Boat Club Men's Eight Visit a Very Hot Nanchang, China
For the second time this year, the Sydney Uni Boat Club men’s eight was invited to compete in China. The crew travelled to Nanchang, in inland southeast China of about 4 million people, a city well known for its clean water and bustling industry. Arriving late on the 10th of August, the crew had to be ready for a big few days in the height of China’s summer.
The Chinese events, typically open to glamour rowing universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Sydney, Melbourne and Otago, along with leading Chinese institutions, are both athlete-funded and subsidized by local organizers.
Coming from the success of the last trip in Shangyu, SUBC crew was well prepared and ready to give it their best. Temperatures were as high as 40C with high humidity.
The competition consisted of a 1 km race followed by a 6 km race. After securing a comfortable victory in the 1km heat, ahead
Pre-Training Crew photo - Nanchang
of some of the local universities. In the 1km final, however, despite a determined effort SUBC came third behind the more experienced Neurus Rowing Club (The Amsterdam Student Rowing Club) and Otago University crews.
A few hours later there was the 6 km race consisting of an out and back 3 km course with a turn around a large buoy. Once again, the visiting crews were at the front of the times, It was a hard-fought event with Otago turning the tables on Neurus to record a narrow win over Neurus and Sydney. While it would have been exhilarating to win, we took pride in our performance and saw it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a team. The Sydney University crew was Alex Page, Max Elliot, Josh Hewitt, Charlie Carr , Henry Ryan, Will Fowler, Ed Nutt and cox Lilee Lunney. Peter Wawn was the coach for the tour, and Henry Wilcox became the cultural representative as a result of injury. Our crew was once again aided by having Mandarin speaker, Charlie Carr, in the team. In addition to our rowing experiences, we were able to explore Nanchang and visit various cultural sites, which allowed us to develop a strong appreciation for Chinese culture. The vibrant cityscape, historical landmarks, and the locals' warm hospitality left a lasting impression on us. We also had the opportu
We also had the opportunity to impart some Australian culture to the Chinese. Notably, we had the privilege of attending a captivating presentation on rowing at Sydney University, delivered by Henry Wilcox. His insights into the sport's nuances and its significance were truly enlightening. At the final dinner, the results of the 6 km time trial were announced, and our crew was able to join in showing off our cultural traditions. We provided an enchanting rendition of "Home Among the Gumtrees." The performance was a brilliant showcase of Australian culture, connecting us to our roots even when far from home. The lyrics and melodies echoed through the air, creating a sense of warmth and unity among our crew. By the end, the whole crowd was singing and following our dance moves. Overall, the rowing trip to Nanchang offered a blend of insightful experiences, cultural appreciation, and unexpected moments of joy that will forever remain etched in our minds.
Our sincere thanks to the organizers for inviting and hosting us for this regatta. So long, and thanks for all the fish.