FOURTEEN rowing crews will vie for $2500 in prizemoney in the Stack’s Finance-Croker Oars Mixed Eight Handicap Challenge, the blue ribbon event in this weekend’s Manning Summer Regatta.
First past the line will pocket $1000 with second earning $600 and third $400. There’ll also be a lucky draw of $500 for crews finishing out of a place.
The 1000 metre race will start at 12.45pm near the Martin Bridge and head towards the Manning River Rowing Club. It’ll be a straight out final. Sydney, Port Macquarie, Endeavour, Armidale/Leichhardt, North Shore, St George 1 and 2,Sydney Women, Nepean, Newcastle University, Glebe/Sydney University, Leichhardt, Manning River and UTS will make up the field.
Manning River Rowing Club’s Hugh McLeod said nominating a favourite is ‘too tough to call.’’
“UTS is a high performance club but they’ll have a 22 second handicap and that’s a lot over 1000 metres,’’ he said.
The Manning eight will be off eight seconds with Nikki and Heidi Pullen, Genny Dodd, Sandi Kippax, Rhett and Baxter Pattison, Tom Steedman and Hugh McLeod rowing. Raymond Beeton is the cox. They only had their first row together on Monday, however, McLeod is confident they’ll be a contender for the podium.
“It’s been a bit hard to get together with the holidays. But everyone has been doing their own training and we’ll go alright,’’ he promised.
The three day regatta will get underway from 2pm on Friday with the last race scheduled for 3.40 on Sunday. Up to 30 clubs will be represented, with 613 rowers in action in 96 races.
There’ll be a strong contingent of Sydney clubs involved, including UTS, Drummoyne, Balmain Sydney and Leichhardt along with clubs from the Central Coast and Newcastle areas. Armidale will also be represented.
Manning rowers are expected to perform strongly in the masters events, led by Roy Halliday. The Pullen sisters should also be to the fore in the masters as well as the C-grade double scull.
“We have a few newcomers who will be having their first regatta so it will be good experience for them,’’ McLeod said.