All posts by Karen Doggett

Ballarat and Nagambie Sprint Regattas

After a great weekend at training camp on the Yarra on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd January, rowers, coaches and coxes were ready to test their skills at sprint races.

On alternating weekends from the camp weekend the RRC trailer has been making hauls up highways to get boat to regattas.

The first sprint regatta was endured at Lake Wendouree, Ballarat on Sunday 5th February. Now Ballarat is a regional centre with lots of attractions to bring visitors. The very picturesque lake is bang in the middle of town. So any reasonable person could be enticed into wandering around its perimeter to take in the sights and sounds of a lake. But rowers have a much stronger sense of foreboding when entering the environs of the lake for a regatta. And so we encountered another day of violent winds tearing hats from heads, tipping tents over and generally threatening un-tethered boats with some airborne adventures.

Once crews got on the water and up to the starting line, they quickly realised they weren’t in rowing races, but in surf boat races! A hearty cheer to the coxes, who handled the inclement weather, and got their crew on the start line, and then over the finish line.

The wind was not all that was to be endured. A persistent rain storm descended and made the last few races a visual mystery as the mist of rain completely obliterated any view of boats after they left the floating pontoons.

Despite all that Ballarat threw at us, some crews took home some medals.

 Wins for RRC crews

Men’s D Grade Coxed Four - Allan, Jon, David, Laurent coxed by Stef
Men’s D Grade Coxed Four – Allan, Jon, David, Laurent coxed by Stef, with coach Dennis


Female C Grade Coxed Four - Ainsley, Karen, Geri, Michelle coxed by Schoolgirl supersub Kiara
Female C Grade Coxed Four – Ainsley, Karen, Geri, Michelle coxed by Schoolgirl supersub Kiara
Female C Grade Double Scull - Ainsley and Geri
Female C Grade Double Scull – Ainsley and Geri

The next regatta was at Nagambie, a lake created by a very determined politician (with a strong involvement in rowing!) to ensure ongoing business for a small country town. So the lake is very serviceable for rowers, but even successful politicians can’t guarantee the weather conditions to suit rowing.

On our visit on Sunday 19th February the weather was not best suited to our needs. But rowers are trained to tackle the situation they find themselves in. The start line umpires had good technique in getting all crews in a race up to the line together for quick starts.

Once again the skies opened in the latter part of the day and delivered a good amount of water. But just as quickly it all moved away and the sun shone down on us again.

A great day of racing was run with RRC having many crews in many races ranging from D to B grade. Some improvement in times for crews not getting over the line first and great times for other crews showing a real pick up in performance. A few medals made their way back down the Hume in RRC bags.

Wins for RRC crews

Winners are grinners! Nagambie Men’s D Grade Coxed Four, coxed by Stef, Stroked by Allan, followed by Jon, Dave and Laurent.
Winners are grinners!
Nagambie Men’s D Grade Coxed Four, coxed by Stef, Stroked by Allan, followed by Jon, Dave and Laurent.

The RRC rowers are very grateful to the people who organise their attendance at regattas from entering the crews in Rowing Manager, creating the boatloading plan, ensuring all crews are allocated the best boat available and have the right equipment. Not forgetting our BROs (boat race officials – Barry at Ballarat and Allan at Nagambie) volunteers that are required at all regattas we attend as a club. To the rowers, their attendance at boat loading and unloading, are pivotal activities to ensure the continuation of regatta attendance.

Well done everyone!!

By Anthea and Piyada

Yoga for Rowers- Starting Tuesday 21st Feb 6.30am

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 5.09.02 PMFrom Tuesday 21st February we will be offering weekly yoga classes at the boathouse.

  • Running from 6.30-7.30am (every Tuesday for 6 weeks).
  • $15 cash paid before the class starts (pay per class/per week – no 6 week commitment required up front)
  • Bring your own mat if you have one (club has a selection in the gym cupboards)

The classes will be focused around building core strength and developing overall flexibility with the main goal to balance out the intense training rowers do. A consistent yoga practice can create bodies more resilient to injuries and the long-term stress rowing and training for rowing puts on the body.

We hope this will be a popular training addition to your schedule and after 6 weeks we will decide whether to extend the classes. All practitioners MUST sign a waiver before commencing their first class and inform the instructor if they have any injuries, medical conditions or other things that might impact on yoga. So please ensure you arrive with plenty of time to sign the waiver and set up ready to start at 6.30am on Tuesday and have $15 cash (correct money appreciated).

For more information and what to expect watch this video clip, prepared by Therese (certified yoga teacher, controlled strength coach and founder and owner of The Inner Warrior) who will be running the classes.


Boathouse security

On Tuesday morning, whilst some members were out rowing some cash was stolen from the MLC office.   Apparently thieves have been targeting the boatsheds, with reports of computers and money being taken from other clubrooms.
Please can I remind you to close all doors behind you and ensure you keep the change room doors locked at all times and if you are erging alone in the gym please keep the gym door shut for your safety.
If you see someone you do not recognise acting suspiciously and you feel safe to do so ask them who they are and what they are doing. Please report any suspicious people to the committee – preferably with a photo if you have your phone on you and it’s safe to take a pic !!!

Regatta Fees

We hope the following information assists members’ understanding about regatta fees
1.  Seat Fees – are charged by RV and on-charged on the basis of regatta entries approved by the Head of Rowing.  If rower changes are made subsequent to finalisation of entries the rower may negotiate a refund with the replacement rower, not with the club.
2.  Overhead Costs include:
  • tow vehicle hire (if applicable)
  • tow vehicle fuel
  • bookkeeper’s invoicing costs (new this year)
3.  Overhead Fees per Rower are estimated prior to the regatta and divided by the number of rowers entered by Richmond
  • the member who tows the boat trailer is exempted from overhead fees in lieu of vehicle wear and tear, tolls, and extra time/responsibility for towing club property
  • members who only cox (ie don’t row) are exempted from overhead fees
  • any trailer charges to other clubs (as known at the time invoices are raised) will be deducted from overhead costs on-charged to our members
4.   Accommodation Costs (where organized by the club) will be totaled and divided by the number of people using the accommodation.
Please contact the Treasurer if you have any questions.

HoTY 2016

Head of the Yarra has been and gone for another year with close to 2300 competitors in 255 eights taking part in the 8.6km race up the Yarra from Birrarung Marr to Hawthorn Rowing Club. The club had an impressive number of members participating across the day either rowing in our club and composite crews or coxing some of the visiting crews. This year we entered 2 of our own crews but had representation in another 6 boats across the day.

As one of the first races in the morning, the Richmond D Grade women’s eight put in a solid effort down to Hawthorn despite the difficult traffic conditions and we managed a clean run down past Big Bend before running into trouble. The rowing gods however turned against us but thanks to Mike’s expert coxing, both the boat and crew all made it to the finish line in one piece despite a few knocks and collisions along the way. With a last minute sub, our crew consisted of Kathy Macrow, Karin Bouvin, Vicki Brennan, Jodie Naisbitt, Dana Hill, Piyada Pravitharangkul, Gabriella Ibbott, and Yash Vegi.

After a spot of lunch and a hydrating glass of wine or two, we pottered across to the Yarra to watch other crews and wait for the Men’s D Grade eight to appear around the bend. After a few false alarms (seriously how many clubs have yellow zooties) the men’s crew coxed by Shern powered past us looking far more refreshed than I had felt at the same point. The men’s crew was made up of Laurent Demay, George Frederiksen, Jon Roberts, Allan Randall, Charlie Burke, Andrew Yuile, Guy Ayres, Michael Calvert and David Micallef.


Keeping with Richmond tradition, after the river reopened the women’s eight’s rowed back in costume- this year’s theme being animal fancy dress. Thanks to everyone who participated in getting all Richmond crews on the water and to our volunteer/cheersquad BRO, Stef Dudczig and some pretty great photography credits Tim Evans and Michael Gehling.


Dana Hill

The time is near for new year…

Celebrate New Years Eve with great friends and unrivalled views of the city’s midnight fireworks from our very own clubhouse deck.


We will be opening the doors and the bar of the boathouse at 8pm on NYE to ring in 2017.

Tickets are just $40 for members and $50 for non members with all proceeds going directly to the clubs fundraising goal of new gym equipment. Tickets are on sale now so purchase them before you miss out!



Melbourne Head 2016

Richmond again showed their worthy credentials at the Melbourne Head regatta. Variously referred to as the “Head Racing Championships of Australia”, and a curtain raiser for the Head of the Yarra on the following week, the race nevertheless is a unique opportunity in the season to demonstrate our prowess on home “surf”, among an enlarged competition from across Australia.img_8492

Richmond claimed line honours in the mixed and masters categories, with Lindsey & Dennis Beck, Rochelle Stokes and Michael Gehling (yours truly) outsmarting the competition in what was meant to be a casual, social quad… with that intention overridden by competitive spirit, in typical Richmond style. Speaking of typical Richmond style, Carolyn Manning overcame a fierce field, as well as a tangle with an octuple scull, to take line honours too!


The day started with the Men’s Eight raising the curtain on their Head of the Yarra appearance the following week, with solid efforts backed up by Allen Randall, George Frederiksen, Jon Roberts and Laurent Demay in the Club Four competition and Michael Calvert, Andrew Yuile, Dave Micallef, Charlie Burke in the Club coxed quad, with Shern Timmins and Sarah Houghton expertly navigating down the familiar waters. James Attenborough, Ka Ki Wong, Todd Marshall and Alexander Reid also joining the Quad race, admirably rounding out the field in their first ever regatta. Andy Harrison and Ivan Gushchin also represented us well, coming mid-field in the single sculls.


Richmond’s masters’ men also kept the competition on their toes, with Leigh Sullivan, Guy Ayres, Denis Henry and Phil Munson, coxed by Chris Sullivan, cruising over the line with a solid mid-field placing.

Richmond was well represented by its female contingent in the Double Sculls, with Stef Dudczig & Sarah Houghton, Ally Dejaegher & Suzie Mullner with Jodie Naisbitt and Vicki Brennan all competing in the doubles. The club coxed quad sculls competition also saw a great turnout from Richmond. Gabriella Ibbott, Dana Hill, Karin Bouvin and Da Pravitharangkul, coxed by Stef Dudczig, fought off Suzie Mullner, Morgan Chandler, Ally Dejaegher and Chris Sullivan, coxed by Laurent Demay. Sophia Robinson, Ainsley Raggatt, Karen Doggett and Lisa Ortu, coxed by Mike Numa, took out an admirable third over the 3.5k course.


Afterwards, Richmond threw open the doors, and the bar, for a post regatta barbecue. Thirsty rowers, old hands and new friends lapped up the view, rounding out a beautiful, clement and successful day for the race and the club.

img_8473By Michael Gehling

Some more good news

Were you at the club on Saturday? It was the perfect day for soaking up the sun, enjoying Melbourne Head and a BBQ on our great deck (regatta report to come). Just as we have been making use of our beautiful venue you may have noticed that it is a popular spot for private function hire. The hard work of our facilities co-ordinator Lucy, and the rest of the committee, has seen the club as a whole benefit from the income generated from the use of our boathouse since its redevelopment. We are very happy to reinvest some of the profits made from the facility back into the rowing program and as a result have placed an order for a BRAND NEW Sykes boat!

The new Kevlar bow coxed quad/four Mould 10 will be a top of the range addition to our fleet and with 6 quads on the water at the same time on Saturday it will no doubt be a useful resource. It comes with quick release riggers enabling adaptability and easy storage on our new racking system. It will not arrive until the new year but in the meantime we are calling upon you, the members to suggest a name for it. Please submit all suggestions to and the committee will choose a winner, whether it be in honour of a person or a creative novel suggestion.

As we move into the busy Summer and festive season we will be continuing to book out our boathouse for functions to ensure we maximise our potential for income to enable us to continue to build RRC and we thank all members for their understanding. Please make sure you are aware of what is going on by checking our online calendar.

Dimboola double debacle

I trundled up to Dimboola or at least Horsham to start with on Friday for the weekend’s 750m sprint races at Dimboola on the Saturday and the 6.2km Head of the Wimmera on the Sunday.  Little did we realise what the weather gods had in store for us in an area of Victoria which was so incredibly drought affected, the regatta was cancelled for a number of years and the weekend subsequently brought forward because of the greedy Melbourne Head stealing their ‘traditional’ weekend (thanks for that bit of helpful info Dave).  Leaving Melbourne on perhaps one of the first truly ‘summer’ days with a beautiful 24deg, we, or rather I cruised along thinking it would be similar ‘warm’ weather over the weekend.  A couple of hours later saw me driving through torrential rain while further north and west hailstones the size of golf balls plummeted down.  Some of us stayed in a motel in Horsham and others pitched tents or a swag at the campsite next to the rowing club in Dimboola.

Saturday morning saw the rowing action begin.  First off were Jon and Tim gliding down the water in their C Pair.  Next up saw the Women’s D Quad (Jen, Chris, Morgan and Susanna) with Denis H coxing, just miss a win in their heat and then Andrew and Dave both win their heats of their D Single.
The Women’s Master’s Four (Karin, Morgan, Chris and Susanna) coxed by Denis H were so keen to get on the water for their race, they arrived a bracket early along with their two competitors, which allowed plenty of time for the other crews to sing Morgan Happy Birthday.  If only she was turning a lot older we wouldn’t have given away a 15sec handicap!  Really great row for a crew who had not rowed sweep for some time, to zoom past the boat with the 9sec head start.  The Men’s D Four saw some fierce racing action between two Richmond crews after both boats qualified for the B final.  An early lead to the crew of Leigh, Guy, Denis H and Phil (cox Chris) had them thinking they were run away winners, but the ‘younger’ boat of Dennis B, Jon, Tim and Laurent (cox Shern) were just warming into things and with 100m to go the boats were neck and neck.  The younger crew managed to come away with the win by 0.3sec on this occasion.  A tight turnaround together with the fact the program was already 50mins behind schedule meant the women’s crew were ‘late to start’ for their Quad final and unfortunately missed out.
It was around this point the weather really started to show what it had in store.  The mornings gusty wind began to pick up and really started blowing boats around all over the course. Dimboola is not a particularly big rowing club and so does not have a very big landing.  Races were rowed in brackets with each bracket launching and sitting or rather becoming entangled in the marshelling area, waiting for the previous bracket to come through the course, before making their way down the course to the start line.  The wind played havoc with the boats, entangling them, blowing them onto and down the course and blowing boats into the bank, trees, reeds and logs.  The wind was strong and it was cold, with limited shelter on the riverbank and absolutely no shelter on the water.  It was about this time the birthday girl Morgan set out for her first race in a double with Susanna.  After missing the earlier quad final, we were eager to get on the water.  And then we sat, and waited and became entangled and drifted onto the course.   Finally we could make our way down the course, toward the start line, or that’s what we had in mind.  It’s probably important to mention that the finish line was just up from the marshelling area and by early afternoon a fairly large crowd of enthusiastic supporters and rowers had assembled to watch the racing action.  We were set to take off and disaster struck.  Two fairly inexperienced rowers up against the gale force winds.  Oars went all over the place, the boat tipped one way, hands grabbed the boat, then reached for the oars again then the boat tipped the other way, all happening very fast but in slow motion until……..finally……. we……. steadied, regained control and our balance and stayed upright.  We did receive a very big round of applause and later on many handshakes and pats on the back for a very big save!  With our adrenaline pumping we made our way to the start and managed to get through the race dry, albeit with one more mid race wobble.  Thankfully no photographic evidence of this exists, however I’m sure it sits pretty firmly in both of our minds.
The Sib Tiger was due to go out for a row by Karin and Chris’s replacement (Imogen from Wenty).  Alas, no go for the Sib Tiger as we had left the riggers back home in the boatshed.  Oops.  So Karin and Imogen lined up in the Sexy and off they went.  I think they had a much better plan by heading down a bracket early, but got very cold at the start line.  Well done to Karin for her first race in a double as well.
The two Men’s Four crews were at it again with action in the Masters category.   Would the ‘younger’ crew get on top again or could the ‘older’ crew get the win.  All I know is there was a lot of banter flying around at dinner that night about 6 seconds this and 7 seconds that.  The older guys came out on top on this occasion.  Well done to both crews and a great way to get those competitive juices flowing with a bit of friendly racing action.  The ‘older’ boat (Leigh, Guy, Denis H, Phil and cox Chris) got the win and and medal for their efforts.
Well done also to some of the other crews in action for Richmond, the Men’s quad (Andrew, Dave, Leigh and Guy), mixed double for Mike G and Lindsey and Men’s double for Mike G and Dave.  Mixed Quads were raced at the end of the day, by which time everybody was hungry and tired and very much wind swept.  By now it was well after 7 for the scheduled 6pm races, where a couple of Richmond crews had great rows under very difficult conditions against very young crews.
The campers stayed at the club for the Dimboola barbeque where snags were tossed around with stories of Tokyo Olympics.  The rest of us headed out a for Thai, where the waiter thought she had finished feeding us not one, not two, but three times, announcing to the table that she had never served a table of our size so much food.
Sunday morning saw 4 Richmond crews head out under difficult conditions for the Head of the Wimmera.  It was cold, windy and raining.  After a quick briefing all boats made their way down the course to the start line.  The Mixed Quad (Dennis, Mike G, Rochelle, Lindsey) had a good row.

The Women’s D Quad (Jen, Karin, Morgan and Susanna) received some excellent coaching (coxing) by Sue Andrews which made for a very enjoyable, educational and smooth row, with each of us coming away with a number of new tips; Tai Chi hands, turning cogs and fast feet to name a few.

The D Men’s Four (Andrew, Jon, Dave and Laurent) coxed by Shern, had a good solid row enjoying the scenery along the Wimmera, while also avoiding the various logs and trees and for Shern, trying to stay warm or rather, not cold and wet.

The Masters Four (Leigh, Denis H, Guy and Phil) had a great row and I’m told flew along, all perhaps in anticipation of a medal at the end until about 2 km to go.  Maybe Christine was a little too excited or she was cold and wet like the rest of us and wanted to finish quickly, but her mighty strength snapped the steering cable and so the guys worked hard to get around the last couple of corners before making it home.

Sunday was a great day of rowing and I think all would agree that it was a fabulous course.  To be completely honest, the weather didn’t even factor into it on Sunday, because we had such an enjoyable row.
A good drive back, through some more driving rain, where I gave Dave a few anxious moments as passenger in my car saw us all assemble for a quick unloading.  All over for another weekend and if as I’m told by good authority (Dave told me one of the guys at Dimboola told him) they have never had weather like that before, I’m sure everyone will be back there again next year.
By Susanna Mullner

Australian Indoor Rowing Championships 2016 – South Geelong – 12th November

It all started with accepting Sarah F. as ergo-buddy on the concept2 logbook homepage. Who would have known that this would end up in a team relay event at this year’s Australian Indoor Rowing Championships?

A couple of weeks ago she asked me, if I would like to join her team for a 2000 m-mixed team relay. Well, I though why not, it’s just 500 m each and I agreed to erg along with her and Nic. We also quickly found our fourth person and welcomed George to our team.

As they do not stop the timer after every 500 m, we agreed on practicing the changeovers and quickly figured out a good technique for that. Some of you might have seen us on a Sunday morning playing around with foot straps and practicing falling off an ergo efficiently.

The race Saturday came and I found myself catching a bus (I didn’t really know existed) from Chapel Street to Footscray, where Nic and Sarah picked me up and we made our way to Barwon Rowing Club in Geelong.

After a friendly welcome, it was already time for warming up. Nic was first, competing in a 2000 m race and he did a great job. Sarah was next, though as she was the only one in the 1000 m category, I agreed to row in parallel to motivate her with a bit of competition. After some school boy races, it was time for George to row his 500 m, where he smashed the other rower.


And then it was time for our team relay event. As we were the only team signed up, 4 others spontaneously formed a mixed team and even four of the school boys who rowed the 2000 m event earlier, joined the “fun”. With being flanked by the other teams on each side, it was time for me to get on the erg, set the drag factor and get ready for my 500 m. The screen informed us to stop warming up, to get ready and off we all went.

100 m: Yay! I can do this! This is easy!

200 m: Seriously just 200 m?

250 m: Half way through… This is going to hurt!

300 m: Just keep counting to 10!

400 m: I think my lungs are bursting!

450 m: Nearly there… 10 on the legs!

The change over at 500 m went smoothly and it was on Sarah to give everything for the next 500 m. I guess she had similar things in mind that I had. After she successful finished her piece, Nic took over and we slowly gained on the leading School boys and left the Mixed Masters Team far behind us. But we still had our secret weapon waiting. After Nic did a great job, it was on George to hunt down the School boys, which were still in front of us. He once again proved his strength and we just finished less than a second behind the boys with a fantastic time of 6:36.7.


We now need to wait for final results, which will be announced at the end of November. Then we will know our place in Australia, and if we even managed to get some bling J Fingers crossed!

By Stefanie Dudczig