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Archived latest news items: February 2008

Thursday 28 February

Participants needed — extension of 3D laser scanning project

 

In 2007 over 400 rowers underwent scans that provided ‘digital statues’. Measurements obtained from the statues provided insight into the determinants of rowing performance, but we need more participants to refine the models.

This year we want to remeasure athletes who took part last year; and involve a large number of new participants.

You can help us to build a world leading database that will enable Australia to remain at the forefront in the identification and development of rowing talent.

The project team is keen to scan athletes from all age groups and boat categories. To supplement information obtained last year there is a particular need for involvement of athletes from the Open and Under 23 divisions.

The testing procedure takes ~30 minutes (including ~1 minute for the actual scan). It is completely safe. The scan is performed with athletes in tight-fitting clothing. All volunteers will receive a CD showing their own 3D image and will receive follow up reports.

Where: The 3D scanner will be set up in a convenient location inside one of the rowing sheds at the Penrith Regatta Centre
When: 2 to 9 March 2008

For further information and registration contact:
Helene Kay
Tel: (02) 6214 1577
Mob: 0439 029 250
Email: kayh@ausport.gov.au

While advance bookings are preferred, appointments can also be made during the regatta by ringing the above mobile number or visiting the testing area.


Wednesday 27 February

Vale Maurie Reddan, OAM

Rowing Australia would like to pass on its condolences to the family of Maurie Reddan following his recent passing.

Maurie had been involved with the Nepean Rowing Club for more than 70 years, including 23 years as Club President.

Maurie was a Life Member of NSW Rowing Association and was awarded an OAM in 1993 for his services to rowing.


Friday 22 February

RA Media Release:
Tomkins moves a step closer to Olympic dream

James Tomkins moved a step closer to competing at his sixth Olympic Games after he was named in the 2008 Australian Rowing Team this morning.

Tomkins has been named as part of the Men’s Eight squad following the second round of selection trials that finished last Wednesday at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

Tomkins will be joined in the squad by Sam Conrad, Stephen Stewart, David Dennis, Sam Loch, James Chapman, Tom Laurich and Jeremy Stevenson, with the boat to be coxed by Marty Rabjohns.

This squad is not the official Olympic crew but, providing there are no changes, will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee on June 25. The AOC will then name the team to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Tomkins, who has won three Olympic gold medals in five appearances, says he was relieved to clear the latest hurdle.

“Selection trials are always a high pressure situation, but now we are through that stage and can start focusing on making the boat go as quickly as possible” Tomkins said. “I haven’t made it to Beijing yet and there will certainly be a lot of hard work before the AOC name the Olympic team.”

Following the Rowing Australia board meeting last night, six further Australian crews and squads were named this morning. Those that have been named as part of a crew have their places confirmed throughout the whole season, whereas those that have been named in a squad are liable to changes.

Squads and crews for the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull, Men’s Double Scull, Men’s Lightweight Four, Women’s Eight and Women’s Pair have all been selected. (See below for more details).

The remaining crews and squads will be named at the conclusion of the third round of selection trials, which are to be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, April 11 – 20.

Australia has qualified 11 boats out of a possible 14 for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. There remains one further opportunity to qualify the remaining three boats at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Poznan, Poland, June 15–18.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Friday 22 February

Adaptive selection notification

Rowing Australia are also happy to announce today two crews for adaptive selection. We congratulate these athletes as they prepare in earnest for rowing’s inaugural participation in the Paralympic Games.

Details can be found below:


Friday 22 February

Athletes named to the 2008 Australian Rowing Team

Rowing Australia are pleased to provide an update of selection as a result of the recent Selection Regatta and Trials in Penrith. Rowing Australia offers its congratulations to the athletes and coaches selected to the 2008 Senior A Australian Rowing Team. We are all excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Details of the selections can be found below:

Profiles of athletes named to the 2008 Australian Rowing Team are available
— here —


Friday 22 February

A heart of gold, by Rebecca Wilson

Article and image reproduced by permission of The Daily Telegraph.

His heart stopped last week. He is 42 year old. He is one of our greatest ever elite athletes.

Ask anyone at a pub trivia contest who I am talking about and the bet is that nine out of 10 will have no idea.

A hell of a lot of fuss is made in this country about our footballers and cricketers. A little less is mage for swimmers, tennis players and gold medal track athletes. Less still is made of triathletes and world champion surfers.

Sitting way down the bottom of the pecking order are our rowers. Without Sally Robbin's now infamous effort in Athens, the sport is lucky to earn a mention in the sports details columns for a few months each year.

For all but one measly day — the one after the Olympic finals every four years — rowing is a third-tier sport.

Outsiders see it as a private school pursuit for the privileged classes. Those who really know understand it is one of the most brutal of sports that requires total dedication and optimum fitness levels way beyond anything in any football code, let alone cricket.

Nobody rows for money or fame. Rowing seduces you and then demands your entire being.

Those who start in the sport at around the age of 13 more often than not see it off by the age of 17 because it is just too hard to have a normal life and row at the same time.

After four years, most rowers will agree they have had enough. Vomiting after training is commonplace. Permanently blistered hands, ridiculous hours perfecting technique on the water and a total reliance on your teammates to pull their weight takes its toll.

James Tomkins is the Superman of his sport. He will turn 43 during the Beijing Olympics, having competed at the highest level since he was a schoolboy and at an elite level for an incredible 23 years.

He has won three Olympic gold medals and seven world championships. If he swam or ran with a record like that, the sport would have made him a multi-millionaire. Not rowing.

He works full time, has a young family and still manages to spend enough hours on the water to look a certainty for his sixth Olympics.

Two weeks ago, Tomkins suffered a heart scare that would have made a mortal quit.

His heart stopped. He knew he was in trouble when he became breathless after a routine training session on the Yarra River in Melbourne. He was zapped with a whacker and his heartbeat returned to normal. Even the bullet-proof Tomkins was tentative as he took to the water for the Olympic selection trials at Penrith late this week.

He admitted he was bloody scared of his body and scared of failing.

While the media turned up only to see if Sally Robbins would make the team, Tomkins quietly won his heat, almost certainly cementing his spot for Beijing in the Australian VIII.

At the same time, the gentleman who is James Tomkins spoke out in support of the troubled Robbins, asking Australia to give the failed rower a fair go at redeeming herself.

Tomkins is like that. His is a man who has learned from his sport that the only thing that matters is teamwork — if one of your crew is not right, you help him to get better.

You never shout or criticise. You just cajole and encourage those around you to be the best they can be.

James Tomkins will sit proudly in the Australian VIII in Beijing. His crew is the last to have qualified for the event and rank outsiders for a medal.

But Rowing Australia knows that if anyone can perform a miracle, it is this bloke.

He will row with men much younger than he is (some weren't born when he competed at his first Olympic Games) and he will reluctantly stand out among them.

The story that best sums up this amazing athlete is told by Tomkins himself. He recalls Athens in 2004 when he competed with Drew Ginn in the coxless pairs.

He and Ginn woke up on the morning of the final. They dressed. They went to breakfast.

When they arrived at the course, they prepared the boat and moved to the start. Silence. They rowed a perfect 2000m and won an Olympic Gold medal.

"We didn't say one word to each other from the moment we woke up until the moment we finished," Tomkins says.

"We both knew what we had to do, we knew each other so well that we didn't need words and we did the job."

That's why James Tomkins is exemplary and ordinary all at the same time.

He is the best advertisement for rowing this country has ever had and he is why all Australians should take just a little bit of time out to watch his last performance in Beijing.

We won't see the likes of him again.


Wednesday 20 February

Vale Brian Vear

Rowing Australia would like to pass on its condolences to the family of Brian Vear after he passed away on Monday 18 February.

Brian represented Australia in rowing at the 1960 Olympics in Rome (Men’s Coxless Four), and then again in Tokyo (Men’s Eight) four years later.

A memorial will be held for Brian next week, where Gill Brewster from the Victorian Olympic Council will present an Olympic flag to Brian’s family.

Wednesday 20 February

Images from February selection trials at SIRC: view now

The latest pictures from the selection trials at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith are available — here —


Wednesday 20 February

Pumped up on a power of food

When you weigh 100kg and train fours times a day, you can put away a lot of lasagne. For a gymnast, it's a very different story, as Julia Whyte reports.

Article and images reproduced by permission of The Canberra Times.

There is no doubt elite athletes have an appetite for success. A lasagne, a Thai green curry and a pile of fried rice would normally suffice for 10 people for dinner, with leftovers, but after an Australian Institute of Sport cooking class, four of Australia's top rowers — Stephen Stewart, Sam Conrad, Fergus Pragnell and David Dennis — managed to eat it all.


AIS dietician Gary Slater, centre, at a cooking class with rowers Sam Conrad, Fergus Pragnell, Stephen Stewart and David Dennis. Picture: Martin Jones

Food and nutrition, like training, sacrifice and hard work, play an important part in athletes’ preparation and performance.

Hours spent in the gym, on the water rowing, or on the track are matched by some serious eating — with athletes and the phalanx of helpers behind them watching their intake of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins carefully. They know just how much of these elements they’re taking in, and how much of each they need depending on their bodies, their sports, how many times a day they are training, and whether they are in competition mode.

But for the most part, the basic principles stay the same, It’s a matter of ensuring an athlete’s intake of kilojoules or calories is enough to fuel their metabolic demands, or energy output, while also meeting other nutritional needs such as protein, iron and calcium.

Male rowers, whose diets and training schedules are among the most extreme and unique, weigh about 100kg and train up to four times a day. For these men, eating lasagne, curry and fried rice for lunch is neither unusual nor excessive.

According to AIS senior sports dietician Gary Slater, the top of the priority list when it comes to fuelling athletes’ energy is achieving their increased kilojoule and calorie demands. While the type of food eaten is relevant, so is the portion size.

“Rowers have energy requirements that are markedly different to your general population,” he says. “As an example, a female who sits in the 55-60kg weight range who doesn’t do any exercise may have energy needs that sit between 6000 and 7000kj a day, maybe a little higher depending on what they’re doing.

“Some of our rowers may have kilojoule needs within the range of 30,000kj, so their energy needs are really quite unique.”

Achieving those needs comes down to education, which is why the institute introduced cooking classes, has produced a line of Survival cookbooks, and meets regularly with athletes to re-asses kilojoule budgets and their diets.

While Queanbeyan rower Fergus Pragnell admits he rarely cooks, he says cooking classes and cookbooks are a good way of introducing athletes to cooking and giving them a better understanding of what they should be eating.

He usually eats at the AIS, where coaches try to work training sessions in with main meal times, so athletes, whether they live on or off campus, can eat at the residents’ dining hall.

Pragnell, who joined the institute in 2006, says eating the right food is not difficult when you eat at the AIS because all the food on offer is healthy and tailored for athletes. The main issue is getting the portions right.

“We sit down with Gary a couple of times a year and work out our [calorie] budget for the day and how many kilojoules we need, and it changes depending on our workload — whether we’ve got one session or four sessions,” he says.

“So on a heavy training day, Gary would want me to get in accordance of 27,000kj, and that differs on how much training we’re doing, but it’s pretty much every time you open your mouth, you’ve got to put something in.

“On heavy training days, you’ve had some cereal and coffee before training, then after training, have cereal, yoghurt, five or six eggs and a couple of muffins and spaghetti and toast and stuff. If we were eating Weetbix, I’d probably eat 15 a day, maybe. We have lots of Gatorade during the sessions and then juice with meals. Liquids, they reckon, are a good way of bumping up the kilojoules, so on a big training day, we’d have 500ml or a litre of juice or cordial with a meal and if it’s a light training day, we drink water.

“Plus, because the volume of the food we eat is so high, you don’t have a problem getting all your other nutrients and vitamins. But you do have to adjust it depending on your training load, so if we’re training once a day, you have less carbs and more vegies, whereas if we’ve got a heavy training day, you kind of stack up on as many carbs as you can.”

While pasta generally comes to mind when talking about foods that fuel, Slater says foods such as rice, couscous, noodles and starchy vegetables, like potatoes, are just as carbohydrate and nutrient-rich.

Another challenge for the athletes is that the frequency of training means it often encroaches on the time they are usually eating, whether it’s a mid-morning snack or a main meal.

To counter that, before and after a training session, athletes take kilojoules in liquid form, including a product called Protein Plus, which provides both carbohydrates and protein, and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Sports drinks during training also help provide fuel to the muscles when they need it most.

While no foods are banned at the AIS, excess fat, alcohol and sugary foods are discouraged for all athletes.

This is particularly relevant for athletes who are involved in skill-based sports and have smaller calorie budgets, such as gymnasts and archers.

While rowers are encouraged to snack on flavoured milk, toast with extra-thick serves of jam or honey, cereal or sports bars and liquid meal supplements, the pint-sized gymnasts turn to low-fat fruit yoghurt, fresh fruit, lean cold meat and salad sandwiches or low-fat cheese and crackers.

Slater, who ran the cooking class for the rowers, says they could have cooked exactly the same meals if a group of gymnasts had come to the class, but they would have adjusted the proportion of carbohydrates to vegetables … and there would have been leftovers.

Gymnast Victoria Williams, who is hoping to represent Australia at this year’s Olympic Games, says as gymnasts’ energy demands are not as great as other athletes, their kilojoule intake is more restricted.

“My diet consists of good-quality carbohydrates and protein at meals and mid-meals throughout the day,” she says. “We train for up to seven hours a day and so regular meals and snacks are important to fuel training and also ensure I recover from sessions … the principles are similar to other athletes, but I just adjust the quantity to match my lower energy and nutrient requirements.”

Most of the recipes in the Survival cookbooks show the energy value of each meal and suggest alternatives for people trying to limit their energy intake, such as reducing the amount of rice or bread served in the recipe, or reducing the overall serving size.

For example, Louise’s secret lasagne, one of the meals the rowers cooked up, could serve six or four people, and there is an option of serving it with a salad or crusty bread. The lasagne also differs from a traditional recipe in that the amount of cheese is much less than normal, and there is no white sauce among the layers of meat and pasta.

Throughout the three Survival cookbooks, which are available to the public, there is a trend of offering “healthier” alternatives to meals like fish and chips, cheesecake and pizza.

While they appear to be lower in fat, Slater says the focus is not so much on providing fat-free meal plans, but rather on moderating fat intake and following healthy guidelines.

“We try to encourage something that the athletes can comply with long term, so there’s no foods they can and can’t take. It’s just that we may be advocating higher intake of particular foods at certain times and less of others at other times,” he says.

“We encourage a healthy approach in regard to food and if a particular athlete enjoys chocolate cake, then we’re not going to say they can’t have it. It’s just making sure they get the proportions correct and realising that having it at certain times are better than others.”

Many of the principles the athletes follow can translate to the members of the general population trying to live a healthy lifestyle. The key is recognising your energy needs and adjusting your portion of carbohydrate and calorie intake accordingly.

So you can bake your cake and eat it too — just not all at once.


Monday 18 February

Notification of new RA policy document regarding counselling athletes seeking nomination

2008 Australian Olympic Team: Rowing Australia (RA) Policy for Assisting & Counselling Athletes Seeking Nomination & Selection — Click here — (pdf, 36kb)

Please note: all Rowing Australia selection documentation can be found — here —


Friday 15 February

RA Media Release:
Race hots up for Men’s Eight seats

The race for spots in the Men’s Eight continued on Friday at the Rowing Australia selection trials at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.

On the final day of the regatta, the athletes contesting selection in the Men’s sweep program completed their third rotation in the Men’s Four, with James Tomkins (VIC) and Sam Conrad (QLD) once again involved in the winning boat.

Tomkins and Conrad, who are now favourites to be the first picked in the Eight, combined with Jeremy Stevenson (WA) and Stephan Stewart (NSW) to win the race (6:00.65) by three tenths of a second from Sam Loch (NSW), James Chapman (NSW), Tom Laurich (NSW) and David Dennis (VIC).

Stewart, who is returning to rowing after competing at the Athens Olympics in the Men’s Eight, has displayed strong performances all week and is now pushing for a spot. Dennis, who stroked the Men’s Four in Athens, is also moving into contention for a spot in the blue ribbon boat.

Conrad said that the racing had been of exceptional quality all week and he was relieved to have won the race today.

“The last three days have been pretty taxing and today was tough all the way to the line”, Conrad said. “We only passed the other crew in the last 50 metres so had to row hard all the way to the line.”

The Men’s Lightweight Four of Anthony Edwards (TAS), Ben Cureton (WA), Rod Chisholm (NSW) and Todd Skipworth (WA) moved a step closer to selection after a strong showing against the heavyweight men.

Zoe Uphill (NSW) and Kerry Hore (TAS) won the Women’s Double Scull in a time of 7:03.18 ahead of the lightweight crew of Amber Halliday (SA) and Marguerite Houston (SA), and Catriona Sens (VIC) and Amy Ives (NSW).

David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS) won the third round of the Men’s Double Scull by an impressive 5 seconds as they look to remain as the favoured choice for Australia on the back of last year’s international season. They won in a time of 6:19.48 ahead of James Gatti (WA) and James McRae (SA), and Brendan Long (TAS) and Chris Morgan (SA).

With the regatta now over selectors will focus on finding the best combinations in the “big boats” for the next few days before a number of crews may be selected next week.

Those athletes that are no longer required for trialling will be informed this afternoon after a team meeting.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Thursday 14 February

RA Media Release:
Crawshay continues fine form in Penrith

The second round of Australia’s rowing selection trials continued at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith this morning with Victorian David Crawshay continuing his good form.

Crawshay won his second consecutive Men’s Double Scull race in two days when he partnered Chris Morgan (SA) to take out the race in 6:22.65.

The Tasmanian duo of Brendan Long and Scott Brennan came home in second place ahead of James Gatti (WA) and Dan Noonan (NSW).

Crawshay, who will be aiming to be part of the priority double scull boat, was happy with his form in the race.

“We got a good start today; I have been happy with my starts all week actually”, Crawshay said. “It is a high pressure week but I am pretty happy with where I am placed to date.”

James Tomkins continued his push to represent Australia at his 6th Olympics when he partnered Sam Conrad (QLD), David Dennis (VIC) and Sam Loch (NSW). They won the race in a time of 5:58.77 and will all be in contention for a spot in the Men’s Eight.

In the women’s pair, Sarah Cook (ACT) and Kim Crow (VIC) won a very tight race in front of Liz Kell (NSW) and Sarah Heard (VIC), and Brooke Pratley (NSW) and Sarah Tait (VIC) with a time of 7:10.54.

In the Women’s single scull Pippa Savage (QLD) finished in a time of 7:35.25 to claim the race by a boat length from Kerry Hore (TAS), with Zoe Uphill (NSW) a further two lengths back.

Tasmania’s Tom Gibson won the Men’s Lightweight single scull, while Rod Chisholm (NSW) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) won their second race in the Men’s Lightweight Pair.

Racing will continue on Friday morning at 8am.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Wednesday 13 February

RA Media Release:
Olympic trials underway for Australia’s top rowers

The second round of Australia’s rowing selection trials commenced at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith this morning.

All athletes in contention for an Olympic place have been invited to the trials and raced under perfect conditions at the 2000 Olympic course.

The Women’s Single Scull were the first to test the waters and raced in two heats, with all athletes then progressing through to the final tomorrow morning.

Tasmania’s Kerry Hore set the fastest time of both heats in 7:33.48, and will race from the centre lane tomorrow. She will be seeded ahead of Zoe Uphill (NSW) and Pippa Savage (QLD), with Uphill coming second in heat 1 behind Hore, and Savage winning the second heat by a comfortable margin.

The Men’s Double Scull race was won by David Crawshay (VIC) and Brendan Long (TAS), in a time of 6:16.38. They finished ahead of James McRae (SA) and Dan Noonon (NSW), with Scott Brennan (TAS) and Chris Morgan (SA) one spot further back. The combinations will switch around for the second round of racing tomorrow morning as the selectors aim to find the quickest boat.

James Tomkins (VIC) led his Men’s Four crew to a boat length victory to underline his status as one of the stronger rowers in the men’s sweep program. Tomkins, who raced with Sam Conrad (QLD), James Chapman (NSW) and Tom Laurich (NSW) won, completed the course in 5:59.64. With the Men’s Eight likely to be named at some stage next week Tomkins has now strengthened his position as he looks to compete at his 6th Olympic Games.

Tomkins said after the race that he was happy with his performance.

“We felt pretty good out there on the water today and it was nice getting a race under our belts” Tomkins said. “It is obviously a pretty important week for all involved and we are all keen to make a good impression with the selectors.”

In the Men’s Lightweight Pair Rod Chisholm (NSW) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) were excellent as they won their race in a clear time of three and a half seconds. Ben Cureton and Todd Skipworth were second home, with the Tasmanian pair of Blair Tunevitsch and Shaun Finlayson third.

The Women’s Pair races were postponed until Thursday, where all the athletes will race in a straight final. The talent of this group is very strong and will be a race to watch in the Thursday session.

Racing on Thursday begins with the final of the Women’s Single Scull at 8am.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Tuesday 12 February

RA Media Release:
Selection trials commence for Australian Olympic hopefuls

The second round of the Rowing Australia selection trials will begin tomorrow at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.

Over the first three days of the trials there will be a regatta, before seat racing commences on Saturday and runs through to Wednesday 20 February.

The Australian selectors will then sit down and assess the possibility of selecting further crews, which can then be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee to compete in Beijing.

Australia has already nominated the 2007 World Championship crews of Duncan Free and Drew Ginn in the Men’s Pair, and Amber Halliday and Marguerite Houston in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls.

Noel Donaldson, Rowing Australia High Performance Director, says that it would be good to name as many crews as possible on February 22, but this is not always feasible.

“To be as fair as possible, we must consider a whole set of criteria – and give weight to each of them in any given circumstance”, Donaldson said. “Although quite long and arduous, our obvious aim is to get the right people in the boats.”

“In a sport where individuals have to combine to row in absolute harmony, this can be quite a process. In the past, we’ve undergone a similar process and have gone into the Olympics with some fantastic crews.”

On Wednesday morning there will be heats in the Women’s Single Scull, Men’s Double Scull, Men’s Four, Women’s Lightweight Single Scull, Women’s Pair, Men’s Lightweight Double Scull and Men’s Lightweight Pair.

Australia has so far qualified 11 out of a possible 14 boats for the Olympic Games, with their final chance coming in Poznan, Poland at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta, June 15–18.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Monday 11 February

Congratulations to Amber Halliday

  Congratulations to Amber Halliday who was named The Advertiser Channel 7 2007 Sports Star of the Year. The award which honours South Australia’s top sports men and women was due recognition of Amber’s 2007 World Championship success.

Monday 11 February

FISA's Executive Committee calls for fresh elections of the Russian Rowing Federation

FISA press release, 8 February 2008

The FISA Executive Committee is assessing the latest situation with the Russian Rowing Federation in which nine anti-doping code violations have taken place in a twelve-month period. The results of this assessment could be the suspension of the entire Russian Rowing Federation for up to four years.

According to FISA’s Anti-Doping Rules (Article 12.3.1.1), if there are eight or more violations in a twelve-month period, the FISA Executive Committee may elect to take additional disciplinary actions against the National Federation including suspension of membership for a period of up to four (4) years which would make all athletes and officials ineligible for FISA events including the Olympic Games.

Before taking this decision, the Executive Committee will take into account any steps taken by the Russian Rowing Federation in the next days to correct the situation. This was communicated to the Russian Rowing Federation President in a letter on 7 February 2008.

In this letter, the Executive Committee has offered to the Russian Rowing Federation the opportunity to attempt to reduce the full sanctions by holding new elections of the Board of Directors of the Russian Rowing Federation before 31 March 2008 and appointing new team and administrative staff.

The Executive Committee has informed the Russian Federation that following specific actions would have to take place:

  1. An Extraordinary General Assembly of the Russian Rowing Federation before 31 March 2008 to be monitored by observers from FISA;
  2. All necessary steps taken to hold new elections for all positions on the Russian Rowing Federation before 31 March 2008;
  3. No present office holders will be eligible to stand in these elections;
  4. All members of the administrative staff, the coaching staff and the team medical staff would be reviewed by FISA before approval is granted to participate in FISA activities.

The Russian Rowing Federation has been given until 15 February 2008 to confirm it will hold these elections. Only once this confirmation has been received by FISA, will the Executive Committee release its final decision on the disciplinary actions against the Federation.

Currently, the decision of 29 January 2008 in which a ban on all officials of the Russian Rowing Federation from taking part in FISA activities, is in force. It applies during any international regattas including the FISA Team Cup in Seville which will take place in February. Any team officials of the Russian Rowing Team are not allowed in the "regatta area" of an international regatta.

For more information - FISA media contact:
Marion Gallimore, Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel: +41 21 617 83 73 or direct +41 21 612 02 26, mobile +41 79 706 72 55
E-mail: marion.gallimore@fisa.org


Thursday 7 February

2008 Thomas Keller Medal

Nominations for the 2008 Thomas Keller Medal are now open. The award is given to an individual who has enjoyed an outstanding career in rowing. Last year Mike McKay was the winner.

For more information on how to nominate your favourite rower — click here —


Thursday 7 February

Two more Russians banned as exclusion from the Olympics remains a possibility

Full details — here —


Thursday 7 February

RA Media Release:
Olympic crunch time for Australian rowers

The second selection trials for the Australian Rowing Team will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, February 13–20.

The trials will begin with a regatta on the first three days of racing, where the athletes will have a chance to impress selectors ahead of seat racing for the remainder of the trials.

Two Australian crews have already been nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, with the option open after these trials for further crews to be named.

Australia’s two 2007 world championship winning crews, the Men’s Pair of Duncan Free and Drew Ginn, and the Women’s Lightweight Double Scull of Amber Halliday and Marguerite Houston were nominated to the AOC last December but will still compete at the trials next week in other categories.

Rowing Australia High Performance Director Noel Donaldson said that the Australian selectors are hoping to nominate as many other crews as early as possible.

“Obviously the selection process is a stressful time for all athletes and coaches – especially in an Olympic year” Donaldson said. “We have already had some really promising signs for the future, but in the end selection into the Australian Rowing team (and then later on into the Olympic team) will be based on several criteria. Results at the trials will have a major impact, but that is not the only factor the selectors take into consideration.”

“To be as fair as possible, we must consider a whole set of criteria – and give weight to each of them in any given circumstance. Although quite long and arduous, our obvious aim is to get the right people in the boats. In a sport where individuals have to combine to row in absolute harmony, this can be quite a process. In the past, we’ve undergone a similar process and have gone into the Olympics with some fantastic crews”

The crews that are named on the Australian Rowing Team will then be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee before being included in the Australian Olympic team that will travel to Beijing in August.

For more information please call David Polglase on 0401 453 041


Wednesday 6 February

2008 Australian Rowing Championships

The ROMS website for the 2008 Australian Rowing Championships, to be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre is now up and running. Be sure to check out all the latest news — here —


Wednesday 6 February

Interview with Sally Kehoe

RA had the chance during the week to catch up with member of the women’s sweep squad, Sally Kehoe.

How are your personal preparations coming along for the second round of selection trials?

Personally, I am feeling quite good leading into trials.  Having to get prepared for selections two months earlier than usual was a little daunting over the Christmas period, however, after the January camp and some solid weeks of training I think my preparation is starting to come together.  I am looking forward to our taper week so I can start to feel fresh and ready to race.

What is the mood like in the squad at the moment ahead of the selection trials?

With the selection trials approaching there is a little tension amongst the squad.  This is quite normal really.  We are all preparing in our own ways for what seems to be the most important trials most of us have ever been to.  As most of us have never been to the Olympics, we are excited about the possible opportunity but the trials can seem a little daunting at times.  By the time we get to Sydney I think all of us will be very determined and focused on the job at hand.

How was your Australia Day?

Australia Day?  When was that?  I think we had two sessions in the morning, followed by a 70km ‘flat’ ride in the mountains behind Canberra.  So happy Australia Day to us!  I must admit on the public holiday I did finish all my training for the day by 1pm and had a BBQ.  Outrageous!

What do you like to do when you are away from rowing?

Try my very hardest to switch off from the rowing world.  I am just starting to study again for the year which is something that I enjoy doing on tours to fill in time in hotel rooms.  Or when I am at home I like to do lots of little things that I don’t get to do during the week because I am too tired to.  That may be reading the weekend paper and doing the crosswords.  Simple things.

What is your favourite Olympic moment and why?

One of my favourite would have to be watching Kieren Perkins with the 1500m for the second time in Atlanta.  As kids, my sisters and I loved watching the swimming; Kieren and Susie O'Neill were our favourites.  So any races where they won are favourite moments.  They are particularly special because they probably started my desire to represent Australia at the Olympics, and most important win an Olympic gold medal. 

You had a fantastic junior career and won two gold medals at the world junior championships. What would it mean to Sally Kehoe to win an Olympic gold medal?

To win a gold medal at the Olympics Games is most people's ultimate dream.  To me it would be a feeling that I have never experienced, I imagine.  It would be a huge reward at the end of a fairly intense few years.  Since my junior years, I have experienced a very steep learning curve about rowing and myself.  I think to firstly represent Australia at the Olympics and then go on to win a gold medal, it would be the fairy tale end to my first Olympiad.

You began your rowing as a sculler and are now part of the sweep group. Why did you change and would you ever consider a move back to a sculling boat in the future?

I would definitely consider a move back to sculling, in fact, I can probably say that you will see me in a sculling boat either next year of the year after.  Changing over to sweep has been a very big challenge, but I have enjoyed almost every moment.  I have learnt so much from the change, and I feel that it will only be advantageous to my return to a sculling boat.  I think by being able to do both disciplines, allows for you to be a better rower as the advantages of one helps the other.  However, I think the next Olympiad will see me back in the sculling boats.


Wednesday 6 February

Amended 2008 Selection Policy Handbook

The RA Board and the AOC have amended a typographical error on page 38 in regards the February Selection Regatta. This is to reflect the intent for the Senior A heavyweight men’s sweep to race in coxless fours and the scullers in double sculls. It had been correctly referred to in Note 4.

Please note: all Rowing Australia selection documentation can be found — here —


Tuesday 5 February

Invitation list to February selection regatta

The list of invitations as approved by the RA Board is attached — here — (xls, 20kb)

The Regatta commences on Wednesday 13th February at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.


Tuesday 5 February

ASADA Fact Sheets on Cannabinoids and Finasteride

All athletes and coaches please note the anti-doping fact sheets available — here —

Important information is now available on both Cannabinoids and Finasteride.


Monday 4 February

Junior nomination information

The Nomination Forms for the 2008 World Junior Championships in Brandenberg are now available (below). Please note that the close of nominations has been extended to Sunday the 18th February 2008. This date coincides with the close of the National Championship entries.

All likely nominees and coaches should familiarise themselves with the requirements outlined in the amended “Event Supplement” for the Junior team found (below).

Any questions re Junior Selection can be directed to the RA office.

  1. 2008 Australian Rowing Team — Junior: Nomination Form (pdf, 76kb)
  2. RA 2007-2008 Event Supplement for Junior, Under 23 and Non Olympic Selection in 2008 (pdf, 132kb)

Please note: all Rowing Australia selection documentation can be found — here —


Sunday 3 February

Issue 36 of Australian Rowing News: now available

Contents include:

  • From the CEO, Andrew Dee
  • Get closer to the athletes
  • Australian crews draw close to selection
  • Training camps prove successful as Beijing selection beckons
  • Men's Eight sprung into action by Russian ban
  • Shirlaw receives award for services to rowing
  • Patrick nominated as torch bearer in Olympic flame relay
  • Adaptive Rowing
  • Australian Rowing Championships
  • Vale Tim Willoughby
  • Coaches tip
  • 2007/2008 Events of Interest
  • Athlete profile

— Click here —

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