Fergus Pragnell set a unique club record yesterday at the 2013 NSW Rowing Championships as he stroked the SUBC men’s Eight to their ninth win in a row. The Boat Club won this event in 2005 after a thirty year gap from the previous win in 1975. Fergus has been the only athlete to row in all nine winning crews. When asked after the race if he would be back in 2014 to try for ten in a row Fergus replied: “Looks like I’ll have to go around again!”
The Championship Men’s eights of NSW were contested by SUBC, Sydney Rowing Club, Mercantile and Melbourne University from Victoria, Pine Rivers, Queensland and Canberra.
The Sydney University crew was cox: Toby Lister, Fergus Pragnell, Hamish Playfair, Nick Purnell, Sasha Belonogoff, Ryan Edwards, Kit Cunningham Reid, Jack Hargreaves and Cam Girdlestone.
Staring on the southern bank in lane 2 the SUBC crew too an early lead of two seconds over Sydney at the 500metre mark, extending this gradually to 3 seconds at the 1500 metre point and 3.7 seconds at the line. Sydney were missing James Chapman through injury but lead by their excellent AIS based pair of Spencer Turrin and Alex Lloyd they fought hard all the way to stay with the university boat.
The battle for the bronze medal was tight between the two Victorian clubs with Mercantile just edging Melbourne University from the medals by 17 hundredths of a second.