Australian rowers Kim Crow and Hannah Every-Hall are both looking forward to the upcoming King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta, with the two Olympians admitting that to represent ones state in the prestigious event gives them a great sense of pride.

The King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta, set to be held as part of the 2015 Sydney International Rowing Regatta (23 to 29 March 2015), sees the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia battle it out to accumulate the most points over the eight Interstate races to win the Rowing Australia Cup.

Crow, who was part of the Victorian Women’s Eight crew that won the Queen’s Cup for the 10th straight time in 2014 admitted that the Interstate Regatta is one of the highlights of her week at the Australian Nationals: “It was so much fun to win the Queen’s Cup for the 10th time, the Interstate Regatta has a really special place in all Australian rowers’ hearts because that’s where you start and there’s a real pride in representing your state. To have been a part of the crew that won last year was really special.”

Crow shared where her sense of pride comes from when it comes to racing in the Interstate Regatta, saying: “I think the pride comes back to really where you started rowing and the people around you when you started in the sport, it’s one of those rivalries, similar to that of State of Origin in Rugby League, that make it particularly special to race at an interstate regatta.”

Every-Hall, who has regularly featured for Queensland in the Interstate Lightweight Women’s Quad, won The Victoria Cup in 2011 and was part of the Queensland team that won the Rowing Australia Cup in 2014, the first time the State had done so in 10 years.

“I think for me, as a Queenslander, the sense of pride for the Interstate Regatta is seen in that it unites a huge state, and the State has rowing in all aspects of it, and similarly to WA often in remote areas, so everyone has the opportunity to feel together and united and this amazing sense of community.

“It was so wonderful to win the Rowing Australia Cup in 2014, it was the first time in 10 years and that’s the beauty of this event, even if you don’t win every event your performance still counts to an overall thing so every place better you can be adds to the overall trophy.”

Every-Hall admitted it has been a process of rebuilding for Queensland to take the overall title last year and one that she hopes will continue at this year’s event in Penrith: “I think over the last few years Queensland has been rebuilding its sense of being and it is developing and cascading each and every year.

“You can see the excitement going through the whole rowing community, be it the old boys who rowed in yesteryear to the young ones coming to support family and friends. I know last year there were a couple of old boys and veteran rowers who came down especially to watch the Interstate Regatta and I think that’s definitely helped Queensland in generating the movement and the excitement to support the Interstate Regatta and I hope it continues this year.”

Both Every-Hall and Crow admitted that one of the highlights of the racing on the Sunday will be competing against their mates from other States.

“It’s so much fun racing against your mates, I think it’s the only regatta where you sit on the start line of a race and there is banter between crews on the start line and there’s a lot of talk and it’s actually one where there is a huge amount of fun involved, a huge amount of passion and it’s a really special part of our sport,” shared Crow.

Every-Hall added: “I think racing against your mates adds to the fun of the day as there is noise and heckling and banter going on at the start line. It’s a serious race but it’s held with a sense of relaxation, at the start at least, but when it comes down to rowing and the race itself, you’re totally focussed on winning.

“It’s easy to race against your mates though, I’ve been racing in the Interstate since 1999 and as soon as in my case I pull on the maroon zoot suit, my personality changes and you are wholeheartedly a Queenslander.”

While this year will feature the eight Interstate races, the 2016 event will have an exciting additional component in that para-rowing will feature in the regatta, something that Crow wholeheartedly supports.

“I think it’s fantastic that from 2016 there’s going to be a para-rowing element to the Interstate Regatta, it’s important that our sport keeps evolving and including the para-athletes, who are our top performers on the world stage, their inclusion recognises that and brings them to the forefront will also help to promote and grow the sport’s participation around the country.

“I think rowing prides itself on the fact that our para-rowers are just as much a part of the Australian Rowing Team or State Team as anyone else and that’s a really special thing and I don’t think many sports can claim to be a fully united team and we can, so bringing them into the State fold is hugely important.”