ACT News

Lake Burley Griffin 50th anniversary marked with special rowing regatta

Lake Burley Griffin rang in its 50th anniversary weekend in style with thousands of people lining the shore   to get a glimpse of rowers in action.

Impeccable weather conditions welcomed the 44th annual Disher Cup Regatta held on Saturday beneath cloudless blue skies.

Battling it out for the celebrated prize were teams from the Australian National University, Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon.

Women's and men's single sculls and coxed fours were the first races for the day, followed by the premier race, the men's coxed eight, rowing for the Disher Cup.

Defending champions Australian National University won  the competition for the second year running.

Boat club president Nick Hunter said he was proud to celebrate the club's golden jubilee with a win on the water.

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"It was a pretty serious race because this year is the 50th anniversary of the ANU boat club," Mr Hunter said, adding it was the first rowing club in Canberra, starting just two days after the lake was filled.

The club invited former members who flew in from all over the world to celebrate the occasion, adding to the pressure on ANU rowers to win the cup.

"There was nervous anticipation certainly in the ANU camp, people understood the importance of it. Their pride was at stake, knowing there were a lot of alumni standing on the bank," Mr Hunter said.

The tense race of three kilometres began with ADFA pulling into the lead, however ANU was able to hold their form. The defending champions won the race, followed by ADFA and RMC.

Over the 44 years since the race began in 1971, ANU has won the cup 27 times.

Following the event, the prestigious Disher Cup was handed to the winning team for their moment of glory, but was quickly returned to safe keeping.

"The solid silver cup has now got a fairly historical value to it, so it's pretty well looked after," Mr Hunter said.

The women's coxed eight race was won by ADFA, as was the women's coxed four after RMC finished first but was disqualified.

The men's coxed four was won by RMC.

The single sculls were both won by ANU, Madeleine Farrar clinched the women's title while Francis Snelgar triumphed for the men.

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