The Australian men’s and women’s rowing eights crews completed a clean sweep of the three race Trans-Tasman University annual competition, winning their three mile races at Mannum on Friday.
The three mile men’s race was a torrid affair with the two crews racing almost side by side and very close to each other, their oars almost touching each other on the huge River Murray course for the first mile.
Then as the Australian crew gradually pulled ahead, the New Zealand cox used an old fashioned tactic and crossed the course behind the Australian crew hoping to steer a faster course to the finish.
The Australian crew held their nerve and maintained stroke rating at around 32 per minute and steadily pulled away from New Zealand to win by four boat lengths.
New Zealand used a different race plan in the women’s three mile race when they allowed the Australian crew to move ahead and lead by nearly three lengths by the half way mark but then New Zealand wound their boat pace up significantly in the second half to draw to within a quarter of a length from the lead in the last mile.
The Australian women found some fight back over the closing stages to win by just one length.
The Australian Universities two crews won both the races on the two days of racing over the 2000 metre West Lakes course earlier in the week to give then a perfect winning record over the three days of racing.
Adelaide University Boat Club captain Patrick Ey was thrilled with the performances from all of the Australian teams.
“It was great that the teams performed so well,” Ey said.
“The women’s competition was probably a little closer than the men’s but, especially for the last two races, we had to push really hard to get our wins. Credit to the Kiwis.”
After a solid win in the first outing, Ey said his team went into the rest of the series confidently but always wary of the Kiwis.
“We knew that they were quality rowers and that meant there was no way we could slack off and not push,” he said.
Ey only had praise for the Mannum course.
“Racing in Mannum was great – it was a very different course to West Lakes. The weather conditions were a lot trickier than the previous days and the course seemed to suit the Kiwis.
“They put up a really good fight in the final leg,” he said.
He also commented on the Mannum Rowing Club’s professionalism in hosting.
“The Mannum club were great. There were quite a lot of people on the morning and the club just did a really good job as the host.”
Ey said that he is currently chasing up a refund for the green and gold team uniforms that never arrived.