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:     

Boat Race 2018 H image JPG.jpeg



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.

                   2018 BOAT RACE UNIFORMS UNVEILED


SEPTEMBER 24, 2018

This year the Melbourne and Sydney University rowing crews will be wearing highly contrasting rowing suits when they clash in the annual Australian Boat Race.

16134_SYDNUNSP_Australian Boat Race Uniform Assets_1200x1200.jpg


Melbourne will wear a uniform based around their traditional blue colour, with a lower black section from the waist down and a side panel running the length of the rowing suit with horizontal white stripes on blue. The crest of Melbourne University features in large size on the back of the suit showing the Goddess of Victory (Nike) over the Southern cross. The crest is also featured on the front left pocket with the logo of The Australian Boat Race on the right pocket.

16134_SYDNUNSP_Australian Boat Race Uniform Assets_1200x12002.jpg


The Sydney crew, in a departure from tradition, will not wear the traditional blue and gold on white uniforms. Instead, the 2018 uniform will be based on Sydney University’s main brand colour an ochre red which reflects the Australian landscape. This colour forms the main front and back panels with the side panel being in gold for the top part of the suit and blue for the bottom. The shield of the university with the traditional lion and book of learning with cross and stars is featured in large size on the back and in small size on front left pocket with the logo of The Australian Boat race on the right pocket.

Melbourne University will row with dark blue oars and Sydney University with gold oars.

       SUBC Crews Announced for 2018 University Championships

SUBC Crews Announced for 2018 University Championships

Sydney University Head Coach, Don McLachlan has announced the Boat Club crews for the 2018 University Rowing Championships to be held next week 26-28th of September at Wyaralong Dam near Beaudesert in Queensland.

Special mention should be made of Richard Ledger - Richard on;y started rowing in April/ May this year and has been selected in the Sydney Team for these championships.

(The photo shows the 2007 Intervarsity team from Sydney who won a largwe number of titles)

The team will defend eight titles won in 2017 including::

The Overall Champions Trophy – The Centenary Cup

The Overall Men’s Trophy – The Bill Webb Trophy

The Oxford and Cambridge Cup – Men’s Eights.

The 2018 Team will be:

M2x Morgan Brooking,Devlin Walsh

W1x Wallis Russell

W2- Jaime Ford,Dyone Bettega

WL4x Stephanie Harper,Michaela Franz,Tara Rigney,Lizzie Treloar

M4+ Marcus Britt,David Bartholot,Jordan Duff,Will O'Shannessy,Andrew Le(c)

ML1x Leon Chambers

W2x Emma Jalalaty,Stephanie Harper

W8+Lizzie Treloar,Olina Parrish,Michaela Franz,Raquel Cuevas,Jaime Ford,Tara Rigney,Wallis Russell,Dyone Bettega,Talia Barnet-Hepples(c)

M2-Marcus Britt,Will O'Shannessy

M1x Richard Ledger

WL1x Lizzie Treloar

W4+Wallis Russell,Olina Parrish,Jaime Ford,Dyone Bettega,Talia Barnet-Hepples(c)

M8+ Marcus Britt,Devlin Walsh,Jackson Kench,Morgan Brooking,Jordan Duff,David Bartholot,Leon Chambers,Will O'Shannessy,Andrew Le(c)

Mix4+ Lizzie Treloar,Michaela Franz,Jackson Kench,Morgan Brooking,Talia Barnet-Hepples(c)

Mix8+ Wallis Russell,Tara Rigney,Jaime Ford,Dyone Bettega,Marcus Britt,David Bartholot,Leon Chambers,Will O'Shannessy,Andrew Le(c)

       SUBC Rowers among Medallists at 2018 World Championships

SUBC Rowers among Medallists at 2018 World Championships

The 2018 World Rowing Championships wrapped up last Sunday in Plovdiv Bulgaria with some great performances from Australian crew and with five Boat Club members in crews that won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. In addition, two former SUBC coaches coached silver medal winning crews.

The Australian Women’s Eight had a great regatta winning our first World Championship medal in this boat since 2006 – bronze only 8/100’s of a second behind Britain in second. Congratulations to Georgie Gotch who rowed in this crew.

 Australian 2018 Women’s Eight - Bronze Medallists

Australian 2018 Women’s Eight - Bronze Medallists

The Aus Men’s Four successfully defended their world title won in Florida last year – this year holding out the fast finishing Italians to claim Gold.  Jack Hargreaves rowed in the three seat of this boat – well done Jack and your crew – another World Champs gold medal.

Aus Men Four.jpeg

The Men’s Quad were a bit of a surprise coming from 6th at the 1000 metre mark to push through to second in an incredibly tight race between three crews for second place and silver. Two of the younger Bat Club members, Alex Purnell and Campbell Watts were 3 and 2 in this boat and the crew was coached by former SUBC Head Coach, Mark Prater. Well done to Mark also.

 Alex Purnell ( 2nd from left) and Campbell Watts ( 2nd from right - Silver

Alex Purnell ( 2nd from left) and Campbell Watts ( 2nd from right - Silver

Then in the men’s eight it was our almost veteran Nick Purnell who rowed In the five seat as our eight just pipped the British out of the silver medal position by 3/100’s of a second. Nick was in the last Aussie men’s eight to win a medal at Worlds – he was in the crew that won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships at Lake Karapiro in New Zealand.  Congratulations Nick. The eight was coached by former Boat Club coach, Andrew Randell.

    Australian Men’s Eight - Nick Purnell - front left - Silver Medallists

Australian Men’s Eight - Nick Purnell - front left - Silver Medallists

In the women’s quad Gen Horton and Rowena Meredith  missed the main final but won the B Final. The 2018 Aus U23 pair of Sydney Uni oarsmen Jack O’Brien and Andrew Judge were given a late opportunity to join the senior team and compete at the 2018 Senior Worlds – a unexpected and terrific honour. They had a hot quarter final – the quickest ones and missed the A/B finals by one spot. They went on to win the C Final finishing 13th of the 23 crews in this event.

          Australian Women’s Quad at 2018 World Championships

Australian Women’s Quad at 2018 World Championships

Congratulations to our rowers and to the whole 2018 Senior Australian Rowing Team of a very successful 2018 World Championships.

        Jack O’Brien and Andrew Judge - Men’s Pair 2018 World Championships

Jack O’Brien and Andrew Judge - Men’s Pair 2018 World Championships

              Bookings Now Open for 2018 Australian Boat Race

Bookings Now Open for 2018 Australian Boat Race

2018 Australian Boat Race HI.jpg

Bookings to watch The 2018 Australian Boat Race on Sydney Harbour on Sunday morning 14th October are now open.

Sydney and Melbourne University Rowing Eights will race over 4.3 kms from Woolwich into Darling Harbour with the women's race at 9 am and the men's race at 9.40 am.

Rowing Fans can watch all the action live from the water either :

On the Race Ferry OR

On the BIG SCREEN outside the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour - where the crews will finish.

Patrons can book the ferry and also book to join the crews after the presentation of trophies at the post-race ABR Brunch at the ICC.

Sunday morning 14th October - two great universities, from two great cities clash on Sydney Harbour in a victory of brawn over brains in the noblest of sports.



SUBC Claim Gold and Silver in the International Universities Rowing Regatta, Xinjin, Chengdu, China.

SUBC Claim Gold and Silver in the International Universities Rowing Regatta, Xinjin, Chengdu, China.

On the third of our China tours this year, SUBC sent a Men’s Eight and Women’s Quad to Xinjin, in the Sichuan Province in China. Overall the crews had a successful tour with the Men’s Eight claiming Gold, the Women’s Quad claiming Silver along with three out of the top six males and females in the 500m erg contest.

The group departed Sydney on July 31st with a full day of travel, once in China the crews had three days of training. These days comprised of a row in the morning followed by a rowing forum, where each University presented a summary of what rowing at their university is like and the lifelong benefits you get from doing the sport whilst studying. With one of these afternoons free the group ventured into Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province to experience what a larger city is like in China.

Saturday the 4th of August was race day, the format, as uniquely seen, in regattas in China comprised of two 1km races, with the cumulative time from both being the winner. The initial round of racing saw both SUBC crews pitted against the Chengdu Institute of Sport (The Sichuan Provincial Team), along with a number of other crews. The Men came out on top winning by a length over the locals, well clear of the field. The Women’s crew had an impressive race right to the line with the locals taking the win by 2seconds.

After this initial round of racing the six fastest crews were placed into the A-final, however the times were still important for the overall result. Both races went to plan, with the men making some changes to tactics, jumping out of the blocks a little quicker, making it easier to lead the field, they went on to win by over two lengths. The women’s crew had a solid improvement, managing to turn the result around beating the Chengdu team, by the smallest of margins. With times being the determining factor, the Men’s Eight claimed Gold some ten seconds clear of the nearest crew, with the Women’s Quad claiming silver half a second behind the Chengdu Institute of Sport. An impressive side note was the consistency in the men’s eight producing a time of 2:51 in both races.

With the formalities of racing over the regatta moved onto the gala dinner, with a small showing of local talents prior to the night starting. As part of the gala dinner a number of crews were asked to perform a cultural activity from their home country. The SUBC crew lead by the vocals of Sarah Parsons, belted out a memorable rendition of ‘What about me’ by Shannon Noll.

The following day saw crews back on the water, this time in a friendly match in dragon boats. Following on from this short race the crews were thrown on the rowing machine, due to the extreme heat, the race was shortened to a 500m sprint. With medals being presented to the top six times, SUBC had the greatest representation on the podium, with Olina Parrish, Michaela Franz and Jaimie Ford on the girl’s side winning medals, and Will O’Shannessey, Jordan Duff and Morgan Brooking on the men’s side claiming medals. With this being our last full day in China the organizers packed it with activities. Following the erg we were driven to a local airfield where as part of the festival of rowing the organizers put on a music festival. This was like no other event I’ve been to in China, with music belting out from a large stage, along with lots of local cuisines on offer, very similar to what I’d imagine the vibes of Defcon or Splendour to be like.

Following the music festival, the Sydney Uni crew were treated to a local delicacy of Hot Pot. This is traditionally a meal consumed over a number of hours, accompanied by rice wine. As we were starting at 10pm, we knew we were in for a long night. Mr Qinling Li the major sponsor for the event treated us to these delicacies, known for being one of the spiciest meals China has to offer. This dinner whilst being a great deal of fun was a good opportunity for the University to strengthen ties with the sponsors, in doing so securing future invites to such amazing regattas.

The crew and the club were grateful for the opportunity to experience a different culture and to proudly represent our university in an important country in our region

Overall the regatta was a great success, the crew got to experience a number of aspects of Chinese culture, whilst also coming away as the top performing university on the water and the ergs. We would like to thank all the organisers, all the sponsors and all the volunteers who made the week such a memorable experience for all involved.

The crews were:
Women’s Quad:
Sarah Parsons
Michaela Franz
Lizzie Treloar
Jaimie Ford
Olina Parrish
Coached by Debbie Fox

Men’s Eight:
Will O’Shannessey
Lochie Miles
Morgan Brooking
Jordan Duff
Devlin Walsh
Marcus Britt
Jack Hanley
Jack Cook
Coxed by Dani Pettit
Coached by William Raven

                     2018 BOAT RACE TICKETS NOW ON SALE


Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Australian Boat Race to be held on Sydney Harbour on Sunday morning 14th October.

Spectators can take in the big screen and see the race from the start at Woolwich into Darling Harbour on the Big Screen located outside the Sydney ICC (Convention Centre) just next to Harbourside Shopping Centre on the western side of Darling Harbour.

The best up-close views will be on the race ferry (picks ups at Woolwich and Darling Harbour) which will follow both the men’s and women’s eights races over the 4.2 km course.

Spectators can buy one of three packages:

FERRY ONLY: Onboard early and follow all the races – alight just near Pyrmont Bridge after the men’s eights and watch the presentation ceremony outside the ICC.  COST $40

FERRY + CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH:  Follow the races on the ferry, watch the presentations and then join the crews and supporters in the Convention Centre for the Boat Race Brunch 10.20-12 noon.   COST $120

LAND and CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH: Watch the races on the screen at Darling Harbour or watch from the balcony of the ICC as the crews swing into the last reach of the race. Attend the presentations and then join the crews and supporters for the Boat Race Brunch.  Cost $100

Packages can be booked online at;







SUBC Men’s Eight, WITH FOUR NOVICES, Claim Silver in Nanchang and Yangzhou China.

SUBC Men’s Eight, with four novices, Claim Silver in Nanchang and Yangzhou China.

Sydney University Boat Club Men’s eight competed in the 2018 International Universities Rowing Regatta, coming away with three silver medals over the three race format of the regatta. The unique and most pleasing aspect of this tour was that four of the SUBC eight were novices to the sport, having only been in a boat for three months, with this marking their first competitive regatta.

China July 18

The SUBC crew was made up of a mixture of youth and experience, so as to fast track the skills of the new members of the crew. The crew was stroked by experienced rowers and ex national team reps Sasha Belonogoff (Rio Olympic Silver Medallist) and Ben Morley (U23 World Championship Bronze Medallist), with the middle four being novices to the sport after transitioning from Surf Boats, Kris Martyn, Richard Ledger, Nic Lesiuk and Brady Holland. The bow pair were first year students having come out the 2017 St Ignatius College, Riverview first VIII, returning to still water after a season in surf boats.

The regatta format was made up of a heat and final over 1km, followed directly by a 6km time trial in Nanchang, the regatta then moved cities to Yangzhou where rowers competed in a 6km race, followed by an informal dragon boat race.

The 1km racing saw SUBC win their heat by clear water, progressing directly to the a-final. This race marked the first race for the middle four of the crew on a buoyed course as part of a regatta, so was pleasing to see them taste success. Following the form in the heat, the crew came up against strong competition, with the University of British Columbia (Canada) proving too strong for the young SUBC crew. Sydney Uni finished in second only a length down on UBC, well clear of the rest of the competitors, with crews from Boston College, Harvard, Tokyo, Oxford and Cambridge being represented in the race.

China July 18
China July 18

With only an hour’s gap between the racing and time trial, SUBC rallied and again produced an impressive performance given the lack of experience in the crew to claim another silver behind UBC. A clear determination from the crew in the early stages set them up well for the long distance race, starting in 10thposition the crew charged through the field pushing past a number of high profile universities to claim the second fastest time.

With the 1km’s and 6km under their belt, the focus moved to the gala dinner to conclude proceedings in Nanchang. With each crew represented required to present a cultural performance the SUBC crew decided to give the locals a taste of our signing talents. With Sasha on guitar the crew belted out a memorable rendition of Waltzing Matilda, much to the pleasure of the crowd.

The following day saw all crews pack up and take the bullet train across China to Yangzhou, were the final 6km was to be completed. Yangzhou is host to the newest facility in a number of training centres set up as part of the Deep Dive Rowing Club. The facilities here were world class with a newly built seven bay boat house, along with a buoyed 2km course, 8 story finish tower, along with a gym and large meeting and rest rooms above the shed. With this being one of the top facilities in the world, what was also impressive was the new housing they had built forming a small gated community for the athletes to train and live in. Prior to racing in Yangzhou, a large forum was held, with each university presenting a short summary of the university and rowing program they are part of, along with a well-informed Q and A, where athletes discussed what rowing meant to them, and what benefits rowing has had on their lives outside of the boat.

The racing in Yangzhou saw the start order based off the previous regatta with SUBC starting in second behind UBC, the crew took a slightly different approach to racing looking for more length and sustainable speed, especially given the 39-degree heat and extremely high humidity. The crew performed well with the margins being similar to those in Nanchang. An interesting aspect of this race was the inclusion of the Chinese crews over the last 2km, as each international university came through the 2km to go mark, a local Chinese crew would start, and attempt to hold onto the internationals over the closing stages of such a long event. The SUBC crew took this on well, and charged past all local entries.
Post 6km saw composites form to race over a few hundred metre in dragon boats, to end the formalities with a bit of a fun challenge.

Whilst on tour along with the important aspects of the racing and the cultural rowing forum, many other activities were thrown into a jam packed week, including a trip to the Bund in Shanghai, a historic temple in Nanchang and an opera performance in Yangzhou, along with many more cultural experiences.

Overall the rip was a great success, the university was represented with pride, the crew performed well and learnt a great deal from the racing, and the ties the club has with the Chinese regatta organisers, crews and international competitors has been yet again strengthened.

China July 18
China July 18


The SUBC crew was:
Cox: Andrew Le
Stroke: Sasha Belonogoff
7: Ben Morley
6: Kris Martyn
5: Richard Ledger
4: Nic Lesiuk
3: Brady Holland
2: Dan Johnston
Bow: Ben Sullivan
Reserve: Tom Flower
Coach: Will Raven

International Universities who competed: 
University of British Columbia (Canada)
Boston College (US)
Harvard (US)
University of Tokyo (Japan)
Oxford (UK)
Cambridge (UK)

China July 18