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WAIS Rowers in the Medals at Australian Rowing Championships
13 March 2012

Hannah Jansen was in the medals at Champion Lakes

WAIS rowing athletes returned a medal glut from the recent Australian Rowing and Interstate Championships at Perth’s Champion Lakes.

Men’s lightweight four world champions Ben Cureton and Todd Skipworth were victorious in the men’s four along with Anthony Edwards and Sam Beltz in the same week they were named Rowing Australia’s 2011 Male Crew of the Year.

The four won an incident packed final, in which a steering malfunction from a rival crew led to a collision in the final stages of a tight race.

With less than 100m remaining in the race, the three leading crews came together following a steering malfunction that had hindered the crew featuring Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), Tom Swann (VIC) and Will Lockwood (VIC).

The Dunkley Smith crew suffered the steering failure after just 200m of the race that repeatedly pushed them towards lane 4, which was occupied by James Chapman (NSW), Bryn Coudraye (SA), Brodie Buckland (NSW) and Tom Larkins (VIC).

It had forced the Chapman crew closer to the world champion lightweight four, featuring Cureton and Skipworth, which resulted in a collision on the run to the line as the lightweights chased victory.

The lightweight four survived the collision to cross the line in first and be awarded the national title.

Beltz said that despite the end to the race, his crew had been really happy with their performance.

"We got off to a really quick start today and managed to establish a bit of a lead early on which helped us out,” Beltz said.

"The end of the race was pretty crazy but we managed to get across the line in first place.

"We were up against the big guys so there was obviously a bit of pressure there but we had a great rhythm out there and we all feel great ahead of trials.”

They remain in strong contention to be re-named as the Australian lightweight men’s four at the 2012 National Selection Trials at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (March 23-April 1).


There was also great news for the WAIS U23 partnership of Hannah Vermeersch and Alex Hagen, who claimed a strong win in the U23 women’s pair, before fetching silver in the open age category behind world championship bronze medallists Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait.


The result has thrown the pair into calculations for selection into the women’s eight boat, should Rowing Australia opt to form one for international competition.


Hannah Jansen enjoyed a successful campaign, winning gold in the women’s lightweight double and quad scull competitions, as well as earning individual god in the U23 women’s lightweight single scull.


WAIS U23 rowers Tom Gatti, David Watts, Matt Cochran and Brendan Murray formed the gold medal wining U23 men’s four, training partners Tim Widdicombe and Tom Meares were part of a gold medal winning U23 men’s lightweight four.


Perry Ward claimed line honours in the open men’s lightweight double scull, Mia Simmonds picked up gold medals in the open women’s lightweight double and quad sculls, whilst Ashleigh Miles and Lilly Tinnapple competed in the U23 women’s eight for gold.


Tinnapple also paired with WAIS training partner Natasha Gay for gold in the women’s U19 double scull, whilst Gay also claimed line honours in the individual U19 scull and schoolgirls single scull.


In the Interstate Championships at the culmination of competition, NSW won a fifth straight King’s Cup, Victoria claimed the Queen’s Cup, Tasmania continued its vice-like grip of the Penrith Cup whilst WA hit form with a win in the women’s lightweight quad scull.


-with Rowing Australia

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