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Friday, December 4, 2020

Newcastle rowers set sights on ‘Gift’

The Newcastle Rowing Club (NRC) is determined to end Nepean’s dominance in the Linwood Throsby Gift Relay at Carrington this weekend.

It has been six years since the Hunter organisation claimed the prestigious honours – and NRC president John McLeod believes Sunday, November 22, could be the time to prevail again.

The race is the feature event of the Central Districts Rowing Sprint Championships, to be hosted by the Newcastle outfit on Throsby Creek.

“Nepean’s definitely the crew to beat,” McLeod said.

“They’ve conquered the ‘Gift’ for the past three years, driving the local clubs to prepare harder for the most eccentric contest in Australian rowing.

“So, we’re keen to wrestle it back from them.

“Even though our guys have been training strongly in recent months, this will only be our second regatta in 2020, due to coronavirus.

“And, given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it’s sort of an unknown situation for most of the competitors.

“But, I think, we’ll do well.”

More than 150 athletes will compete in excess of 100 races on a unique three-lane sprint course.

Locals from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley are expected to vie against visitors from the Mid-North Coast, Central Coast and Sydney.

“The Linwood Throsby Gift Relay is distinctive within the Australian rowing landscape as it provides a relay experience, rarely seen in the sport,” said McLeod, who is heading into his 22nd year as NRC president.

“With $1000 in prizemoney – donated by Anne Sharkey & Associates – along with a historic trophy up for grabs, Newcastle Grammar School, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Newcastle University and Nepean will battle it out on Throsby Creek.

“I’m really excited about the event and would like to thank the City of Newcastle for its co-hosting support.

“We are the only inner-city rowing club in Newcastle; and enjoy bringing some colour to the creek each year.

“We’ve garnered fabulous backing from the City of Newcastle, along with sponsorship from Port of Newcastle and several other organisations.

“It’s wonderful they all get behind our club.”

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was equally optimistic about the biggest one-day rowing regatta in the region.

“The City of Newcastle is delighted to support this fantastic sporting event,” she said.

“We wish all competitors from across the Hunter good luck, including Newcastle Rowing Club in its bid to make a spectacular comeback.

“It is a great event for Newcastle with competitors and their supporters converging on Throsby Creek.”

“We are very proud to be a part of the Throsby Creek, Linwood and Carrington communities, too,” McLeod added.

“It will provide an exciting spectacle in a somewhat unusual year.”

The Linwood Throsby Gift Relay final starts at approximately 10.40am.

For more information, visit the Newcastle Rowing Club website.