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Jonny Rundle – 3 Strokes a National Champion

Jonny Rundle created a unique record on 28th March this year when he stroked the Sydney Uni men’s U23 to their third consecutive victory in the U23 National Eight title. This event is the blue riband event for clubs in the U23 development category and SUBC has a proud record in this race.

Jon’s unique record started in the heatwave of the 2012 Nationals in Perth. In the race for lanes the SUBC crew struggled to finish fourth and looked unlikely to be a contender for a medal in the final.

The crew and the coaches were unhappy with the performance and at a meeting on the Thursday night before the final on Friday the 2012 crew and coaches Prater and van Hooydonk discussed ways to improve their chances in the finals – with little consensus in sight the coaches suggested to the athletes that they meet and discuss possible seating and race plan changes. The crew did this and felt a faster start was essential and called Jonny (possibly the “rabbit”) Rundle into the stroke seat – according to crew deliberations that night everyone in the boat was to change seats.

The coaches were called back and the crew advised their changes to seating and racing – the next morning early the boat was on the water trying the new combination and it was resolved to take that combination into the final.

The rest is history – with Jon setting a high rate early the Sydney Uni crew led by 2 seconds at the 500 mark, 4 seconds ahead of Melbourne Uni at the 1000 and had enough cushion to hold of the fast finishing Swans Composite crew by 3.2 seconds.

In 2013 at the first Sydney International Regatta at Penrith Jonny again stroked the SUBC  U23 eight crew to an all the way win over Adelaide University Composite and Swan River. Opening up with a 1.5 second lead at the 500 the crew extended their lead at each mark to wing by four and a half seconds.

And again in 2014 Rundle was entrusted with the stroke duties in what is his last year of U23. In beautiful conditions the U23 eight started with a 1.22 for the initial 500 to open up nearly three seconds on the field eventually winning by 4.5 seconds in the smart time of 5m 44 secs from Toowong-QAS and Melbourne University.

In addition to these victories Jonny also won the Interstate Men’s Youth Eight for New South Wales in 2012 and 2013, stroking the state crew in 2013. In Ballarat September 2013 Jon stroked the SUBC eight to victory in the Intervarsity race for the Oxford and Cambridge Cup.

Jonny came to Sydney Uni from Wesley College in Melbourne where he rowed but had his final season severely disrupted by breaking his leg in the December prior to the Vic Head of the River.

Jonny Rundle has been and outstanding contributor to our club – he graduates in July this year but we hope to see him competing for SUBC for years to come.

See the photo gallery for shots many of these winning crews.



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