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  • Masters State Championships Wrap Up

  • IGSSA Season Kick-Off Recap

  • Junior Team Announcement

  • Beach Sprints Team Announcement

  • Masters State Team

  • What in the World is Beach Sprints? with Laryssa Biesenthal

  • Liv Jones Wins Scholarship

  • US-Based U23 Trials

  • Club Corner

    • SRRC Winter Rowing

Cover photo: 91-year-old Alan Salisbury on his way to a win at Masters State Chamipionships. Credit: Damian Doyle.

The pinnacle event for Western Australia's vibrant Masters rowing community, this regatta stands as a celebration of community, camaraderie, and the enduring spirit of rowing at every age. Masters State Championships brings together a wide diversity of athletes – from novices who embraced the challenge of learning a new sport later in life, to retired Olympic medallists whose love for the sport has weathered the years. But that was the only weather-related topic of the regatta with perfect conditions all day long!

Across 35 events, rowers took to the water to put their best races forward on a blue-sky day. In the medal table, a tit-for-tat between ANA and Perth RC across the first three Masters regattas was blown clear thanks to Curtin's 9 wins and 14 total podium results on the big day. The most successful female athlete of the regatta was UWABC's Evelyn Bowen, and the top male athlete was Curtin's Jono Fievez. The Men's Coxed Eight was taken out by Curtin Uni Boat Club's 'Black Swans' crew, while the Nelly Brandsma Memorial Women's Eight was won by the UWABC ladies. 91-year-old Alan Salisbury won the Men’s M Grade Single Scull, while son Darryl won the F Grade Single Scull. Sisters Evelyn Bowen and Liz Warrand raced together to win the Women’s F Grade Double Scull. Many athletes will have been preparing to race at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships, to be held in Tassie starting tomorrow - best of luck to these rowers and we will keep you updated with a recap next edition!


At the end of the regatta, formal proceedings began with the WA Masters State Team zootie presentations. Our Women's Eight and Quad were handed their kit by RWA Board Member and UWABC rower Tom Warner. Following this, City of Armadale Deputy Mayor John Keogh took over the reins to present winning crews with their silverware. We are grateful to the City of Armadale for their support of our three major Championship regattas this year! 

A huge thank you to WARC for hosting, all our BROs for their time on water, and every volunteer who contributed to making the day a success. WARC member Damian Doyle was on deck as a volunteer photographer - his photos are lovely and can be viewed here or on our Facebook page. With over 300 photos to browse through you're more than likely to find one of yourself!!

Good luck to all Masters rowers who have headed over to Tassie for the Australian Masters Rowing Championships, kicking off on Wednesday!



Thank you to Major Partners, the City of Armadale, for their support of the 2024 Masters, All Schools and Pennant State Championships! Our CEO Dan says:

“These championship events are the annual pinnacle of our sport in WA. To be able to conduct these regattas at an international-standard venue such as Champion Lakes Regatta Centre is a true privilege. Hence why the collaboration between Rowing WA and City of Armadale for these three events was a perfect synergy... The rowing community is obviously extremely active. They will be very interested in the local adventure tourism opportunities available in the Perth Hills!"

Head to https://experienceperthhills.com.au/ to start exploring the Perth Hills area - maybe something to do after the regatta!

The opening of the IGSSA season was marked by a perfect day at Champion Lakes last weekend! The contingent of schools increased by one this year with Iona Presentation College formally joining as an IGSSA rowing schol after having competed in the All Schools competition for the past few years - an exciting milestone for the school! Hosts MLC put on a great show with a great BBQ and school colours on display.

In the Year 9s, newcomers Iona took out the A and B quads and the A eight with a very strong contingent of juniors, while PC, St Hilda's and PLC rounding out the C and D events. JTC's sculling focus has paid dividends with a win in both the Junior A and B singles.

PLC were the most successful school of the regatta with a sweep of both the First and Second VIIIs, the Senior, Freshman and almost the Year 10 events (St Hilda's putting a stop to that one!). Off the back of an exceptional Nationals campaign it is no surprise that their success has continued on but it was great to see other schools putting up a good fight. 

A big thank you to NTC athletes Giorgia Patte, Bronnie Cox, Jacqui Swick and Annabelle McIntyre who filmed an amazing 'Good Luck' video for the girls - check it out here!

Congratulations to all girls who took part - especially those of you who raced for the first time! 

IGSSA Regatta 2, hosted by JTC, will be held on 11 May. 

Photo: PLC's trademark cheer squad bringing some noise to the banks of CL! Thanks Sadie Purser for the photo!

Huge congratulations to the following WA athletes who have been selected into the 2024 Australian Under 19 Team!

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

Head to their ASF page to donate to their travel fund: https://asf.org.au/projects/greta-spencer/australian-junior-four

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

Mark Beer, SRRC, has also been selected to coach the Women's Coxless Four - congrats Mark!

We asked the girls a few questions - read below to get a little insight into their mindset!

Greta Spencer

How does it feel to be selected in this year's team?

To be selected in the Australian team is a very exciting feeling as it means we get a chance to verse the best rowers in the world

How does it differ from last year's selection?

I’d say the main difference is that last year gave me a chance to learn what the world championships is really like and to understand the level that is expected of us. Also i more prepared for the type and amount of training we have to do. I’m personally really excited to see what our crew can do by the end of the campaign.

What are you most looking forward to about the next few months?

Im super keen to see the changes and progress our crew is able to make. Being an interstate crew it makes things hard to train together but we have all made sacrifices to ensure we spend the most time as possible together to give us the best chance on the world stage.

What are the major strengths or skills that you think have led to your success?

I’d say mainly making sure to be consistent with my training. Also the fact that I really enjoy the rowing trainings especially with Mark making sure we are keeping our sessions fun and engaging and being surrounded by good friends like Lyla and also Imy and Jess.

Is there anybody you'd like to thank?

The support of the entire Swan River Rowing Club - including the coaches, masters, rowers and volunteers who have helped myself and Lyla get on the team once again. Also a shout out to Mark for the time and dedication he puts into coaching myself along with the crew.

Lyla Fievez

What are you most looking forward to about the next few months?

"Over the next few months I am most looking forward to seeing our progress as a crew and under the guidance of Mark being able to unlock that next level of speed that will hopefully allow us to achieve some really exciting results in Canada. I am also super excited about being able to train around 3 other hard working and like-minded girls every day and for us to all be able to use each other to motivate and help us improve individually. 

Is there anybody you'd like to thank?

I would just like to thank every body at Swan River Rowing Club for their unwavering support over the last year. Its been great to have such a supportive and generous group of people to help out with anything that we need whether its Nev helping us fix our boats or having swans crews to train around and motivate us through the (seemingly) never ending kilometres of the nationals season, these peoples support does not go unnoticed and I could not be more appreciative."

Juliet & Sina (answered together!!)

How does it feel to be selected onto your very first Australian team?

To be selected in the team is amazing but being able to do it together is awesome and we’re very excited to rep Aus! 

What are you most looking forward to about the next few months?

Definitely looking forward to the girls coming over for our training camp and to just keep chipping away and pushing each other to improve.

What aspect of rowing do you find most rewarding and why?

The sense of accomplishment after a hard erg or water session and all the hard work paying off is really rewarding.

What is your favourite post rowing snack?

Definitely an iced chai and a yogurt! 

Is there anybody you'd like to thank?

We would really like to thank Keely for getting us into rowing, teaching us the basics and bringing us all together to love it. And Thommo for coaching us this season helping us get to where we are today. Also obviously our parents for always driving us around and allowing us to take this opportunity to go to Canada and rep Aus! 



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 Junior Worlds!

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

Please keep an eye out for an ASF page for Juliet and Sina in the near future!

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."

Congratulations to Blake Whyatt (WARC) for his selection to the Australian Beach Sprints team!

Blake will race at the 2024 World Coastal Rowing & Beach Sprints Championships, being held in September in Italy. Blake's power and technical ability in the 'Classic' single scull lent itself to the Coastal boat and he impressed selectors with his ability to improve very quickly. The Selection Trials for this team was held over a few days and began with some time trialling in Coastal boats on a flat river, then they transitioned to a beach where they trialled using a buoyed Beach Sprints course. 

This marks the first time a WA rower has ever been selected to an Australian Beach Sprints team. In a sport that is growing rapidly and due for inclusion as an Olympic event at the 2028 LA Games, this is a very exciting milestone for the community (although shout out to Thea Adamson who raced for Wales in 2021). 

Congrats Blake and coach Stefano Balosso who has been working with him in the lead-up to trials!

Laryssa Biesenthal is the Head Coach of the Australian Beach Sprints Team and has generously answered the following burning questions!!

First up - what would you like the WA rowing community to know about Beach Sprints?


 I understand there are a lot of reservations around Beach Sprint  Rowing here in Australia.  (I am married to a lightweight Olympic medallist and I myself having won 2 Olympic medals so I get it- change is uncomfortable!) I understand  the traditionalist view saying this will be the end of  the sport we love… How could they take out lightweight rowing for this..  This is not rowing…what a dumb sport.  I have heard them all.  My comment to those is - Have you tried it? Have you gotten out in the boat? What if we don’t look at Beach Sprint Rowing as something terrible that is happening to the sport we all love, but what if we look at is as something good- something that is going to grow our participation base, and introduce more people to the sport of rowing…and along the way have we forgotten about FUN? Would it really hurt your rowing training plan to take rowers to the beach once a month and do a HIIT session of multiple 500m pieces? The laughter, the enjoyment, the competitive nature would push the rowers to new heights…is that a bad thing to take back to flatwater rowing?

Lastly LA 2028 is 1500m- a bit shorter of a race, maybe some more sprint sessions could be advantageous…

What exactly is Beach Sprints rowing, and how does it differ from traditional rowing on water?

Beach Sprint rowing is a sprint event that takes place on water with 50cm -100cm waves.  It is 10-50m run, a 250m slalom around 3 buoys and a 250m sprint straight back, and run up the beach to stop the clock.

It differs from traditional rowing for the obvious reasons - combination of running, rowing, slaloming, AND the race format is a time trial first, and then rowers head into knock out racing of one person directly against another person.

What are the key elements of training that you focus on to prepare athletes for Beach Sprints competitions?

75% of the training is THE SAME as our traditional rowing.  You need to have the excellent aerobic base as in the final rounds you will race 3 races within 45 minutes.  You need to have strength.  You need to be able to handle lactic acid, and have your body transition that into fuel, similar to racing over the 2km distance.  The mental side of dealing with the pain in your legs, alongside the ability to focus mentally on steering and turning. You need to be mobile and agile  to enter and exit the boat smoothly, you need to be able to RUN quickly- we are suggesting 2 running trainings a week. We are also suggesting getting out in the  bouncy water and getting a feel for the waves, the set length, and any currents. Lastly you need to be able to scull! Internationally we are seeing many of the medal winning athletes were also winning medals, or the very least in A finals  at the traditional world championships in sculling events.

What role does technique play in a good Beach Sprints rower?

Sculling skills- good hand skills, good spatial awareness, excel at working with the boat using your weight to slalom and turn quickly.

You also need to be able to adapt your technique for the unpredictable wave/ wind/ current conditions.

How does strategy come into play in a Beach Sprints competition?

Similar to classic rowing, on the international stage the beach sprint athletes that do well in the time trial are the ones who do well in the final and win the medals.  Same as we see at World Cups/ World Championships/Olympics- those who do well in the heats, generally continue to do well throughout the regatta. Thus, you must go out and achieve a good ranking in the TT.

You are then into side by side racing, and the higher you place- the lower ranked athlete you race in the side by side component- meaning #1 in the TT will race #16 from the TT in the first round.  This is where tactics and strategy come into play as if you can get in front, you can see your opponent, and do ‘just the bare minimum’ , slow down your run on the beach to save energy for the next round. However, you do want to achieve a good time, because the person with the fastest time gets to choose the lane- and again in an unpredictable environment sometimes the lanes could be uneven.

Why might a traditional flatwater rower be interested in participating in Beach Sprints or Coastal Rowing?

Rowing is a sport where you need to be focused, mindful and enjoying yourself, as you continually strive for excellence to execute the perfect stroke. No two strokes are the same, and to improve your technique you need to be able to be ‘in the moment/ enjoying it/ working with the boat.’  Sometimes, in my experience, we have athletes continually train, without adding in a ‘stimulus’.  Coastal rowing, and beach sprint rowing can be that ‘stimulus’ for the flatwater rower.  Coming from Canada where we were off the water for 4-6 months a year, we always got the mental break from being on the water, and when we got back on, we were always surprised how much our technique had improved when we got back on the water after blocks of being off. Cross country skiing, erging, and other forms of cross training supplemented our training.  I believe coastal and beach sprint would offer an excellent opportunity to Australian flatwater rowers to have the opportunity to offer in a ‘different’ training stimulus, all the while allowing the athlete continually improvement.

Thanks Laryssa!!

Rowing WA's fleet of Coastal Boats has officially arrived (as of TODAY!!) so stay tuned for upcoming Come & Try and Mini Regattas!! Alternatively - get in touch with Nick at gmoperations@rowingwa.asn.au if you would like to be proactive and get a hold of a boat to try out!

Words from SRRC:

"SRRC were delighted to hear that our Assistant Coach Olivia has successfully been selected onto the Australian Institute of Sport, Coach Experimental Program.

The Program is targeted at developing women HP coaches who are ready and seeking to gain experiences on international coaching teams. It will focus on enhancing reflection throughout the learning experience, building reputational capital, and providing support through allyship and mentorship and is connected to the Women in High Performance Coaching Project, which aims to challenge the underrepresentation of women coaches and provide support to enhance their experiences.

At the end of the Program, participating Coaches will be able to:

Identify and understand roles and responsibilities whilst on an international tour,

Identify their bespoke learning needs and develop a learning plan,

Obtain personal and professional support with identified mentors and allies (on and off tour),

Understand and develop strategies to enhance reputational capital and build confidence,

Incorporate reflective practices to deepen understanding and make sense of the learning experience, and

Gain experience coaching at an international event.

"It was an honour to be nominated by rowing Australia for this scholarship. I participated in the first of two workshops earlier this week, it was great to meet the other 9 women and learn about their respective sports. I am excited to work alongside the crews training in WA before traveling to Canada later this year." - Olivia Jones

Swans Head Coach, Mark Beer had the following to say on Oliva's inclusion in the program "We are delighted for Liv to be successful in her selection onto the program. As one of only ten participants from across the country to be successful, Liv's inclusion is a recognition of her dedication, passion and desire to develop as a rowing coach. It will be fantastic to have Liv joining the Australian Junior team at the World Championships, and I'm sure she will use the opportunity to further enhance her coaching skills and attributes, and we look forward to working with Liv at Swans, as she continues to develop as a high performance coach"


From all of us at Rowing WA, congratulations to Liv on this achievement and we look forward to seeing her coaching journey progress!!

Congratulations to Ben Scott (FRC - Harvard) and Alex Baroni (WARC - Cal Berkeley) who have been invited to trial for the Australian US-Based U23 Team!

Ben, a Scotch College alum, is currently the stroke seat of the Harvard First Varsity VIII, a crew leading the charge in the program's comeback to the top of the sport. They were the second fastest overall crew at the 2023 Head of the Charles, beaten only by the US Men's Eight.

Alex, a Trinity College graduate, was a member of the 2023 U23 Men's Eight who placed 4th at World Champs. The Cal program swept their National Championships last year (only the second school to ever achieve this), and now in the 2 seat of their First Varsity VIII, Alex will be doing his best to help them repeat this success this year.

Both boys will race at the 2024 IRA National Championships at the end of this month before transitioning to Aus Team duties.


Photo: Ben Scott training with the Harvard 1V (and rocking a WA Pathway zootie).

Photo: Alex Baroni (2 seat) mid-race in April 2024.

This team will mostly be comprised of Australian rowers who are rowing at US Colleges, and who will train in the US until they head to Canada and meet up with the rest of the U23 Team to race the U23 World Championships. Rowing Australia introduced this format of Aus Team representation in order to give those talented Aussie athletes who are rowing in the US an opportunity to wear the Green & Gold while overseas. The US College system boats some of the world's strongest rowing programs and there are many scholarships on offer to overseas athletes. 

If you're interested in rowing for a college, head here: https://rowingaustralia.com.au/usa-pathway

Read RA's full release here

The 2024 Masters State Team has been officially endorsed by Rowing WA and we are so happy to announce the two women's crews who will represent you at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships this week!

Women's Eight
Cox: Craig Huxtable Perth Rowing Club
Orla Flecker UWA Boat Club
Sandra Clarke ANA Rowing Club
Elissa Mansell ANA Rowing Club
Alison White Curtin University Boat Club
Fiona Bell Fremantle Rowing Club
Sarah Knight UWA Boat Club
Liz Warrand UWA Boat Club
Indra Sivacolundhu ANA Rowing Club
Reserve: Evelyn Bowen UWA Boat Club


Women's Coxless Quad
Alexandra Thornton Fremantle Rowing Club
Caroline Foster Fremantle Rowing Club
Marianne Amato ANA Rowing Club
Rene Brovelli ANA Rowing Club
Reserve: Michaela Maine Fremantle Rowing Club

Congratulations to all these amazing women.

A massive thank you to coach Will Hynes who has been very generous in his time & energy coaching these ladies, and selector Vanessa Grant who has been an invaluable resource.

Photo: The 2024 WA Masters Women's Eight. Credit: Damian Doyle.

Photo: The 2024 WA Masters Women's Quad. Credit: Damian Doyle.

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