BERKELEY – Members of California women’s rowing are traveling to Sydney, Australia to open their season with a pair of high profile regattas March 24 – 30.
The Golden Bears begin their competition across the world at the Sydney International Rowing Regatta, where they will field boats in four races, the U23 W2-, U23 W4-, Open W8+ and Open W4-. The competition is set to run from March 24 – 27.
Following the conclusion of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta, four Golden Bears – seniors Kara Kohler, Rosie Popa and Agatha Nowinski, and sophomore Kendall Chase – will have the very unique opportunity of representing the United States at the World Rowing Cup March 28-30. The four Bears will field two boats in the W2- and compete against Australia, China, New Zealand and Canada.
“This is unprecedented for a college team to compete in the World Rowing Cup and we are honored to represent the United States, O’Neill said. “It’s a great opportunity for U.S. rowing and a great opportunity for Cal. These four women are clearly on the development track for the U.S. National Team and this will be a great opportunity for them.”
O’Neill, who has served as a coach for the U.S. U23 National Team before and will again this year, and all four Cal rowers have extensive experience on the international level. They have competed for their junior teams and U23 national teams previously. Kohler represented the United States at the World Rowing Championships in South Korea this past summer, competing in the W4-.
Following a competitive off-season where the Bears had to meet an erg standard, 10 rowers and a coxswain were selected to compete in the Sydney International Rowing Regatta.
Kohler, Popa, Nowinski and Chase will be joined by Cara Bohmann, Jacinta Edmunds, Paparangi Hipango, Ingvild Roenningen, Charlotte Siering, Inger Kavlie and coxswain Lindsay Meltz in Australia.
“We have never done a foreign tour before so this is very exciting for the program,” O’Neill said. “First and foremost, we are looking at this as a training tip. Our goals are towards the end of the season in terms of doing well at the NCAA Championships. This is going to be a training trip. Everyone is racing in two or three events. It has provided extra motivation in training during the winter, which was great to see. There were a few individuals that clearly stepped up.”
With the distance, the Bears will have some logistical challenges, but they are ready to get the competition underway.
“It worked out well from a timing standpoint that this regatta fell over our spring break so we don’t have to miss school,” O’Neill said. “It is a long distance and we will have to rent equipment and will be training in new surroundings which we will have to adjust to. There are a lot of unknowns. It will be a great first run through four our varsity eight competing in the open eight.”
Check CalBears.com over the next week for results and updates on the Bears’ trip to Australia.