Windy University Boat Races in Sydney

Unfortunately, this nice poster has a mistake: the first race between Sydney and Melbourne universities was rowed 1870, not 1860.

27 October 2016

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

The annual Boat Races between Sydney and Melbourne Universities, for both men and women, were held on a blustery 4.3 km-long course in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Sunday. In the winning men’s Sydney crew were two Olympic medallists, Cameron Girldlestone and Sasha Belonogoff, who took the silver in the quadruple sculls at Rio.

‘I thought Rio had the toughest conditions Sasha and I had ever faced, but this took the cake. It was more like a race of survival than a race of the fittest and strongest,“ Girldlestone said, according to an article on FISA’s website.

Sydney’s men now have six victories against Melbourne’s one.

The women’s race was easily won by Melbourne University, which has been victorious in all the women’s races so far. In the Melbourne crew were two Rio Olympians, Jennifer Cleary (women’s quadruple sculls) and Sarah Banting (coxswain of the women’s eight).

Banting said, according to, ‘We put a little bit of pressure on ourselves but we get the wind and cold all the time down in Melbourne, so we were probably more in our natural habitat than the Sydneysiders.’

The first time Sydney and Melbourne met for an informal race was on the Yarra in 1860. The first ‘modern’ races between these universities’ male and female rowers occurred in 2010.

Read more about the 2016 races here.

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