Strong Shepparton squad heading to Rutherglen regatta

January 12, 2017

The summer rowing season resumes for the Shepparton Rowing Club with a two-day regatta at Rutherglen this weekend.

The summer rowing season resumes for the Shepparton Rowing Club with a two-day regatta at Rutherglen this weekend.

More than 1000 entries have been received for the popular statewide regatta.

For the first time in its short history following the reformation of the club in 2011, Shepparton will race three quads in the women’s D-grade class.

Club coach David Schier said it was a remarkable achievement for a country club to boat three quads.

‘‘Our women’s program is building strength in both numbers and determined rowers,’’ he said.

He complemented support coaches in John Darbyshire and Michele Cranefield in assisting to prepare the 48 entries from the club.

The distance is 800m on Saturday and 500m on Sunday.

Rowers facing the starter for the first time include Isabella and Angus Bennett.

Mithma Ekanayake is back from Adelaide University to assist the junior women in racing.

Anna Chalkley and Sophie Reinehr lead the club’s contingent in the single and double sculls.

They will be joined by Sarah Gandolfo and Maoinin Dooley-Heath in the senior women’s quad.

Lydia Todd and Sophie Reinehr have a good chance of success in the under-17 women’s double on Saturday.

Olivia Thomson will replace Todd for the shorter distance on Sunday.

Twenty-six entries have been received for the mixed double sculls, with Anna Chalkley teaming with Tom Schier as representatives of the club in one of the toughest events.

Tom Schier and Tom Dooley-Heath will face 16 starters in four heats of the D-single scull.

Shepparton, with five scullers, has the highest entry of 17 starters in the under-17 women’s single sculls.

They are Reinehr, Todd, Caitlin Pogue, Thomson and Isabella Bennett.

James Eldred, James Darbyshire and Angus Bennett will compete in the under-15 sculls.

The club has welcomed back Cara Dooley-Heath, who will add strength to the coxed four of sister Maoinin, Chalkley, Reinehr and cox Stella Cranefield.

‘‘Other than wins in masters events, we have not yet tasted success at past Rutherglen regattas as the competition is intense, but this could be the year for that to change,’’ Schier said.

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