This weekend presented an opportunity for us to race our bigger boats. The largest contingent of rowers we have had to date for this regatta of thirty seven competed over the two days. We were able to mix the young and old rowers together and it resulted in some great racing.
The big focus for us this regatta was our men’s and women’s C and D grade eights. This was the first year that we were able to boat all four eights at this championship regatta.
First up was the men’s C grade eight. The crew of Elizabeth, Angus, Joel, Jason, Magnus, Ian, Daniel, Henry and Paul were confident of a good performance. Having placed fourth in this event last year we were out to improve on this. With a few new additions and everyone else improving from the previous year we knew that a good race would put us in contention. The crew got off to a good start though a few crews had beaten us off the line. The crew continued to get into a rhythm and by the 500 metre mark we took the lead. Late pushes from Newcastle Grammar and Sydney were too late and we went away with the win.
Angus, Joel, Jason and Daniel along with coxswain Alyssa raced in the C grade four final shortly afterwards after having comfortably made the final earlier that morning. It was Newcastle Grammar who lead through the 500 metre mark but a big push from the crew saw us take the lead in the final 250 metres and claim the gold.
Jason and Joel then teamed up for the C grade pair the following day. The plan was to step up from last year’s silver however it was not to be with some technical issues and they had to settle for the silver.
The women’s D grade eight saw a good mix of older and younger rowers. Though as usual the crew had not had a lot of training together they were all keen to get out there and give it a go. We were unable to boat any women’s eights at last year’s regatta so we were excited to have two entered this year. The crew of Lara, Maral, Victoria, Tallara, Jacqui, Fiona, Pal, Sienna and Elizabeth got off to a good start however MLC had taken the lead and remained there for the entire race to take the win. Newcastle Grammar pushed through to take second place with the girls crossing the line in third however due to a rule violation the girls were promoted to second and consequently claimed the silver.
Pal and Sienna raced in the D grade double the following day and after progressing through their heat they got off to a good start in the final however it was there consistent speed through the entire race that saw them claim a very close second place. Sienna then went on to race in the D grade single to again row a well paced race which saw her claim gold. Jacqui and Tallara backed up shortly after the eight to race in the C grade pair. Though they do not regularly train the boat they have proven to work very well together and together took away a silver which was a step up from the bronze Tallara earnt in the same boat class the previous year.
The next day saw the women’s C grade eight take to the line. The crew of Lara, Maral, Genevieve, Tallara, Victoria, Eleanor, Jacqui, Alyssa and Aimee were not going to be out done by the boys of the previous day and got off to a quick start. This was bound to make the crew pay as the race progressed but the lead just kept extending as the other crews faded and they went on to claim the gold.
Tallara, Jacqui, Eleanor and Victoria along with coxswain Lara competed in the C grade four. This again was a dominant performance by the girls which saw them lead from start to finish. The D grade four of Maral, Genevieve, Fiona and Alyssa with Elizabeth as coxswain had a tougher race. Newcastle Grammar pushed off early and were just too quick however the girls pushed off from the remaining crews and claimed silver. We only boated two quads over the weekend. The girls C grade quad of Maral, Victoria, Genevieve and Aimee progressed through their heat but they had to work hard for it. The final was a tough race with the girls pacing the race well and seizing the opportunity to takeover crews as they faded in the later stages in the race and went on to claim the bronze.
The men’s D grade eight was the final eight for us for the weekend. The crew of Aimee, Angus, Daniel, Will, Erik, Airtarn, Johnathon, Miles and Alaaddin were keen to bring home a fourth medal and continue on from last year’s victory in this boat class. Leichardt pushed off early but Newcastle Grammar, St George and ourselves were neck and neck in the dying stages. A push for the line was not enough and the crew had to settle for fourth.
The parra events once again featured Kate and again saw her dominate in her class. She won the single on the Saturday and then teamed up with Paul to take out the double on Sunday with Peter and Ben following in second.
Due to the great results we claimed for the first time since the inception of this regatta the title of the point score champions for the weekend. A big congratulations to everyone who raced over the weekend. As always, the results are great however it is the help of everyone behind the scenes that make weekends like this possible, so a big thankyou to everyone who helped from rigging/de-rigging boats, coaching, cheering and everything in between.