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Our recent tour to the USA Rowing Nationals went down well with our main U17 crews reaching the finals day. This report from one of the women’s U17 Eight.

As an extension of the Sydney Uni Bat Club junior winter rowing program four coaches and eighteen students ventured off to Cincinnati, Ohio to compete in the US National Championships.

 On Saturday, we started our trip by acclimatising to the extreme heat and humidity completing a short erg session. After settling in on Saturday our on-water training began Sunday afternoon on the race course at Lake Harsha in Bethel. The conditions came as a bit of a shock; it was windy, there were people swimming in the lake and there were multiple jet ski’s doing laps next to the course, but nevertheless all crews went out and trained in each of their boats.

Monday’s conditions were not too different as the water was still not ideal for rowing. Early on Tuesday morning we were welcomed with a beautiful sunrise and calm water conditions. The time-trials ran smoothly with everyone making it to the semi’s in at least one boat. The semi-finals on Wednesday were the last race for a few of the crews, but they stayed and supported the remaining crews by cheering as they sprinted to the finish line and helped with getting on and off the water.

The racing week finished on Thursday with the women’s U17 4+, women’s U17 8+ and the men’s U17 4x having their best races yet. The women’s crews both placed 4th with personal best times and the men’s 4x bringing home bronze medals!

To wrap up the trip we had three days in Los Angeles, where we spent a day at Universal Studios, rode electric scooters to Venice Beach, tried more American foods, purchased last minute gifts for family members and played (our own version of) pool!

Thank you to the coaches, Jack Hanley, Ciaran Glynn, Jessica Wickenden and Jack Cook for taking us on this incredible and unforgettable trip. This tour opened my eyes to the numerous pathways that rowing can offer. One-on-one conversations with the coaches helped me outline how to set my rowing goals. Thank you for giving myself and the other junior rowers the opportunity to not only race with a different squad outside of Sydney, but also represent Sydney University Boat Club internationally – I hope we did the blue and gold proud!

And until next time “YEAH UNI!”