Men’s and Women’s eights from Sydney and Melbourne Universities will race from victoria Dock into the city along the river finishing just past Prince’s Bridge at Swanston St. The course was last used for a major race in the 1950 King’s Cup and is 4.4 kms long. With assistance from Parks Victoria the river will be closed from 11.30 am to allow the teams the best possible conditions for racing.
The inaugural race was held in 2010 in Sydney from Leichhardt to Riverview. On that occasion Sydney University took out the men’s eights and Melbourne won the women’s event.
New unique trophies have been commissioned for the event and will be presented for the first time in 2011 – the men’s trophy named after Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister who rowed in the 1870 Sydney Uni Intervarsity crew and the women’s trophy named after Belinda Guerin, the first woman graduate from Melbourne University.
Each crew is allowed two graduate members of their university in their crew with the remaining members all to be currently enrolled students. The Melbourne Uni crews this year are studded with international representatives. The men’s eight includes 2008 Olympic silver medallists Cam McKenzie-McHarg and James Marburg both members of the 2011 Australian team along with fellow Aus team rowers Tom Larkins and Josh Booth. The women’s eight includes current national representatives Kim Crow and Sarah Tait.
Stroking the Sydney Uni Men’s eight will be Fergus Pragnell – current stroke of the Australian Men’s eight. Bronwen Watson – a former world champion in the quad scull will lead the Sydney Women’s crew.
Racing will be 12 noon Women’s eights and 12.30 pm Men’s Eights. A great race coming up and the rekindling of an old rivalry between two great universities, two great cities, two great states.