The 2015 Australian Boat Race will be the start of a long way back for the Sydney University Women’s eight and for one of its key members. Liz Kell last competed internationally for Australia at the Beijing Olympics as a member of the Australian Women’s eight and nationally at the 2010 Australian Championships. By 2010 Kell was having back problems and had to withdraw from rowing in the New South Wales Queen’s Cup crew at that regatta.
Kell University Single Scull Champion 2007
Five years later (after a long stint living in rural New South Wales) Kell is back in full training and hoping to regain the form that not only saw here selected regularly for Australia but also brought her and sculling partner, Brooke Pratley, gold in the double scull in the 2006 World Championships. Kell’s aim is selection in the women’s team for Rio 2016 and this distance event will be her first competitive test and a good evaluation of how far she is from the form that will be required of her.
Similarly this year’s Australian Boat Race should be the start of the way back for the Sydney Uni women’s eight. Having been comprehensively outclassed in the Boat races from 2010-2014 the current Sydney crew is a stronger group than previous years.
Laura Triggs who joined the women’s squad a year ago was previously a high performance cyclist and is currently rowing a pair with fellow crew Carina Simpson. Holly Lawrence returns to the team this year – Holly was a member of the New South Wales lightweight quad at this year’s interstate regatta.
Six of the 2015 crew competed in this year’s Gallagher Great Race in Hamilton, New Zealand. While buoyed by having a stronger crew this year the Sydney Uni women understand the broad depth and experience that the Melbourne crew carries – with many of that team representing Australia at international level several times. This year’s Sydney crew will be the best prepared yet – but it rowing pundits agree – it’s still a long way back for Sydney – this is the start.
The women’s eights race at 10.15 am this Sunday 25th October on the Yarra River.