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Australia’s senior rowing team headed to Bled, Slovenia this week for the 2011 World Championships starting Sunday 28th August. The team left Australia on 24th June and initially competed at Henley Regatta in the UK and then the final Rowing World Cup in Lucern in early July. Both events saw overall poor performances with only a handful  of the sixteen crews reaching the A finals. Since Lucern the Aussie team has settled into a solid 6 week training block at the AIS European headquarters in Varese in northern Italy. Seating changes have been made in a number of boats including the men’s eight and the men’s four and the crews are expecting improved performances in Bled.

The 2011 World Championships offer all Olympic boats their best chance for qualification for the 2012 London Olympics – the first seven in the eights and the top 13 in other boats. The most favoured crews for Australia are the Women’s Double Scull, Men’s Quad Scull and the Men’s Fours – heavyweight and lightweight.

Fergus Pragnell of SUBC will make his debut as stroke of the Australian men’s eight. Ferg will be supported from the seven seat by fellow SUBC clubmate and friend Matt Ryan. Matt and Fergus have served together in the NSW Kings Cup eights over the past four years spending the last three years as the 7 and 6 combination.