Home advantage was not the case in the 2019 Australian Boat Race, with the University of Melbourne finishing behind the University of Sydney in the men’s and women’s races. Hundreds of spectators lined the banks of the Yarra River to watch the 4.1km race from Burnley to Princes Bridge in the heart of the city.
The University of Sydney men’s crew made the most of a strong start in the men’s race and kept their lead, securing what the commentators called a “convincing win”. The commentators noted that the Sydney men’s crew had more experienced rowers than their Melbourne rivals, with six members having represented Australia in international rowing.
When the women’s crews went head to head, Melbourne enjoyed an early lead but Sydney soon caught up. The two boats were side by side for several hundred metres and came so close that the rowers’ oars were overlapping, with the blades almost touching. The boats were expertly steered apart by the two coxes and Sydney took the lead, winning the race.
Women’s captain Phoebe Georgakas said: “I’d like to say a big congratulations to the Sydney crew. It was a tough race and they did well to come out on top. We’ll learn from this experience and we’re looking forward to seeing them again next year on Sydney Harbour.”
Now in its 11th year as the Australian Boat Race, the on-water rivalry between the two universities stretches back to 1860, when they first raced against one another on the Yarra.
Greyhounds chasing gold
On October 18 Wentworth Park at Glebe hosted the TAB Million Dollar Chase, the world’s richest greyhound event. The winner was Good Odds Harada, trained by Frank and Tracey Hirst. Qualifying rounds leading up to the grand final were held at Wentworth Park and at 14 regional centres. All proceeds from the grand final evening went to the Greyhounds as Pets initiative. The Hoodoo Gurus entertained patrons on the night.
King of the Mountain
Ford’s Scott McLaughlin was crowned King of the Mountain after last month’s Bathurst 1000. The gruelling marathon climaxed to a last lap battle between McLaughlin and Holden’s Shane van Gisbergen. After the race an overjoyed McLaughlin stated: “I am a bloody Bathurst winner. I can’t believe I have won the Bathurst 1000.”
Netball great retires
Australian shooter Caitlin Thwaites retired from international netball following last month’s Constellation Cup decider in Perth. The 32 year old made her 55th and final Diamonds appearance in the clash with New Zealand at RAC Arena. After debuting in 2012, Thwaites played in gold medal-winning teams at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Cup.