With the 2016 national rowing championships just completed at the International Regatta Centre in Penrith on Sunday the small SUBC squad made a significant impact.Our superstar was “Super” Sally Kehoe who has recently been selected to represent at the Rio Olympics in the double scull with fellow club mate Liz Kell. Sally won three national titles in the single, double and quad sculls to lead our medal performance. Sally shown below after winning her single scull title.
Younger sculler Fiona Ewing reaped the rewards after a long period of dedicated training. After feeling unwell early in the week and having to withdraw from the final of the U23 single sculls Fiona too gold in the U23 women’s double and again in the U23 quad sculls. Our photo shows Fiona with the men’s U23 gold medallist in sculling, Tom Schramko. In our junior (U19) ranks Marcus Britt won two golds. First he teamed up with his season partner Oliie Schwartz to take gold in the U19 pair and then he and Ollie combined with Jack O’Brien and Lachie Miles to win the junior four by over 8 seconds. Our photo shows the winning junior four with junior program coach Sarah Cook. Camron Girdlestone who has already been selected in the men’s quad for Rio took out his first national single sculls title. Cam rowed a patient race sitting with the leading scullers and breaking clear in the last five hundred for a convincing win. Noted sweeper Nick Purnell entered the single and steamed home for sixth with 300 metres to go to win bronze and finishing a few hundredths of a second behind second. Cam and Nick Purnell - shown here - gold and bronze in the single scull. As Sasha Belonogoff could not row due to illness Cam teamed up in what became known as the “ odd quad” consisting of Cam and fellow Rio bound quad sculler James McRae and more noted sweepers Alex Hill and SUBC’s Nick Purnell. A lack of prior combination and possible recent sculling experience by Purnell and Hill saw the crew having to make up three seconds in the final five hundred metres as they nearly caught the leading quad on the line to claim silver. One of the exciting finishes of the regatta. In other gold highlights Claudia Lowe coxed the NSW Men’s Youth eight who had a smashing victory in the interstate section of the regatta upsetting a favoured Queensland crew by over six seconds while stalwart male cox Will Raven worked as assistant coach of this crew with Jason Baker.
Other notable performances were Alex Purnell silver in the U23 double sculls and when asked late Saturday to step up to represent NSW in the single scull in the President’s Cup did a remarkable job to finish close to the field of some of Australia’s top scullers. Fiona Ewing also represented in the NSW Women’s Queens Cup eight who had their best result for quite a few years finishing third. Our NSW Queen's Cup eight with Fiona and coaches Alfie Young and Dan Noonan. Campbell Watts and Andrew Judge (a new U23 pair combination only together for 4 weeks) had a strong performance in an excellent filed making the A final and finishing fourth just a second out of the medals. Rowing Australia announcement on U23 triallists for the selection regatta should be out this week. As always many thanks to our hard working coaches who spent more than dawn to dusk each day for a week at the national regatta preparing g crews, transporting and rigging boats and enjoying the successes and picking up the pieces when required. Debbie Fox, Mark Prater, Dustyn Butler, Esther Verburg and coach of our men’s junior team Sarah Cook