JOHNS River rower Tess Gerrand is London bound, after her women’s eight-plus team qualified to compete next weekend.
It has been a whirlwind adventure since late February when, three weeks before the National Championships, Rowing Australia announced that it was “considering” putting together a women’s eight.
The announcement came after three years of not supporting a team.
Gerrand had trialled for the sculling squad last year - but was advised in December that she missed the Olympic training squad.
However, after the opening came for the W8+ and her excellent performances at the National Championships in Perth, she sustained herself through a series of selection trials to be named in the team, which then had to place first or second in the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Lucerne on May 23.
The self-titled “motley crew” won the race and has spent the past two months training in Varese, Italy.
The Australians will be one of seven countries competing in the W8+ - USA (world champs since 2008), Canada, Romania, Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany.
Gerrand’s mother Daintry will be watching in London when she rows in the heats on Sunday.
“There’s a few of us going,” she said. “Her father is staying home, but I’m meeting our son Fletcher over there.
Fletcher is in the army, and has returned from service in Afghanistan.
Should her team make it through the heats, Gerrand will row in the semi finals next Tuesday.
The final is set down for 7.50pm on August 2.
Gerrand began her rowing career with Manning River Rowing Club.
As a schoolgirl, she was national single scull and double scull champion in the under-17s and under-19s.
She then went on to study at Yale University in the USA where she helped the Varsity 8 win the National Collegiate Championships three out of four years.
The college also won two world championships at the Boston “Crash Bs” World Indoor Rowing Championships.