Sun Shines on SRC Regatta
The Club’s annual regatta was held last weekend and, with the State’s elite athletes taking some time off following the grueling trial process of the previous seven days, nurse the regatta was a relaxed affair this year. A big contingent of members made the trip west to support the club and enjoy some quality racing action.
Cloud cover and a light southerly breeze made for temperate conditions at SIRC for the 2016 SRC regatta. Throughout the boatpark there were constant reminders of the national selection trials of the past week, with evidence of RA and ASADA testing visible at every turn. With selections finalised for most boat classes on Friday, there was much discussion of the fates of the nations top rowers as the volunteers assembled for morning duties. Who would make up the four? What of the lightweights? Would Tonks be parachuted in to coach the eight?
Such questions were soon forgotten as racing commenced and new heroes were being crowned. The first winner for SRC was Lloyd Caetano, who overcame a sluggish start to eventually take the lead in the under 19 single at around the 1500m before racing away for a 2 length win. While Lloyd is Canada Bay born and raised, the next Sydney winner was a recent arrival in Harriet Hudson. Harriet has migrated to Sydney from Queensland for tertiary studies and has been naturalised into the Carter stable. Her win followed success at the State Championships last week and a strong showing at the Nationals is anticipated.
A big field was assembled for the para single and Sydney’s Erik Horrie chalked up another win as he continues his preparations for Rio. Senior public figures in attendance watching the race included the Mayor of Penrith, the member of the legislative assembly for Drummoyne – John Sidoti, and Canada Bay Council Sustainability Committeeman Norbert Brenner.
Coach Baker also had a large group of under 21 athletes racing in what for many was their final regatta of the season as University starts this week. Among them Charles Patterson, Bob Wells, Hugh Courts, Henry Kamp and Hamish McDonald are members of the recently selected State Youth Eight which had a comfortable win in the open eights event.
Fresh from hearing the news that masters rowing is to be added to the program for the nationals this year, the elder statesmen and women of the sport were champing at the bit ahead of their races. For Sydney this of course meant the legends would be taking to the water, but there was tough competition for the club’s senior eight. A rival crew featuring top masters oarsmen Mike Burgess and John James were widely favored to win the event, but the legends were able to overcome a hefty handicap to hit the front in the shadows of the judges tower and get home by a canvas.
The final race on the program was one of the most exciting, with Georgia Bradley teaming up with Crystal Piper from Lower Clarence to race in the under 19 double. Having led from the start, the girls were rowed down by a resolute Leichhardt pair in the last 250m to be relegated to 2nd. Even this disappointment could not temper the high spirits of members in attendance, who enjoyed fine hospitality during the day including refreshments from the club bar and locally sourced prawns. Thanks must go to all the volunteers and supporters for the event, including those from other clubs that continue to patronise Sydney’s regatta and contribute greatly to its ongoing success.