Tokyo is just around the corner

The Australian Olympic rowing team are just days away from heading to Tokyo



Next week 38 athletes on the Australian Olympic rowing team will head to Tokyo to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games. After a year of delays, and an intense 3 week camp in Rockhampton, the team, which includes 9 SUBC athletes, will head to Tokyo to see how they shape up against the rest of the world. Racing begins on Friday 23rd July and concludes a week later on Friday 30th July. We have 9 athletes in 6 different boat classes including the men’s four, women’s eight, men’s eight, women’s quad, men’s quad, and a men’s reserve.



Athlete Profiles




Genevieve Horton


Boat: Women's 8+, bow seat!


Age: 26


School: Pymble Ladies College


When did you start at SUBC? I joined the great club at the end of 2016!


What has been your favourite race with the club?

Definitely the elite women's 8 at the NSW state champs in 2018. That race is always a big one on the calendar, and it was awesome getting a strong W for uni on the day. Races like that I really cherish, as most other races we are always on the line for selection, so to race in big boats purely to win for your club is a part of rowing I love so much.


What are you most looking forward to in Tokyo?


Getting that first race under our belts for sure. Part of me still won't believe it's all really happening until I am actually there, as we have visualised it over in our heads so many times before. To finally be there after all the doubt and false starts from covid will be so satisfying.





Jack O'Brien


Boat: Men's eight


Age: 23


School: St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill


When did you start at SUBC?

I've been a part of SUBC since 2015


What has been your favourite race for the club?

My favourite race would be the 2020 NSW state champs elite men's eight when both men's and women's crews won.






Nick Purnell


Boat: Men's Eight


Age: 31


School: Shore School


When did you start at SUBC?

I've been a member since 2008


What has been your favourite race for the club?

My favourite race was B 8+ at the 2010 national champs.







Tara Rigney


Boat: Women's Double Scull


Age: 22


School: Loreto Kirrbilli


When did you start at SUBC?

I started at SUBC in 2018


What has been your favourite race for the club?

My favourite races for the club have been Australian Boat Race 2018/2019


What are you most looking forward to in Tokyo?

I am most looking forward to competing on a world platform.



Cameron Girdlestone


Boat: Men's Quadruple Scull


Age: 33


School: Kings School


When did you start at SUBC?

I first started at SUBC in 2005


What has been your favourite race for the club?

My favourite race was my first senior scull national championship in 2016.







Campbell Watts


Travelling Reserve


Age: 25


School: St Joseph's College


When did you start at SUBC? I have rowed at SUBC since 2014


What has been your favourite race for the club? My favourite race for the club was the 2015 B 8+ at nationals.




Rowena Meredith


Boat: Women's Quadruple Scull

Age: 26


School: Stella Maris College


When did you start at SUBC? 2016


What has been your favourite race for the club?


There are so many to choose from! One of my favourites has to be the quad from NSW state champs 2019. We had a great strong crew, an 11 second lead through the 1km and we managed to catch an oar breaking crab that resulted in us crossing the line 9 seconds behind the other boat in the race (SRC) 9 seconds later. It was just such a good fun race that we could all laugh about and enjoy racing together.


What are you most looking forward to in Tokyo?


Just being there really! It’s such a unique experience and I can’t wait to see what it’s like!



Alex Purnell


Boat: Men's Four


Age: 26


School: Shore School


When did you start at SUBC?

Joined SUBC in 2013


After representing Australia at junior, U21 and U23 level, Alex made his first senior team in 2017 and has continued his success every year in both sweep and sculling boats. This is Alex's first Olympics and he will be debuting alongside his older brother Nick.




Jack Hargreaves


Boat: Men's Four


Age: 27


School: St Joseph's College


When did you start at SUBC?

Joined SUBC in 2012


Jack will be competing at his first Olympics in Tokyo. He has been a consistent member of the men's four since 2017 and is a two-time world champion in the event. He will be competing in the four alongside SUBC member Alex Purnell.






Special Mention


We would like to make a special mention of SUBC member Kate Rowan who is the team's non-traveling reserve and is training in Rockhampton with the athletes right up until the moment they depart. We can't wait to have her back at the SUBC shed! Will O’Shannessy was also selected as a non-traveling reserve and had been training with the team up until World Cup 3.







Olympic Coaches


SUBC would like to congratulate two former coaches Mark Prater and Andrew Randell who are coaching crews on the Olympic team.


Andrew Randell coached at SUBC from 1993-94, and 2000-04. He is coaching the Women's, Quadruple Scull.

Mark Prater was at SUBC for 10 years 2006 until 2016 - will be coaching the Men’s Quad in Tokyo.



Racing Schedule


Women's Double: Tara Rigney

  • Heat: Friday 23rd July- 11:20am

  • Repechage: Saturday 24th July- 9:30am

  • Semi: Monday 26th July- 10:20-10:30am

  • Final: Wednesday 28th July


Women's Quadruple Scull: Rowena Meredith

  • Heat: Friday 23rd July- 12:00pm

  • Repechage: Sunday 25th July - 10:50am

  • Final: Tuesday 27th July


Women's Eight: Genevieve Horton

  • Heat: Sunday 25th July- 11:30am

  • Repechage: Wednesday 28th July- 10:30am

  • Final: Friday 30th July


Men's Eight: Nick Purnell & Jack O'Brien

  • Heat: Sunday 25th July- 11:00am

  • Repechage: Wednesday 28th July- 10:48am

  • Final: Friday 30th July


Men's Quad: Cameron Girdlestone

  • Heat: Friday 23rd July- 11:30am

  • Repechage: Sunday 25th July- 10:40am

  • Final: Tuesday 27th July


Men's Four : Jack Hargreaves & Alex Purnell

  • Heat: Saturday 24th July- 12:10pm

  • Repechage: Monday 26th July- 11:10am

  • Final: Wednesday 28th July



What's Next?


In the next newsletter, we will be giving updates on our SUBC members, James Talbot and Lizzi Chapman, who have recently been officially selected on the Paralympic Team.





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