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Archived latest news items: June 2012

Friday 29 June

2012 RA coaches conference: early bird registrations open!

This year’s Conference has been tailored around the central theme The True Power of Coaching. Content will target school and club level coaches, though it is intended the majority of sessions will interest and benefit all levels of coach.

We are excited and honoured for Jason Dorland to be this year’s Keynote speaker. Jason is an author, performance coach and professional keynote motivational speaker and presenter who shares his experiences as an Olympic athlete, coach and entrepreneur with the intention of inspiring and motivating others to re-think their approach to business, sport and life. Visit Jason’s website at www.jasondorland.com.

Register before 15 July, 2012 to receive a free copy of Jason’s book ‘Chariots and Horses’ when you arrive at the Conference.

The registration fee for this year’s Conference is $660 per delegate.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN!!

See the Conference website for full details.


Friday 22 June

RA media release:
Australian rowers ready to re-write history in London

The rowing section of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team was named today with 46 Australian rowers to contest 13 events at the 2012 London Olympic Games at Eton, Dorney from July 28–August 4.

In a team that holds an exciting mix of youth and experience, 26-year-old Kim Crow (VIC) will become the first Australian to compete in two events at the same Olympic regatta since Marina Hatzakis (QLD) and Bronwyn Roye (NSW) contested the women’s double and quadruple scull in 1996.

Crow was named in the women’s single scull and women’s double scull, with the Victorian to partner 2006 world champion Brooke Pratley (NSW) in the latter, following Pratley’s successful return from injury last weekend that saw the duo win silver at World Cup 3.

Crow said the chance to row both boats in London would be a challenge, but one that she was relishing five weeks out from the start of the regatta.

“I see it as a great opportunity,” Crow said. “Every race is part of the learning curve and the more I can learn before finals day, the better.

“I am incredibly excited to sit on the start line in the double with Brooke, and seeing how far we have come in a couple of weeks , I get tingles thinking about the glide of the boat after another training block.”

Australian women’s team captain Sarah Tait (VIC), along with women’s quad scull member Dana Faletic (TAS) and lightweight women's double scull rower Hannah Every-Hall (QLD), will become the first mothers to row for Australia at an Olympic regatta after being named in the team.

Tait, who will row with Kate Hornsey (TAS) in the women’s pair, is making her third Olympic appearance in London after featuring in the women’s eight at the past two Olympic Games.

The 29-year-old Victorian said she enjoyed the responsibility of leading the Australian team.

“As one of the team captains I like to make sure I show a real interest in how each of our women's crews are training and performing, as well as how the girls are all managing outside of rowing,” Tait said.

“Having been in crews that have performed well under pressure as well as crews that have not, I feel that I can pass on some of the things I learnt from these experiences.

“I hope to see that every crew in London is able to piece together their best race on finals day, and if that happens we will have an avalanche of medals. It is a very exciting prospect!”

Australian rowing veterans Drew Ginn (VIC) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) will both chase gold in London as part of the men’s coxless four and lightweight men’s coxless four.

Ginn, 37, and Edwards, 39, will be the eldest members of the Australian rowing section in London but are confident of their ability to succeed.

Ginn will target a fourth gold medal in as many Olympic appearances as he lines up with Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC).

“We are very happy with our crew,” Ginn said. “We are all keen on making the most of the opportunity. We will race as hard as we can and represent the team and Australia the best we can.

“The most important thing is that we as a crew have our best race in London, which will be satisfying. Anything else is icing on the cake.”

Edwards joins Todd Skipworth (WA), Ben Cureton (WA) and Sam Beltz (TAS) in the lightweight men’s four as the Australian crew aims to carry forward their world championship success in 2011 onto the Olympic stage.

The Australian crew won gold in Slovenia, the first gold medal for Australia in that boat class in 30 years, and Edwards said the crew had the same expectations for London.

“I respect my opposition, but ultimately I am here to win,” Edwards said. “I know that when I am sitting in the starting line in London I will have an advantage over my opposition. I will be relaxed and in my favourite place ready to go 100% for the final time.

Edwards will be just the third Australian rower after James Tomkins and Mike McKay to compete at five Olympic Games for Australia and said it was an achievement that would only sink in after the regatta.

“As I prepare for London, I draw upon my experiences to make our crew better. I think after London I will appreciate its significance and what it has meant to me as a person.”

The Australian rowing section will continue its preparations for London over the next four weeks at the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Italy before relocating to London in the week leading into the Olympic regatta.

Please click here for the rowing section of the Australian Olympic Team

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Thursday 21 June

‘Olympic Gold’ published

Olympic Gold, published by Murdoch Books and edited by sports historian Robin Poke and the late Kevin Berry, follows the inspirational journeys of Australia’s 74 individual Olympic gold medallists, at both the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games. Australia has enjoyed an unbroken involvement in the modern Olympics, from when Edwin Flack won double gold on the track at the first of those Games at Athens in 1896 to Lydia Lassila’s acrobatic triumph on the ski slopes of Vancouver in 2010.

Chronicled along the way in Olympic Gold are Australia’s many famous victories in the swimming pool, including that of Fanny Durack, Australia’s first female gold medallist, together with the lesser-known triumphs in other sports of the likes of Donald Mackintosh, Dick Eve and John Winter. Also vividly described are the era-defining achievements of Olympic icons such as Herb Elliott and Cathy Freeman, and the Olympic single sculls wins by Bobby Pearce and Merv Wood.

Olympic Gold has been written by authors with unparalleled insight into these Olympian feats. Each provides unique perspective on the Olympic champions and their quest to reach the top of the podium. The authors range from esteemed journalists and coaches to family members, while two chapters are written by the athletes themselves.

These are remarkable stories about remarkable people – that elite group of individuals who have reached for the stars, beaten the odds and won gold at the most prestigious sporting event in the world.

Superbly produced, this sumptuous, ‘coffee table’ book is an essential reference work and a valuable collector’s item.

Olympic Gold is available from all good book stores and online.


Wednesday 20 June

APC media release:
Target gold as rowing team announced

Beijing Paralympic silver medallist Kathryn Ross is hoping to turn silver into gold in London after she was today named on the Australian Rowing team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Ross was named alongside her double trunk and arms scull partner Gavin Bellis and Erik Horrie for the single scull in what the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) believes is the strongest team possible to win Australia’s first ever gold medal in Paralympic rowing.

Thirty-year-old Ross and former partner John Maclean made history in 2008 when the pair won silver to claim Australia’s first and only rowing medal at the sport’s first ever Paralympic Games.

Now with four solid years of preparation at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) behind her, Ross and new partner Bellis are on track for a medal in London, having recently won gold at the World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany.

The pair only formed as a combination earlier this year, with Bellis, a former army officer, having earned his place on the team after out-racing Ross’ Beijing partner, John Maclean at a selection regatta in April.

Horrie is also firming as a medal contender, having also won gold in the single scull at Munich’s World Cup 3 event. It was only three years ago that the 32-year-old was a member of the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team before moving himself and his family from Queensland to the AIS to train full time in rowing.

In London, 96 athletes will compete across four medal events on the waters of Eton Dorney at Buckinghamshire and APC Chief Executive and 2012 Team Chef de Mission Jason Hellwig believes Australia has a strong chance of medalling in two of the events.

“This will be the second time rowing is contested at a Paralympic Games and already, Australia has proven to be a strong medal contender in the sport thanks to results at the Beijing Paralympics and also the three and a half years of competition since,” Mr Hellwig said.

“This is a good looking rowing team with three terrific athletes who are showing they have what it takes to medal in London. Kathryn has been to a Paralympics and will be a great source of experience to both Gavin and Erik who are about to embark on what will be one of the best times of their lives.

“We expect the rowing competition in London to be tough, particularly from the home country Great Britain, but Australia has never shied away from a challenge and I look forward to watching the three days of competition unfold.”

Australian Paralympic Rowing Head Coach Chad King believes his team is capable of something special in London.

“We’re definitely there for medals – we’re not going there to make up the numbers. Anyone on that start line or in the A-final will be our main competition, the field of competition is pretty deep,” King said.

“They’re all very skillful and professional in their own way. They all bring something different to the team and collectively they’ve made a lot of headway in the last 18 months and I believe can still make a little more in the next couple.”

Rowing is open to athletes with a physical or vision impairment in sweep rowing or sculling disciplines. Athletes are divided into three classes; (arms and shoulders only, trunk and arms, and legs, trunk and arms) based on their level of physical impairment and compete using an adaptive rowing boat.

The London Paralympic Games will take place from 29 August through to 9 September, 2012.

2012 Australian Paralympic Rowing Team

Erik Horrie – Mount Druitt, NSW
Kathryn Ross – Warrnambool, VIC
Gavin Bellis – Caulfield, VIC

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Rebekka Wake l Coordinator, Media and Public Relations
Australian Paralympic Committee l PO Box 596 Sydney Markets NSW 2129
T: +61 2 9704 0543 l M: +61 407 235 104 l E: rebekka.wake@paralympic.org.au
W: www.paralympic.org.au


Tuesday 19 June

Provisional Olympic Rowing Nominations

Rowing Australia is pleased to announce the rowing team that it intends to nominate to the AOC for selection to the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.

Subject to the completion of the selection process, including any appeals received, the athletes and coaches named in the attached document will be nominated to the AOC on Thursday 21 June 2012.

Rowing Australia congratulates all athletes and coaches on their performances throughout the 2012 International season thus far and wishes them the best of luck as they continue their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Full details of the team are available here (pdf, 320kb).


Sunday 17 June

RA media release:
Australian men’s four strikes gold in Munich

The men’s four has led Australia’s charge on the final day of World Cup 3 with an excellent gold medal as Australian crews won five medals today in Munich, Germany.

In cool, light head wind conditions Australia’s medal haul for the regatta rose to eight following the three medals won on Saturday (June 16) by the lightweight men’s pair, arms and shoulders men’s single scull and trunk and arms mixed double scull.

Adding to the gold medal won by the men’s four were silver medals to the women’s double scull, lightweight men’s four, men’s pair and men’s eight as Australia’s build-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games continued to gather pace.

The Australian men’s four of Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC) won silver behind Great Britain at World Cup 2 but reversed that result in the semi-final to row from a middle lane in today’s final.

The Australian quartet chased another quick start and by the 1000m mark had edged into a 0.16 second lead over the equally fast starting British crew.

The margin had pushed out to over a second through 1500m as Australia prepared for the customary British sprint to the line, but responded to the challenge and held their form to win the gold medal in a time of 6:10.28.

Kim Crow (VIC) and Brooke Pratley (NSW) showed their class in the women’s double scull to win the silver medal behind Great Britain.

Pratley only returned to full training after World Cup 2 three weeks ago, with her absence at that regatta allowing Crow to win silver in the women’s single scull.

Great Britain jumped to almost a boat length lead by the 500m mark today, but Crow and Pratley responded well to reduce the margin to under half a length heading into the final quarter of the race.

Australia’s stroke rate was under that of Great Britain for the majority of the 2000m, and despite Great Britain pulling away over the closing stages, Australia comfortably won silver in a time of 7:11.92.

Brodie Buckland (NSW) and James Marburg (VIC) showed their growing confidence as a men’s pair by also winning silver behind current world champions New Zealand.

Buckland and Marburg were in fourth place behind New Zealand, France and Italy at the 1500m mark but produced a superb finish to surge past the two European crews.

The Australian pair crossed the line in a time of 6:47.72, just under five seconds shy of New Zealand and a second clear of France in third place.

The lightweight men’s four crew of Todd Skipworth (WA), Ben Cureton (WA), Sam Beltz (TAS) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) were the third Australian crew on Sunday to win silver as they came steaming home in the last 1000m.

Australia was fifth through 1000m but passed Denmark, France and Switzerland in the third quarter of the race.

The Skipworth stroked crew was unable to catch Great Britain in the race to the line and recorded a time of 6:18.81 to seal the silver medal.

In the final race of the regatta Australia’s men’s eight produced their best row of the international season to date to win silver behind Poland.

Coxed by Toby Lister (NSW), the crew also featuring Bryn Coudraye (SA), Matt Ryan (NSW), Nicholas Purnell (NSW), Tom Swann (VIC), Josh Booth (VIC), Cameron McKenzie McHarg (VIC), Francis Hegerty (NSW) and Sam Loch (NSW) held the lead after 500m before Poland took command of the race.

Despite being challenged by Great Britain, Australia was too strong in the closing strokes to win the silver medal in a time of 5:41.40, half a length behind Poland.

In other racing on the final competition day before the 2012 London Olympic Games, the women’s quad scull finished fourth, while the men’s quad and women’s eight were both fifth.

The Australian Rowing Team will now return to the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre and complete a five-week training block.

Rowing Australia will nominate athletes to the Australian Olympic Committee later this week ahead of the naming of the rowing section of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Sunday 17 June

RA media release:
Double gold for Australia at Munich World Cup

The Australian Rowing Team has won three medals in the first finals session of World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany as Australia’s Paralympic crews stole the show.

With the rowing section of the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team set to be announced later this week, both of Australia’s London bound crews won impressive gold medals.

Erik Horrie (QLD) got the ball rolling for Australia with gold in the arms and shoulders men’s single scull as he continued his strong run of medals at international level.

Horrie, who won bronze on his international debut at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Slovenia last year, started the final well and had rowed to a lead by the 500m mark, half a second clear of the Korean sculler.

Horrie’s form over the second half of the race was peerless as the Queenslander crossed the line in 5:04.39, close to three seconds clear of Korea, with Great Britain taking the bronze medal.

Horrie’s performance was matched moments later by team mates Kathryn Ross (VIC) and Gavin Bellis (VIC) in the trunk and arms mixed double scull.

Ross and Bellis, who only formed as a combination earlier this year, enjoyed a fierce tussle with 2011 world championship silver medallists down the 1000m course before overcoming the French in the closing stages.

Australia trailed France by three quarters of a second through 500m before surging in the closing stages to win in a time of 4:10.34.

Rowing Australia Head Adaptive Coach Chad King said both gold medals were a positive step as his crews continued their preparations for London.

“We came here with the clear goals of not just winning gold medals, but also constructing good races, and we have ticked both those boxes,” King said. “We are reaching the business end of our London campaigns and this regatta was an important step.

“We still have room for improvement and we will target these areas over the next ten weeks ahead of the start of the 2012 London Paralympic Games.”

Meanwhile Australia’s lightweight men’s pair of Blair Tunevitsch (TAS) and Ali Foot (TAS) won bronze in their final.

The Tasmanian combination swapped between second and third place throughout the race before settling for bronze in a time of 6:53.34, finishing behind Great Britain and The Netherlands.

Australia will race in a further eight A Finals this evening, with all finals to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 commencing at 6.30pm AEST.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Saturday 16 June

RA media release:
Australia at the dozen in Munich

The Australian Rowing Team has continued to gain momentum at World Cup 3 and will row in a total of 12 A Finals later this evening and tomorrow (June 17).

Racing conditions were excellent again in Munich, Germany as the men’s four, men’s pair, men’s quad scull, lightweight men’s pair and lightweight men’s single scull all won through to their respective medal races.

The men’s four of Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC) produced another improved row as they defeated Great Britain in their semi-final.

The British crew had only narrowly led home Australia in the final at World Cup 2 three weeks ago, but led by stroke Dunkley-Smith, Australia jumped to another strong start to lead Great Britain through 1000m by a length.

The margin had closed to under a length with just 500m remaining and despite a push by Great Britain, Australia responded to cross the line in a time of 6:00.84, with Great Britain 0.67 of a second back.

The men’s pair of Brodie Buckland (NSW) and James Marburg (VIC), who earlier this week had been confirmed as Australia’s number one combination, also won through to their A Final with a comprehensive victory in the repechage.

Buckland and Marburg were over a length clear after just a quarter of the race, a gap that the chasing pack were never able to reduce.

Australia recorded a time of 6:45.07, finishing over six seconds clear of Serbia, with both crews progressing to the A Final.

Daniel Noonan (NSW), Karsten Forsterling (VIC), James McRae (SA) and Chris Morgan (SA) became the 12th Australian crew to earn a place in an A Final after finishing second in their repechage.

The current world champions, who welcomed back Noonan for World Cup 3, worked their way from third place at the 1000m buoys to move past New Zealand and finish second behind Estonia in a time of 6:03.24.

Earlier in the evening Tom Gibson (TAS) qualified for the A Final of the lightweight men’s single scull with second place in his semi-final, while the lightweight men’s pair combination of Blair Tunevitsch (TAS) and Ali Foot (TAS) matched Gibson’s performance to also qualify for a shot at a medal.

Australia had already secured berths in seven A Finals earlier in the regatta, with the women’s double scull, lightweight men’s four, women’s quad scull, women’s eight and men’s eight winning through yesterday, while both of Australia’s Paralympic crews, the arms and shoulders men’s single scull and trunk and arms mixed double scull, also qualified.

Finals of non-Olympic events will be held later this evening with the Australian lightweight men’s pair, lightweight men’s single scull, arms and shoulders men’s single scull and trunk and arms mixed double scull all in action.

Olympic category A Finals will commence on Sunday at 6.30pm AEST with live coverage available on Fox Sports 1.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Friday 15 June

RA media release:
Australian crews enjoy positive start in Munich

The Australian Rowing Team has enjoyed a positive start on the first morning of World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany with five crews already guaranteed A Final rows on Sunday (June 17).

The Australian charge was led by excellent performances from the women’s double scull, lightweight men’s four and men’s four crews, who all enjoyed victories in their respective heats.

On her return from injury, Brooke Pratley (NSW) enjoyed instant success with Kim Crow (VIC) in the women’s double scull as the duo booked a place in Sunday’s final with a measured performance.

Pratley and Crow held the lead across the entire 2000m course due to an excellent start that saw the Australian combination open a three second gap over the remainder of the field by the 500m mark.

The margin doubled by the halfway point of the race as Pratley and Crow ensured passage through to the final, with a time of 6:52.15 close to eight seconds ahead of Poland in second position.

The current world champion lightweight men’s four crew of Todd Skipworth (WA), Ben Cureton (WA), Sam Beltz (TAS) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) returned to form in fine style as they rowed through the field in the second half of their heat.

Led by Skipworth from the stroke seat Australia was second at the 1000m mark behind Switzerland, before an excellent second half of the race ensured direct passage to the A Final in a time of 6:02.81.

The Australian men’s four, which won silver at World Cup 2 in Switzerland three weeks ago, also continued their strong build up towards London with victory in heat 3.

Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC) secured their place in the semi-finals in a time of 6:03.06 in a row that saw them lead through each of the time checks throughout the race.

The women’s quad scull, women’s eight and men’s eight will all feature in A Final on the third and final day of competition in Munich after competing in their race for lanes today.

Both the women’s and men’s eights finished third in their respective races, while the women’s quad scull secured fourth place, with all three crews now enjoying a 48 hour break ahead of the A Final on Sunday evening Australian time.

In other racing the men’s quad scull welcomed back Daniel Noonan (NSW) into the crew to record a second place finish behind World Cup 2 winners Croatia in their heat.

Noonan joined fellow 2011 world champions Karsten Forsterling (VIC), James McRae (SA) and Chris Morgan (SA) to post a time of 5:52.72 and will require a top two finish in their repechage on Saturday to progress to the final.

Racing will continue later this evening as a number of quarter-finals and repechages are contested.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Friday 15 June

RA media release:
Late changes for Australian World Cup crews

The Australian Rowing Team has made three late crew changes for the start of World Cup 3 this evening in Munich, Germany.

David Crawshay (VIC) suffered a minor back spasm in training earlier in the week and will not be risked in the heat of the men’s double scull this evening.

Crawshay will be replaced in the boat by men’s sculling reserve Jared Bidwell (QLD), with the Queenslander to row alongside Crawshay’s regular partner Scott Brennan (TAS).

Crawshay has received a medical exemption from the race by the FISA (international governing body for rowing) doctor, and under international rules will be eligible to race in the final on Sunday if he has recovered.

It is the same situation for women’s eight member Sarah Cook (NSW) who has a minor forearm injury, with Emma McCarthy (QLD) to replace Cook for the race for lanes this evening.

Rod Chisholm (NSW) will miss all of World Cup 3 after being diagnosed with a rib injury which he picked up in training during the week.

Chisholm’s lightweight men’s double scull partner Tom Gibson (TAS) will instead race in the lightweight men’s single scull heats this evening.

Rowing Australia National High Performance Director Andrew Matheson said the withdrawal of the three athletes was precautionary.

“At this stage of our preparations for the London Games it is not worth taking the risk in racing these athletes this evening,” Matheson said. “All three injuries are minor and our medical team will continue to monitor David, Sarah and Rod on a regular basis.

“All other athletes are looking forward to the start of racing today and it will be a good opportunity to get more racing under our belts this season.”

All other crews will remain the same with Alice McNamara (VIC) the first Australian to race at 5.35pm AEST in the second heat of the lightweight women’s single scull.

Australian Crews for World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany (June 15–17)

Lightweight Women’s Single Scull
Alice McNamara (VIC)

Lightweight Men’s Single Scull
Tom Gibson (TAS)

Lightweight Men’s Pair
Blair Tunevitsch (TAS)
Ali Foot (TAS)

Men’s Double Scull
Scott Brennan (TAS)
Jared Bidwell (QLD)

Men’s Four
Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC)
Drew Ginn (VIC)
James Chapman (NSW)
Will Lockwood (VIC)

Men’s Pair – Australia 1
Brodie Buckland (NSW)
James Marburg (VIC)

Men’s Pair – Australia 2
Nicholas Hudson (NSW)
Fergus Pragnell (NSW)

Women’s Double Scull
Kim Crow (VIC)
Brooke Pratley (NSW)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull
Hannah Every-Hall (QLD)
Bronwen Watson (NSW)

Lightweight Men’s Four
Todd Skipworth (WA)
Ben Cureton (WA)
Sam Beltz (TAS)
Anthony Edwards (TAS)

Women’s Quad Scull
Kerry Hore (TAS)
Dana Faletic (TAS)
Pauline Frasca (VIC)
Amy Clay (NSW)

Men’s Quad Scull
Daniel Noonan (NSW)
Karsten Forsterling (VIC)
James McRae (SA)
Chris Morgan (SA)

Women’s Eight
Phoebe Stanley (VIC)
Sally Kehoe (QLD)
Alexandra Hagan (WA)
Tess Gerrand (NSW)
Emma McCarthy (QLD)
Hannah Vermeersch (WA)
Renee Chatterton (SA)
Robyn Selby Smith (VIC)
Lizzy Patrick (VIC)

Men’s Eight
Bryn Coudraye (SA)
Matt Ryan (NSW)
Nicholas Purnell (NSW)
Tom Swann (VIC)
Joshua Booth (VIC)
Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC)
Francis Hegerty (NSW)
Sam Loch (NSW)
Toby Lister (NSW)

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Friday 15 June

Munich World Cup on Foxtel

The Samsung World Rowing Cup III from Munich will be broadcast on Foxtel.

Details of the broadcast schedule are below, and viewers should check their local guides for further information.

Sunday 17th June: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 at 18:30
Monday 18th June: Delayed on Fox Sports 1 at 06:00
Tuesday 19th June: Delayed on Fox Sports 1 at 00:00


Friday 15 June

Rowers awarded OAMs

Rowing Australia congratulates Chris Noel, Margaret McKenzie, Graham Coldwell and Elaine Gutteres on receiving Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

All of the award recipients have provided outstanding service to the sport of rowing in Australia and have made enormous contributions to its development and success.

The Australian rowing community celebrates the OAMs bestowed upon Chris, Margaret, Graham and Elaine – a just reward for their tireless dedication and enthusiasm to Australian rowing.

Chris Noel

Chris Noel has provided exceptional service to the rowing community over a lifetime of commitment and dedication to the sport of rowing.

Chris has served the rowing community in a number of roles throughout his lifetime, including notable contributions a Director of Rowing New South Wales, Vice President of Sydney University Boat Club, the founder of Sydney University Rowing Foundation, a member of the Australian University Sport Rowing Advisory Group, and Vice President of the Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness Management Committee from 1991 to 2009.

In addition to the leadership and support that Chris has provided in his various official roles Chris has also provided further exemplary service for the benefit of the rowing community, including conducting substantial fundraising initiatives to assist young Australian athletes to compete overseas, and conceiving and organising the hugely successful ‘Boat Race’ between Sydney University Boat Club and Melbourne University Boat Club.

Margaret McKenzie

Margaret has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of rowing as a competitor, coach, administrator, and supporter of the sport both at local, State and National level.

The majority of Margaret’s many achievements relate to the promotion, growth and acknowledgement of female rowing. Due to Margaret’s tireless work in this regard, along with the work of other similarly determined and passionate people, a number of enormous achievements have been realised in the area of women’s rowing, including the introduction of female members at Leichhardt, North Shore, and Mosman Rowing Clubs, introducing women’s events in male regattas in NSW and Victoria, assisting in the establishment of women’s rowing in New Zealand and the ACT and assisting in the re-introduction of female rowing in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The efforts of Margaret and others also resulted in the re introduction of sculling for women, introduction of lightweight rowing for women through to international level, development of a program of National Club Championships in all classes of boat and weight divisions, and the introduction of a full program of women’s rowing events in Olympic Games.

As a competitor Margaret represented NSW for a number of years between 1954 and 1964, and was also a Victorian representative on 3 occasions. Margaret has also made an enormous contribution as a coach including on the national team, and a contributor to the National Coach Accreditation Scheme within which she has been a Level 3 coach, assessor and presenter.

Margaret’s influence in furthering the profile and recognition of women’s rowing and lightweight rowing, culminating in the inclusion of these events on the International calendar has been truly momentous.

Margaret continues to provide service to the rowing community, including a notable contribution as Administration and Staffing Coordinator for the 2013 Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

Graham Coldwell

Graham Coldwell has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of rowing nationally, most notably as a competitor, coach, administrator, and supporter of rowing in South Australia.

Graham commenced rowing at Port Adelaide Rowing Club in the early 1950s and achieved great success as a competitive rower universally respected coach, including coaching the South Australian Interstate Men’s Eight in 1971 and 1972.

Graham’s contribution to school rowing in his home State of South Australia is without pier and was instrumental in commencing a program at Kings College (now Pembroke School) and from there to Prince Alfred College. These schools continue to have very strong rowing programs that can be traced back to the foundation established by Graham.

Graham was also a member of the Rowing SA General Committee and its Board for over 20 years. One of his greatest contributions throughout this time was as a member of a committee established to fund raise for the acquisition of land that was later developed to become the headquarters of Rowing SA. This fund raising was an enormous effort and the benefits of the work of Graham and a number of his colleagues continues to benefit Rowing SA today in what is known as the West Lakes Aquatic Centre.

Furthermore, Graham has contributed to the national rowing community both as South Australia’s Councillor to Rowing Australia and as a national boat race official throughout the 1960’s officiating at numerous national regattas.

Elaine Guterres

The testimonial below, provided by Judy Packer, details the efforts, enthusiasm and legacy of Elaine Guterres and provides an insight into the effect her lifelong involvement within rowing has had on the community:

Elaine May Guterres was born in Hong Kong in 1936 and spent the war years suffering great privation. Since this time she has participated in many sports, from car racing, swimming, and hockey, to rowing. Indeed, as part of her athletic endeavours Elaine completed an ultra-marathon.

She undertook rowing at a national level for Australia and was chosen to represent her country. Elaine’s ambition to make national selection for rowing saw her make enormous personal sacrifice but her success was inspirational.

Over the last two or more decades, the focus of Elaine’s rowing has changed from her own goals to the promotion of rowing, particularly but not entirely, in South Australia for all levels of rowing and most especially of senior women’s crews. She has provided financial support (most often anonymously) to many rowing clubs and individuals as well as the state association. This has extended to sponsoring young aspiring rowers to attend interstate competitions or making boats available. She has also been an active supporter of the Vet’s Rowing Program (seeing Vietnam Veterans engaging in the sport of rowing).

Her support for senior women’s rowing has been outstanding. The fact that there are more over seventy five year old women rowers in South Australia than in any other state is a testament to this.

Her efforts in motivating, supporting financially, planning and cajoling where necessary mean that South Australia regularly fields “I” grade women’s crews of average age over 75. There are also many over seventies in the wings, in H grade. As well as this indirect help, Elaine has provided countless hours of coxing, coaching and administrative support by “knowing the ropes” in, what was until relatively recently, a very male dominated sport.

Her selfless actions in stepping aside from races to let less experienced rowers try out and gain experience in competition has helped many of us to win medals at National Masters’ Championship and World Masters’ games level.

More than all this the greatest gift that Elaine has made to sport of rowing is the enthusiasm and genuine love of the sport and the “esprit de corps”: a common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group. People learn that, more than the boats and equipment, it is the sheer enjoyment of doing something together and doing it really, really well that can have such far reaching benefits for all, and as a results everyone’s life has been enriched and we have all got so much closer to our own potentials and dreams!

An amazing legacy for one person to have achieved.


Thursday 14 June

RA media release:
Australian crews primed for World Cup 3

Australia’s rowers will have their final racing opportunity ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games this weekend as the final round of the World Cup circuit is held in Munich, Germany (June 15–17).

World Cup 3, which commences at 5pm AEST tomorrow (June 15), falls just six weeks out from the start of the Olympic regatta at Eton Dorney in London.

18 Australian crews will race at the venue that hosted the 1972 Olympic regatta, with Australian boats contesting 13 Olympic categories, two Paralympic events and three non Olympic boat classes.

Rowing Australia National High Performance Director Andrew Matheson said the regatta would provide a good final hit out for the team.

“We were satisfied with our performance in Lucerne three weeks ago and following a good training block in Italy over the past two weeks I am sure our crews will take another step forward,” Matheson said.

“Our main focus remains the Olympic regatta and we are working towards that plan, but I expect improvements across the board with all the crews that are racing this weekend.

“All of the nations that are competing here across the next three days will be eager to taste success and there promises to be some excellent racing.”

The Australian women’s pair of Sarah Tait (VIC) and Kate Hornsey (TAS) will not race at the final World Cup event of the season as Australian women’s team captain Tait recovers from a forearm injury.

The injury has been progressing well with the crew almost back in full on-water training and it was decided that it would be best for the crew to remain training at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre in Italy rather than racing.

51 countries and close to 700 athletes have entered World Cup 3 in Germany, with the host nation having the largest team consisting of 30 crews.

Following the conclusion of World Cup 3 Rowing Australia will nominate its athletes to the Australian Olympic Committee.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Tuesday 12 June

RA media release:
Buckland and Marburg named as Australian Men’s Pair

Australian rowing selectors have confirmed James Marburg (VIC) and Brodie Buckland (NSW) as the men’s coxless pair combination for the World Cup 3 in Munich.

Marburg and Buckland were initially selected as part of the five person men’s coxless pair squad following the National Selection Trials in March.

Their eighth place finish at World Cup 2 in Lucerne, Switzerland two weeks ago left them as the leading Australian combination in the boat class.

Rowing Australia National High Performance Director Andrew Matheson congratulated both rowers.

“Brodie and James have combined really well during 2012 and are improving with every row they have together,” Matheson said. “They rowed well together at the national championships and have enjoyed a solid training block since being named as part of the squad at the end of March.

“We are really happy with the strength across our entire men’s sweep squad, especially considering the calibre of some of the athletes who did not gain selection.”

Marburg, 29, competed at his first Olympic Games in Beijing where he combined with Francis Hegerty (NSW), Matt Ryan (NSW) and Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC) to win silver behind Great Britain in the men’s coxless four.

He followed this performance with another silver medal at the 2009 world championships as part of the same crew, before winning bronze in the men’s eight at the 2010 world championships.

Buckland, 28, moved to Australia from the United States at the start of the Olympic cycle and received Australian citizenship in February this year.

He has formed part of the men’s sweep squad since 2010, rowing on the World Cup circuit whilst being ineligible to compete for Australia at world championship level.

Marburg and Buckland will travel with the 2012 Australian Rowing Team to Munich, Germany this evening ahead of World Cup 3 this weekend (June 15–17).

World Cup 3 serves as the final regatta ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games, with Rowing Australia set to nominate its athletes to the Australian Olympic Committee next week.

Following World Cup 3, the Australian team will return to the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Italy to complete its preparation before London.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Tuesday 12 June

2012 Under 23 Men’s Four selected

Rowing Australia is pleased to announce the 2012 Australian Under 23 Men’s Four.

The crew was selected from Australian athletes currently studying and residing in the United States and ensures that these valuable athletes are retained within the Australian high performance rowing pathway.

Rowing Australia congratulates all athletes named in the crews, and wishes them the best of luck.

A full crew list is available here (pdf, 38kb)


Saturday 9 June

2012 Australian Masters Championships: survey

On behalf of Rowing Australia and the Rowing Victoria Organising Committee, all competitors, coaches and spectators are invited to provide feedback on the 2012 Australian Masters Rowing Championships.

Please go to the RV website to fill out the survey.


Friday 8 June

World Rowing press release –
Entries announced for 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup III
Munich, Germany – 15 to 17 June

Wednesday 6 June

The third and final stage of the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup series will be held in Munich, Germany from 15 to 17 June 2012, following the first and second stages held in Belgrade, Serbia, and in Lucerne, Switzerland, last month.

This regatta will attract the largest number of entries of the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup series, with nearly 700 athletes racing and 51 nations represented. This will be the final chance for crews to test themselves against their competition ahead of the Olympic Rowing Regatta beginning on 28 July.

Adaptive rowing events are also included in the schedule which will provide Paralympic athletes with the opportunity to assess their level of preparation internationally before the 2012 Paralympic Games begin on 31 August. Nearly 100 adaptive rowers will be competing on the Munich regatta course with heats on Thursday evening 14 June and A-finals on Saturday evening 16 June.

Germany will have the largest team (30 boats and 84 athletes), followed by Great Britain (23 boats and 66 athletes) and Australia (19 boats and 56 athletes).

The men's single sculls has the largest number of entries of all boat classes with an impressive line-up of 31 boats from 23 nations. Heading the field is five-time World Champion Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand. In the absence of 2010 World Champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic, Drysdale's main challengers will be Alan Campbell of Great Britain and Marcel Hacker of Germany.

In the women's single sculls (24 entries), two-time Olympic Champion and six-time World Champion Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus is making her 2012 season debut in Munich and will face the winner of both initial stages of the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup series, Xiuyun Zhang of China. Azerbaijan's rising talent Nataliya Mustafayeva will likely be a podium contender, along with 2010 World Champion Frida Svensson who pulled out of Lucerne for medical reasons and two-time world medallist Emma Twigg of New Zealand.

The lightweight men's double sculls will have 18 boats fighting for medals. The new French duo of Jeremie Azou and Stany Delayre won gold in their first international race together in Lucerne.They will meet high-calibre crews including Olympic Champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter from Great Britain, New Zealand's 2009 World Champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor, and Olympic bronze medallists Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist from Denmark.

Another very tight field will be the men's double sculls with 16 entries. In Lucerne, the top three crews (2009 World Champions Germany, 2008 Olympic Champions Australia and Olympic and world medallists France) finished within less than one second of each other and, in the company of other very competitive crews such as Slovenia and New Zealand, will once again aim to be at the top in Munich.

In the women's pair, Great Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have scored two wins out of two in the Samsung World Rowing Cup series so far, and will be challenged by two-time World Champions Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand, who will seek to better their third-place finish in Lucerne. Comeback Olympic Champions from Romania, Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu, will also increase the intensity of the field as they are expected to peak again on time for the Olympic Games.

Romania is also back in the women's eight after finishing with silver in Belgrade and, in the absence of Olympic and World Champions from the USA, will do all it can to defend its legendary history in this boat class. They will face top contenders from Canada and the Netherlands, who took silver and bronze respectively in Lucerne. On the men's front, Germany's on-going winning streak in the eight will again be challenged by Great Britain and by the Netherlands, who took bronze in Belgrade.

Great Britain is currently the top country on the World Rowing Cup medals table with a total of 135 points (79 from Belgrade and 56 from Lucerne). Germany follow with a total of 95 points and China with 59.

The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and includes all 14 Olympic boat classes. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after a series of three regattas. This year, the three stages of the series included Belgrade, Serbia (4 - 6 May), Lucerne, Switzerland (25 - 27 May), and the final in Munich, Germany (15 - 17 June).

The entries and provisional race schedule are available on www.worldrowing.com. Click here to access.

A full World Rowing Cup event by event preview will be available on www.worldrowing.com on Wednesday 13 June.

The World Cup finals will be video-streamed live on Sunday 17 June and can be accessed through the video section of our website www.worldrowing.com/video.

During the regatta, race reports, live results and a dedicated photo gallery will be provided on www.worldrowing.com.

For late media accreditation requests, please contact FISA Communications Manager at debora.feutren@fisa.org.

For more information – FISA media contact:
Debora Meier-Feutren, FISA Communications Manager
Tel: +41 79 793 56 00
E-mail: debora.feutren@fisa.org


Thursday 7 June

Tasmanian HP Development Coordinator appointed

Rowing Australia is very pleased to announce the employment of Grant Pryor to the position of High Performance Development Coordinator for Tasmania.

Grant has worked and volunteered extensively within Tasmanian Rowing for the past 20 years. He has an extensive understanding of the Tasmanian Rowing environment at all levels and will also bring an excellent sports administration background to this exciting High Performance Development position.

Grant will commence the position officially on July 2nd 2012, taking over the role from Ron Batt who recently moved to the position of National Coaching Education and Development Officer with Rowing Australia.

This High Performance Development Program project is unashamedly aimed at Olympic Gold Medal athletes. We are going to be involved with a small group of talented performers who need extremely high quality treatment.

One of the stated objectives of the HP Deveopment Program will be to identify, recruit, and actively ‘case-manage’ the effective development of talented athletes within the state, who are potential Senior A medal standard athletes for future World Championships and Olympic Games.

Employed by Rowing Australia these HPD Coordinators will be an integral part of the NRCE HP Program under the leadership of the HP Director Andrew Matheson and managed by Peter Shakepear and Wayne Diplock. The HP Development program will be working closely with all National Institutes and Academies along with the respective State Rowing bodies, clubs and schools to deliver a focused HP development program that will look to ensure a great Olympic result now for 2016 and beyond.


Tuesday 5 June

RA media release:
Australian crews taste success in Italy

Australia’s adaptive rowing team has enjoyed a positive start to their European tour by both winning gold medals at the Italian National Championships over the weekend.

Erik Horrie (QLD) in the arms and shoulders men’s single scull and Kathryn Ross (VIC) and Gavin Bellis (VIC) in the trunk and arms mixed double scull both showed they are heading in the right direction ahead of the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

The gloomy conditions on Lake Varese did not dampen the Australians form just a week after arriving in the northern hemisphere.

Ross and Bellis came up against the Italian crew that had made the 2011 world championship final last year in Bled, Slovenia, with the Australian combination entering just their third international race together.

The Victorian duo showed their growing confidence together to keep their bow ball in front throughout the race to win by two seconds over the Italians.

“This is just my second international regatta and I keep learning more every race,” Bellis said. “Now I am looking forward to the World Cup in Munich.”

Ross meanwhile said the water conditions had been tricky.

“With the new boat we bounced around a bit, but it was good to get the win,” Ross said. “We still have a few areas to work on, but we will target this during our camp at the European Training Centre.”

Horrie meanwhile entered his first international regatta since winning a bronze medal at his debut world championships in 2011.

Horrie broke to an early lead and was comfortable as he paced himself to record a straight forward victory.

"It was difficult out there with the conditions to find a rhythm, but it was a good start to the international racing year for me," Horrie said.

Bellis, Ross and Horrie will now have a solid block of training at the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre before competing at World Cup 3 in Munich, Germany from June 15–17.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Sunday 3 June

RA media release:
Olympic gold medallist Free calls time on career

Four-time Olympian Duncan Free (QLD) has officially announced his retirement from rowing.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist in the men’s pair had been endeavouring to compete at his fifth Olympic Games in London later this year but eventually succumbed to an ongoing rib cartilage issue.

The 39-year-old Queenslander said although it was a tough decision, he was still extremely proud of his rowing career.

“The decision was tough and I'm extremely disappointed," Free said from the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Italy.

"I am quite proud that I was able to come back from the accident and trial for the Olympic Team, as 12 months ago I was unsure if I would ever be able to row again.

"I gave it my best crack and hung in there for as long as I could, but the body couldn't keep up as we were running out of time."

Free seemed destined to compete in London until he was hit by a car while cycling on the Gold Coast in May last year.

He sustained a fractured right femur in the accident but also longer term complications that caused stress fractures in his ribs.

Free paid tribute to a number of people who helped him throughout his career, but also in his recovery period over the past 12 months.

“Thanks must go to Rowing Australia, the Queensland Academy of Sport, the AIS, all the medical staff that assisted with my recovery, on and off water coaching staff and most of all the support of my family, particularly my wife Belinda,” Free stated.

Rowing Australia High Performance Director Andrew Matheson paid tribute to Free.

“Over the past two decades Duncan established himself as one of Australia and the world’s most successful rowers,” Matheson said.

“Duncan’s rowing ability was personified by the fact that not only was he Australia’s leading sculler for over a decade, but he then made the switch into sweep oar rowing and won Olympic gold.

“His accident last year was always going to be difficult to overcome but his character and determination was incredible and typify the man he is.

“He still has an important part to play in Australian rowing and will be able to pass on a great deal of knowledge.”

Free made his debut for the Australian Rowing Team in 1994 as part of the men’s quad scull.

He competed at 10 world championships across his career, resulting in two gold and two bronze medals.

Free made his Olympic debut in 1996 in the men’s quad scull, winning a bronze medal, before finishing fourth and seventh in the same event at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

Free then switched to the men’s pair and combined with Drew Ginn (VIC) to win the 2006 and 2007 world championships, before winning gold with Ginn at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Media contact: David Polglase 0401 453 041


Friday 1 June

Rowing Memorabilia Project

Rowing Australia, with the support of the Bobby Pearce Foundation and Sport Australia Hall of Fame, has launched a project to secure and display very significant rowing memorabilia which is being auctioned shortly. These memorabilia items include the Olympic Gold Medals won by Bobby Pearce Jr in 1928 and 1932.

Rowing Australia is seeking generous donations to ensure that these valuable and significant pieces of Australian rowing history are not lost to the Australian sporting community. If successful at auction, it is anticipated that the memorabilia will be displayed at the National Sports Museum. A letter (pdf, 82kb) and flyer (pdf, 942kb) providing further details of this project are available, along with a donation form (doc, 127kb).

All contributions for this project will be recognised by Rowing Australia.

We are hoping to reach as many potential donors as possible and would appreciate if members of the rowing community could promote this project to all interested parties.

Please encourage all parties to give generously to this worthwhile cause. All contributions are greatly appreciated and will make a real and significant difference.

Donations to the project can be made by:
Post to PO Box 7147, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Fax to 02 6281 3910
Email to mtreglown@rowingaustralia.com.au

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