1st Grades Wrap Up

 

 

Every February, the most prestigious event on the SA rowing calendar

rolls around, the South Australian 1st Grade State Champs, where clubs
come to find out who is number one. In 2013, the answer was once again
a resounding AUBC!

 


 

Over 50 Blacks assembled for the 2013 state champs was the largest in
 recent memory, comprising masters, club first timers, Olympians, club
 crew stalwarts, and everyone in between. West Lakes welcomed us with
 scattered cloud & blustery but fast conditions.

 LIGHTY MEN & WOMEN
 In the first final of the regatta, the Lighty Men’s Single,
 Kiwi-import Andrew Wakefield placed 4th. Patrick Maddern weighed in
 but curiously scratched. However, these two re-appeared in the Lighty
 Men’s Double, placing third, before being joined by Hugo Burgin & Pat
 Ey for the Lighty Men’s Quad, where they emphatically won by an
 unmeasurable margin. Kiwi and Burgin battled ARC in the tightly
 contested Lighty Men’s Pair, placing 2nd by a length. Bolstered by
 Maddern and Ey in the Lighty Men’s Four, it was neck and neck on the
 line, with the judges eventually announcing a quarter canvas win for
 the Blacks! The Club proved its depth in boating and taking out the
 Lighty Men’s Eight in a row over.

 Championed by the now-leaner and -meaner Laura Osti, the Club’s
 slender women made it look easy, collecting all three lightweight
 women events. Laura in the Lighty Women’s Single won by 10 lengths,
 with Alex Carter 3rd. Osti combined with Suzannah Michell to claim the
 Lighty Women’s Double, with Alex and Caroline Auricht in 3rd. Together
 in the Lighty Women’s Quad, there was no stopping their charge to
 gold. In a composite with Wilderness, Ellie Thorne, Georgie Parletta &
 Sarah Matkovic placed 3rd.

 U17, U19 & YOUTH
 After letting the schoolkids race unhindered in the all the U17 and
 U19 events for men and the majority for women, the Club was
 represented by Narelle Badenoch in the U19 Women’s Single, winning in
 fine style. She combined with Kate Highfield to collect the U19
 Women’s Double. Sister Bridget Badenoch continued the glory, streaking
 away in the U17 Women’s Single.

 In the youth (under 21) events, Sophie Van de Ven combined with ARC’s
 Molly Goodman to win the Youth Women’s Pair. In the corresponding
 men’s event, Jed Nicolle and Freddy Smyth battled ARC’s Ellie &
 Skrembos, succumbing by a length. Freddy got back in top in the Youth
 Men’s Single. However it was Goodman who prevailed over Sophie in the

 Youth Women’s Single, with Narelle and Carrie Tucker in 3rd and 5th.
 Not entering the Youth Women’s Four, the club stamped its authority on
 the men’s, with a crew of Jed, Freddy, James Virgin, Ash Fitch and cox
 Erica Gibbs.

 3RD GRADE & MASTERS
 Again entering in piecemeal fashion, AUBC nevertheless was racing for
 medals in the 3rd Grade and Masters events. Ryan Starkey won the 3rd
 Grade Men’s Women’s Single, and then twin sister Isobel won the 3rd
 Grade Women’s Single, with Ellie Thorne 4th in a separate division.
 Ellie and Vanessa Rech were 4th in the 3rd Grade Womens Double, with
 Rachel Rudd and Alexandra Grave 5th in a different division. Isobel,
 Rachel, Ellie, Vanessa and cox Maddie Fry were 5th in the 3rd Grade
 Women’s Coxed Four.

 In the masters races, sailor John Bolt and policeman John Bentley
 placed 2nd in the Master’s Men’s Double behind a more youthful Port
 Adelaide. Fire in his belly, Bentley was soon back out winning the
 Masters Mens Single. And then it was time for the great AUBC Master’s
 Men’s Eight, of Bolt, Bentley, Henry Newland, Ian Wilson, Dick Hall,
 Mike Page and friends, coxed by some barman who said he knew a bit
 about sailing, Brenton ‘Snips’ Parsons. They stormed home over 8
 seconds clear of Port Adelaide.

 WOMEN’S SCULLING
 Last year ARC’s Olympia Aldersey was unstoppable, winning everything
 except where interstate Olympians made cameo appearances. She had
 another good run this year, winning the single, double, quad and
 coxless four, but there it stopped. In the Women’s Single Scull,
 Sophie Van de Ven placed 7th. Carrie Tucker and Jess Molsher-Jones
 were 4th in the Women’s Double Scull. Showing its depth, the Club
 entered two crews in the Women’s Quad Scull, with Osti, Sophie, Peta
 White and Olympian Renee Chatterton placing second, and Suzannah,
 Caroline, Jess and athlete-coach-athlete again Brooke Willshire
 placing third.

 MEN’S SCULLING
 South Australia was graced by several interstate visitors this First
 Grades, including Melbourne Uni’s Michael Poulter, who won the Men’s
 Single. Matt Bolt was second, with Freddy Smyth in 5th. Matt combined
 with young Lachlan Ward to lead most of the Men’s Double Scull final,
 before being caught in the last 20 strokes by a barn storming Man of
 the Murray James McRae, hauling semi-retired farmboy Sam Martin along.
 It was back on top in the Men’s Quad, with Matt, Lachie, Ned Kinnear
 and ambidextrous Michael Shannon earning a big margin over the field.

 WOMEN’S SWEEP
 AUBC’s Renee and Peta, in the pair together this season after claiming
 silver in the Australian Open Women’s Coxless Four at the 2011 World
 Championships and then rowing separately in 2012, were a clear first
 in the Women’s Coxless Pair, with Sophie & ARC’s Molly in 2nd. Peta,
 Renee, Carrie Tucker and Kate Highfield very nearly won the women’s
 coxless four, being nosed out by ARC by 0.25 of a second.

 In the big boat, AUBC’s Women’s Eight of Osti, Narelle and Bridget
 Badenoch, Jess Molsher-Jones, Sophie, Carrie, Peta, Renee and cox Min
 Eaton won their heat then made no mistake about it in the final,
 flying to the line, 5 seconds over ARC. This fantastic result is the
 first win for AUBC in this event for 5 years, since we won 4 in a row
 over 2005 to 2008. Go girls!

 MEN’S SWEEP
 The Men’s Coxless Pair was full of composite crews. Olympians Bryn
 Coudraye and James McRae of ARC/ MBRC were clear leaders, followed by
 James Virgin with ARC’s Nathan Bowden, Ned Kinnear with ANA’s (Perth)
 Cameron Brewer, Lachie Ward with ARC’s Will Brennan, and Jed Nicolle
 with ARC’s Drew Clements. At the tail end of the field, the ARC pair
 of Skrembos and Ellis nudged out AUBC’s Patrick Maddern and Michael
 Shannon for premiership points.

 In the Men’s Coxed Four, Nick Andrew, Michael ‘Shaz’ Shannon, Falco
 Richardt, Patrick Maddern and cradle snatching cox Aleco Lanfranco
 made it look easy with an all the way win. In the Men’s Coxless Four,
 Jed, Ned, Virgin and Lachie raced stroke for stroke with ARC’s Bryn,
 Drew, Will and Nathan. Always within half a length, the margin on the
 line was 1.2 seconds in ARC’s favour.

 And then for the eight. With both AUBC and ARC boasting such even
 crews, and with such little eights racing this season, there could be
 no favourites. Early on it was level, then AUBC started inching away.
 ARC looked menacing and continued to surge, but the Blacks proved too
 strong, with the AUBC crew of Jed, Ned, Nick, Lachie, Falco, Shaz,
 Virgin, Bolt and cox Aleco driving home to win by 4 seconds. In a show
 of depth and good humour, the Club boated a composite second eight,
 coxed by Erica Gibbs, who placed 4th, comprising Ash Fitch, Ryan
 Starkey, Freddy, Kiwi and ring-ins including stroke James McRae.

 GAME DAY
 So there you have it.
 In 2011, the Club claimed 12 Senior Mens or Womens events. In 2012,
 AUBC claimed 15 of such titles on offer, a full 5 more than the next
 best club. In 2013, our tally was again 15 titles, now 6 more than the
 next best club.

 After medal presentations & coxswaine throwing, the AUBC faithful
 continued the proud tradition of celebrating another fine 1st Grade
 State Championships with an afternoon of backyard leisure and
 appropriate rehydration. After several joyous renditions at the Game
 family residence, the Burgin family kindly hosted this year’s backyard
 games and festivities -sincere thanks!

 Thanks must also go to coaches this season of Shaz, Patrick, Amber
 Halliday, Dr Henry Newland and John Bentley.

Ned Kinnear