The pinnacle of the racing season arrived after weeks of on water training, ergos and circuits. The Victorian State Championships were held on March 3-4 this year on the ever-unpredictable waters of Lake Wendouree.
Squad training for the men’s and women’s crews started early this season, kicking off in earnest in December 2017 with a demanding training program overseen by Richmond’s Head Coach, Basil Amin.
Solid preparation paid dividends for all rowers who competed at the State Championships this year, with impressive individual and crew performances seen on both days of the competition.
The first day of racing saw Michelle Joy secure a convincing win in the D Final of the Open Single Scull event.
The women’s quad scull (Michelle Joy, Karen Doggett, Kate Dyball, Zoe Maxwell, coxed by Derek Begg) finished off their States campaign on a high. Keen to push the boundaries this year, the crew began their weekend of racing with a strong performance in the Open Coxless Quad Scull event. (The post race debrief with Basil about human stretching techniques to match the heights of the 6 ft. plus competition being (mostly) in jest).
The crew went on to secure a gold medal in the C Grade Coxed Quad Scull and silver in both the A Grade and B Grade Coxed Quad Scull events.
The men’s four (Allan Randall, Jon Roberts, Charlie Burke, John Carey coxed by Ally Dejaegher) added more silverware to the Richmond medal tally, with a nail biting performance in the D Grade Coxed Four. In a race which made for great viewing at the finishing line, the men finished less a canvass behind the winning Melbourne crew to claim a silver medal. The men went on to put in a good performance in the C Grade Coxed Four event later in the day.
The women’s quad (Edwina Griffiths, Shern Timmins, Jodie Naisbitt, Yash Vegi, coxed by Derek Begg) put in an impressive performance in the highly competitive D Grade Coxed Quad Scull event, finishing a close second in their heat and boat lengths ahead of nearest rivals, Footscray City and Hamilton & Alexandra.
Lindsey Brown and Morgan Chandler capped off a successful season at States, with strong performances in both the B Grade and C Grade Pair.
Sarah Houghton rounded out a successful racing season with second place in her heat of the C Grade Single Scull event – finishing a mere 0.7 seconds behind the winning boat. Sarah went through to the C Final and also raced the B Grade event.
With only a few practice rows under their belts in the weeks leading up to States, Rochelle Stokes and Edwina Griffiths and Andrew Yuile and Dennis Beck put in good performances in the D Grade Double Scull and the C Grade Pair, respectively.
It has been said that success is a journey, not a destination, and the 2018 season is a testament to the truism.
The rowers who represented Richmond at the State Championships achieved gains over the season as individual athletes and as crews. With many wins and close finishes in regattas in the weeks leading up to States and crews across the board stepping up to compete in divisions they had previously not thought possible – this season was a comprehensive success for Richmond Rowing Club.
For all this our thanks must go to those who worked tirelessly to make Richmond’s States campaign success a reality – especially our Head of Rowing, Tim Evans, Head Coach, Basil and Captain, Barry Campbell.
Thanks must also go to expert coxen’s Derek and Ally, who dedication and motivation each helped give their crews the winning edge this season.