On what is nearly always a bumpy and windy course at Strathclyde, Glasgow, Renee Kirby and Charlotte Walters in the Women?s Quad were placed second at the halfway point of the A final but were then headed by Germany and pushed into third position at the 1500 metre mark with Romania leading. As usual at these championships the racing was tight with only 1.4 seconds separating the leading four crews as they pushed into the last 500. It was the USA from a close fourth who continued their push through the field to take the lead and victory and the Aussies fought back to head Germany again and take second eight tenths of second behind and a similar margin ahead of Germany.
The Men?s Eight was the last event on the program and apart from six Sydney Uni rowers and a Sydney Uni cox the boat was coached by Boat Club Director of Rowing, Phil Bourguignon and Development Coach, Mark Prater.
The eight had won their heat and placed second behind Germany in the semi-final. It seemed that margins would be close among the top crews but Australia seemed to have early speed that would put the crew in a strong racing position.
Australia started from Lane 2 in the final with semi-final winners Germany and Great Britain in the middle lanes and Estonia in Lane 5. Australia led out, shading Estonia fractionally at the first 500 metre mark with Germany close by and Britain in fourth. At the 1000 metre it was still Australia by only four tenths of a second from Estonia with Great Britain falling back and still fourth Poland and USA.
The third 500 saw a big move from Estonia pushing past the Aussies and establishing a lead of half a length from Australia and another half a length to Germany. The Americans had pushed up to a close fourth Poland fifth and Great Britain dropping to the rear.
At this level of big boat racing no advantage can be taken without some sacrifice and the Estonians huge effort in the third 500 was beginning to tell as the leaders moved into sight of the finish. Germany was closing fast on Australia and Australia was making up ground on Estonia and the Americans were edging closer to leading crews.
At the line Estonia held on for gold from Germany by just 0.39 of a second with Australia getting bronze 0.44 of a second behind Germany and just 0.36 ahead of the USA in fourth.
A long and tough winter campaign for our representatives in the U23 Women?s Quad and Men?s Eight justly rewarded with World Championship medals.
Congratulations to all the athletes and to Sydney Uni Director of Rowing Phil Bourguignon and SU Coach Mark Prater who were Coach and Assistant Coach of the Men’s Eight.
Aussie Men?s Eight Coxswain Toby Lister (AUS): “I wasn’t sure if we had silver or bronze going through the line. But just really happy to get on the podium.”