Back-to-back wins for the Big White V who also took out the Rowing Australia Cup

Victoria once again claimed top honours in the King’s and Queen’s Cups Interstate Regatta today. The final day of the 2016 Sydney International Rowing Regatta culminated the pinnacle event, with Victoria winning the prized King’s Cup, along with the Queen’s Cup (for the 12th time in a row), the Victoria Cup, the Nell Slatter Trophy and the Rowing Australia Cup as the overall Interstate Regatta winners after the final points were tallied.

The King’s Cup crew was made up of seasoned campaigners alongside younger Victorians, with Josh Dunkley-Smith, William Lockwood, Joshua Booth and David Webster, joined by Charles Risbey, Tim Masters, Benjamin Coombs, Samuel Hookway and Josh Hooper. Crossing the line in a time of 5.24.36, New South Wales crossed the line 3.6 seconds behind, with South Australia rounding off the group.

Ahead of receiving the King’s Cup from His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, Dunkley-Smith said: “We had great guys in the crew, and we had a good plan. We kept it simple, had a strong plan, and nailed it in every training session so that we could nail it in the race.”

The Queen’s Cup saw Victoria’s women’s eight win its 12th consecutive Interstate Women’s Championship, the crew of Charlotte Sutherland, Lucy Stephan, Katrina Bateman, Sophie Sutherland, Kimberley Brennan, Madeleine Thomas, Jessica Morrison, Addy Dunkley-Smith and coxswain Sarah Banting won in a time of 6.07.90, with Queensland 2.4 seconds behind and New South Wales rounding off the group.

Stephan, who has experienced a win in this event five times before said: “The race was tight, but we always had control. We’d had some really strong training rows, and we knew once we had our rhythm we could hold to have control of the race. It is about having the right mentality for the race. You don’t want to be in that boat if it doesn’t win.”

The Interstate Regatta also included the LTA Single Scull, in both the male and female categories, for the first time. The events saw Kate Murdoch from New South Wales win, to add to her National Championship titles in the LTA Single and the LTA Double, and she was joined on the podium by Tasmania’s Emma Jago who finished second.

In the Men’s LTA Single it was Kevin du Toit from New South Wales who crossed the line first, in a very close race that had been led for the majority by Western Australia’s Brock Ingram. Ingram, who will competed for Australia in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four for Australia later this year, ultimately took home second, while Tasmania’s Alistair Chong was third.

The Women’s and Men’s Single Sculls saw some of the Australian Rowing Team members represent their States. It was Kim Brennan (nee Crow), representing Victoria, who once again took home the Nell Slatter Trophy for the Women’s Single Scull in a time of 7:23:21, followed by Queensland’s Sally Kehoe, while Cara Grzeskowiak once again took bronze in the event..

Brennan said about her win: “We’ve got a really deep field in the Australian Women’s Sculling category, and you never line up thinking that you’re going to have an easy race. Sal (Kehoe) has raced about ten races this week, and she’s tired in that way, the same as I’ve been doing some kilometres on the river, but it is always good practice getting out on the start line against some good scullers.”

The Interstate Men’s Single Scull saw Rhys Grant of Western Australia reclaim the President’s Cup that he won previously in 2013. He was followed over the line by Victoria’s Karsten Forsterling while Chris Morgan of South Australia rounded off the group. Grant, who is due to race the Men’s Single for Australia at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta later this year, has a good tussle in the closing stages with Forsterling, himself a member of Australia’s Men’s Quad, battling all the way to the line, but the win was for the state with the black swan on its chest.

Grant said about his race: “It was a tight finish, and it was quite rough out there. I was just trying to tap out (of the Finish) and stay clean, but I’m really happy with that. The plan was to do a push at the one kilometre but the others started to go earlier than that, so I just went with them.”

The race for the Victoria Cup, the Lightweight Women’s Quad Scull, was awarded to Victoria. The crew of; India McKenzie, Alice McNamara, Alice Arch, Stephanie Radford led with clear water back to Queensland who were second, and Tasmania followed in third.

McNamara said about the race: “The Interstate regatta is my favourite on the regatta calendar, and it was an honour to represent the Big White V today. This is my second time winning this event in ten years. We had the same crew as last year, but we came in knowing we were a little stronger, a little faster, and we got up this year.”

In the Lightweight Men’s Four it was Queensland who claimed gold for the fourth year in a row. In fast conditions, they led for the entire race, and finished with clear water back to the crew from Western Australia, and then New South Wales before then. This was the fourth win in a row for Nick Silcox and Jack Price, the third for Adam Kachyckyj and a first for recent U23 Australian Rowing Team representative, Hamish Parry.

The Youth Eights saw plenty of Australia’s upcoming talent take to the water. It was Queensland’s women who claimed the claimed the win in the Bicentennial Cup. The crew, coxed by Stephanie Long, finished in a time of 6.20.40, while Victoria and Western Australia snapped up the second and third place positions respectively.

In the Noel F. Wilkinson Cup, for the Interstate Youth Men’s Eight, it was New South Wales who claimed back-to-back wins. This year, the crew coxed by Claudia Lowe, finished in a time of 5.40.05, while Queensland were some three seconds behind them followed by Western Australia.

Once the points tally had been added up, it was Victoria that once again claimed the Rowing Australia Cup as the most successful state. The Cup was presented to Rowing Victoria President, Pat McNamara, alongside Head Coach, Bill Tait.

Earlier in the day the Open Schools Rowing Championship saw Sydney Cup for the Schoolgirl’s Coxed Eight claimed by St Catherine’s from Victoria. The crew crossed the line in a time of 6.43.76, Loreto-Toorak were 1.39 seconds behind followed by Queenwood.

In the Schoolboy’s equivalent race it was Shore School that snapped up the Barrington Cup in a time of 5.58.56, while it was a tight finish between St Joseph’s Sydney and Scotch College, with St Joseph’s winning by 1.9 seconds.

Another favourite of the closing day of the event if the Schoolgirl’s and Schoolboy’s Coxed Quadruple Scull. This year the Schoolgirl’s title was taken out by Ruyton Girls, followed by Stathcona and then Canberra Girls Grammar. Meanwhile in the Schoolboy’s equivalent race, it was Melbourne High that won gold, while Newington College battled with Ballarat & Clarendon for second and third place. It was Newington who crossed the line first, just 0.22 of a second faster, the New South Wales-based school winning silver, while the Victorian school bronze.