The St George licensed premises provided a great vantage point to view the 2004 NSWRA Sprint Championships. A strong breeze arriving early afternoon made starting conditions on the approx 400 mtere course extremely difficult. Boats were required to point into the wind at the start with the result that many crews (the majority coxless) went towards the northern bank with the crews on the inside lane pushing the northern side crews well outside the course boundaries in many races.
There were a large number of oar clashes especially in events with three crews as in the conditions the course was possibly a bit tight for three crew racing.
The area on the river next to St George has beeen converted into grassed parkland and further improvements to water access in the future and to the marking of the course should substantially improve this exciting regatta.
Saturday’s racing also seemed to herald some signs of re-birth of metro club competition with good numbers of competitors from a wide range of metro clubs most of whom were competitive over the distance. Notable were the large contingents from Sydney Rowing Club, UTS and Sydney University, Nepean and Drummoyne. Other clubs with good representation were Leichhhardt, St George and also crews from Mosman and Balmain.
Sydney Rowing Club, through their associoation with Macquarie University were able to boat a women’s eight and take out the event.
Unfortunately UTS bought their eight but did not notice that one set of foot stretchers was missing so they had to row the men’s and women’s eight with seven rowers. In the men’s eight the starter evened things up by giving UTS a start of about 3/4 of a length but it’s hard to establish the rhythmn required with hole in the middle of your boat and SUBC took out the men’s eight final. Sydney Rowing Club caused a boilover in the Men’s Four by eliminating SUBC in their heat and then accounting for UTS in the final.
Our photo shows Sydney Uni shading UTS near the end of the Men’s Eight.