Chance for young competitors

ROWING Tasmania state pennant 5 returns to Lake Barrington this weekend.

Recent strong winds caused damage to the starting pontoon and some lane marking buoy lines, and the start pontoon will remain out of service.

Races will be shortened by a couple of hundred metres from the usual 2km distance.

Rowers are moving into the business end of the season with state championships coming up in late February, to be followed by the national championships in late March.

Some of the elite rowers are also due to compete at the NSW state championships in mid-February.

National senior squad members will be missing from this regatta due to World Cup selection trials being held in Sydney at the same time.

This opens up the senior single sculls to competition between under 23 rowers Sam Volker (Bucks) and Erik Rowan (Huon), with senior rower Taylor Wilcynski (Mersey) showing steady improvement in his comeback season.

The women's event sees Huon lightweights Sarah Hawe and Eve Mure pitted against Tamar's Ciona Wilson. Promising juniors such as Sandy Bay's Louisa Stewart and Georgia Moehler, Anneka Reardon (Lindisfarne) and Esther Kerr (New Norfolk) will be keen to pit themselves against these experienced rowers.

Huon and Buckingham have entered a combined crew in the men's senior eight.

This talented crew is made up of Kings Cup and youth eight squad members and should be too strong for North Esk, Tamar and University.

These four crews should outclass school crews, where Hutchins should lead the way from Scotch Oakburn and Friends.

The women's senior eight should be dominated by the undefeated Buckingham crew led by the experience of Lucy Jordan and Laura Morris.

Once again the regatta is dominated by entries in junior events at under-19 and under-17 levels.

In other news the state squads held a training camp last weekend.

This is the first time in a number of years that Tasmania has embarked on a dedicated campaign to compete in the interstate regatta. There is strong competition among the lightweight men for seats in the Penrith Cup crew which will go into the regatta as hot favourites and continue Tasmanian dominance in this event.

The men's Kings Cup squad is looking strong and with some more training should be competitive this year.

There are big hopes for the youth eight crews with both men's and women's squads containing a number of talented junior rowers. Both crews will enter the regatta expecting a medal.