We have come to our final regatta for the regular season, with only master’s racing ahead of us now. The NSW grade Championships is a highly anticipated regatta in Nepean’s regatta schedule as it gives us an opportunity to boat competitive crews with rowers of various ages.
We were welcomed by great conditions over both days of racing. We had a smaller squad than in previous year’s, however we were able to still boat various competitive crews over the weekend and a few good small boats.
Saturday saw some strong results in the big boats.
The men’c C eight of Jason, Miles, Joel, Magnus, Daniel, Trent, Jooya, Hugh and cox Aimee got off to a good start but it was Glebe who pushed off to an early lead, claiming a boat length lead on the field in the first few hundred metres of the race. The Nepean crew did not let this phase them and continued to race to their plan. The third 250 metre saw Nepean take to the lead, and then push away for the win with Glebe dropping back to third and Canberra taking away second.
Jason, Magnus, Miles, Jooya and Aimee once again took to the water shortly after the eight in the C four. They went away with a comfortable win in the end. However, Jason, Magnus and Aimee did not get to rest long as they went back out with the two roughies from the C eight, Trent and Hugh, to contest the D four. They got off to a good start and slowly pushed through the field to claim another win for Nepean. Surprisingly the oldest rower in the D crew was able to make it through the three races, but that is probably just because it was favourable conditions, otherwise we may have had issues.
Paul raced in the C single and after a strong heat race he was in a good position for the final. He went off hard and had a good race but unfortunately, he was just short of claiming a medal, taking away fourth place.
Victoria and Tallara took to the water to contest the women’s C pair. There was some strong competition with ANU and UTS hosting strong crews. The girls have been training the pair consistently in the lead up to the regatta, and this was fortunate because when they started training it had its fair share of issues, with a capsize being a big one. Though, I am assured stroke seat rows perfectly, so bow is presumably to blame for any issues. The girls had a good row and took away the bronze which was a great result for them given their limited preparation.
A special mention to Harry for competing in his first race, contesting the D single. He progressed through to the semi final which was a good achievement for his first regatta. Unfortunately, he had a bad stroke early on in the semi and went for a swim. He, in true Harry form, raced the remainder of the race despite this mishap.
Sunday again saw good results in a couple of big boats and also good racing in the small boats.
The women’s sole big boat for the weekend, saw Tallara, Victoria, Fiona, Aimee and cox Sarah take to the water for the C coxed four. A strong UTS crew took to the lead early but the Nepean crew did not let them go easy and held off the UNSW crew to claim the silver.
In the small boats, Aimee claimed a bronze in the C single with gold and silver going to women older than her mother. This however was not a first for Aimee, with her being accustomed to her elders being quicker than her, with a fifty year old beating her just last year.
Sienna took out the win in the A single with Sydney closing in on her in the final stages but she had enough in the tank to hold her off. Sarah and Cleo both progressed through to the semi-finals in the D single however were unable to progress through to the final.
A certain rower who will go unnamed, dislocated his finger on Saturday afternoon at footy. Some would say that if he was not dogging the boys this would never have happened, but that is just what I have heard. Despite this late withdrawal all the men’s racing was able to go ahead with Paul stepping up to race the C quad and B four and Miles racing the B pair.
The C quad of Miles, Jooya, Hugh and Paul progressed through to the final after a steady heat. In the final they got off well but some of the other crews as expected got off very quick in the early stages of the race. The boys crawled back to place third with second place Leichardt only being five tenths of a second in front of them on the line.
Miles then quickly jumped out of the quad and into the pair with Jason. We were all excited to see this great transfer Miles talks about translate to a fast moving pair. Fortunately (probably for Miles mostly) the boys had a good race and were able to claim a clear water lead 500 metres into the race and could settle down as the race progressed so as not to exhaust themselves too much with a four race shortly after.
The B four saw Jason, Miles, Jooya and Paul face off against ANU and UNSW crews. Early on it was clear it was going to be a battle between Nepean and UNSW but Nepean proved too strong and they went away with the win.
A few special mentions must be made for Sunday’s racing.
First, Edee competed in her first single race in the D category and performed well for the amount of rowing she has done to date. Everyone’s first race is a daunting experience however we realise in in retrospect that it was not as scary as we thought and we learn a lot form this.
Second, Letisha competed this weekend for the final time for a long time with a knee surgery this coming week meaning she will be out of the boat for a minimum of twelve months. We wish Letisha all the best for the surgery and during her recovery.
Third, Tallara backed up twenty minutes after competing in the C four in the A single. This was a credit to Tallara, it was no small feat. This year saw only the one women’s crew boat for the regatta due to a lack of numbers and depth on the women’s side meaning small boats were a bigger focus. A big thankyou to Tallara for showing the team spirit I think we should all aim for, in putting the team in front of herself, and racing in a crew so close to her single.
Fourth, Mark’s feats are often marvelled by onlookers and this weekend proved no different. Due to Tallara’s tight turn around in the single she was unable to get back to the boats to row to the line. Mark stepped up and carried her single 1500 metres to the start line. While it was a sight to be seen, Mark’s continual work at the club is something that I am very grateful for and even the not so entertaining to watch jobs he does do not go unnoticed.
As always, a big thank you to everyone who made the regatta the success it was for Nepean. We came fifth in the medal tally which was a good achievement given the number of rowers we had competing over the weekend.
For some this marks the end of the season and the beginning of off-season training that recommences this week. For master’s two big regattas remain, in the state and National titles still to come.