Chipper’s Corner

2017 World Rowing Championships Preview.

In any World Championships in the year following an Olympics, there is always a greater element of the unknown as a new generation of athletes make their first entry into the senior ranks. The 2017 AUS team is no exception with perhaps half of our team making their debut at a senior World Championships, to be held in Sarasota, Florida starting on 24 September.
After competing at the World Cup 2 & 3 regattas at Poznan & Luzern respectively, we have much to look forward to with our new look AUS team.

The women’s four (Molly Goodman, Sarah Hawe, Kat Werry & Lucy Stephan) will start favourites after winning at both World regattas, as will the men’s four (Alex Hill, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves & Josh Hicks) who won convincingly in Poznan before finishing 2nd in the 8 at Luzern.

The women’s quad scull is a new look combination (Caitlin Cronin, Rowena Meredith, Gen Horton & Leah Saunders) are well in the running for a medal after 3rd at Luzern, & 3 of the crew winning silver at the World U23 championships.

The women’s double scull combination of Maddie Edmunds & Olympia Aldersey features 2 of our most experienced athletes returning from the Rio Olympic Team and after 3rd & 4th place finishes at the World Cups, they will be well in the medal hunt.

On the men’s side, the 8 will race in a new combination from the World Cups. With a number of senior debutants they have shown they have the top speed to match most boats but their rhythm will be the key. How they back themselves against the new World’s Best time holders in Germany will be exciting to watch.

The same will apply to the sweep reserves racing in the coxed pair (Angus Widdicombe, Darcy Wruck, & James Rook), a new boat class for this crew at their 1st World Championships.

The new men’s double scull combination of Luke Letcher & David Watts features one returning Olympian and a 2016 U23 World Champion in the 4x coming together. With 4th & 10th places at the World Cups in very deep & competitive fields, they have shown potential if not consistency so it will be interesting to see their progress.

In the lightweight events, AUS has selected 2 4x combinations. The women’s lightweight quad scull (Alice Arch, Amy James, Georgia Miansarow & Georgia Nesbitt) will be in the running after winning the lighty 4x at Luzern and also reaching the final of the heavy 4x as well. The Men’s lightweight 4x combination (James Kerr, Red Matthews, Sean Murphy & Hamish Parry) is racing in very tight field and the margin for error is very small. Our boat was 5th in Luzern about a length off 3rd and so will feel they are well in the hunt.

In the para rowing, it will be great to see whether Erik Horrie will be able to regain his world title from 2015 in the PR1 Men’s single. After silver at the Paralympics in Rio, Erik appears to be setting himself for another campaign and so he will be hard to beat.

Of the boat classes that Australia is not competing, the highlight races appear to be:
– The Women’s 8 which has been a virtual US benefit for many years looks to be far more open this year with Romania, Great Britain & New Zealand putting together very strong performances. It’s hard to believe that the US wont be able to select a strong response on their home water but it looks like change is coming.

– In the absence of our own Kim Brennan, the women’s single scull looks a lot more of an open book with the Swiss sculler Jeannine Gmelin & Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig sharing the World Cup wins, however there are plenty of athletes who will consider themselves a chance.

– The men’s single scull looks to be at the mercy of New Zealand’s Robbie Manson after setting a phenomenal new world’s best time of 6:30 at World Cup 2. Just consider the fact that the GPS Data showed he never went slower than 1:40 pace for the entire 2K at Poznan.

– For a technical masterclass, take a look at Jeremie Azou & Pierre Houin of France in the Men’s lightweight double scull.

– It will be exciting to see the Olympic double scull champions, the Sinkovic brothers move to the pair and see how they line up against the Kiwis who beat them first up at Luzern.

Keep your eyes open for live streaming from Sarasota on the website.


Chipper (David Colvin) brings a tremendous understanding and experience from his time as an elite coxswain, having coxed the Australian Men’s VIII at the 1992 Olympics, as well as numerous World Championship-winning crews in all classes of boats. Chipper is a ten time King’s Cup winning coxswain, having coxed the crew between 1985 and 2000.

Chipper is a Senior coach at Mercantile Rowing Club, and since 2002 has developed some of Australia’s best Under 23, lightweight and senior women rowers, including coaching the Victorian women’s VIII. As a result, David is one of the most highly regarded coaches in the country. His technical knowledge is second to none, and he is a constant sounding board for rowers and coaches alike.