FOR the third successive year a University of Technology Sydney (UTS) rowing crew won the 1000 metre Stack’s Finance-Croker Oars Mixed Eight Challenge, the feature event on the Taree Summer Regatta three day program.
Held in perfect conditions on Saturday, UTS (1) won from the fast finishing back markers Sydney University (1) with UTS (2) making it a prosperous day for the club by finishing third. Fifteen crews contested the handicap event.
The winning crew started eight seconds behind those off go, with UTS (2) from 12 seconds. Sydney Uni (1) had to give 18 seconds.
In contrast to last year when there were troubles getting the crews in line for the start, which was delayed by nearly 20 minutes, Saturday’s event was virtually trouble-free. It was underway about five minutes behind schedule.
The two UTS crews were well placed at the mid-point of the race, with UTS (1) gaining a winning break soon after. However, Sydney Uni (1), in lane 15 on the Glenthorne side of the course, were closing in steadily in the final stages, but were unable to haul in the leaders.
UTS’s winning crew was Amelia Cooper, Nicela Martincic, Kelly Drenth, Hally Chapman, Michael McCrea, Mark Doyle, Diarmuid O'Driscoll, James Hunt and Anna O'Hanlon.
They earned $1500 and a $1000 voucher from Croker Oars. Sydney Uni pocketed $1500 for second while UTS picked up a further $750 for third.
“We’re pretty proud of our crews, getting two in the top three,’’ one of UTS’s coaches David Gely said after the event.
“That’s three years in a row for us now so that’s really good for us and and keeps a bit of momentum going in the club.’’
Gely said the club race plan was relatively simple.
“Get out clean and go, go, go,’’ he said.
Gely said UTS have been coming to the Manning regatta for the past four years.
“We’ll continue to keep coming here, it’s a good event,’’ he added.
“We go into camp a week before down at Croker Oars and get some really good training in before our major regattas back in Sydney.’’
Gely said training and racing on the Manning River provides some challenges.
“It adds a bit more excitement when there’s more variability,’’ he explained, diplomatically.
“I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but we’re getting some races in and getting the rowers ready for the regattas down the track.
“They might complain sometimes, but they have to get on top of things.’’