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  • International Racing

  • AMRC Wrap Up

  • IGSSA Head of the River Preview

  • How you can help the Junior & U23 Team athletes!

  • Craig James OAM & Rob Scott - RA Life Membership

  • Club Corner

    • WARC Head Coach

    • WARC Schoolgirls Open Day

  • Upcoming Regattas

Cover photo: Fremantle's MMix4x+ at Masters State Champs. Credit: Damian Doyle.

As a wise Ronan Keating once said, life is a rollercoaster. And the life of an elite athlete is one of the more extreme rides you can take - wild highs and crushing lows.

And that's what we've seen over the last month across the first few regattas of the international season.

From World Cup 1, where Jack and Alex in the Men's Quad performed so well that Rowing Australia entered them in the last-ditch Final Olympic Qualifying regatta, to the FOQR where the Olympic dream faded, to World Cup 2 where Annabelle and Jess started their season firmly on the podium.


The Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualifying Regatta, affectionately known as the Regatta of Death, started on a positive note for the Aussie Quad with Alex Rossi (WARC) in stroke and Jack Cleary (WARC) in bow - a win in their heat, and second fastest qualifying time. With the first and second placed crews punching tickets to the Olympics, and the rest heading home, this was a good sign... Unfortunately in the final it just wasn't their day, and they crossed the finish line in 5th.

Before the regatta, Rowing Australia's journalist Rupert McGuinness spoke to the boys about what was ahead - and it's a really insight into their mindset when they approached this high pressure regatta...

Alex Rossi: “We've come from different starting points. We knew we had the right pieces to the puzzle. We were given a chance to show that we did, but just needed a different timeframe. The combination has since clicked on and off the water. We are looking forward to hitting this regatta harder and better than [in World Cup I in Varese, 5th]. We were afforded the opportunity to prove it [to selectors]. We’re ready to prove it to the world now.”

Jack Cleary: “We haven't come this far just to come this far. I'm confident that this crew has the makings to be up there with the best in the world. It's just about when we lay it out there, how well we execute, compared to how well do the other countries get the best out of themselves on that given day. Rowing would be very boring if everyone did 100 per cent of their capacity every time because you would know who’s going to win.”


Starting with the small boats! In the Women's Pair, Annabelle McIntyre OAM (FRC) and crewmate Jess Morrison OAM found themselves in a repeat of the 2023 World Champs, claiming Silver against the excellent Dutch Pair of Clevering and Meester. A strong Irish pair rounded out the podium. After the racing, Annabelle told RA: 

“[We were] really solid out there again [but] not quite as fast as we wanted... We [were] just identifying the things that worked for us yesterday [in the Semi-Final] and comparing them to see what we can really solidify in the next couple of months.”

In the new lineup of the Women's Coxless Four, Jacqui Swick (SRRC) sat in the two seat after racing the Women's Eight last season. After a strong start to the regatta, something didn't quite click for the final and the Four finished up in 6th place (6:57.37), with GB taking the W. 

In the much-anticipated Women's Eight (Bronwyn Cox (UWABC) and Giorgia Patten (WARC)), and Men's Eight (Josh Hicks (SRRC)) - crews which have both had a shake-up since 2023 - big expectations were tempered by 4th place finishes. 

Given this group had only landed in Europe a week beforehand - I think we'll see some big improvements as they settle into routine, and have a few more weeks training together!

World Cup 3 kicks off TONIGHT!

Jacqui is back in the Eight, Annabelle is doubling up with the Pair and the Second Eight, while Giorgia, Bronnie & Josh stay put.

UNDER 21: The Trans-Tasman Regatta

WARC's Sinead Reading was selected to the Aussie U21 team off the back of her outstanding Nationals season - a massive achievement! The U21s don't have a World Championships to compete in, so Rowing Australia and Rowing NZ team up for the 'Trans-Tasman Regatta', a points-based regatta where the best U21s from each country comepte in small, mid and big boats to see who comes out on top. Sinead raced in the Quad, and then came together with the sweepers to race an Eight on the final day of the regatta. Australia won the Rusty Robertson Trophy for the third year in a row!

The Australian Masters Rowing Championships were held in Lake Barrington, Tasmania, earlier in May - and a passionate group of WA Masters rowers headed across to test their mettle against the best! The weather was beautiful 90% of the time save for a small rain shower on the third day, and the Tassie hospitality had rave reviews from our intrepid travellers - foundations for a super fun few days of racing!!

Perth, ANA, Fremantle, Canning Bridge, Curtin and UWABC were all represented strongly. The most successful WA athlete of the regatta was PRC's Celia Cornwell, with 2 Gold (WG8+, WH-M8+), 2 Silver (Mix F-G2x, WG4+) and 2 Bronze (MixE2x, WG2x). A highlight in the RWA office was watching the Women's G8+ on the Friday - an all-WA composite crew taking out the win in the tightest of margins - just 0.17s back to second place!!


The winning Women's G8+ crew!

Our State crews took to the water on Friday with all the bright WA energy they could muster - palpable even through social media!! These ladies had been working extremely hard in the months leading up to AMRC, with coach Will Hynes (FRC) putting in lots of volunteer hours to help guide them. The Quad finished a valiant 5th and the Eight 6th, with a very strong SA crew winning that event for the second year in a row.

Yeah WA!!!

Congratulations to all WA athletes who took part in the AMRC - we are so proud of your achievements and look forward to next Masters season where we know you will bring it on!!

A reminder that Masters are very welcome through Head Race season and beyond - Perth to Freo both has Masters events, and many Masters athletes are eligible to race the 1000m D and C grade events at Pennant regattas (as well as of course the A & B grades if they would like to test themselves over 2km!).

The IGSSA season has been in full swing, with some fantastic racing across all ages and boat classes. 

With last week's IGSSA 4 cancelled due to conditions, it will be a few weeks in between hit-outs for most of these rowers. The intrepid Perth College have entered their Open crews into the RWA All Schools Regatta this weekend, looking for one last competitive opportunity before it all comes to a head next Saturday!

The Freshman events have seen a variety of schools coming out on top, with JTC, St Hilda's, PLC all clocking wins, a sign of positive things to come from this group. 

In the Year 9 events, it has been Iona Presentation College who have been the standout school in their first year rowing in the IGSSA competition. Across the three regattas they're undefeated in the Year 9 A 4x+ and in a good battle week to week with PLC in the A 8+ and the B 4x+!

Photo: Iona rowers at Regatta 1. Credit: Iona's Facebook page

Across the Year 10 events, it's pretty much been a PLC party with a St Hilda's crew stealing a win for the Y10D4x+ at the first regatta. This is no surprise to anyone who's been following along - PLC's Under 17 Eight won Bronze at the National Championships back in March! This crew (who we assume make up most of the Y10A8+) are winning by over 20 seconds every regatta!

Photo: The First VIIIs! Credit: PLC's Facebook page

In the Open and Senior events, PLC are again a dominant force, undefeated in the First and Second VIII  - we suspect the race will be for the rest of the podium come HOR in these two events. A diligent St Hilda's First VIII have pushed into second every week, with the third spot going from MLC to PC, and the Second VIII a little more open for silver and bronze! JTC have been the only school to take a win in a Senior event besides PLC, winning the 10C Quad at Regatta 2. 

Photo: MLC Rowers in training. Credit: MLC s Facebook page

The sculling races are an amazing opportunity for smaller programs to show their stuff - across the three IGSSA regattas, we've seen wins from John XXIII College (in fact, their Junior B sculler is undefeated!), Perth College, Iona, PLC and MLC! This is no easy task for the young rowers braving the lake in single sculls - well done to all these athletes, and we're looking forward to some great racing in this event at Head of the River.

Photo: JTC Sculler in the closing strokes of her race. Credit: JTC Rowing's Facebook page

There is outstanding racing to be found at all IGSSA regattas, which this year are actually proving more competitive than the PSA season. We're thrilled to see some programs taking it to PLC who are on a long streak of success. Girls in sport deserve to be given the same opportunities as boys - and it's a tricky job to balance the line of fun & competitive, but far from impossible, and it's a mix that when you get it right provides a life-changing experience for rowers! We take our hats off to all the rowing coaches, staff, parents & supporters for putting so much passion and energy into taking the Schoolgirl competition to the next level! 

Best of luck to all IGSSA rowers at Head of the River!

As anyone who follows our social media would know, there are an incredible SIX young WA rowers selected to the Australian Under 19 and 23 teams this year! 

Lyla Fievez and Greta Spencer - SRRC - Under 19 Women's Coxless Four

Juliet Kelly and Sina Metzger - Fremantle - Under 19 Women's Quad Scull

Gen Hart and Becky Pretorious - FRC/SRRC - Under 23 Women's Coxless Four


1. Donate towards their Seat Fees

Anyone on an Australian Underage Team is required to pay several thousand dollars as their 'seat fee' - anything helps as these young athletes balance school, training, and work to help be the best they can be at Worlds!

The Junior Four - Lyla and Greta: https://asf.org.au/projects/greta-spencer/australian-junior-four

The Junior Quad - Sina and Jules: https://asf.org.au/projects/sina-metzger/u19-australian-quad

The Under 23 Four - Gen: https://asf.org.au/projects/genevieve-hart/u23-world-championships

2. Support their fundraisers

The Junior Four have organised a spin class for THIS SUNDAY - last few tickets are available here with all funds going to their seat fees!

The Freo rowers will be all hands on deck at the finish line of the Perth to Freo regatta selling coffees & BBQ stuff to raise money for their seat fees.

Check out the Fremantle Rowing Club and Swan River Rowing Club Facebook pages to find out about the fundraisers they have organised!

3. Do you have some casual work?

Words from Mark Beer, SRRC Head Coach:

"Can you help our Australian rowers get to the World Championships?  Imogen Grey and Jess Colbran from Sydney University Boat Club will be training in Perth for 10 weeks in the lead up to the world championships (spread out over three camps).

With the athletes having to fund their RA seat fee and cover the cost of all camps leading up to departure for Canada, they are looking for some casual work during their time here in Perth.  If you have any casual work or know of people/companies that would like to support our junior athletes, please get in touch with crew coach Mark Beer (headcoach@srrc.org.au).  

This is a great opportunity for a WA company to support our underage athletes in working towards the World Championships.  Alternatively, if you dont have casual work, but would like to look at opportunities to sponsor the crew and their worlds preparation, please get in touch."

Craig James OAM and Rob Scott hav been granted Life Membership of Rowing Australia!

Craig James

Craig, a life member of the UWA Boat Club and Rowing WA, has had a life-long commitment to rowing at the club, state and national levels. He was President of the UWA Boat Club from 1983 - 1989 and returned to be a Board Member in 2012. Craig was a strong driver behind the set-up of the PLC program including coaching novice crews and fundraising to purchase a fleet of boats.

Craig has been WA's steadfast delegate to the Rowing Australia Council since 1997 where he has been WA's voice to the RA Board. He was a pivotal member of the team that lobbied, fundraised and negotiated the creation of the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre

Craig has spent many Saturday and Sunday mornings as a Umpire at local, National and International regattas (including the 2008 Beijing Olympics) - in this role, he is known for his kind and patient manner, and brilliant command of the rules of racing and role of a BRO. You'll be able to say 'Hi' (and Thanks!!) to Craig at Perth to Freo where he'll be the Starter!

Congratulations Craig on a very well-earned recognition - we are so grateful for your dedication to the sport and for the legacy you have created through your work and passion!

This short read merely scratches the surface of all Craig has done for the sport - I really encourage you to read Craig's story here: https://www.rowinghistory-aus.info/rower-profiles/james-craig#gsc.tab=0

Rob Scott

Rob Scott, a dual Olympian and and 1996 Silver medalist, and current member of the Curtin Uni Boat Club, has transformed rowing in Australia through his involvement with RA.

As a rower, Rob is best known for a Silver Medal in the Men's Pair at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and for stroking the A-Final Men's Eight at the '92 Games. Initially doing his club rowing from SRRC and then for CUBC, Rob was a member of eight WA Kings Cup Crews across his career, and won the 1996 WA Sport Star of the Year.

President of Rowing Australia since 2012, one of his cornerstone achievements was overseeing the establishment of the National Training Centre model, which has revoluntionised the way elite rowers live and train. RA says: "[Rob] has expanded the sport through innovations like coastal and indoor rowing. His leadership has been instrumental in making rowing more accessible and successful in Australia." This was all achieved alongside his 'day job' as CEO of Wesfarmers!

Rob trains as a member of the "Black Swans" crew at CUBC and can be seen racing at Masters regattas and interstate races like Head of the Yarra - he certainly still "walks the walk", and has a very deep passion for the sport. His son Ben rows at Harvard where he recently stroked their First Varsity Eight through their most successful season in recent times.

You can read more of Rob's story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Scott_(businessman)

Congratulations Rob on your life membership, and thank you for your huge contribution to our sport!

Westies are running an Open Day for Schoolgirls who are keen to join a club after the IGSSA season!

Click here to find out all the info & read their flyer...


Words from Westies

"Westies have recently appointed a new Head Coach, John Gearing, who will join the Club shortly after the Paris Olympics from the UK.  
John is currently the Head Rowing Coach at Radley College in the UK where, for the last 17 years, he has developed a program with multiple athletes going on to international representation at all age levels in the Great Britain men squads.  Three of his current 1st VIII represented Great Britain already this year and have a good chance of representing the GB U19 team later this year. There are also two current world junior champions from last year in this year's Radley 1st VIII.
John has also helped coach GB senior crews in the eight months preceding the Tokyo Olympics, and also at recent World Cups. 
He is a mentor to the current GB Men's Pair (he taught them to row) of Tom George and Ollie Wynne-Griffiths. He also coached Charlie Elwes at Radley who is currently in the GB men's eight who are the reigning World and European Champions.
John started his coaching career in his native South Africa where he coached many men's and women's University and School crews to National and International success, including University of Natal Ladies A8 winning the South African Championships for the first time.
His experience, knowledge and skill-set uniquely place him as the right person to head up the rowing program at Wests with particular emphasis on Junior squad development into our HP and elite rowers. 
Given his experience he will also be a key mentor to the broader Wests coaching team and the Club looks forward to welcoming him in August."

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