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Farewell to Men’s Development Coach Franz Imfeld

After a highly successful two seasons at Sydney Rowing Club, Men’s Development coach Franz Imfeld has resigned in order to return to the UK, taking up the role of head coach at Molesey Boat Club. While disappointing for SRC, Franz must be congratulated on this fantastic opportunity and thanked for the positive influence he has had on SRC during his tenure. 2019 Henley Royal Regatta Champion Oscar Carr-Middleton has reflected on the influence Franz has had.

“The first time I met Franz was in the front room of the boatshed. I remember thinking how young he looked and that he certainly couldn’t be a coach at his age. However, over the past two years, along with the entire Men’s squad, I have learnt that this is a deserving indication of his ability as a coach. To have achieved as much as he has so early in his career is incredibly impressive. I believe that Franz’s crowning achievement has been the profound impact he has had on the development of his athletes on and off the water. In his tenure he has nurtured a group of athletes from schoolboys to athletes worthy of U23 podiums and beyond.

The difference in my mind between a good coach and a great one comes down to athlete management, being able to work out how to motivate an athlete, when to use the carrot and when to use the stick. It is a fine line; one that Franz knows how to tread. Working out how to get the best out of someone requires taking a genuine interest in getting to know them as a person, learning what makes them tick, when to pump their tires and when to give them a reality check. It takes time to build the rapport and trust that comes with a personal connection. It can’t be faked and there are no short cuts on the journey. Franz cares, that is clear in everything he does; all you need to see is how he acts at a regatta to be convinced of this. It is the personal attention and willingness to go above and beyond that led to the Wyfold Four last year endearingly calling him “Dad”, much to his dismay!… These skills are also in addition to an incredibly perceptive eye for technical detail. His ability to identify exactly where in one’s stroke changes and improvements can be made has led to substantial individual and squad wide gains.

On a personal note Franz totally retaught me how to row after reconstructive surgery on both hips. In less than a year he took me from an out of shape schoolboy who could barely get past half slide to a Henley winner. For this alone I will be forever grateful. I know that we’ve all had a coach firmly in our corner for the past two years and look forward to seeing Molesey go from strength to strength under his stewardship. As a native Brit I know that wherever Franz is I will always have a boat and club to row out of! We can only hope that he returns to these shores once more in the hopefully not too distant future!” – Oscar Carr-Middleton

Full Hero Board 2020

Are YOU a full Hero?!
The Full Hero Board has been running at SRC for the past four years, showcasing our athletes best performances in the gym! Now, in 2020, we’re taking our Full Hero Board digital, and public!

If you’re looking to improve your strength and fitness this winter while you wait for school rowing to pick back up, send us through your scores for your chance to be featured!

Full Hero Board:

2020 Sydney Rowing Club Open Day – POSTPONED

Due to the rapidly evolving global situation surrounding COVID-19, and the restrictions that this has placed upon club operations, it is with regret that we have postponed our 2020 Open Day.
We encourage you to still register your details via the below form, and we will be communicating an alternative date in the future!

Our 2020 open day will involve getting everyone out for a row in mixed crews, followed by breakfast and a talk from some of our athletes and coaches, outlining what SRC can offer you for the 2020/2021 season and beyond!

Please use the contact form below to register your interest, we will be releasing more details closer to the date.

Expressions Of Interest:

2020 NSW State Championships Wrap Up

With over 200mm of rain falling in Penrith over the weekend, Team SRC was faced with trying conditions for the 2020 NSW State Rowing Championships. Unfortunately, we saw the regatta cancelled on Sunday morning. As such, we finished up the regatta with 3.75 Gold, 3.5 Silver, and 4.25 Bronze medals, with the majority of our crews still to race. All athletes raced with serious grit and tenacity in the wet conditions, and must be applauded on their resilience. A big thank you to the coaches and their help with organising the most comfortable regatta possible, as well as Rowing NSW for putting together some fantastic racing.

Friday begun with the mildest weather of the weekend, some light drizzle for the small boat heats. Almost all SRC athletes cruised through their heats to qualify for A-Finals, with a special mention to Grace Sypher, India Thomson, and David Watts for taking first place in their respective heats.

Leah Saunders in the CWE2- heat on her birthday. Photo: Rowing NSW

With a relatively dry start, the tension in the air on Saturday Morning was palpable, as our Scullers, Elites, Paras, and Lightweights prepared for their small boat finals. The dry start was not to continue, however, with heavy rain once again setting in early in the days racing program. David Watts opened proceedings for SRC, taking a Silver Medal in the last few strokes of the CME 1x. Shortly after, club newcomer Grace Sypher took a silver in the CWU19 1x. A few races later, determined not to be outdone, India Thomson brought home the State Title in the CWU21 1x, with a special mention to Sophia Carmody, who led the race throughout the first 1500m. Our next Gold for the day came from Ben Gibson in the Para Men’s Single Scull, facing off against his pair partner, James Talbot (SUBC), as well as interstate rival Mac Russell (UQBC), Ben held a commanding lead from start to finish to retain the state title he won in 2019. In the CME 2-, 2019 World Championship Bronze Medalists Sam Hardy and Josh Hicks had a strong race to take home a Bronze medal. Other notable achievements from Saturday morning include Jackson Kench claiming bronze in the CMU23 1x, and our lightweights Alex Pikelis and Chris McCarthy crossing the line in second place in the CMEL 2-.

Ben Gibson – Gold Medalist, CParaM1x. Photo: Rowing NSW

Saturday afternoon brought with it two of the most hotly anticipated races of the regatta, the Men’s and Women’s Under 21 Eights. The Men’s race required a heat, and after reigning in the fast starting Scotch College crew, our boys had secured the fastest qualifying time and a spot in the centre of the course in their final. The final proved to be incredibly tight, with the SRC crew having to work their way back through the field after a measured start, to take home the Bronze medal.

Sydney Rowing Club U21 Men’s Eight – Bronze Medalists. Photo: Rowing NSW

Our Women’s Eight was a different story all together. With several returning members from last years 3rd place crew, the girls were determined to maintain the lead which they had held in the first half of the 2019 race. And that they did. The girls crossed the 500m mark with a 3.5 second lead, and extended it throughout the race to bring home the Gold in a final time of 6:26.32, seven seconds ahead of second place!

Sydney Rowing Club U21 Women’s Eight – 2020 State Champions. Photo: Rowing NSW

Unfortunately, with the weather worsening, Sunday’s Racing was cancelled early in the day, however our U23 pairs must be commended on their fantastic Heats and Semi-Finals Racing.
On the Men’s side, Alex Potter and Alex Nichol qualified in second place for the A Final, whilst Torun Olsson and Matthew Murray (SUBC) took fourth place in the same semi-final.
On the Women’s side, Lauren Graham and Issy Furrer took our their heat comfortably to qualify for their final, all promising results as we look towards nationals in six weeks time!

Feature: Henley Royal Regatta 2019 by Franz Imfeld & Brendan Longman

Men’ Crews

Sydney won Henley on December 15th, 2018. It all began with a decision being made in the snooker room of the Kahane Lodge in Perisher and what followed was a wonderful season of training, racing and winning; culminating in four Henley medals, for four athletes, made possible by the efforts of an entire club.

The decision to win Henley was an easy one, it was the one dream of a rower that unites every age and ability. Unlike most races or selections, the only requirement is to train hard and be a member of a club. The next steps were even easier: follow the programme, trust the process and knuckle down. If you do that, the results are bound to follow, and that they did. With an outstanding set of small boats results in January, and the best state champs in recent history, the stage was set for an excellent international campaign.

Henley was at the forefront of athlete’s minds through the domestic season and post nationals there was a palpable excitement. The squad was decided, perhaps by slightly default, but also by the choice of those that wanted to win at the top amateur event in the world and after a short reset over underage trials, the final performance started. We decided on two fours instead of an eight, to keep competition alive, and this lead to a fantastic training environment, alongside our national reps.

As the weather turned colder and the water got slower, it was this squad solidarity that kept everyone going; the belief that we were bigger than the sum of our parts. The closer we came to departure date, and the bigger the training peaks became, this squad mindset became evermore crucial. Have each other’s back, no matter what the stop watch or thermometer says and the result will happen.

In the last fortnight before finals day, we prepared to fly. Fresh kit was collected, bags were packed, sleep schedules and jet lag mitigation was planned and off we went. Happily, we travelled with the knowledge that neither crew had to do qualifiers, meaning we could hit the last week of training in Henley hard, as was required.

The squad met at Heathrow well rested and after some short side trips for our Englishmen, regrouped at the boat tents in Henley. For debutantes Torun Olsson and Nick Dunlop, this was their first time at the course, and from the whole team there was a palpable sense anticipation. We did not row on arrival, both to keep this anticipation building, as well as it taking several hours to rig the boats as specifically as was required!

The first row on the Henley stretch is always thrilling and the boys came off the water on Wednesday grinning: times were fast, paddling speeds were great and the boats were familiar.

Then the jet lag hit and times plummeted. But, forewarned is forearmed. The crews knew this was coming and rolled with it; it was all part of the process. As we trained, we had to keep tweaking the rigs to get them spot on and as the jet lag abated towards the weekend, we got back on track.

Saturday morning and we woke early for a pleasant row in the English countryside to Reading for the quaint river regatta: Reading Town. A 12km row through rolling pastures and three locks lands us at the 800m sprint regatta. The 4- took the win, in a fairly weak field, but the 4+ just missed out on the W to a skilled crew from York. We packed up the boats and headed back to Henley for the draw and a much-needed afternoon off. On the journey back, we found out that both crews had been ‘selected’, meaning they had been recognised by the Henley Stewards as top crews in our respective events, always a good confidence boost.

With the 4+ not racing until Thursday, they took an extra day of training on Sunday and made some key changes to get them back to where they were, back in Sydney. The 4- joined them that evening for the last squad paddle before race week.

Monday morning was met with two surprises for the group, a new set of shoes, courtesy of Project B Rowing, for the 4- and SRC branding for the boats. Creating the right racing environment, is as vital as the training mindset in the run up. These were now our boats and blades, and boy they looked good.

Before we knew it, Wednesday was upon us. First race for the 4- and the first test for the squad: have we travelled well? Have we trained well? Have we followed the process? And the answer was resoundingly yes. The 4- took the fastest barrier and Fawley times in the Wyfold, and the confidence started building. Thursday, it stepped up again, with another win for the 4- before the 4+ even had their first, but the 4+ fed off the 4- success and had a fantastic first race. Torun and Nick had won their first race at Henley.

Now that the cats were out of the bag, the analysis began. What was the fastest time to the barrier, who had a close race, who had an easy race, who was the biggest contender, but for our crews, there was no doubt that we were right up there. The support from down under became noisier every day and confidence within the crews grew and grew.

Then before we knew it, it was the weekend. Two crews in the semi-finals, no mean feat for such young crews (both with an average age of 19), and now the tests began.

The 4- came up against the strongest UK competition in Lea RC, a crew that has been developing over the preceding years and the 4+ against what proved to be the strongest crew in the competition.

After a fairly nervous looking row, the 4- came out on top, with a little tussle with Boris and his white flag. Sadly, it was the end of the road, after an excellent campaign, for the 4+. Molesey’s top club crew led them to the line and after attack upon valiant attack from our boys, the sheer power of the winners couldn’t be beaten. Happily, they went on to resoundingly beat Mercantile in the final.

The 4- recovered well post-race and prepared for their final. After a gruelling analysis session of the semi-final and some fairly blunt words from coach, they realised how difficult they’d made it for themselves and knew what they needed to put right for the final.

And put it right they did. After the standard excited morning pre-row, and the nervous bite for breakfast, they walked into the boat tents, heads high and raring to go. They believed they could do it, knew what it would take and trusted that they could do it. They had the race of their lives. The perfect start, smooth, but competitive steering and crushingly long and aggressive race pace. They delivered a race within 3s of every record, without a tailwind, and took the win in style. A very sweet victory for Alex Nichol over NSR Oslo, who had been his undoing in 2017.


The release of emotion across the line and on the landing stage showed what this meant, the choices they’d made all season, the training they’d done, the social events missed, and the trust they’d built for each other, had all paid off: Sydney had won. Sometimes, all you’ve got to do, is decided to do it, and then the process becomes clear!

Until next year, Henley!

Wyfold 4- 2019: Bow: Oscar Olsen (King’s College, Wimbledon, UK), 2: Oscar Carr-Middleton (Eton College, UK), 3: Alex Nichol (Newington), Stroke: Alex Potter (Newington)

Britannia 4+ 2019: Cox: Nick Dunlop (Shore), Bow: Dylan Boakes (Shore), 2: Torun Olsson, 3: Max Brenner (Concord High), Stroke: Tom Galloway (Shore)


Thank you to Sydney Rowing Club, for supporting the campaign and making it all possible; Jim Stride, for managing the team; Project B, for helping with shoes; Imperial College and Hudson, for providing boats; Concept 2, for supplying oars and Shore School, for allowing us the use of their coxed four for training.

– Franz Imfeld, Men’s Development / Wyfold Coach

Women’s Crew

In what is the youngest Sydney Rowing club crew sent internationally to compete, our u17 women competed in the J16 Quadruple sculls at the Henley Women’s regatta, held in late June. In the qualifying round, the crew placed 5 th (out of 18 entries) to secure a place in the quarter finals – an impressive result considering an acute (and very painful) injury on board. In the quarter final, the crew faced eventual finalist Headington school, who unfortunately proved too strong.

Next up was the qualifying round for the Diamond Jubilee (J18 quadruple scull) at Henley Royal regatta – an ambitious task for a J16 crew. The event had its greatest number of entries, which reflected in the qualifying task of achieving a top 8 placing out of 50 somewhat entries. The crew finished 10 th , only a few seconds from a qualifying placing.

Their final outing as a crew, was the Reading Town regatta, where they won the J16 quadruple sculls.

Overall, experience was gained, valuable lessons learned, and hopefully resolves strengthened; Junior development at its finest.

Thanks to all involved.

– Brendan Longman, Junior Development Coach









Mens Crews to Friday, Racing Heats Up at HRR

Both our Britannia and Wyfold crews have enjoyed a positive start to the regatta, both progressing on to their respective quarter finals on Friday.

Our Wyfold 4- have raced twice, taking wins against Cambridge ’99 ‘B’ on Wednesday evening by 4 and 3/4 lengths, and then following up with another win against City of Oxford Rowing Club on Thursday by 2 and 3/4 lengths, which can be viewed below. The crew move on to face selected crew, Ruderclub Nürtingen from Germany at 3:10pm BST / 1210am AEST.


Our Britannia 4+ launched their campaign on Thursday, taking on City of Bristol – a club very familiar to three seat Max Brenner… Unfazed, the boys settled into their rhythm quickly off the start, taking the win with a verdict of 2 lengths in a classy performance which can be seen below. They move on to race R.C. Hannover, Germany, at 7:15pm BST / 4:15am AEST.

Henley Friday in 2019 marks the first running of the Kings Cup at HRR in 100 years, paying tribute to the Henley Peace Regatta run in the aftermath of WWI in 1919. SRC’s Charlie Patterson looks to bring the experience of his four campaigns with the club to the Australian Defence Force’s entry. They will be the first cab off the rank, facing the Netherlands at 11:00am BST / 8:00pm AEST.

Check out some of their preparation here.

A special mention must go out to a few friends of SRC.

Kate Wagstaff, who joined us on January camp in Jindabyne, after winning the Lwt 2- at Henley Womens, has qualified and progressed to Friday in the Tideway Scullers School Remenham Eight. Kate is set to face the Netherlands at 5:35pm BST / 2:35am AEST

Miles Devereux, who will be joining us next season, is racing in the Leander ‘A’ boat in the Fawley Challenge Cup, he comes up against Tideway Scullers ‘C’ at 6:35pm BST / 3:35am AEST.

Bryn Ellery, who is also joining us next season, has progressed to Friday in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup. Bryn is racing for his alma mater in a Windsor Boys and Windsorian Boat Club composite. He races Edinburgh and Nottingham at 3:05pm BST / 12:05am AEST.

Good luck to all our crews and friends racing! You can follow them live from home below!

SRC Gears up for Henley Royal Regatta 2019

Our 13 SRC athletes and three coaches have put in some seriously hard yards the last three months in preparation for Henley Royal Regatta 2019. Check out the video below to see what they’ve been up to.

Our J16 Womens Quad, (Lily Gavan, Jasmine Bowers, Lily Eales, and Sarah Abrams) were the first crew to depart, and qualified 5th fastest for Henley Womens regatta. Unfortunately, they were to face the highly regarded Headington School in the first round. The crew put up a strong fight, however fell short by one length to the eventual finalists.

The girls then had the daunting task of qualifying for the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, an event for girls up to 18 years of age. The young crew again put their all out on the course, however fell short by just half a second to miss out on qualifying.

Our Britannia and Wyfold Challenge Cup crews, arriving shortly after Henley Womens, have been busy getting used to their boats and training on the Henley reach in preparation for their first races this week. All three crews had a hit out at the Reading Town Regatta, with the 4- and 4x winning all their races, and the 4+ going down to The University of York in the final.

Long time SRC member Charlie Patterson is undertaking his fifth Henley Campaign, this time for the Australian Defence force in a race for the King’s Cup to commemorate the 1919 Henley Peace Regatta. The ADF will be defending their title, after they defeated crews from the allied nations 100 years ago. The crew face The Netherlands in their first race on Thursday.

Our Wyfold crew, of Oscar Olsen, Oscar Carr-Middleton, Alex Potter, and Alex Nichol, are due to face Cambridge ’99 ‘B’ on Wednesday afternoon at 5:50pm Henley time, or 2:50am Sydney Time.

Our Britannia crew, of Dylan Boakes, Torun Olsson, Max Brenner, Tom Galloway, and cox Nick Dunlop – afforded a rest on the first day of racing – are set to face City of Bristol on Thursday, with an exact time to be confirmed at the conclusion of racing on Wednesday evening.

A further good luck must go to Miles Devereux in the Leander ‘A’ crew and Alex Pikelis in the Leander ‘B’ crew competing in the Fawley Challenge Cup ahead of joining us next season. Bryn Ellery will also be joining us next season after competing in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup in a Windsor Boys / Windsorian Boat Club composite. Freya Neville and Bella Scammell will be competing in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup for their home school of Kinross Wolaroi after laying the foundations for their season at our summer January camp.

Good luck to all our SRC members competing this week, we can’t wait to see some red boxes in the hands of some sky blue blazers.

Racing will be live streamed on Youtube, and can be found on Henley Royal Regatta’s Youtube Channel

Results Trees, indicating race times and progression through the regatta, can be found here, courtesy of our friends at AllMarkOne


SRC at the 2019 RNSW Presentation Dinner

On Friday 17th May, Rowing NSW held its annual presentation dinner to honour the achievements made throughout the season, and as usual, Sydney Rowing Club was extremely well represented.

As is tradition, the NSW Union of Rowers uses the dinner to present its annual youth scholarship. Unfortunately, you are only eligible to win the scholarship once, meaning our 7 winners from last year could not be awarded again. However, we were still represented by three athletes: Lily Gavan, Sarah Abrams, and coxswain Hannah Cowap. The scholarship is for $1,000, which for Lily and Sarah will be put to much use in their upcoming Henley Campaign.

Click Here to see the full list of recipients

In the presentation of trophies and shields, SRC was presented the shield for Open Women’s, as well as the combined U19 and U21 shield. President Keith Jameson also accepted the NSW Honours Recipients Trophy for the NSW State Championship Point score, this being only the third time Sydney has won this trophy, with the last time being 2002.

In the awards portion of the evening, the club was represented by two of our most passionate members.

On the back of a World Champs Silver in the Junior Women’s coxed Four, and countless national medals and titles, including the Women’s Interstate Youth Eight, the 2019 Coach of the Year award was presented to our Women’s Development Coach – Lachlan Carter.

After an extremely successful year, becoming the first female to cox a medalling men’s crew at a World Championships, and then winning the King’s Cup, our own Kendall Brodie was awarded Coxswain of the Year for the second season running.

The 2019 Presentation Dinner was yet another demonstration of the hard work, dedication, and overwhelming success of Sydney Rowing Club athletes and coaches, congratulations to all those who contributed to these achievements.

Click here to see the full list of Trophy & Shield Recipients

Click here to see the full list of Award Recipients

Notice: Vice-Captain Appointment

Ed White has resigned from the position of Vice-Captain of the club due to his impending move to Melbourne.

Ed has had an outstanding career as an oarsman since joining the club in 2011 after rowing at Riverview. He rowed in the Australian Under 23 Eight in 2013, competed at Henley Royal Regatta on four occasions, (winning the Britannia Cup coxed four in 2015), won the Champion Eights of NSW in 2015 and 2017, won the Riverview Gold Cup on three occasions, rowed in many other successful crews at the NSW and Australian Championships, competed at the Head of the Charles, won the Men’s Open Eight at the Head of the Yarra, and rowed in the winning NSW King’s Cup eight in 2017.

Ed came onto the club’s Board as Vice-Captain a year ago replacing Kendall Brodie when she moved to the Men’s NTC in Canberra after being selected in the Australian Men’s Eight. He has made a valuable contribution to the Board and we are sorry to see him leave.

The Board has appointed Stephen Graham as Vice-Captain to fill the vacancy until the end of the present term. Steve needs no introduction – he has three children who compete for SRC, and is a regular competitor in masters rowing himself. We wish him success as Vice-Captain.

Club crews prevail and NSW Makes History on Day 7

A chilly start to the final day of SIRR 2019 saw most crews undertake a quick pre-row, and our state team athletes quickly retreat to the safety of the NSWIS tent.

Our club crews could be afforded no such luxuries however, with the point score not quite wrapped up, we needed all crews to perform in a big morning of racing to secure the title.

With the Women’s Four scratching, the Men’s Double and Four had incredible races, both collecting Bronze medals.

The Women’s Eight was a highlight of the day, the scratch combination featuring women ages 16-27, some at their first nationals and some their 10th, stormed through the field in the second 500. The girls maintained their lead and finished ahead of favourites Sydney University by 1.76 seconds in true SRC style.

Moments later, the Men’s crew, joined by the late addition of Billy Sanders from Scots, who first rowed for the club at Head of the Yarra last year, had a tight battle with Mosman Rowing Club through the first 1000m. The boys, urged on by cox Scotty Trayhurn, laid down a push in the third 500m to take a Silver behind Mercantile.

These results have provisionally secured the point score, although this has not yet been officially announced.

Just a few hours later, after a notably efficient boat loading process, 17 of our athletes and three coaches took to the water to represent NSW in the Interstate Regatta.

Ben Gibson opened the proceedings for SRC, taking a silver medal in difficult conditions in the PR3 M1x.

The next two hour of racing was simply incredible for the NSW eights, all featuring SRC athletes. NSW continued their winning streak in the Men’s Youth Eight, win the Women’s Youth Eight for the first time in 6 years, win the Queens Cup after a 14 year drought, and take the King’s Cup for the 3rd time on the trot in the 100th running of the event. This is the first time that one state has taken home all four eights in one regatta.

After a regatta where pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Sydney Rowing Club, it is incredible to see our athletes perform so fantastically in an afternoon that will go down in the history books.

Club President Keith Jameson passed on the following remarks:

I congratulate all of our athletes and coaches on the success of the club at the National Regatta. It was a great regatta for the club, with many outstanding results and fine individual performances, along with the usual disappointments, mishaps, illness, and high emotion.

I especially congratulate our athletes and coaches who represented NSW in the Interstate Regatta. Until this year, no state has ever won all the eight-oared races at the one regatta. This will be an historic regatta to be remembered for many years to come. I am particularly proud that so many of the athletes who represented NSW came from the SRC programme.

Thank you to Rowing Australia / Delly Carr, as well as Keith Jameson for the photos.