LAST week top rowers and their guests gathered for lunch at the Rocks, Sydney, to set the fields for the Kings and the Queens cups — keenly contested events on the Aussie rowing calendar.
The cups, for racing with men's and women's eight-member crews plus cox, are contested during the annual Interstate Regatta, which this year will be held on Saturday, March 23, as part of the international event.
The battle for the best Australian state dates back to 1919 when the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force eight won the King's Cup at Henley-on-Thames.
A petition to return the cup to Australia as a perpetual trophy was successful and last month a ceremony to mark this occasion was held at the Regatta Centre, Castlereagh Road, Penrith.
Visitors can see the plaque at the mid-level of the grandstand at the western end.
A record number of more than 2200 athletes will be racing in 110 events this month, about 3600 "seats", with the under 17 women's single scull event drawing the most number of entries.