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SUBC Tops World Uni Regatta in Xinjin, Chengdu

After months of cold winter training sessions, a group of SUBC athletes travelled to Chengdu, China, for the 10th International University Rowing Regatta. Previously competing in the same event in 2018, the men’s eight was keen to retain their winning title, while the women’s quad were looking to one up the well earnt silver from the previous year.

The next three days upon arriving in Chengdu was time for the crews to adjust to equipment as they trained for race day. During down times was chances to tour around and explore Xinjin, Sichuan province. The night before racing we were treated to a rowing forum. Here, representatives from each university explained how rowing plays a role in their every day lives and also gave us some insight into what rowing at each university is like.

Race day cane, The Chinese put on an amazing opening ceremony consisting of a large water show with skiers and acrobatics, followed by the first race of the day, the men’s eight. Unlike our normal race format, races would be conducted over 1000m, with a heat and a final. Times from both races are added and the fastest overall time is named winner. While initially being jumped off the line, the crew settled into their rhythm. By the 500 mark, we begun to gap the field with a clear water victory in sight. By the end men’s eight won with the fastest overall time. The women’s quad had an impressive race winning their heat. The crews rested and then prepared for the finals. However, the men’s eight now had to face Chengdu Sport University from the other heat, who’s recorded a time only two seconds slower than them

After a few race plan changes, they lined up. The buzzer went, and the SUBC crew leaped out of the start. By the 500 mark, they had a good lead and maintained this to the finish, winning the event. The women’s quad also stepped up and after recording the third fastest heat time, they found another gear to impressively win their final. Overall this placed them in second, only two seconds behind Chengdu Sports University. These results matched the previous years and just as the previous year the men’s crew had remained consistent and posted an almost identical time in the heat and final. An impressive effort for an eight, made of relatively inexperienced athletes.

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With the formalities for racing over, the regatta moved onto the gala dinner, showcasing local talents. Crews were asked to perform a cultural activity from home. SUBC and Melbourne University joined forces to perform the classic ‘To her door’ by Paul Kelly

The following day, the crews had the opportunity to experience the Chinese favourite dragon boat racing. After this Crews were toured around, exploring more Chinese culture by visiting villages were they observed calligraphy, traditional Chinese architecture and even catching fish with their hands (a crowd favourite). This was an awesome experience and something I am sure will not be forgotten anytime soon.

The final day arrives, where we were fortunate to go to the Chengdu panda base. With it being holidays in China, everyone was keen to do the same, making a worthwhile wait to see these beautiful creatures. While they mostly slept, one managed to find the energy to stand, scratch its nose and then fall onto its side back to sleep. A lifestyle I could get behind.

Following this, we were treated to a massive buffet, located in the heart of Chengdu, where cuisines from all over the globe were on the menu. While the food in the trip was nothing short of amazing, after 7 days of eating rice for every meal, it was needless to say the chips and nuggets were a big hit with the teams. That night, the event sponsor and organiser, Mr Qinling Li, treated everyone to yet another amazing Chinese meal, hotpot, which concluded as the final event of the trip.

The crew and the club are very grateful to all the organisers, sponsors and volunteers who made this trip a memorable experience for all involved, providing us the opportunity to experience Chinese culture and represent our university. Overall, the regatta was a great success, where the crew came home as the top performing university.

The crews. Men’s Eight:

Kieran Riach Jordan Duff Tom Lagones Tom Anderson Nic Lesiuk Richard Ledger

Harry Rowston Wyatt Batt Miller Argent (reserve)

Women’s Quad: Jaime Ford Carina Simpson Ella Mentzines Dani Stuart Emma Jalalaty (reserve)



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