Fine clear weather greeted competitors as the NSW2009 State Rowing Championships began around 7.30 am Saturday (7th Feb). With temperatures forecast to reach 42 + at the course and possibly 44 degrees on Sunday it was clear that getting through the full program – especially for U17 and younger races would be difficult. The day dawned magically for Sydney University – after heat qualifications for the elite single scull events the four finals are run around 10.30 am on day one. The results were fantastic with a “quadrella” of wins. Sally Kehoe opened with a near fourteen second win and a 92.5 prognostic in the Champion Women’s Elite Single. Next Nick Hudson finished 6 seconds ahead of Jared Bidwell in the Men’s Elite Single with 92.6 prognostic – then soon after in the Lightweight Women’s Elite Sculls Bronwen Watson blitzed the field winning by 6 seconds (prognostic 93.3) and Ed de Carvalho completed the “quadrella” by winning the Lightweight Men’s Single.
The U21 Champion Eight was much anticipated as SUBC prepared to defend this title for the sixth time having won it first (in the current run) in 2003. Our crew went into the final with the fastest heat time by four seconds. Due to race suspensions caused by the heat the final was re-scheduled to 6.05 pm. Both leading contenders opened up quickly with Uni holding a canvas at 400 metres over Sydney Rowing Club – a push soon after saw SUBC break out a length lead by the thousand metre. As the race progressed the SUBC crew steadily built the lead to about 5 secs at the 1500 and finally 10.11 seconds as the crossed the line in 5 mins 44 secs to record our seventh consecutive win.
In the final session from 6pm to around 7.45 pm Sydney Uni picked up the Men’s Lightweight Four title and the Men’s Coxed Four title. The crew of Toby Dankbaar, Brodie Buckland, Fergus Pragnell and Terrence Alfred with cox (Mini Serpent) Toby Lister came from third at the thousand metre to win by 12 seconds from Uni of Qld in juts under 6 mins 18 seconds.
A very productive first day – with forecasts of 44 centigrade at the course tomorrow regatta officials have cancelled many of the school and under age races to start the Sunday program at 6.50 am and finish by 1.00 pm.