The 2012 World Under 23 Rowing Championships were held at Trakai in Lithuania between the 11 - 15 of July. Two South Australian's competed at the regatta including Olympia Aldersey in the Women's Quad scull and Alex Hill in the Men's Eight.
Oly teamed up with Rebekah Hooper (VIC), Madeleine Edmunds (QLD) and Jess Hall (QLD) to return home with a swag of accomplishments. The crew first competed at Henley Royal Regatta as a lead up event to the World Championships. During Henley the crew raced some crews which they would see at the World Championships and raced well to win 'The Princess Grace Challenge Cup' (Open Women's Quad).
The team then travelled to Lithuania to race the heat on the 11 July. The crew did not have a good start and fell behind the Germany crew who eventually won the race progressing them straight through to the A-Final and relegating Australia to the repechage. Oly and her crew raced the repechage on Thursday in ideal racing conditions and not only won the race to progress through to the A-Final but also beat the worlds best time. During the final the crew came up against Germany who once again jumped the Australian's at the start. However this time the Australian's rowed through the Germans with 600m to go to claim Australia's only gold medal of the competition.
Alex Hill and the men's eight had some problems to deal with during their campaign however were also successful. Matthew Coachran (WA) was sick when at Henley Royal Regatta and the crew were forced to find a replacement at the event. When travelling to Lithuania the crew's luck didn't change with another athlete becoming ill causing the crew to train as a 7 until another athlete went down leaving them unable to row. Once the crew returned to health and able to row they were able to reach some of their best boat speed however after the session an athlete collapsed adding to the hardship of the crew. When the competition started the crew was back to full health and during the heat they were able to place second to qualify directly to the A-Final also giving the crew a couple of days without racing which would only benefit their return to health. During the final the crew raced extremely well with only USA and Germany ahead of them. The Men's 8+ was the final event of the competition and the Bronze medal brought Australia's medal tally to 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
Oly and the U23 W4x winning at Henley
W4x racing in Lithuania
W4x on podium
Alex Hill and the U23 Men's 8+ training in Canberra