Were it not for the Whitehead patriarch Rodney uprooting the family from Ballarat and moving to Orange, brothers Tom and Daniel would be kicking a Sherrin football, rather than pulling on an oar.
While Rodney operated a timber mill out on the Orange-Blayney road, mum Katherine, worked as a clinical nurse specialist at a local hospital.
Australian Rules football’s loss has been rowing’s gain with Tom, 18, and some 18 months younger than Daniel, having won a seat in the University of Sydney’s men’s eight to face arch rivals Melbourne University in the time-honoured Australian boat race
Josh Booth, the Melbourne University men’s eight rowing captain, isn’t underestimating the quality of the opposition in the Australian Boat Race on Sydney Harbour next Sunday.
The race, a 4.4km slog from Woolwich to the Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour, is a feature of the long-standing rivalry between the esteemed Victorian school of learning and the University of Sydney rowing clubs which date back to the 1860s. Melbourne University go into the race as warm favourites having completed the double over Sydney on the Yarra River a year ago.
Brodie Buckland, former member of the Australian Rowing Team, and alumnus of Sydney University Boat Club writes about his experiences on rivalry in rowing.
Having taken part in the oldest intercollegiate competition (the Boat Race) and the oldest intercollegiate competition in America (the Harvard-Yale race), I have learnt a few things about rivalry. Derision is standard, derogatory nicknames are proliferated like Iranian yellowcake and friendships transition to hatred.
776BC is proud to once again partner with the Australian Boat Race, which returns to Sydney Harbour this year to continue the fierce rivalry between Australia’s top universities, Melbourne and Sydney University.
The Australian Boat Race has a special meaning for 776BC, with co-founder Cameron McKenzie-McHarg having raced in the Men’s Eight for Melbourne University over the last 3 years.
A moving exclusion zone and restricted areas will help ensure the 2014 Australian Boat Race crews will be able to race across the inner harbour without disturbance on Sunday morning, 26 October.
A flotilla of nine vessels will follow the two races. These boats will consist of the umpire’s launch, a First Fleet Ferry for on-water spectators, two water taxis for film crews, two water taxis with lifeguards and safety equipment on board, two water taxis for the Sydney and Melbourne Universities’ Vice Chancellor groups and one water taxi carrying crew gear and coaches.
Fergus Pragnell and Sasha Belonogoff who only recently won bronze medals for Australia at the 2014 World Rowing Championships have indicated they will be available to compete in the Sydney University men’s Eight for the 2014 Australian Boat Race.
Pragnell who has stroked the last three SUBC men’s eights in this event recently won a bronze medal in Amsterdam in the men’s four.
The Australian Boat Race trophies reflect the origins of the competing universities.
The Australian Boat Race crews will compete for the Edmund Barton Trophy (men) and the Bella Guerin Trophy (women). The history behind the naming of these trophies is explained on this website under “About the race”.
The trophies themselves were commissioned for this event and were made by Jennifer Mann in Melbourne. Jennifer has recently completed the “Fallen Jockeys’ Memorial at Randwick racecourse.
The Australian Boat race trophies feature the Lion from the Sydney University Crest and Shield.
The 2014 Australian Boat Race will see crews racing in eights that are an exciting mixture of lightweight materials and strength.
When the starter drops his or her flag on Saturday 26 October the delicate racing eights will endure the stresses of 8 rowers weighing up to 750 kilos for men and around 560 kilos for women. Rowers will use every muscle in their bodies to lever the boat past their oars.
The boats vary a little in design. These days nearly all boats are made with plastic impregnated carbon fibre.
One University of Melbourne student is determined to be on Sydney Harbour to experience a fierce contest.
Science student Hedda Cooper has already led an Australian team to victory in the world’s top junior rowing competition. Now one of her dreams is to help her university win a legendary rowing event much closer to home.
The University of Melbourne will face its traditional rowing rival, the University of Sydney, in the annual Australian Boat Race on Sydney Harbour on October 26 – and hoping for crew selection is no minor ambition.
The universities alternate the race each year between