Jess Morrison & Annabelle McIntyre in the Women’s Pair. Photo courtesy of Vera Bucsu / Rowing Australia.
AUSTRALIA’S powerful women’s rowing squad, which is based at the Hancock Prospecting Women’s Training Centre in Penrith, has signed off its Rowing World Cup campaign with a Gold Medal, as the ‘Women’s Pair’ continued to dominate in Lucerne, Switzerland at World Cup 111.
The Australian women added two Silver Medals, the Women’s Four and Women’s Single Scull, as well as a Bronze to the Women’s Eight, to complete another strong outing and take vital steps towards the World Rowing Championships in September.
After stepping out of the Olympic champion Women’s Four boat to focus on their aspirations as a Pair, Jess Morrison OAM and Annabelle McIntyre OAM have been in sublime form this season.
They were unbeaten in all rounds in both World Cup II and the Holland Beker regatta in Amsterdam, and did not relent in Lucerne. Annabelle said she and Jess knew rival crews would test them early but there was never any panic. After the initial pressure, their class and stamina would prove decisive.
“We knew that because it was a final, everyone was going to come out really hard and try to go with us. We stayed internal, focused on our race. If they were going to go with us, we were going to make them hurt for it. That was the plan,” Annabelle said.
The duo will join the Women’s squad and return to Australia ahead of the World Championships, where they will have the opportunity to book a spot for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
“We’ve learned something from every race and continue to hold ourselves to a high standard and keep looking to find more. I’m looking forward to continuing that when we get home,” Jess said.
The ‘Women’s Four’ of Giorgia Patten, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe, Lucy Stephan OAM produced another excellent race to claim Silver, whilst the 2022 World Championships Bronze medalist Tara Rigney won a Silver Medal in the ‘Single Sculls’, behind undefeated Dutch ace Karolien Florijn.
The ‘Women’s Eight’ of Lily Alton, Paige Barr, Georgie Gleeson, Olympia Aldersey, Georgie Rowe, Jacqueline Swick, Molly Goodman, Bronwyn Cox and Cox Hayley Verbunt won Bronze behind Great Britain and Canada.
Australia finished second overall in the 2023 World Rowing Cup rankings on 103 points, behind winners Great Britain (115) and ahead of the third-placed Swiss (95).