All posts by Jon Roberts

Shiny new boats with deserving names

Thank you to everyone who made it down to the club on Saturday for our Melbourne Head BBQ. It was great to see so many people on water in the glorious weather and all those who came to support.

The great weather allowed us to show off and enjoy our great deck – thank you to everyone who helped organise the BBQ, prepared and cooked the food, served being the bar and generally helped out.

Once all the racing was over we celebrated with the naming of our three brand new boats. As announced at the recent AGM the Committee has purchased a coxless quad/four and a men’s and women’s double/pair. This continues our focus on expanding our fleet with new top of the range boats for our most competitive crews.

To name the boats the Committee sought the input of our members, from all the fantastic ideas it was clear there were three standout names to be recognised. All three have been involved with the club for many years as committee members, volunteers, coaches and rowers.

Our first boat to be named was the men’s double/pair. This boat is named after Anthea Amos. Anthea has been a member for 17 years, joining the club through our learn to row program. She has been an active rower for a number of year and always helps out at our ongoing learn to row sessions to pass on her wisdom. Anthea has also been a Committee member for 7 years, serving as Secretary for 6 years.

The next boat to names was the women’s double/pair named after Geraldine Goss. Geraldine has been a member for over 10 years. She is well-known as an accomplished rower, there is unlikely to be a regatta she hasn’t won and her name is well represented on the clubs honour boards. Whenever possible she also provides coaching to our single scullers to improve their skills. In addition she has been a committee member for 4 years, serving as Fundraising Coordinator and Vice President.

Finally, our new coxless quad/four was name for Barry Campbell. What can I say about Barry, as Captain he tirelessly works to maintain our fleet, source new equipment and improve the rowing shed. Whenever there is a problem with equipment he is there to provide advice. He is now in his 9th year as captain so far and continues to excel in the role. Also a competitive rower in his day, he has been seen on the water more frequently of late, possibly due to newer boats requiring less maintenance…..

Congratulations to Anthea, Geraldine and Barry. It is a well deserved honour for all of you, thank you for all your hard work on behalf of Richmond Rowing Club.

Dimboola Regatta and the Head of the Wimmera 2018

Having missed the Dimboola regatta and the Head of the Wimmera last year I was excited to be on the road for the long trip late on Friday afternoon. For those who don’t know Dimboola is a small country town almost halfway to Adelaide. The Richmond contingent of 13 made it to Horsham on Friday night for some food and refreshment allowing us to bring those who hadn’t been to Dimboola before up to speed with the regatta format.

The Dimboola regatta is a 750m sprint on the almost straight section of the Wimmera River that runs up to the Dimboola rowing club. It is only wide enough for 3 lanes and no transit lanes. The regatta is broken up into brackets of 5 or 6 races at a time every 20 minutes. Crews get on water and assemble just past the finish line, when the previous bracket is complete all crews row up past the start line and wait for their race to be called. Typical of country regattas there is a toggle system for stroke seat to hold to asset lining up boats at the start. With a bend just after the start and one just after the finish it make for an interesting row in singles, double and pairs.

We woke early in Horsham on Saturday morning for our 30 minutes’ drive to Dimboola to rig boats and get ready for the day. We had great conditions all weekend, 25 degrees on Saturday and 29 degree on Sunday, no rain and little wind.

Shern was first up in her single, the locals from Dimboola knowledge of the river allowed them to get away to a good start which although closing this over the race, not enough to win. The Mike’s (Gehling and Calvert) were next up successfully winning their heat in the D grade double with some tidy rowing, they came a close second to a powerful Argonauts crew in the final.

Next up was the Men’s Open 4, with Andrew Yuile unfortunately injured, myself, Allan and John Carey we were joined by our Head of Rowing Tim Evans. I was slightly concerned by Tim’s stretching and complaints of his sore back as we pushed off from the landing, but he said he would be fine. We lined up against an experienced Argonauts crew, with Stef coxing we flew off the start finding ourselves a quarter of a boat length ahead. Extending this slightly by half way, the other crew pushed for home reducing our lead, but with the encouragement of the crowd we lifted to take it home and win by 1.05 seconds.

With the unusual arrangements to get on and off water we decided to stay in the boat for the next 40 minutes until our race in the D grade 4. This time we were up against Argonauts and Melbourne crews. The previous race showed as we let Melbourne get away to a half boat lead, but regaining our composure we pushed through the last 250 meters to win by 4.77 seconds.

The races were coming thick and fast now, with Leigh, Denis, Guy and Phil, coxed by Christine up next in the Male Masters four, but unable to beat a fast Powerhouse crew.

After a quick lunch break and some more rigging of boats we could hear the local brass band starting their residency by the river for all the spectators. Up first was Shern and Stef in the double. After a strong start, they edged into the lead, only to be crashed into by one of their competition. The restart saw their competition again come towards them, with a clash of oars the Hamilton and Alexandra crew capsized their boat, but the third crew in the race had already took advantage and went on to win.

Next up was the men’s D grade 8, the scratch crew of Leigh, Guy, Tim, John C, Mike G, Mike C, Allan and myself, coxed by Christine made it comfortably through the heat with some composed and relaxed rowing. In the final we were up against Melbourne in one of the closest races of the day. Richmond getting a solid start and leading by almost half a length, both crews dug deep with Richmond holding off the fast finishing Melbourne boat by 0.85 seconds.

Mike G had a quick turnaround from the 8 into his single (which required a quick bit of rigging), in a close race he came in second. Myself and Allan zig zagged the unbuoyed course in the pair, beating Melbourne but unable to overcome the experienced Wentworth crew.

Last up for the day Denis, Guy, Phil and Leigh were joined by Wentworth in a composite male masters 8, coxed by Christine. Unfortunately they were not able to claw back enough time to beat the older Powerhouse crew.

After picking up our medals we headed back to Horsham for dinner where we recounted the successes of the day and make sure we were well hydrated for the head race the next day.

We were back to Dimboola the next day for the Head of the Wimmera, a 6.2km head race through the most picturesque area. For this race, all crew are required to get on water and row the 6.2km to the start, line up in order and then race back. It’s a real coxswain’s race, with lots of corners, including 2 very tight no overtaking bends where the right line can save vital seconds.

Richmond had 2 crews competing and one cox helping out another club at short notice. Allan, John C, Mike C and myself were coxed by Stef in the D Grade 4. Through some brilliant coxing from Stef we had an excellent line throughout, overtaking our competition in the first kilometer we pushed on to pass a number of boats and pick up the winners medals at the end.

Leigh, Guy, Denis, and Phil were again joined by Wentworth in the Open 8 coxed by Christine, with a good performed against some stiff competition on the day.

Shern was asked at short notice to cox the Argonauts C Grade 8, who came a close second in their grade and thirst fastest of all crews on the day.

A huge thank you to all those who made it a great weekend in the country, Leigh for towing the trailer, Mike G for being our official photographer. Most of all thank you to Stephen Shepherd who made the long trip for the weekend to BRO on Saturday, completing all requirements he is now a level 1 BRO!!! It’s great to see our new members getting involved like this, we always need to people to help out as BRO’s as we are required to provide a BRO (Boat Race Official) for virtually every regatta we attend. Thank you Stephen.

This really is a great regatta, an opportunity to see part of Victoria you may not otherwise visit and support the country rowing clubs who go to great lengths to organise. Hopefully we will see even more members attending next year.

Jon Roberts

Bendigo Sprint Regatta 2018

On Friday night, Kim, Alex, Dennis and Nick drove up to Bendigo with the boat trailer and arrived at Lakeside Motel on a balmy warm evening. Then up early to discover quite a different Bendigo with howling winds and lashing rain.

Richmond Rowing Club had a pretty good showing at Bendigo with over 26 members plus friends and partners competing in 18 races.

For the novices it was quite new so we met up early and once boats were rigged and checked, we stood around shivering in the cold under the RRC tent.  The first Male Novice Coxed Four race was at 11.24am and the crew was Lachlan Stewart, Weijie Weng, Amir Mahdavia, Nick Mercer and coxed by Ally Dejaegher. In the row up to the start we did a couple of wobbly race starts and before we knew it we were under race start orders. Knowing the distance was only 480m we knew we had to start well but given our lack of experience we decided to keep the rating a bit lower and find our boat balance. We were up against the local club novice crew from Bendigo but we rowed home winners by 4 seconds.

The second novice race was the Male Novice Coxed Quad Scull and saw us drop out Amir and bring in Red Skelton with our cox being Michelle Joy. In this race we were up against Dimboola and the ‘fancied’ Melbourne Argonauts. Again, we practiced a couple of race starts and got ourselves ready for the start. This time due to the cross winds the starter held us a bit longer and you could feel a few nerves in the boat. But under the skilled guidance of Michelle we took off with a nice start and flew past Dimboola but in the middle of the race the Argonauts came level. Upping the rating we managed to get our bows level and finished together. Though to be honest we thought we’d blown it but we’d snuck in the win by 0.46 seconds.

The senior teams all performed pretty well and in all, RRC walked away winning six races; The Female D coxed quad scull won their final in a time of 1.40:99 comprised of Sara Houghton, Dana Hill, Karen Doggett, Ally Dejaegher. Coxed by Stef Dudczig and coached by Matt & Derek. In the Male D grade coxed four final, Richmond 1 had the better of Richmond 2 and took out their final in 1.29:80. The winning crew comprised of Jon Roberts, Allan Randall, John Carey, Andrew Yuile, coxed by Shern Timmins and coached by Matt and Derek.

In the Male D grade pair final, Jon Roberts and Allan Randall won their race quite easily. And then we had the final race which saw the fastest time recorded that day by a Richmond crew. The mixed coxed eight looked fantastic on the course and romped home in 1.23:07. This crew comprised of Sara Houghton, Dana Hill, Jon Roberts, Allan Randall, John Carey, Andrew Yuile, Karen Doggett and Michelle Joy. Coxed beautifully by Stef Dudczig and coached by Matt and Derek.

The visit to Bendigo was also quite memorable for a couple of other reasons. Firstly, the committee who had already bought a new tent must have known about the howling winds in Bendigo as during the day a huge gust literally blew away our old tent which may not be repairable? And finally, an un-official protest has been lodged by Red Skelton and Mikey G who complained the sound of the finishing bell was way below their audible hearing, necessitating a most spectacular stop into the bank. Gladly there were no injuries to crew or boat.

All in all, despite the poor weather a great day was had by many and RRC won on a number of levels coming away with a total of twenty-six rather nice local pottery mugs, five coxs medals and a better rowing score for many.

Nick Mercer

Head of the Goulburn 2018

For some, the morning of Head of the Goulburn started early with the drive to Nagambie. For others, we simply rolled out of our expertly assembled tents for a leisurely breakfast. The nerves started to kick in just as the wind started to pick up.

All the crews started to assemble at Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park as the push off point before a leisurely paddle down towards the start line. Once through Chinaman’s bridge it was a solid 7.2km race down to the finish line at Tahbilk Winery. The thrill of the chase spurring us on, even when we might not have believed our Cox’s calls about how close we were to the next boat.

The day turned into a stunner once we were out at the winery and able to swap carrying the boat for a glass of sparkling. The cheers for Richmond at the winners announcement were definitely some of the loudest and for good reason.

The men’s 4 of Jon, Allan, Michael C and Michael G cleaned up their category with Laurent coxing. My own marvellous quad managed to hunt down Bendigo thanks to Rosie’s direction, with Ally, Lucia and Shern’s efforts. What a way for Lucia to say goodbye to Australia by winning a medal. Special mentions to Michelle’s open single scull efforts, and John’s medal for his D grade single.

The party kept going back at the caravan park, with some going for a dip in their zooties in the lake. Another round of Articulate thanks to Ally before off to bed to seek out more wineries in the morning.

Thanks to all for a fabulous weekend, particularly Tim for organising, Barry for boat towing and our mystery boat unloaders. I can’t wait to hear how Richmond goes at Melbourne Head and HOTY!

Amy Catlin

Spring training camp 2018

Lucia Denniss

Saltwater Challenge 2018

After a great weekend in Nagambie for our annual RRC camp, on Saturday we tried to put the good work into practice at the Saltwater Challenge in Essendon. We weren’t able to attend this event last year, so it was great to get back to this gorgeous part of Melbourne and go for a little paddle on the Maribyrnong. Even the weather gods were on our side, with glorious sunshine throughout the day!

The first crew competing for Richmond were Michelle, Karen, Kate and Zoe, in the Female Masters Coxed Quad event. They were coxed by none other than Derek, who was 1st Runner-up for the 2018 RV Coxswain of the Year award earlier this year. Despite being held up by other crews on some of the course bends, they still managed an impressive 3rd place and were looking very strong on their finish sprint.

The same crew raced again in the B Grade Coxed Quad event and somehow managed to better their previous time, clocking in at 18.58s for the 4,500m course. Rowing over 18km in one day, with half of it at full tilt must have been absolutely exhausting, well done ladies!

The next rowers out were Charlotte, Lucia, Dana and myself, expertly coxed by Stef. Throughout the race she provided a huge amount of motivation and gave us all the right pointers to keep it together and stay composed. She even managed to overtake a crew just in the nick of time before the big bend!

For the four of us rowing, this was the first time doing Salty and we really enjoyed the experience. Charlotte did a fantastic job in her first race in Stroke position and maintained a steady and easy to follow pace throughout. Needless to say, we were surprised and delighted to see that we came 5th out of 14 in the D Grade Coxed Quad event!

After a very brief interlude, Richmond was back on water again. Stef and I switched coxing duties and joined Jodie, Shern and Lou for the final race of the day, the Women’s C Grade coxed Quad. It was very busy at the start line again, with all boats in the C bracket going upriver at the same time to wait for the start, but eventually our turn came up and we were off. Despite Lou still fighting off a virus, the whole crew performed really well and maintained a perfectly balanced boat throughout the race. Their strength and consistency meant we could hold off some of the boats who were trying to overtake us, and achieved a very good race time.

All in all it was a lovely day and made even better by the supporters who came out to encourage us. Big shout out to Allan for helping with boats, oars, and hanging on to 5 wallets while we were on water! Thanks also to Amy and Shane for the photos and videos, to LaTrobe Uni RC for towing the trailer, and to everyone shouting encouragement from the footbridge!

Hopefully we can do this event again next year

Ally Dejaegher

Further fleet investment announced at the 2018 AGM

The Richmond Rowing Club Annual General Meeting was held at the club on Saturday 28th July 2017. It was an opportunity for club members to come together, hear from the Committee about the clubs operations over the past year. It was great to see so many members present on the day.

Thank you to all Committee members for their significant contributions through the year. A brief summary of the year’s activities is provided below; the full Annual Report including all Committee member reports is attached RRC Annual Report 2017/18

Membership Growth – During the year, we increased the number of our financial members from 125 to 142 at 31 May 2018, a 14% increase. This achievement was through a combination of attracting new members and retaining existing members.

In particular, we increased the number of Learn to Row courses to four and scheduled three courses on summer evenings resulting in increased retention of Learn to Row participants. Our Development Squad is maintaining good numbers with dedicated coaching focused on improving their skill levels. We plan to continue this in 2018/19, continuing our Learn to Row program and transitioning Development Squad rowers into the competitive and social rowing squads.

Demonstrate Club Success on the Water – As a major step forward for the club, we engaged our first paid head coach resulting in focused training programs, squad structure, selection criteria and focused coaching. This has contributed to some excellent regatta performances through the year. Although Basil has returned to the UK, we have appointed Matt Wilson as our Head Coach for the coming year – he will be starting with us in early August.

Member Engagement – The club runs a number of events to bring club members together, from our Training Camp and regular circuit sessions, to social events like Quiz Night and New Years Eve. In 2017/18 we held 6 successful major events at the club and a number of smaller events.

The Committee plans to continue this level of events in the current year. This takes a significant effort to arrange and we are always looking for volunteers to assist. Our club would not be able to operate without all of our members who volunteer their time in so many ways. As we look towards the coming year, we will be asking for more help and creating more volunteer roles to take some of the pressure of the usual suspects. If you have a special skill or would like to help regularly, please reach out to the Committee as we would love your support.

Governance and Finance – The clubs finances remain strong, underpinned by income from hiring our amazing venue. This allows us to invest in the rowing program, but we must also continue to invest in our facilities, to generate this revenue. This year we refurbished the bar and kitchen to bringing it up to the standard of the rest of the club.

During the year, we also invested heavily in our fleet and equipment, christening both a men’s and women’s brand new top of the line Sykes quad/four and investing significantly in our refurbished gym. We were also able to purchase a new set of oars for the men’s eight and pair, whilst benefiting from a VicHealth Active Club Grant for a set of sculling oars.

In addition, the Committee is pleased to announce we have ordered 3 more brand new boats to improve our fleet with a men’s and women’s double/pair and a coxless quad for our most competitive crews. These additions will also allow other crews greater access to better quality boats as we replace our oldest boats in our fleet.

A major part of the AGM is to elect a new Committee and saying farewell to any departing members from the Committee.

Geraldine Goss, our outgoing Vice-President has been a member of the Committee for four years, the last three years as Vice-President and Fundraising Coordinator before that. During this time, she has supported two different Presidents and numerous Committee members. She has been active within the Fleet subcommittee and in considering Richmond’s licensing requirements. Whilst at the same time she has been incredibly successful as a rower. Thank you for all your assistance.

Laurent Demay steps down from the position of ordinary member having contributed strongly over the past year with new member communications and fundraising activities.

The new committee for the 2018-19 season consists of:

President – Jon Roberts

Vice-President – Aline Dejaeger

Secretary – Kim Begelhole

Treasurer – Kathy Macrow

Captain of Boats – Barry Campbell

Head of Rowing – Tim Evans

Facilities Coordinator – Lucy Crunden

Fundraising Coordinator – Christine Sullivan

Two ordinary members – Yashwini Vegi, Stefanie Dudczig

Congratulations and welcome to our newest Committee members, Kim Belgelhole and Stefanie Dudczig.

Following the conclusion of the AGM we took to the water for some fun with club races. With a change in formal to get us ready for Head Season, the races were a time trial format from the Island to the Club. Congratulations to all those who took part.

Thank you to everyone who helped with the bbq and bar afterwards, especially Gypsy, John and Laurent for preparing the food and Karin and Dennis for looking after the BBQ.

Richmond’s Training Zootie is now available to order!!

It’s time to put away those old gym clothes that you keep getting your oars caught in and get out on the water in proper rowing kit and in Richmond colours. Save your Racing zootie for those racing days and let’s be proud to wear our club colours. The design below was chosen as the most popular after our recent facebook vote.

The cost is $77.50 including postage and GST which compared to the price of our racing zootie sounds very reasonable to us. (We believe that the quality of the zootie doesn’t require a double layer front or rear there is space on the order form to request if you want double layering.)

We will be submitting our order on the 28nd July which should get our new Zooties in time for Training Camp. (The first order will be sent through on the 22nd July)

The order form is attached and payment is to be made prior to order via bank transfer to the club. (please remember to state your name and “zootie” on the transfer) Please send your order form to

Shern.timmins@gmail.com making sure you have clearly filled in all the boxes.

Please attached a receipt of the transfer which will just make it easier for us to track.

Got an issue with bank transfer? – just drop an email to Shern.timmins@gmail.com or speak to Shern, Zoe or Kim and we will be happy to help.

Thanks from the training zootie team

Zoe, Kim and Shern

2018-RRC-Training-Zootie-Order-Form.pdf

Reminder RRC Strategic Planning Session – 7 July 10am to 12pm

Don’t forget the Richmond Rowing Club Strategic Planning Session, running from 10am to 12pm on 7 July at the club.

Full details are on the earlier blog post. I’m looking forward to seeing as many people there as possible.

Register your interest on the Facebook event or let me know if you are planning on attending. If you can’t attend and have any feedback please drop me an email or see me at the club.

Strategic Planning Session – 7 July 2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/204966720336055/

The “50 x 50” Project – End of Financial Year reminder

Don’t forget the “50 x 50” Project – in May we launched our goal to raise $2,500 by 30 June for Richmond to have the most impressive tent at a regatta next season!

Our aim was to get 50 members who have used our well-loved but aging tent to donate $50 each (remember, that is Tax deductible) as a start. This will raise us $2,500 towards a new tent, which will be more than halfway to the purchase price. If we can get to half way the Committee will order the new tent at the start of the season instead of the end.

Help the club today by donating $50 at https://asf.org.au/projects/richmond-rowing-club/new-club-tent/.

We have 17 generous donations so far – thank you all so much – so we are on our way to our goal. Remember its tax-deductible so you are welcome to donate a little more if you can. Now is the best time to make and take advance of tax-deductible donations before the end of the financial year.

Here are the full details if you need a reminder – http://www.richmondrowing.com.au/2018/05/27/the-50-x-50-project/