The annual Australian University Games was held in Adelaide from 24-28th September and with the Westlakes course available the rowing was held as part of the Games. The event included a long trailer drive to South Australia which has its share of drama as the main towing bar on our trailer snapped just out of Wagga. Fortunately of Head Women’s Coach, Debbie Fox was able to get the trailer to the side of the road safely but the accident meant a day’s delay as the trailer had to be towed back to Wagga and extensively repaired. Thanks to David Gely, coach of Uni of New South Wales. Dave was following with his trailer and was able to take a few of the Sydney University boats which were needed urgently in Adelaide for the start of the competition.
Conditions at Westlakes were poor and on the finals day were almost atrocious with winds gusting to 50 kilometres per hour. Conditions meant crews could not use the start pontoons as the boast were impossible to hold in position and the risk of boat damage was too great.
In the final of the women’s eight it was the Sydney Uni women who started strongly along with Adelaide and Uni of South Australia. Sydney and Uni of SA soon opened up a lead on the rest of the field. As the crews reached a patch of better water Sydney cox Gen Fick called for an effort and our girls quickly opened up clear water. In the gruelling conditions other challenges were always going to be hard to mount and the Sydney girls steadily increased their lead through the race. Adelaide pushed past Uni of SA to secure second with Monash fourth and Australian National University fifth. At the line Sydney had a clear 13 second margin.
The winning crew was stroked by lightweight Holly Lawrence and the rest of the crew moving down the boat were Marianna Doumanis, India Evans, Nicola Metcalfe, Lydia Yerrell, Kellie Parker, Maddie Cavanagh and Peta Blundell.
Our women’s team also grabbed gold in women’s four and the pair. Combined with placings in the lightweight four and the lightweight single (Petria Carter) the Sydney University women were able to take out the Amanda Young Rose Bowl as the overall women’s champions for the 2012 intervarsity competition.
This was our new Head Coach, Debbie Fox’s first major competition as coaching our women’s team and special congratulations to her for such a fantastic result.
The Sydney men sent only a small team to contest the eight, four and double scull. The crew of John Rundle, Sasha Belonogoff, Tom Sacre and Kit Cunningham –Reid coxed by Will Raven won the four from ANU and Melbourne Uni while Peter Koster and Ben Scott finished with bronze in the double. Unfortunately on the final day Tom McClintock had a rib injury and we had to withdraw our eight – losing the opportunity to race for the Oxford and Cambridge Cup this year.