The magnificent main quad of Sydney University with its period sandstone buildings, clock tower and quadrant of green lawns formed the setting for the Captain’s Challenge and Weigh-In as the crews for the Australian Boat Race faced each other in their race uniforms. The lone and legendary jacaranda was in full purple bloom.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor of Sydney University welcomed the teams and then Mike Wiseman (former international gold medallist in lightweight eights) introduced the Sydney crews by name and faculty. Alex Henshilwood introduced the Melbourne crews.
This week the men's and women's eights from Melbourne University will fly into town to take on Sydney University for the resurrected Australian Boat Race, which will take a little over 12 minutes but both crews hope will one day join the Melbourne Cup, Boxing Day Test and Sydney to Hobart as one of the country's iconic sporting events.
"There are not 250,000 people on the banks yet like the (Cambridge and Oxford) Boat Race but there is hope there will be one day," said two-time Olympian Francis Hegerty, a member of the Sydney Uni crew out to defend the Edmund Barton Trophy on Sunday.
776BC is proud to unveil the ultimate in rowing performance garments via their partnership with The 2012 Australian Boat Race.
The 776BC zoot suits have been designed to meet the needs of the elite rower. Developed and tested by Olympians, the zoot suits have been engineered using premium high performance fabric to offer optimal support, flexibility, breathability and comfort even in the most gruelling racing conditions.
The Melbourne University and Sydney University zoot suit designs combine the traditional University colours and iconography within a striking contemporary look.
Australian Boat Race flags are flying across historic Pyrmont Bridge as anticipation builds ahead of the event this Sunday.
The racing crews in the women’s and men’s eights will pass through the centre arches of this bridge as they complete the final 200 metres of this harbour race.
The flags feature single rowers from the men’s Sydney and Melbourne eights photographed at the exciting finish of the 2011 race. The flag shows the Sydney rower glancing across as the Melbourne crew closes quickly in the final few strokes.
In attractive blues and whites the banners will fly this week
Anticipation is heating up for this year’s annual Australian Boat Race between the Sydney and Melbourne University Boat Clubs after both clubs named male and female boat race crews littered with Olympic stars.
The November 4 race, which will take place on Sydney Harbour, will feature an incredible eight Olympians, seven of whom rowed for Australia at the recent London 2012 Olympic Games.
Sydney Uni’s Francis Hegerty (2008, 2012), Fergus Pragnell (2008), Bronwen Watson (2012) and Monique Heinke (2008) have all been to Olympic Games.
Five rowers and one cox from the 2012 Australian U23 Rowing Team look most likely to gain places in the men’s crews when coaches release their seating for The Australian Boat Race this week. Final crews are due with the convenor on 23rd October for the 4thNovember showdown on Sydney Harbour between Sydney and Melbourne Universities.
In the Melbourne crew Sam Hookway, stroke of the 2012 Aussie U23 men’s eight and a bronze medallist will join Australian team mates George Ellis (2012 U23 coxed four) and Sean Lake (2012 U23 lightweight four).
Two former national crewmates will represent their respective universities in the women’s eights at the 2012 Australian Boat Race.
Alice McNamara (Melbourne, top) and Bronwen Watson (Sydney, bottom) have rowed on national teams, both winning back to back world championships as crewmates in 2007 and 2008 in the women’s lightweight quad.
Friendships forged over years will turn to rivalry on 2nd November at a short ceremony in the Main Quad of Sydney University when Watson will issue a challenge to the Melbourne crew to meet at Woolwich for a race to Darling Harbour.