Communications & Media

Rough river tests rowing rivals

It was a clean sweep for the north at the Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge rowing race on Saturday but it was far from an incident-free event.

The annual north versus south event saw crews battling a choppy Tamar River and it was the home team northerners who came out on top.

The southern women took on water in the rough conditions and were unable to bail the boat in time. Their boat was swamped and they sank at the starting line, as did their chances of hoisting high the Vice-Chancellor’s Plate.

For the southern men, it was a collision with a pylon in the early stages of the race that dashed any hope they had of defending their claim to the Vice-Chancellor’s Cup.

President of the Tasmanian University Boat Club Mick Casey said it was an unusually eventful race.

“You have to finish the race to win it,” he said. “I expect this will only fuel the rivalry further.”

The 2017 event was the first Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge to incorporate a school boys race with crews from Scotch Oakburn College and Launceston College in the North taking on the Hutchins school from the South.

It was a strong Launceston College crew, captained by Lars Gillingham, that won the inaugural University of Tasmania Boys Cup. Scotch Oakburn and Hutchins came in second and third in the only incident-free race of the day.

This was the third time in a row the Challenge has been held on the Tamar River in Launceston. It was held in 2015 for the first time in more than a decade, to mark the University’s 125th anniversary, and is now firmly back on the University’s social calendar.

The race is hosted by the University, Rowing Tasmania and the Tasmania University Union. The starting line was next to the Australian Maritime College, at Newnham 6/8 Pile, and the finishing line was next to the blue floating pontoon west of the St Patrick’s College rowing sheds at Seaport.

Caption: The winning captains Lachlan McCarron with the Vice-Chancellor’s Cup, Caitlin Broomfield with the Vice-Chancellor’s Plate, and Lars Gillingham with the University of Tasmania Boys Cup.

Published on: 28 Aug 2017 11:03am