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Monday 21 July

Australia all set for the 2014 World Rowing U23 Championships in Varese

Event runs from 23-27 July in Italy; Team has been preparing at AIS ETC ahead of regatta

The U23 Australian Rowing Team will this week compete in Varese, Italy in the World Rowing U23 Championships. The team of 33 athletes will compete in 10 events over the five-day regatta which is being hosted on Lake Varese.

The team of athletes selected to compete at the event represent the depth of talent within the Australian talent pathway. A number of athletes have successfully transitioned from the Junior and U21 Teams to add vital experience to the U23 Team, demonstrating progression along the talent pipeline.

2013 World Rowing Junior Champions in the Women's Coxless Pair, Jessie Allen and Genevieve Horton will be competing once again in the U23 equivalent event. The duo from New South Wales competed not only in last year's Junior event but also in the U23s, where they finished fourth in the A-Final despite being 'junior athletes'.

Allen and Horton, who are coached by Alfie Young of Mosman Rowing Club, will be hoping to continue their winning ways and claim victory in the U23 category as they continue to drive their way towards a potential place in the senior team in due course.

"We're looking forward to competing at Varese," admitted the 19-year-old Allen. "We had a good National and State Championships, as well as selection trials, and we're confident we're on the right track ahead of this event.

"Last year we came here and finished fourth in the final, while we were still juniors, so hopefully this year we can improve further on that result. It's been good to be out in Italy early and training at the ETC to give us that extra acclimatisation advantage."

The vast amount of athletes selected to compete at this year's event have either previously represented at an U23 level or have come through the National Talent Pathway Program and competed on a world stage previously.

That includes the likes of U23 Men's Single Sculler, Luke Letcher, who had a great warm-up event for the World Championships after he won the U23 category in his event at the Holland Beker Regatta in Amsterdam last month.

Letcher said: "It was obviously great to win the U23 category in The Netherlands and get some racing under my belt before we get into the serious matter of racing at the U23s. Travelling with the senior team to the Holland Beker event was great too as I had an opportunity to train alongside our top scullers."

Three crews also recently attended the final round of the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne as part of their preparation for the Varese event. The U23 Men's Double Sculls partnership of Max McQueeney and David Watts, the U23 Men's Coxless Pair of Jack Hargreaves and Nicholas Wheatley and U23 Women's Lightweight Double Sculls duo of Georgia Nesbitt and Georgia Miansarow all travelled to Switzerland.

The trip proved a positive experience for the crews and Tasmanian-born Nesbitt said it had definitely helped prime her for competing in Italy.

"I think the opportunity to race in Lucerne has definitely helped all three of the crews ahead of the U23s, it not only gave us a racing environment it also gave us a chance to see some of our competition who will be competing in Italy.

"Georgia and I were pleased with our preparation and to have finished fifth in the B-Final in Lucerne, but we've plenty to work on and hopefully it will come good for us in the World Championships."

The event will also see Australia enter a U23 Men's and Women's coxed eight, with a number of both crews' athletes coming from US-based Australian rowers. The U23 Men's Coxed Eight features rowers currently studying and competing at the following universities - Princeton University, University of California (Berkeley), University of Washington, Harvard University, Yale University and Columbia University

The U23 Women's Coxed Eight are made up of five Australian-based rowers and four US-based students who have from the universities of Princeton, Syracuse, Stanford and UC Berkeley.

The Women's Coxless Four, who also make-up part of the Eight, includes the younger sister of London 2012 silver medallist and current Australian Rowing Team member Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Addy Dunkley-Smith who has come up from the U21 team.

"I'm really looking forward to competing at the U23s in both the Four and the Eight, it's been great to be out early in Italy at the ETC and to be out on the water daily in both boats and really getting ourselves prepped and ready to compete.

"Competing in a sweep boat, like Josh, is great as I can look to him for guidance and he's been giving me some tips to help prepare me ahead of the competition here in Italy. Hopefully I can make him and the rest of my family proud out there later this week," said the 21-year-old from Victoria.

The full U23 Australian Rowing Team for the World Rowing U23 Championships is as follows:

Men's Sweep
U23 Men's Lightweight Coxless Pair
Jack Armitage (Toowong RC/QLD)
Hamish Parry (Toowong RC/QLD)
Coach - Kieran Dwyer (QLD)

U23 Men's Coxless Pair
Jack Hargreaves (Sydney University BC/NSW)
Nicholas Wheatley (Sydney University BC/NSW)
Coach - Mark Prater (NSW)

U23 Men's Coxed Eight
Tim Masters (Banks RC/VIC/Princeton University)
Louis Snelson (Sydney RC/ NSW/ University of California, Berkeley)
Aaron Wright (Mosman RC/ NSW/ University of California, Berkeley)
Henry Meek (Melbourne University BC/ VIC/ University of Washington)
Charlie Risbey (Melbourne University BC/ VIC/ Harvard University)
Ben Coombs (Banks RC/ VIC/ Columbia University)
Simon Keenan (Melbourne University BC/ VIC/ Yale University)
James Medway (Sydney University BC/ NSW/ Harvard University)
Stuart Sim - Coxswain (Melbourne University BC/ VIC/ University of Washington)
Coach - Andrew Randell (ACT-ACTAS)

Men's Scull
U23 Men's Single Scull
Luke Letcher (Black Mountain RC/ACT)
Coach - Lyall McCarthy (NTC-Canberra)

U23 Men's Double Scull
David Watts (Swan River RC/WA)
Max McQueeney (Buckingham RC/TAS)
Coach - Rhett Ayliffe (WA-WAIS)

Women's Sweep
U23 Women's Coxless Pair
Jessie Allen (Mosman RC/NSW)
Genevieve Horton (Mosman RC/NSW)
Coach - Alfie Young (NSW)

U23 Women's Coxless Four
Katrina Werry (Mercantile RC/VIC)
Addy Dunkley-Smith (Mercantile RC/VIC)
Eleanor Wilson (Toowong RC/QLD)
Georgina Gotch (Mosman RC/NSW)
Coach - David McGrath (VIC)

U23 Women's Coxed Eight
Georgina Gotch (Mosman RC/NSW)
Eleanor Wilson (Toowong RC/QLD)
Addy Dunkley-Smith (Mercantile RC/ VIC)
Katrina Weary (Mercantile RC/ VIC)
Jacinta Edmunds (Commercial RC/ QLD/ University of California, Berkeley)
Lilly Tinapple (Swan River RC/ WA/ Stanford University)
Georgina Howe (Melbourne University BC/ VIC/ Princeton University)
Emily Carey (University of Queensland BC/ QLD/ Syracuse University)
Sarah Banting - Coxswain (Mercantile RC/ VIC)
Coach - Vicky Spencer (ACT)

Women's Scull
U23 Women's Lightweight Double Scull
Georgia Miansarow (Mosman RC/NSW)
Georgia Nesbitt (Huon RC/TAS)
Coach - Paul Newbon (TAS)

U23 Women's Quadruple Scull
Rosalind Cartmill (Brisbane & GPS/QLD)
Tessa Carty (Bundaberg RC/QLD)
Narelle Badenoch (Adelaide University BC/SA)
Leah Saunders (Sydney RC/NSW)
Coach - Adam Vine-Hall (SA-SASI)


A rower may compete in an Under 23 rowing event until 31st of December of the year in which he reaches the age of 22.

To keep up to date with how the U23 ARTeam are doing at the event, visit for their live-tracker application.

Media looking for images of the team in action should contact Lucy Benjamin on

Should you wish to tweet @RowingAust during the event, please use the official U23 Australian Rowing Team hashtag #ARTeam. The event hashtag is #WRU23Champs. We will also be putting up images, when available, on our Facebook page

Friday 4 July

RA media release:
Drew Ginn announced as 2014 Thomas Keller Medal recipient

Australia’s most successful Olympic rower to date receives World Rowing’s highest honour

World Rowing today announced that Australia’s three-time Olympic gold medallist, Drew Ginn, has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 Thomas Keller Medal.

The Thomas Keller Medal is the most prestigious award in rowing and is in recognition of an exceptional international rowing career, the ‘type’ of career, technical mastery of the sport, sportsmanship and the ‘legendary’ aspect of the athlete.

Ginn was chosen as the winner by the Thomas Keller Medal committee following an extensive worldwide public nominations process.

The current Australian Rowing Team Head Coach - Integration was nominated alongside Iztok Cop of Slovenia, New Zealand sisters Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell and Great Britain’s Katherine Grainger.

Upon hearing the news Ginn said: “I am extremely honoured that Thomas Keller Medal committee has selected me to be this year’s recipient. I would also like to congratulate my fellow nominees this year, all of whom are as equally worthy of the honour.

“I consider myself privileged to join a group of individuals who have excelled in our sport, including three of my former Australian team-mates, Peter Antonie, Mike McKay and James Tomkins. I am grateful for the honour being bestowed upon me.”

Ginn shot to fame as part of Australia’s Men’s Coxless Four when they won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Following on from that Olympics, Ginn went on to medal at various World Rowing Championships in the Men’s Eight, the Men’s Coxed Four, Men’s Coxless Four and Men’s Pair.

At the 1999 World Rowing Championships, Ginn, along with James Tomkins (2010 Thomas Keller Medal winner), became World Champions in the pair setting themselves up as favourites for the 2000 Olympics. A back injury forced Ginn out of the boat and out of rowing at the eleventh hour. But Ginn’s tenacity and perseverance saw him back on form two years later and in 2003 he was again a World Champion. Ginn followed this up with Olympic gold in Athens.

After a post-Olympic break, Ginn returned with new partner, Duncan Free, and together they won the 2006 and 2007 World Rowing Championships. Leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games Ginn again suffered back problems. That didn’t stop him and he won another Olympic Champion title.

A back operation and a break followed the Beijing Olympics with Ginn declaring he would make a comeback in the men’s four. The four took on the British four to finish with silver at the London Olympic Games.

Ginn, who is currently in Italy with the Australian Rowing Team ahead of the World Rowing Cup 3, is well-known for his willingness to share his rowing ‘secrets’ as well as his outstanding rowing technique and is regularly used as an example of the ‘right way to row’.

His former coach and the current National Performance Director of Rowing Australia, Chris O’Brien said: “Having worked with Drew both as his coach and now as a member of the Australian Rowing Team coaching staff, I am delighted to see his achievements recognised by the Thomas Keller Medal Committee.

“Drew is passionate about mentoring and helping athletes to reach their potential and this accolade is a fitting reward to not only all his on-water achievements but his continued dedication to the sport of rowing.”

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dee, echoed Mr O’Brien’s congratulations of Ginn and his achievements: “On behalf of Rowing Australia and all the Australian rowing community I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to Drew on being named the recipient of the 2014 Thomas Keller Medal.

“It is only fitting that Australia’s most successful rowing Olympian to date, should join some of the greatest names in world rowing in becoming a recipient of such a prestigious and highly regarded award.”

Information on the Thomas Keller Medal, including previous recipients and also the Committee can be found here:

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Benjamin
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434

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Friday 4 July

Simon Gadsden

Simon Gadsden has left his position of State Talent Pathway Coordinator-Victoria, for Rowing Australia, effective 30 June 2014.

In June 2011, Simon began the role with Rowing Australia and has overseen the talent pathway program in Victoria for the past three years. Simon has played a key role in the high performance program working collaboratively with local program partners, the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) and Rowing Victoria (RV).

Following his experience in the role of Director of Rowing at Brighton Grammar School, Simon has provided a high level of engagement with the school, club and High Performance rowing community. In particular, Simon has had a significant impact on the schoolgirl community, with the 2013 and 2014 Schoolgirls Pathway Eights from Victoria going on to be selected to represent Australia at the Junior World Championships. Furthermore, Victoria has been the leading State for National representation on Underage Teams (U23, U21 and Junior) for the past two years.

Simon will continue separately in his voluntary role as Head Coach of the Australian Under 21 Team until the completion of the tour in August.

Rowing Australia sincerely thanks Simon for his contribution to Victorian and Australian Rowing and wishes him and his family well for future successes.

For further information regarding the State Talent Pathway Program, please contact Marty Rabjohns (

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Friday 27 June

RA media release:
Rowing Australia welcomes increased AIS investment for 2014–15

Rowing Australia today welcomed the announcement from the Australian Sports Commission that rowing’s High Performance Program (HPP) will receive an increase in funding for 2014–15, as part of Australia’s Winning Edge.

A media announcement today from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie AM revealed funding allocations to national sporting organisations for 2014–15.

The 2014–15 investment of nearly $120 million continues to be refined to ensure funding is aligned to sports with the greatest potential to contribute to Australia’s Winning Edge targets.

“It is pleasing that in these times of financial restraint we have been able to provide the same level of total funding as last year as we continue to sharpen our approach to investment in Australian sport,” Wylie said.

“The more focused funding approach has seen a total of $20 million be redirected in the past two years to sports with the greatest medal potential in Rio and beyond.

“Furthermore the financial support of athletes has never been greater with more than $12 million allocated to assist some 650 eligible athletes through the AIS’ Direct Athlete Support scheme.”

Rowing Australia is one of six sports that will receive an increase in funding from the AIS. The increase in funding comes off the back of a successful 2013 that saw the Australian Rowing Team finish the international season with four World Rowing Champions in the form of Kimberley Crow (Women’s Single Sculls), Erik Horrie (Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single Sculls – Para-Rowing), Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis (Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Sculls – Para-Rowing).

Rowing Australia’s HPP will receive an increase of $200,000 for the preparation of the Australian Rowing Team ahead the 2016 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dee said: “We are pleased with this increase in funding from the Australian Sports Commission as part of Australia’s Winning Edge.

“The international rowing environment is highly competitive and this decision by the ASC is a show of faith in Rowing Australia’s ability to be a multiple medal-winning sport in the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

National Performance Director, Chris O’Brien, echoed Mr Dee’s comments by saying: “The leadership shown by the AIS under Australia’s Winning Edge enhances our ability to deliver multi-medal outcomes in both the Rio and Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"The increase in funding from the AIS will assist us in achieving our vision of building the best rowing team in the world.”

To view the original release from the AIS, please click here.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Benjamin
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434

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Friday 27 June

Newly created position vacant: Rowing WA Chief Executive Officer

Rowing WA is seeking the services of a highly motivated Chief Executive Officer to implement and manage the development and growth goals of the organisation. This is a hands-on role, responsible for delivering the strategic objectives of the organisation. The role also involves oversight of the small administrative office and leading all operational aspects of the sport of rowing in Western Australia. More information regarding the position and a detailed job description can be found at:!careers/c1yjq

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Thursday 26 June

Athlete advisory – supplements and prohibited stimulants

More than half of the Australian athletes banned from sport in 2013 tested positive to a prohibited stimulant found within a supplement product.

Such is the concern of this trend, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has asked all sports to pass on an advisory to athletes and support personnel. We strongly urge you to take a moment to read this notice.

The prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine continues to be an issue in Australia and overseas, however ASADA is seeing the emergence of other prohibited stimulants found in supplements.

Laboratory analysis identified a batch of:

  • DS Craze contained a prohibited stimulant N,alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine (analysed late 2012)
  • Mesomorph 2.0 contained the prohibited stimulants Oxilofrine (also known as Methylsynephrine, Hydroxyephrine, and Oxyephrine), Phenpromethamine, and Beta-methylphenethylamine (chemical structure similar to amphetamine) (analysis results received in April 2014).

The supplement Viking Before Battle, which is available in Australia, lists the substance Methyl Synepherine on the ingredients label. Despite the difference in spelling this substance is the same as the prohibited stimulant Methylsynephrine.

While not all the stimulants referred to are specifically named on WADA’s Prohibited List, they are all classed as Category 6b stimulants on the List and are prohibited in-competition. There are athletes currently serving, or possibly facing, two-year bans from sport following positive tests for these stimulants.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) considers N,alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine to be an analogue of the border controlled substance methamphetamine under the Criminal Code (C’wth). The product DS Craze is subject to seizure by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and, under existing arrangements between the agencies, will be referred to the AFP for investigation and prosecution action.

ASADA cautions athletes to take extreme care when it comes to supplements—if you use supplements containing prohibited substances you are risking your health, career and reputation.

As you compete under an anti-doping policy you need to think carefully about the use of supplements, especially those that make performance and endurance promises in their marketing. Read the ingredients label, does it say ‘proprietary blend’? If it does, there is no telling what has been added in the manufacturing process and this is the risk you take.

ASADA does not give approval to any supplement product. They know athletes use supplements, but while the supplement manufacturing process is unregulated and can lead to the contents varying from batch to batch, ASADA will never be able to give a specific supplement the all clear

Under the World Anti-Doping Code athletes are responsible for any substance found in their body. There are numerous instances around the world where athletes have been sanctioned after using supplements that they thought were safe, but were actually contaminated with prohibited substances.

Further information about supplements and the steps you can take to help minimise your risk is available online at just search for ‘supplements’.

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Monday 23 June

RA media release:
Australia’s Kehoe and Aldersey claim gold at World Rowing Cup II, Aiguebelette

Men’s Coxless Four take silver; Bronze for Men’s Double of Belonogoff and McRae after thrilling finish

Australia still sits top of World Rowing Cup table with 91 points

The victors of World Rowing Cup I, Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey, continued their winning ways yesterday by securing gold for Australia in the final of the Women’s Double Sculls at World Rowing Cup II in Aiguebelette, France.

The duo, who are coached by Jason Lane in South Australia, led the final from the start but the USA crew, of Meghan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek, and the Polish duo of Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj, pushed and pulled in a bid to catch up with the inform Kehoe and Aldersey.

However, the day belonged to the ladies in green and gold as they cruised to victory with a time of 6:53:90, and a winning margin of 1.43 seconds over the USA who were followed closely by the current European Rowing Champions, Poland.

A delighted Kehoe said post-race: “We’re still a relatively new combination, so each new race is a stepping stone for the World Championships later this year.

“We’ve been out training at the AIS European Training Centre for a week before we travelled to Aiguebelette and we’re pleased to walk away with our second gold of the World Cup season but we can’t be complacent, there’s still plenty of racing and work to be done.”

Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey claimed gold for the second time this season in the Women's Double Sculls ©Rowing Australia

In the Men’s Double Sculls, Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff and new partner James McRae started in Lane Three and were in a tough field, alongside current World Champions, Norway, and a strong Croatian duo of brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic.

Belonogoff and McRae, who are coached by Rhett Ayliffe, worked hard through the race, which saw Azerbaijan’s Aleksander Aleksandrov and Boris Yotov push hard out from the start in a bid to get a lead on the favoured Croatians.

They managed this at the 700m mark but the Sinkovic brothers seemed unfazed and ultimately they powered through to claim the victory but not before being put under pressure by both Australia and Azerbaijan.

The excitement came in the final throws of the race with Australia’s double closing ranks on a tiring Azerbaijan in what was to be a photo-finish for second and third place. Australia lost out on a silver medal by just 0.05 seconds, and to highlight how close a race it was, there was just 0.99 seconds between first placed Croatia and Australia in third.

McRae commented after receiving his bronze medal: “"It was a good race and our first race together internationally. We still have a lot to work on before Lucerne but it was a good start. This combination is going really well for us.”

James McRae and Alexander Belonogoff delighted with their bronze medal finish in the Men's Double Sculls at WRC II, Aiguebelette, France ©Rowing Australia

Australia’a Men’s Coxless Four started in the final of their event in Lane Three, with the favourites Great Britain 1 next to them. The race ultimately proved to be a battle for second and third, with Great Britain 1 storming into the lead straight out of the blocks.

Joshua Dunkley-Smith, stroking the boat, with Fergus Pragnell, Spencer Turrin and Christopher Cunningham-Reid, the latter in for an injured Alexander Lloyd, battled with the USA in Lane Five throughout the race but it was to be Australia’s fight at the finish that secured them the silver over the USA, by a mere 0.09 seconds.

The current Olympic champions, Great Britain 1, powered their way through the final to finish with a time of 5:50:27, in temperatures approaching 31 degrees, while Australia finished 5.58 seconds behind the victors.

Dunkley-Smith said post-race: “It was a good race. We had a couple of scrappy moments at the start with the conditions but we’ve been focusing on building and we executed the race we had planned.

“It now about moving on from here and focusing on World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne and the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Alexander Lloyd will be back for the final round of WRC III, but credit to Christopher Cunningham-Reid who came in and performed well with the crew.”

The ARTeam Men's Four receive their silver medals at WRC II, Aiguebelette, France ©Rowing Australia

With the three medals secured, the points accrued at this event means Australia still tops the World Rowing Cup table with 91 points, leading its closest rival, New Zealand, by 10 points, while Great Britain sits in third place.

Head Coach – Integration, Drew Ginn, said of this weekend’s racing: “We came to this regatta to give our higher ranked crews an opportunity to race and they have performed well but there is still plenty of work to be done prior to Amsterdam.”

The two lightweight women’s crews who travelled to WRC II in Aiguebelette, did not qualify for A-Finals at the event, however did compete in B-Finals yesterday.

Maia Simmonds finished second in the B-Final of the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull while Alice McNamara and Ella Flecker finished in third place in their B-Final for the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull.

The next World Rowing Cup event takes place in Lucerne from 11 to 13 July. In the interim, some of the Australian Rowing Team will be competing in regattas in Europe.

Those athletes competing in other European regattas are as follows:

Holland Beker Regatta, Bosbaan, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 28th and 29th June
U23 Men’s Single Scull - Luke Letcher
Lightweight Men’s Single Scull - James Wilson
Men’s Quadruple Sculls - Christopher Morgan, Rhys Grant, Kieran Kobelke and Cameron Girdlestone
Men’s Single Scull - Nicholas Purnell
Men’s Single Scull - John Linke
Women’s Single Scull - Kimberley Crow

Henley Royal Regatta 2014, London, UK – 2nd to 6th July
Men’s Quadruple Sculls - Christopher Morgan, Rhys Grant, Kieran Kobelke and Cameron Girdlestone
Men’s Single Scull - Nicholas Purnell
Men’s Single Scull - John Linke
Women’s Coxed Eight - Hannah Vermeersch, Renee Chatterton, Katrina Bateman, Alexandra Hagan, Pauline Frasca, Molly Goodman, Michelle Yann, Kate Hornsey, Coxswain – Elizabeth Patrick

Tweet the Australian Rowing Team via @RowingAust and using the hashtag #ARTeam.

Media wanting images of the Australian Rowing Team in action in Aiguebelette should email

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Benjamin
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434

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Saturday 21 June

RA media release:
Australian Rowing Team performs well on opening day of World Rowing Cup II, Aiguebelette

Fox Sports 3 set to show Sunday’s WRC II finals from 1800 AEST

World Rowing Cup II in Aiguebelette, France got underway yesterday and Australia’s five crews all featured on day one.

Western Australian Maia Simmonds was first to compete for Australia on a beautiful sunny day in France and secured herself one of the nine automatic semi-final positions after she finished her heat in third place.

Simmonds’ race saw the fastest qualifying time come from Julia Edward of New Zealand, who recorded a time of 7:46:10, followed by Christina Pultz of Denmark and Simmonds in third with a time of 7:56:23. Simmonds will race her semi-final in the first half of today (France time).

Australia's Maia Simmonds competing in the LW1x at WRC II Aiguebelette ©Rowing Australia

In the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls heats, a 20-crew line-up started in this boat class with all the top rowers minus the reigning World Champions, Italy. These crews were divided into four heats with the top two finishing times in each heat getting to go directly to the semi-finals.

New Australian lightweight partnership of Tasmania’s Ella Flecker and Victoria’s Alice McNamara qualified for their semi-final after they finished second in Heat Three, losing out to top spot from Great Britain’s second crew, Eleanor Piggott and Charlotte Taylor. Great Britain are the current Olympic Champions in this category.

Ella Flecker and Alice McNamara prepare to get underway in the LW2x at World Rowing Cup II in Aiguebelette, France ©Rowing Australia

In the Men’s Double Sculls, Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae took part in a strong Heat Four that saw the young duo up against current World Champions Nils Jakob Hoff and Kjetil Borch of Norway. The winning time to progress to the semi-final was 6:14:18 and claimed by the Norwegians, while the young Australians’ put in a sterling effort to finish just 2:06 seconds behind.

However, with only the winner progressing automatically to the semi-finals, Belonogoff and McRae took part in the repechage against Iran, Egypt and Hungary and secured their route to the semi-finals by winning their repechage. After a conservative start the boys took the lead mid race and did enough to record the win and move through as expected.

Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae finished second in their heat but won their repechage in the M2x to make the semi-finals of WRC II, Aiguebelette ©Rowing Australia

Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey, who won the Women’s Double Sculls in World Rowing Cup I in Sydney, competed in one of three heats yesterday in a bid to secure a semi-final position at World Rowing Cup II.

The time trials in this boat class saw the leading boat in each heat seeded as the fastest boat and top three boats all going direct to the semi-finals. Kehoe and Aldersey were seeded at the back of their field, however the Australian girls showed their prowess to claim first place in their heat followed by USA and New Zealand.

Kehoe and Aldersey will now race in a semi-final today in a bid to make it to the final and claim their second World Cup victory of the season.

Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey claimed top spot in their heat for W2x to progress to the semi-finals in Aiguebelette ©Rowing Australia

Meanwhile, with 10 crews entered in the Men’s Four boat class for World Rowing Cup II, heats will take place tomorrow (Saturday). However, two preliminary races took place on Friday with Australia’s Men’s Four, Christopher Cunningham-Reid, Spencer Turrin, Fergus Pragnell and Joshua Dunkley-Smith, winning their race in a time of 5:58:31.

Australia’s race featured crews from China, USA, Poland and Great Britain 2, while the second preliminary race show-cased the current European Champions in the Men’s Four, Great Britain’s Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Andrew Triggs-Hodge, along with Canada, Croatia, France and Germany.

With heats taking place today, the Great Britain 1 crew appeared to only push themselves up to the 500m mark before easing off the pace to ultimately finish last in their race, however what is of interest is the 500m timing splits for what are agreeably the two favourite crews for this event.

Australia’s Men’s Four, at the 500m mark, had a time of 1:29:79, while Great Britain 1’s split at the same distance was 1:28:10, showing a gap of 1.69 seconds between the crews who will race in separate heats tomorrow.

The Men's Four compete in their heats today (21 June) - Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Fergus Pragnell, Spencer Turrin and Christopher Cunningham-Reid finished top in their preliminary racing yesterday. ©Rowing Australia

In summing up today’s racing, Australian Rowing Team manager Ray Ebert said: “We have a small but exciting group here in Aiguebelette and after good performances today in this Time Trial format. We are looking to head-to-head racing tomorrow and some good performances from our group, remembering that the ultimate aim is Amsterdam and the World Rowing Championships in August”

To follow the progress of the Australian Rowing Team in their respective heats and semi-finals, please go to The finals of World Rowing Cup II will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 3 in Australia from 1800 AEST.

Tweet the Australian Rowing Team via @RowingAust and using the hashtag #ARTeam. World Rowing Cup II’s event hashtag is #WRCAiguebelette.

Media wanting images of the Australian Rowing Team in action in Aiguebelette should email

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Benjamin
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434

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Thursday 5 June

Australian Rowing Team Positions

Australian Rowing Team Head Coach – Performance and
Australian Rowing Team Senior Coach

Rowing Australia, as the national governing body for rowing in Australia, is offering international level coaches a rare and exciting opportunity to join our world class rowing program in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

With the recent redeployment of one of our Senior Coaches to our Western Australia Training Centre, Rowing Australia has taken the opportunity to review the structure and operations of the National Training Centre in Canberra and offers two coaching positions for consideration, Australian Rowing Team Head Coach – Performance and Australian Rowing Team Senior Coach.

Rowing Australia are seeking applications from suitably qualified rowing coaches to work in the heart of our high performance program. The primary focus of these roles is: to lead, manage, drive and coach the daily training environment for nationally identified athletes at our National Training Centre at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The Head Coach – Performance role will involve participation on the National Leadership Team contributing to the broader leadership of the national program.

These positions are available for the successful candidates to start from September 2014; a salary package commensurate with each of the successful candidate’s skills, qualifications and experience will be negotiated.

For further information, including position description/s, please contact Chris O’Brien – National Performance Director – email or at Rowing World Cup 2 or 3.

Applicants are required to provide a maximum two page cover letter and a resume outlining their skills and experience and how they relate to the position description. Only coaches holding minimum NCAS Level III or equivalent with relevant experience should apply for this role.

Applications close on Tuesday 15 July, 2014 and should be forwarded to the National Performance Director.

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