In recent years New South Wales had finally started to do consistently better in the Rowing Australia Cup for the Interstate Regatta. Winning only 3 times from 1999 to 2016 but gaining victory in 2017 and 2018.
Even with these wins in 17 and 18 there were events in which we had experienced long droughts. The Penrith Cup was won in 2018 for the first time in 20 years. The Victoria Cup (Women’s Lightweight Quad) was also won in 2018 for the first time in 15 years.
In business a “rainmaker” is one who brings in the money – in Interstate Rowing the “rainmaker” for New South Wales was Gen Horton. She broke a 20-year drought with a comprehensive win in the Interstate Women’s Single Scull (Nell Slatter Trophy) in the third event of the regatta and about 90 minutes later led the New South Wales Women’s Eight to a heart stopping victory in the Queen’s Cup. Our state’s first win in this event in 15 years. Double drought breaker!
In a “light blue” afternoon New South Wales became the first state ever to win the four eights in the Interstate Regatta – The Men’s and Women’s Youth Eights, The Queen’s Cup and the King’s Cup. Add to this Horton’s win in the women’s single, two silvers in the lightweight quad (women) and lightweight four (men) and silvers in the men’s and women’s PR3 single and it became one of the most comprehensive victories ever in The Rowing Australia Cup.
The New South Wales Queen’s Cup eight have been competitive the last two years but race tactics and nerves might have impacted them in those races. This year under the guidance of coach Don Mclachlan and with support from former state rowers, the crew rowed a smart race and responded to their coxens call to hold out a fast finishing Victorian crew.
In other events New South Wales trounced the field in the Women’s Youth Eight – winning by over 7 seconds and recording our first win since 2013. In the Men’s Youth Eight New South Wales continued its domination of this event beating Victoria by 2.5 seconds. Our state’s sixth win in 7 years in this event.
The final race saw New South Wales seek to retain its grip on the King’s Cup – and the crew did not disappoint. They led narrowly at the 500, by 3 seconds at the 1000 metre and were not threatened in the run home to record their 10th victory in the last 12 King’s Cup races.
The final points were NSW 67, Victoria 51, Qld 40, SA 3, Tas 30, ACT 24.
One other special milestone set on Sunday was that set by Nick Purnell in the King’s Cup. With this win Nick equals James Chapman, Fergus Pragnell and Sam Loch with seven wins for New South Wales. Nick’s winning races are 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019.
Prior to the Interstate Regatta the Victorians in the VIP area were handing out small sheets with words for the “Victorian” song – these were only required for one of the eight events.
Our winning Kings and Queen’s Cup crews were:
Queen’s Cup: Rowena Meredith, Fiona Ewing, Harriet Hudson, Gen Horton, Georgie Rowe, Rowe, Leah Saunders, Georgie Gotch, Emma Fessey, cox: Talia Barnet-Hepples, Coach Don McLachlan
King’s Cup: Angus Moore, Jack O'Brien, Spencer Turrin, Alex Purnell, Nick Purnell, Hamish Playfair, Jack Hargreaves, Rob Black, cox Kendall Brodie, Coach Don Cech