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Waikato University’s ‘Great Race’ Crew Named

Waikato University’s ‘Great Race’ Crew Named

Waikato University has today named its final eight for the Gallagher Boathouse 8s ‘Great Race’ against England’s Oxford University on 7 September in Hamilton.

Five of last year’s A team crew that beat Cambridge in the inaugural ‘Great Race’ on the Waikato River have retained their spot: skipper James Fitzgerald, Selwyn Cleland, Andrew McCowan, Jonathon McElwee and coxswain Rachel Goudie. They’ll be joined by Waikato internationals George Bridgewater and Sam Earl, with Byron Arnold and Simon Corbett taking the other two spots. The reserve is Cameron Corkill.

Waikato A team coach Steve Wills believes he’ll have a much stronger and better prepared crew to take on Oxford.

“Last year, the crew only assembled about three weeks before the race and we had more people away with New Zealand crews. But this year the build-up started in April following the University Games.”

The selections follow trials on Saturday 2 August involving ergometer tests and racing in coxed fours.

The Waikato University B crew, which will compete against a NZ Academy Mens 8 on Great Race day, is: Garth Tilyard, Liam Hale, Cameron Corkill, Nathan McEldowney, Tim Loughnane, Matt Johnston, Bryce Male, Glen Twining and coxswain Hannah Milner.

The two men’s crews will continue to train alongside each other to fine tune their racing skills during the five weeks till the race.

The Waikato University women’s crew to compete against an NZ Academy women’s 8 is: Megan Scott, Nicky Staite, Ailsa Schaper, Natalie Curtis, Liz Devine, Sarah Burgess, Abbie Phillips, Kim Forlong and coxswain Candice Bardsley. The reserve is Megan Higson.

The race has been extended by 1.3kms to 5kms this year. It’s anticipated this will make it a much closer race than 2002 as a result, with tactics expected to be a key factor in deciding who wins on the winding river course.

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