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Crow and Pratley shine in double scull

14 February 2012

Australia’s top rowers enjoyed a strong hit out at the NSW State Championships over the weekend with the women’s double scull combination of Kim Crow (VIC) and Brooke Pratley (NSW) best performed at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Crow and Pratley grabbed the opportunity to perform in near perfect conditions on the 2000 Sydney Olympic course to win the gold medal in a time of 6:50.60, recording a two and a half boat length victory over Kerry Hore (TAS) and Pippa Savage (QLD).

The Crow and Pratley crew showed the strength in the top end of the women’s sculling program with their performance as selectors continue to monitor their options in this boat class.

Crow has partnered Hore at the past two world championships to win silver medals behind Great Britain, while Pratley is a former world championship gold medallist in the boat.

The Crookwell-bred rower won her world title in the women’s double scull with Elizabeth Kell (NSW) in 2006, ironically at Eton where the 2012 London Olympic Games regatta will be contested.

Rowing Australia National High Performance Director Andrew Matheson said Pratley and Crow raced well.

“Brooke and Kim are both very talented rowers and it was good to see them have a hit out together during the pressure of a major competition,” Matheson said.

“Both have tasted a fair degree of international success and it was important they were given the opportunity of seeing what they could produce together. However we also know the pedigree of the 2011 World Championships silver medal winning crew of Kim and Kerry. This certainly is going to be a nice but difficult selection challenge.

“We also have another interesting selection challenge looming between the 2011 World Championship bronze medal winning crew of Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait versus the 2010 fourth placed crew of Phoebe Stanley and Sarah Tait. This was reinforced with the strong performance this weekend of Sarah and Phoebe rowing well in the women’s pair.

In other results across the weekend, Joshua Dunkley Smith and Drew Ginn won a hotly contested final in the men’s pair in a time of 6:36.41 continuing their run as the top performing athletes in their category.

Ginn and Dunkley Smith finished just under a boat length clear of Nicholas Purnell (NSW) and Matt Ryan), while Duncan Free (QLD) and Fergus Pragnell (NSW) were only another 0.11 of a second back in third place.

In single scull action, Kim Crow won the women’s event ahead of Kerry Hore and Sally Kehoe (QLD), while Nicholas Hudson (NSW) triumphed over Daniel Noonan (NSW) and Chris Morgan (SA) in the men’s contest.

The prospective Paralympic shadow squad also had a strong hit-out with the highlight being the trans-Tasman challenge between New Zealander Danny McBride (World bronze medallist in 2010) and Australian Erik Horrie (World bronze medallist in 2011). Erik claimed the win with a world class time of 5:03.82 and over 5 seconds clear of the chasing New Zealander.

The next major racing for the Olympic and Paralympic Shadow Squads is the Australian Rowing Championships at Champion Lakes in Perth from 5 – 11 March, leading into the final National Trials in Penrith (23 March – 1 April).

Rowing Australia

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