UJ aims for gold in 2023 USSA Rowing Championship in Port Alfred

Ten South African universities’ rowing teams have descended to the small town of Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape Province to compete in this year’s University Sport South African (USSA) Rowing Championship from 7 to 9 September 2023. The boat race, which takes place at the Kowie River, promises to be a great showdown with many of the teams aiming for a podium finish.

This year, the UJ Rowing Club’s senior men’s A 8+ team recently participated in the International Rowing Regatta of University Eights – St Dujam at the University of Split in Croatia from 13 to 14 May 2023. On the opening day of the competition, the Orange Army (UJ) competed in the University Race, finishing in 4th position out of 13 entries.

Oxford University finished in first position with Cambridge University finishing as runners-up, while Imperial University placed in third place just ahead of UJ. Remarkably, UJ finished ahead of Korea University and the University of Split who finished in positions 5th and 6th, respectively.

The UJ Women’s Rowing Team consists of Louise Basson (Captain), Kiara Muldoon (Vice-President of the UJ Rowing Club), Paida Mapfuwa, Sisipho Mhlontlo, Thembelihle Tshuma, Jabulile Masando, Charlotte Cannone, and Sarah Hurst, with cox Daniel Basson.

“At the moment we have four novices on the boat. We know that it’s not going to be an easy competition, but we aim to bring some silverware. Overall, I think it’s going to be an interesting regatta because our UJ male counterparts will definitely finish on the podium.

“This is our first big SA schools competition and we look forward to a very competitive display out of the national rowing calendar for the universities participating. I’m proud of my crew because we have made some great advances with our techniques given the lack of experiences from our novices,” says captain Basson.

UJ Rowing Team with Coach Sizwe Ndlovu (in orange)
UJ Rowing Team with Coach Sizwe Ndlovu (in orange)

In the Men’s A team, coxed by Louise Basson, is Lyle Swanepoel, Caleb Haydock, Vince Jackson, Dane Walker, Lwazi Zwane, Rudy Bellengere, Daneil Basson and Lindo Ndlovu.

The Men’s B Team, also coxed by Louise Basson, comprises Ayabonga Klaas, Mlibo Ndzamela, Tshepo Mohale, Aphiwe Pono, Quinton Pieterse, Dan Doller, Fhulufhelo Tshivhula, and Lukholo Sibali.

“We are very excited to travel to Port Alfred to conclude our season for the year. I believe that we will put up a good performance and the results will speak for themselves. We are not focused too much on the results, but we will be following the training we have done throughout the year and I strongly believe that that plan will put us in good stead to finish on the podium. In 2022, we finished in 3rd place and this year we aim for the gold medal.”

The competition features ten (10) universities such as UJ, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of Pretoria, University of the Western Cape, Nelson Mandela University, Rhodes University, Fort Hare, Wits University, Walter Sisulu University.

UJ’s main potential competitors in the regatta is likely, according to captain Swanepoel, UP-Tuks, UCT and Stellenbosch.

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