For Sydney University Rowing the National Selection Trials of 2006 will be noted as the moment when Sydney University moved back into the ranks of Senior A rowing with 6 athletes selected in the National A team against just one in 2005. Matt Ryan, our first A heavyweight selection in men for 25 years in 2005 was again successful in gaining selection in the A Men?s sweep squad along with fellow 2003 U23 Bronze medallist Francis Hegerty. For both Matt and Francis a great result and the club congratulates both these athletes and especially notes Francis?s first Senior A Selection as a fitting reward for six years of hard training. Francis and Matt will relocate to Canberra where the Men?s A sweep will train at the AIS.
Tim O?Callaghan looked to be in a difficult position when his pair partner Sam Waley withdrew only a couple of weeks from the selection regatta with injury. Tim impressed the selectors with his sculling and made it into the sweep rotation and into the lightweight A squad which will be based at WAIS in Perth from this Sunday.
Dan Noonan who moved last year from SUBC to the AIS had a wonderful season making dramatic strides in performance to be the second ranked heavyweight sculler and earn his position on the team in the Men?s A Quad Scull. At this stage it has not been decided if Dan?s squad will train in Sydney or Adelaide.
On the women?s side Liz Kell making a return to rowing after a lengthy absence due to injury stood out in women?s sculling and along with SU Rowing AIS athlete Brooke Pratley has been selected in the Women?s A Double Scull. Brooke has been a consistent improver since moving to the AIS in 2004 and has lived up to the expectations of former SUWRC coach Inna Frolova who encourage her to apply for an AIS scholarship. Liz and Brooke will relocate to Adelaide for their preparation for the World Championships.
This year the Senior World Championships will be held on the Eton course near Windsor, England from 20-27th August. The Australian Senior Team will leave Australia in just a few weeks to compete in the early World Cup Regattas in Munich and Poznan before returning to Australia to complete their final preparations for the August Worlds.
For the selection of the Senior A athletes it?s time to acknowledge those coaches currently and in the past who have contributed to the training of our athletes. Marty Rabjohns, our current Director of Rowing, Andrew Randell (formerly of SUBC) who has played an important role in the development of Matt Ryan and Francis Hegerty, Joe Rodriguez ? former SUBC Head Coach, Phil Bourguignon who coached Liz Kell along with Alan Bennett, Inna Frolova who initially coached Brooke Pratley at SUWRC, along with AIS Coaches Lyall McCarthy, Brian Richardosn and Reinhold Batschi who have coached Dan Noonan and Brooke at the AIS. Finally Sydney Uni Rowing would like to thanks Tim McLaren and UTS who have hosted and coached Matt and Francis as they rowed composite with their UTS partners in 2005-6.
In U23 Fergus Pragnell, 2004 U23 Gold Medallist and Chris Clyne were selected in the U23 Coxed Four to train in Sydney For Chris this is his first National Team. In U23 women Renee Kirby improved throughout the season and the trials to earn a well-deserved place in the Women"s U23 Eight squad.which will also train in Sydney under the direction of SU Coach Phil Bourguignon. The U23 World Championships will be held in Hazelwinkel, Belgium 20-23 July this year.
For the position of U23 Cox the Selectors decided not to have and on water trial and Toby Lister missed out after a crew interview. Toby has lodged notice of appeal against this decision.
The Selection Trial for the Men's Sweep Cox role will be held in Canberra next week and SUBC's Director of Rowing Marty Rabjohns will be going for selection at that trial.
Disappointment for many of our U23?s who missed out on selection despite making the final regatta. Ed Boyce, Terrence Alfred, Ian Allsop, Ed Alexander, Will Townsend, Will Chambers, Richard Allsop, Andrew Heffer, Joe Power, Asher Hammond, Elsa O?Hanlon, Laura Polin, Yasmin L?Estrange, were among very promising SU rowers who missed out. Some of these athletes will be selected in the Australian Team for the World Uni Rowing Championships, which will be announced soon. Cam Girdlestone stood for selection as Junior Sculler and finsihed 2nd by the smallest of margins. Although Cam could have gained selection in a Junior quad he decided to withdraw to concentrate on his HSC for 2006.
While recognizing that final regatta performances did not warrant selection in 2006 SU Rowing acknowledges that the U23 squad?s final preparation was very adversely affected by the destruction by fire of our training facility and all equipment just 20 days prior to the final selections.