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Silver-studded crews announced for Australian Boat Race

13 October 2017
Two Olympic silver medallists rowing for Sydney men's team

The Australian Boat Race takes place on the Yarra River in Melbourne on 22 October. 

Students William Raven and Dyone Bettega have been named captains for the University of Sydney men's and women's teams set to compete in this year's Australian Boat Race on Sunday October 22.

Kicking off at 9am, crews from the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney will compete for state bragging rights, racing 4.1km from Burnley to the heart of the city of Melbourne, with hundreds of spectators expected to line the river bank.

26-year-old economics student William Raven, who also serves as the Vice-President of the Sydney University Boat Club, will both captain and cox the men’s team, who will be hoping for their fourth consecutive win.

For Raven, who will be competing in his seventh Australian Boat Race, the event is unique not just for its longer and more winding river course, but for the competition that plays out on the water.

“The race has many undertones, with a massive rivalry not only between the universities, but also between the boat clubs and the state rowing teams, with NSW and Victoria usually fighting it out for the top spot at the interstate regatta.”

The men's team will be bolstered by the inclusion of Olympians and University of Sydney alumni Cameron Girdlestone and Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff, members of the Australian men's quadruple sculls who took out silver at the  2016 Rio Olympics.

I look forward to being a part of the tradition for another year and I wish the crews all the best on race day.
Women's captain Dyone Bettega

For the University of Sydney women’s team, they will go out on October 22 hoping to break Melbourne’s eight-year long winning hold over the Bella Guerin Trophy.

19-year-old Bachelor of Medical Science student Dyone Bettega says the race is a classic example of putting one’s pride on the line in exchange for the honour of claiming the title.

“The event fosters friendship, teamwork and sportsmanship within each crew but more importantly, among competitors,” Bettega said.

“I look forward to being a part of the tradition for another year and I wish the crews all the best on race day.”

This year’s race will mark the first Australian Boat Race to run since the reopening of the Sydney University Boat Club’s boatshed, after the former shed was destroyed by fire in 2006.

The full crew lists for both the University of Sydney and the University of Melboure can be viewed here.

All the action will be streamed live at: www.australianboatrace.com.