Crews look to replicate 2014
The 2015 Sydney International Rowing Regatta features the Australian Open Rowing Championships and the Australian Open Schools Championships. The two events see athletes from across the country flock to the Sydney International Regatta Centre to be crowned the best in the country in their respective boat classes.
Last year, one of the event highlights was 2013 World Rowing Champion Kim Crow winning not only the Open Women’s Single Scull but also the Open Women’s Double Scull. Crow won with fellow London 2012 Olympian Phoebe Stanley in the Double, however Crow will this year defend her doubles title with New South Wales’ Georgia Nesbitt in the boat with her.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Pair it was Josh Dunkley-Smith and Fergus Pragnell who won the Open event last year. With the Victorian Institute of Sport duo likely to race again at this year’s event, they will face strong challenges to their title potentially from the likes of Alex Hill and Will Lockwood as well as Alex Lloyd and Spencer Turrin who have all been training hard at the National Training Centre in Canberra.
Hot on the heels of the group will no doubt be the New South Wales duo of Nick Wheatley and Jack Hargreaves who won gold in the National U23 Men’s Pair in 2014 and late last year also claimed silver in the same event while representing Australia at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Varese. Wheatley and Hargreaves have also been training at the NTC in Canberra and will be looking to make the step up to the senior level at this year’s Championships.
Similarly to Hargreaves and Wheatley, their female counterparts Genevieve Horton and Jessie Allen won gold in the U23 Women’s Pair at the 2014 Australian Open Rowing Championships while the ladies then went on to win bronze at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Varese. Horton and Allen may not be partnered up again this year but spectators can be sure that if either girl is out on the water in a pair, that an exciting and powerful race will ensue.
A number of the U19 rowers will be stepping into the U23 category this year in a bid to continue their medal winning ways. In the 2014 U19 Men’s Single Scull, Tom Schramko, Adam Bakker and Tryon Boorman all finished within a second of each of other for podium positions and ultimately represented Australia at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Hamburg.
The trio will feature in 2015, however this time Schramko and Boorman will feature in the U23 category as they also look to not only replicate last year’s performances but also potentially gain an invitation to selection trials for the U23 Australian Rowing Team which will travel to Plovdiv in Bulgaria later in the year, while Bakker is entered in the U19 Men’s Single Scull competition.
Looking to the school racing, there will no doubt be some highly competitive racing from all the schools involved in the Australian Open Schools Championships.
In 2014, The Friends School from Tasmania won the inaugural School Girls U17 Eight and while the team is not likely to defend its title, there are currently 11 schools entered into the 2015 race.
There will no doubt be major rivalry in the Schoolgirls and Schoolboys Eights once again this year with a number of schools looking to gain revenge on last year’s respective title winners of Loreto College-Toorak (who won the Schoolgirls Eight) and The Shore School from Sydney (who won the Schoolboys Eight).
In the Schoolgirls race, Loreto College-Toorak beat off Geelong Grammar School and Genazzano FJC to claim the gold but with both schools returning to the competition this year, the race could prove to be a tight one with old scores to settle.
Meanwhile, 2013 Schoolboys Eight Champions, Melbourne’s Scotch College, will be eyeing off The Shore School to make sure they resecure their previous title and don’t allow the Sydney local to retain the title on home turf for a second year running.
Entries for all events closed yesterday (Tuesday 3 March), all entries can be viewed here.