The week concluded saw Sydney Uni rowers competing overseas, returning from international competition or in final preparations for the Olympic Games. Tuesday 22nd July saw 270 supporters of our sport gather at the Four Seasons in downtown Sydney to honour our NSW Olympic rowers and to celebrate the victories of New South Wales in the 2008 Kings Cup, Presidents Cup sculls and the Rowing Australia Cup for the Interstate Championship.
Saturday night rowing diehards were invited to miss the Bledisloe Cup for the Official Australian Rowing Team farewell at Dede?s restaurant at Sydney Rowing Club.
With seven athletes in the Olympic Rowing Team SUBC and SUWRC have achieved our greatest ever representation at an Olympics ever. Of a total of 48 rowers and coxens having seven representatives is a terrific achievement.
Of course the athletes must be congratulated along with all our coaches over the past 8-10 years and the staff of SU Sport from our CEO, our Athlete Managers and our support coaches.
Sydney Uni Rowing Athletes at Beijing in 2008 will be:
Men?s Eight: Marty Rabjohns, Jeremy Stevenson
Women?s Eight: Liz Kell, Brooke Pratley
Men?s Four: Francis Hegerty, Matt Ryan
Reserve Men?s Sweep: Terrence Alfred
As our U23?s start returning home for the first time in a few years they come empty handed with regard to medals. In the Men?s U23 Eight, Toby Lister, James Goswell, Justin Quigley and Richard Allsop the crew missed the A final and took out the B Final from Russia, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. In the U23 Women?s Double the crew of Renee Kirby and Charlotte Walters after medalling in events in 2006 and 2007 had to settle for a win in the C Final.
Generally our rowers results were indicative of a below par performance by Australian crews at the U23 World Champs this year.
Yesterday saw the completion of the U23 and Junior World Championships in Linz Austria. SUBC?s Fergus Pragnell picked up his first Senior A medal in combination with UTS?s Nick Baxter when they took third in the Men?s Coxed Pair. Bronwen Watson backed up in the Women?s Lightweight Quad and as in 2007 they recorded a convincing win to get gold by three seconds. Congratulations to Bronwen and also to coach Ellen Randell who also coached Fergus Pragnell and Nick Baxter.
In the World Juniors SUBC?s Ryan Edwards with Matt Dignan and coached by Glen Bates rowed outstandingly for a bronze , while Ashleigh Peppernell in the Women?s Junior Four made the A Final and achieved a very solid result with fifth place.
Two more overseas trips are planned for Sydney Uni rowers in 2008. At the end of Ausgust both Mark Prater ( men?s four) and Alan Bennett ( Women?s Four and Double) will head to Belgrade ,along with a a number of SU Rowing athletes, for the World University Rowing Championships. Finally in early September Phil Bourguignon will take a Women?s Eight to New Zealand for the Great Race.