A strong Sydney Uni Team dominated the finals of the 2010 AUG Rowing winning medals in every event contested but just failing to regain the Oxford and Cambridge Cup. With eight gold, five silver and two bronze Sydney Uni finished ahead of local host Uni of WA who secured three gold, 2 silver and four bronze. Sydney won the Overall Men’s and Overall Women’s titles and the Overall Championships.

The finals day at the new Champion Lakes Regatta Centre dawned with excellent racing conditions and the faintest of breezes. The Sydney Uni Men’s double scull of Cam Girdlestone and Sasha Belonogoff opened up with a comfortable win over Curtin Uni. Renee Kirby was next down the course in the Women’s single scull final – taking the bronze medal. Grace Michell and Sarah Sackville then gained Sydney’s second gold with strong win in the Women’s Pair and the Men’s Pair the scratch crew of James Goswell and Henry Mander combined brilliantly to lead all the way fro gold. Then it was the turn of the Women’s Lightweight Quad with the Sydney crew of Jo Wood, Katherine McKeever, Kylie Duff and Marianna Doumanis showing great technique and application as they powered away from good quality Adelaide and WA teams to win by 12 seconds.

The Men’s Coxed Four was next up – Ed Alexander, Tom Sacre, Matt McCormack and Jason Waddell with cox Tom Iredale looked to have the power on as the underrated the opposition by a few points and won comfortably from our local neighbours Uni of NSW. Ed de Carvalho was next in the lightweight single and despite some weight issues at this time of year and managed silver behind Alexander of Melbourne Uni.

In the Women’s Double the Sydney Uni lightweight combination of Wood and McKeever were too strong for Melbourne Uni and Uni of NSW grabbing another gold.

The Women’s eight saw Sydney go out to defend their title but the Uni of WA was too strong, recording a comfortable win with Adelaide third. The “Holy Grail” – the Sir Fred Schonell Tropy for Men’s Lightweight Fours was the next event and once again Sydney were defending the title from 2009. This time the Uni of WA crew stroked by national rep Perry Ward was too strong recording Uni of WA’s second gold from Sydney and UNSW. Kylie Duff backed up for her second gold with an all the way win in the women’s lightweight single scull. Melbourne second and Uni of WA third.The Women’s Four saw Uni of WA once again the winner with Sydney second.

The final race – the men’s eight for the Oxford and Cambridge Cup was much anticipated. In the heats Adelaide had won comfortably while Sydney had to come from well behind late in the race to push out Melboune Uni for a direct run to the final. The crews from Lane 1 were: Monash, WA, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and ADFA ( Defence Academy).

The Adelaide crew were defending this trophy after their win in Canberra in 2009 and had a strong and well drilled combination. This showed from the “gun” as Adelaide started fast and within a few hundred metres had moved out to over a length lead. The Sydney crew settled onto 37 and gave chase gradually bringing the margin back over the middle thousand metres. As the crews passed the 1500 Sydney apperaed to be closing in and the stage was set for an epic battle over the final 400. Sydney’s rate was up and as they closed the Adelaide crew responded but the gap was cut sharply by Sydney as the last 150 passed. Both crews were up in the mid forties rating and Sydney edged closer but Adelaide held their form and the lead as the line was reached winning by a canvas. Aelaide gold, Sydney silver and Melbourne bronze. Time 5 mins 47.9.

Thanks for a great AUG campaign to our team and coaches. The team were outstanding ambassadors for our university and our state and were well prepared by coaches Mark Prater, Alan Bennett, James Macartney and Will Townsend. Mark and AB completed the arduous taks of driving the boat trailer to Perth and Mark and James took n the return duties. Due to the illness and passing of his father Will had to cancel his trip with the team but the crews benefited from the work he had done with thme in the lead up to this regatta.

This AUG regatta was the last competition for AB with Sydney Uni – this week Alan flies to Japan to take up his new role as head Coach of Tokyo University.

Sydney Uni rowing would also like to thank the Sydney Uni support team led by High Performance Manager Matt Phelps for their assistance in arranging the Sydney Uni Games Teams’ trip.

Also thanks to Rowing WA and their President Craig James and CEO Pierre Pougnault who ran the regatta so smoothly and made us all feel very welcome as they showed off their brand new Champion Lakes Rowing Course.

Our photo shows the Sydney Uni team at the 2010 AUG Rowing with their impressive display of trophies.