News & Information

New Zealand Universities Trans Tasman Test Series 2006

July 14, 2006

The New Zealand Universities Rowing Team has just returned from a very successful 9-3 win against Australia. The annual test series alternates between NZ and Australia and is comprised of three races; this year it was a 3.2km, 5km and a 2km. The crews competing were a lightweight women's quad, lightweight men's four, a heavyweight women's eight and heavy weight men's eight. New Zealand crews were selected at trials after the University Games held in Wanganui earlier this year.

The crews arrived in Sydney on Friday 30th June to a much warmer climate and a much busier harbour. Racing began on Tuesday 4th July with a 3.2km down Lane Cove River, which was the most curved of the three courses, a bend just after the start and one with 1000m to go. The water was good for racing but rain meant visibility of the course was poor. The women's quad had the race well under control and led the entire race winning by the largest margin of 40 seconds. The men's four had a tougher race on their hands and were leading on the outside of the first corner but it was the second bend which proved their undoing and they lost by 10 seconds. Both the men's and women's eight were strong and led from the front with a win of 25 seconds.

The 5km was held on Thursday 6th July on the Nepean River out at Penrith. The section of the river was where the Australian Nationals were held until the Olympic Course was built. Again the women's quad dominated with a convincing win of 45 seconds. The men's four again had a tough battle and just couldn't hang on, but only lost by 8 seconds much less than the 3.2km and over a longer distance. The women's eight had a stunning race, leading after the first few hundred metres and kept increasing that lead. After the 2.8km mark they stepped it down and cruised over the finish line winning by one minute. The men's eight were also dominant in this race, doing enough work in initial stages of the race to coast home winning by 45 seconds.

By this stage the Test Series had been won, but the crews wanted to hammer it home to the Aussies. The final racing took place at the Olympic Course near Penrith. The course was fantastic and the water was like glass, so the Kiwis were ready to shatter the Aussies for the final time. The women's quad flew out of the start leaving the Aussies far behind winning by 30 seconds. The men's four was going to be a battle and that it was, the kiwis flew out of the start with something to prove but the Aussies stayed with them. These two crews were head to head until the final stages where the Aussies pulled through winning by 4 seconds, but the Kiwi lads are a young crew and will no doubt be back to put that score right. The women's eight all geared up with a game plan and the race went according to plan with a win of 28 seconds. The men's eight were relaxed about this race, they led out from the start and won by 30 seconds and just missed the sub 6min with a time of 6:00:07.

It was a very successful trip and something of a whitewash. Traditionally it has been difficult for New Zealand to win over in Australia so it was fabulous that most of our crews were so far ahead. The record of the overall wins is now 5 to New Zealand and 2 to Australia; we hope that next year the Kiwis can continue this success.

Sonya Walker,
Team Manager

View in other format