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!