World class rowing comes home to Hamilton Reach

27 September 2021

The Three Mile Race on September 4 attracted a 300-strongcrowd and 90 rowers in five mens and five womens crews.

The men were vying to win the Lord Mayor’s Challenge while the women were chasing glory for a first in the Lady Mayoress Challenge.

Organiser Dr Michael Toon said this was the third time the event had been held after it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

“It was very difficult to negotiate with the unpredictability of the public health measures,” he said.

“The fact we even got the race up and running, let alone as successful as it was, was a great achievement. A lot of people were exposed to the spectacle of rowing and that was great.”

Four Mens VIII and four Womens VIII crews from Brisbane went up Brisbane trumps the Gold Coast in rowing against one mens and one womens crew from the Gold Coast.

Dr Toon said the race started at Pinkenba and finished at North Shore Riverside Park, Hamilton Reach. It is a development event for young oarsmen and women in Queensland with the potential to represent the State in the annual Interstate Regatta and interstate titles such as the King’s and Queen’s cups.

It was sponsored by Frasers Property Australia, developers of Hamilton Reach. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who attended the event with his wife, Nina, said it was fantastic to see the return of the annual Three Mile Race to the Brisbane River.

“The race is not only an acknowledgement of Australia’s impressive rowing history, it is a great way to get residents and visitors to enjoy our city’s beautiful river. I hope this event grows and becomes a real drawcard for Brisbane,” he said.

“As we sprint towards the Brisbane2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I’m confident that the Three Mile Race will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of local athletes.”

Dr Toon is hopeful that rowing as a sport will become more popular following the Olympic wins in Tokyo and in the leadup to Brisbane hosting the Olympics.

“There’s a big problem here where a high number of rowing athletes drop out of the sport after school as there’s just not the opportunity to compete in Queensland,” he said.

“After school we’d be lucky to get two big races a year (in Brisbane).We have to travel to other races interstate which becomes exhausting.

“We’re trying to create a competitive opportunity in Brisbane and we’re trying to link Brisbane rowing back to our history at Hamilton Reach where 100 years ago they would quite common lyrace the King’s Cup here.

By Judith Maizey | Republished from The Village News 

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