HEAD of the Lake rowers Georgia Liubinas and Kat Werry say it was great to be back rowing on Lake Wendouree this week.
The pair were among 200 athletes on the water for the Australian University Games rowing championships in Ballarat.
Liubinas, a former Ballarat Clarendon College rower, was proud to show her University of South Australia crewmates around the city in between fierce competition on the lake.
“This is my first uni games and it’s been great,” Liubinas said.
“All the Adelaide crews have supported each other.
“There’s definitely rivalries out there – Melbourne uni for the girls and Sydney in the boys.
“Ballarat has done a really good job with the event.”
Werry, College’s former captain of boats, teamed up with Grammar former captain of boats Sam Ballantyne in the Australian Catholic University winning mixed four crew.
Ballantyne stroked the crew and Werry said it was a complete surprise to win – this was the first time the combination had rowed together.
“It was so much fun,” Werry said.
“There was lots of banter and rowing with the guys was completely different.”
Werry arrived in Ballarat fresh from rowing for Australia in an under-21 trans-tasman series against
New Zealand. She will turn her attention to qualifying for a spot in the Australian under-23 squad next year.
World Cup bronze medallist and former Grammar rower Lucy Stephan was also on the water in Ballarat, representing Deakin University.
The lake hosted world-class rowers the past two days of competition, including London Olympic quadruple scull bronze medallist James McRae.
University of Sydney powered to win the men’s eight by a length-and-a-half, and clearly topped the men’s competition to claim the Dr Bill Webb Trophy on 272 points ahead of the University of Melbourne (152).
Sydney also captured the coveted New South Wales Centenary Cup as most successful university on 478 points.
Melbourne, which won the Amanda Young Rose Bowl for best women’s crews, was runner-up on 447 points with Australian National University third overall on 291.
Australian University Sport event co-ordinator Corey Saitta said rowers and coaches had enjoyed Lake Wendouree as a rowing venue.
“It’s one of the few 2000-metre straight courses in Australia and the water level is nearly as full as you can get it,” Saitta said.
“Windy weather this week meant we postponed Wednesday ... but we were able to compress the program.