Melbourne will row out of the South station and Sydney out of the North station in both men’s and women’s races following the Australian Boat Race traditional coin toss this morning.
Meeting in front of the boathouses between MUBC and Yarra Yarra, the first coin toss decided stations (lanes) for the men’s Australian Boat Race. As is custom, the visitors had the opportunity to call heads or tails and Sydney Captain Will Raven chose heads. With Melbourne men’s representative Edward Walmsely looking on, the coin came down tails and it was the home crew’s choice for stations. Melbourne chose South.
Next up, Sydney’s women’s Captain Dyone Bettega had to decide if she’d follow Will Raven’s call of heads, or take the chance on tails. She chose heads as well, and much to the delight of Melbourne’s Captain India McKenzie, the coin again fell tails. Another coin toss in favour of the hosts and the Melbourne women will also row out of South station.
Melbourne coach Franz Imfeld was equally pleased with the little bit of luck that was the coin toss.
“North or South, it doesn’t really matter. Each has its advantages at different parts of the river. It’s good to have an early win under our belts – even if it’s only the coin toss” said the debutant Australian Boat Race coach.
It had also been agreed pre-coin toss that the Melbourne and Sydney College crews would row out of the same stations as their respective Australian Boat Race crews. Hence, Melbourne’s Ormond College crews will row out of South station and Sydney’s St Andrews (men’s) and Wesley (women’s) will row out of North station.
With the coin toss completed, both Universities have now locked down their crews for Sunday’s showdown.
India McKenzie and Dyone Bettega will captain the Melbourne and Sydney women’s crews respectively, whilst Jackson Harrison and William Raven lead the men’s crews.
Olympic experience includes Melbourne’s Sarah Banting and Josh Booth, whilst Sydney boasts Cameron Girdlestone and Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff.
The 2017 Australian Boat Race is on this Sunday 22 October with racing starting from 9.00am.