The NSW State Championships were held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) between 16th - 17th February 2008. Day 1 of this regatta was largely dominated by small and medium boat races. Racing started with Single and Pair racing early on Saturday morning, strong performances were produced by all the Under 23 pairs. In the Men?s Elite Pair race, 4 SUBC pairs finished in the top 5, recording fast sub 7 minute times, there was also following conditions. Justin Quigley and Richard Allsop took line honors in the Elite Pair race. The Lightweight men raced singles and pairs on day one. In the final of this event Ed Alexander one of the clubs more experienced lightweights raced with intensity and maturity to win in 4.61 seconds of clear water. Ed White and Toby Ledgerwood backed up strong performances in the singles to then race with not such fresh legs in the lightweight pair coming 3rd with a respectable time of 7:11secs. The next Event which contained several club members was the Under 21 Eight race for the Colleagues Cup. Our School leavers secured victory in this event for the sixth consecutive year.

Still with Lightweights, it was Ed Alexander and Phil Grenfell who won the Lightweight Double Scull. Phil showing the coaches that like his older brother Huw, he has the ability to win medals. The Heavyweight Sweep squad which features several New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Glebe Academy of Sport (GAS) athletes took to the water in the Elite Coxless Fours. The Crew of Boyce, Allsop, Harding and Neuhaus took out the Gold to the UTS crew with the SUBC crew of Quigley, Cook, Conolly and Townsend in 3rd place just 0.52 seconds behind. Boyce, Allsop, Harding, Goswell and coxswain Toby Lister then went on to win the Coxed Four. The final event of the 1st day saw our lightweight boys win silver in the four the crew Alexander, White, Ledgerwood and one of two in the boat school leaver?s Charles Budd.

Day 2 of the regatta gave the recent school leavers a chance to shine in the Under 21 Pair event. The Ledgerwood/White pair performed very well to come 2nd in this Heavyweight event. The pairs of Campbell, Budd and Gilbert and Little all finished less than 1.21 seconds behind James Goswell and Matt Edstein who took out the Bronze Medal.

That afternoon Lightweights White, Grenfell, Alexander and Ledgerwood took out the Elite Lightweight quad. Soon after this event they teamed up with school leaver Charles Budd, Huw Grenfell (out of Retirement), and more significantly coaches Phil Bourguignon and Alan Bennett to win the Elite Lightweight Eight. Reports from the crew indicate that they were given a striking example of what lightweight rowing is. Also for the record both Bourguignon and Bennett didn?t make it to the after party.

Sydney University Boated its strongest Under 23 Men for the Elite Eight race for the Q L Deloitte Trophy. Unable to put the clubs best Athletes into the Eight due to Olympic trials. All 9 members of the crew were new to being in the priority boat for this event. With much nervous anticipation the crew took and early lead from the University of Queensland and Sydney Rowing Club. Despite being pushed all the way down the course SUBC was able to hold off the competition and win in clear water.

A once again a successful regatta for both SUBC and SUWRC. The coaches where heroic in their work ethic and must be thanked hugely, also a bit thanks to the parents led by Kerrie Allsop in the Food/Recovery tent.

Please stay tuned for the National Championships report in three weeks.

Will Townsend.