Racing at the 2004 Taiwan Collegiate Regatta began yesterday in warm weather interspersed with torrential rain. With fourteen entries in the Men's Eight there are proving to be a few very fast crews. The race is not restricted to lightweights but there is a 75kg average limit for each crew.

In the last of 5 heats SUBC progressed to the semi finals easily outclassing Waseda of Japan.

In other heats Princeton and Hamburg universities crew looked very strong. The Hamburg crew with four of Germany's Senior A lightweights from their 2004 eight performed particularly well winning their heat and semi-final.

In the other semi-final Princeton finished one second ahead of Sydney with Melbourne University three seconds further behind in third.

The final will be contested late Sunday and will include in addition to SUBC, Princeton and Hamburg, Taiwan Physical Education College will take the fouth spot in the final.

Competing universities in the men's eight include, Otago (NZ) Toronto (Canada), Harvard and Princeton (USA) Sydney and melbourne (Aussie),Kaoshiung National Marine University and Taipei Physical Education College (Taiwan), Waseda and Keio Universities (Japan), Leiden (Netherlands) and Hamburg (Gremany).

SUBC's crew consists of an interesting mix of experience ( 3 times U23 and 2 times Senior A national rep Tim O'Callaghan backed up by Senior B's Oli Zuk, James Wilmott and Stu Old and youth ( 4 new lightweights who began with the club in 2004). The boat is being steered by Robbie Williams who coxed the 2004 U23 Aussie Four that won gold in Poland in August.

Our photo shows the crew being just a bit silly on arrival at Taipei International airport with Robbie Williams hoping for victory and two of the senior rowers Tim O'Callaghan and Stu Old leading the crew off the flight from Sydney.