The Annual Universities Trans Tasman series kicks off this Tuesday at 10.30 am with a 3.4 km race on the Lane Cove River. The series consists of three races - two longer distance and one two thousand metre and is contested in Men's and Women's Eights , Men's Lightweight Fours and Women's Lightweight Quad.
On the Australian side the winning clubs from the previous year's intervarsity in each of these boat classes represent Australian Universities. This year 2006, Sydney University will represent Australia in the Men's and Women's Eights and the Women's Lightweight Quad and ANU will represent in the Men's Lightweight Fours.
The second race of the series will be a 5km race down the Nepean on Thursday morning and the series wraps up on Friday with a 2km on the International Regatta Centre course at Penrith.
In the 2005 series Sydney Uni represented Australia in all events and won the series with 8 wins from 9 races. This year we will be defending the title on our home territory.
The New Zealand crews arrived Saturday and spent the weekend settling into their equipment arranged through the efforts of Trans Tasman organizer and Sydney Uni coach Alan Bennett.
Saturday morning at the Riverview boatshed Jane Spring , Women's President and Steve Newnham , Men's Vice President presented the crews with their Australian University rowing suits and wished them the best for the competition. Steve emphasised that despite the numerous World Cups in which Australia was involved one of the most important elements in Australian sport was to ensure we "beat New Zealand". It was up to our crews to ensure this was accomplished at this years event.
Saturday morning also marked an important milestone for SUBC with arrival in Sydney in the early hours of the morning of our first new boat since our fleet was lost in the fire of 29th March. The new Heavyweight Youth Eight from Sykes will be used by our Trans Tasman Men's Eight and after being rigged the crew trained in the boat later Saturday morning. The boat is named "Paul Espie" after SUBC alumnus Paul Espie. Paul is also one of the Founding Patrons of the SU Sport Foundation - Rowing. The christening of this boat will be held in spring along with other new equipment ordered for the SU rowing program.
SUBC is particularly grateful to James Tyree who travelled to Geelong on Thursday to pick up this boat.
Our photo shows the Sydney Uni team outside the Rivervie boatshed just prior to final training for the series.