                                 Streaming link:     

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Sydney and Melbourne University Boat Clubs have announced their final crews for the 2018 Australian Boat Race. The event starts at 9 am on a Sydney Harbour 4.3 km course from Woolwich to Darling Harbour on Sunday 14tth October.

At the recent national University Championships, it was Sydney University that dominated the men’s competition and just shaded Melbourne University in the women’s.

In the men’s championships, the Sydney university men won the pair, four and eight while in the women Melbourne won the bigger boats, eight and four, and Sydney University won the pair.

Both women’s crews have been strengthened – Melbourne University have added Jen Cleary (Rio Olympian) and Ria Thompson (2013 Australian U23 Rowing team member) to their winning Intervarsity crew. At the University Championships they won over Sydney University by 6.8 seconds. The Sydney crew have added Harriet Hudson (national representative in Juniors 2016 and U23 national team member 2017 and 2018), Georgie Masters (U23 Australian team 2018) and Lauren Graham (silver medallist at the 2018 World Junior Championships).

Melbourne will no doubt start favourites in the women’s race for the Bella Guerin Trophy, but Sydney University will be an improved crew from Intervarsity and will have the confidence of their first win in this event in 2017.

The men’s eight of Melbourne has added Josh Booth – his experience and strength will lift their boat – Josh is a silver medallist in the Australian men’s eight at the 2018 World Senior Championships and a silver medallist from the Rio Olympics and captained the winning Melbourne eight in this event in 2013.

The Sydney eight has three new additions from the Intervarsity crew that recently won the Oxford and Cambridge Cup. Rio silver medallist in the quad scull, Sasha Belonogoff joins the crew along with 2018 national U23 and senior representative in the men’s pair, Andrew Judge. Will Raven will take the reins in the coxens seat.

Boat Race crew members above : from top left) Andrew Judge ( Sydney) Harriet Husdon ( Sydney) Jen Cleary ( Melbourne) Josh Booth ( Melbourne) Sasha Belonogoff ( Sydney) Will Raven ( Sydney) Wallis Russell (Sydney) Dyone Bettega (Sydney)

Both Melbourne and Sydney won the Intervarsity eights over 2000 meters by six seconds, so it will be up the new additions in each set of crews to make an impact and reverse the results from the University Nationals.

Sydney look to have an edge in the men’s event and the women’s race could be very tight – Melbourne deserves early favouritism.

Spectators can watch the races live on the big screen, outside the International Convention Centre in Cockle bay, Darling Harbour on Sunday 14th.  University college races are at 8.15 and 8.30 am and the Australian Boat Race eights are: 9 am Women, 9.40 am Men.

        From the 2015 Boat Race - A stern of Future Silver Medallists

From the 2015 Boat Race - A stern of Future Silver Medallists

Looking into the archives of the Boat Club we came across this photo of the Sydney University men’s Boat Race Eight from 2015. In the cover photo the crew races along the final reach of the race before the finish line at Melbourne University Boat Club on the Yarra.

What is remarkable about this crew is the stern four - Stroke and seven Cam Girdlestone and Sasha Belonogoff would be selected on the 2016 Australian Olympic Team and go on to win silver medals in Rio De Janeiro in the men’s quad scull. In this photo Sasha is six years out of school and Cam seven or eight years while Campbell Watts in the six seat is only two years from school rowing and Alex Purnell in 5 seat is three years from school.

At the recent 2018 Senior World Championships Alex rowed in the 3 seat and Campbell 2 seat in the Australian men’s quad who also gained silver in an exciting race.

At the 2015 Boat Race these athletes shared a combined 19 years in the Sydney University Boat Club Development program - with Cam and Sasha already established as senior national rowers and Alex and Campbell still a couple of years away from their first senior team.

Now in 2018 - all four of these athletes in the stern of this crew are silver medallists at Olympic or World Championships level in the men’s quad scull.

2015 Men’s Boat Race Eight passing under Swan St Bridge on the Yarra

2015 Men’s Boat Race Eight passing under Swan St Bridge on the Yarra

Well done and congratulations to these rowers and their coaches.

        Sydney Uni Rowers Star at 2018 University Championships

Sydney Uni Rowers Star at 2018 University Championships

 The Sydney University Boat Club Team dominated the annual University Rowing Championships in finals held today at Wyaralong Dam near Beaudesert in Queensland. These championships were held as part of titles in 47 sports held on or around the Gold Coast during this week.

The team entered 15 of the 16 events winning 7 Gold medals, 3 silvers and 3 bronze with other events bringing a 4th and a 7th place.

Highlight performances included retaining the Oxford and Cambridge Cup for the men’s eights while the women’s pair of Dyone Bettega and Jaime Ford impressed with a strong win over Melbourne in their event.

Marcus Britt and Will O’Shannessy had a tough race against Lavery and Holt from UTS in the men’s pair. The race was neck and neck all the way till the last few hundred metres when the Sydney pair gained a narrow lead to win by just under 2 seconds in the smart time of 6 42.9.. Britt and O’Shannessy also mined gold in the men’s four and eight.

Wallis Russell – rowing in the heavyweight single impressed with a bronze and was part of the SUBC women’s eight who grabbed silver behind Melbourne Uni.

On the previous day our teams won gold in the Mixed eights and silver in the Mixed four.

More gold medals come to the women’s lightweight quad stroked by Tara Rigney, the lightweight men’s single featuring Leon Chambers.

Silver medals came from the Mixed Four, the men’s double of Morgan Brooking and Devlin Walsh and the women’s eight stroked by women’s captain Dyone Bettega.

Bronze was won in the women’s heavyweight single as mentioned above, the women’s four and Lizzie Treloar in the women’s lightweight single.

Sydney University won both the men’s and women’s pennants and overall rowing champions at the 2018 University Championships.

Thanks to our coaches who took the team to this event, Don McLachlan, Chris Holliday and Jack Hanley.

Congratulations SUBC Team.