Check out these amazing summaries from our Richmond Women’s and Men’s crews who competed in this great fundraising event!!!RFDS Rowathon 2019 Ladies Crew Blog
RFDS Rowathon 2019 Mens Crew Blog
Written by Christine Sullivan and Denis Henry
Thoughts of a ‘never camper’
This was my first rowing camp. This was my first brush with a camping experience of any kind, period. I rocked up with a mind full of newbie questions: what’s it going to be like? ‘how remote is Nagambie if I forget something’? As a result, I packed like I was preparing for an apocalypse – gear for every weather condition and snacks for every hunger level. Also, someone please explain ‘box biting’?
Getting to Nagambie
The drive to Nagambie the one of the most beautiful experiences. I carpooled with the Hardys (Sarah and Matt) who knew the roads we were travelling so well. The conversation was lively, lolly supply generous and the drive itself was a super unwinding experience with views of endless canola fields and at one point, alpacas!
The first thing that strikes you on reaching the cabins is the spectacular view of lake.
I spent a good half hour on my cabin deck just taking it all in. The weather was surprisingly sunny and bright for most of the weekend, and a glimpse of the summer to come. That evening, we got ready for our first row, which for me was a quad. This row helped me get a feel of the lake with its many buoys and weeds.
We ended the day with a drink at the pub followed by a box-biting demonstration from the reigning champion himself, Keith, back in the cabins.
Saturday started super early with a view of a gorgeous sunrise from the cabin deck.
The first session of the day was a quad again but this time, we went up the Goulbourn river with Kathy coxing us (thanks a ton!). We had a shaky start to begin with, mostly because our crew hadn’t rowed together and we all brought our unique styles. But we kept at it with our cox and Michael coaching us from the ‘tinny’ through the second and third sessions that day. All the hard work was made worth it by the carrot cake at lunch (I still get dreams of it). The last row of the day was a highlight because it was my first time in a single skull. Though, the looks of trepidation on Barry and Michael’s faces while I almost tipped the boat getting in were priceless. I had a constant mental record of “hands together”, “oars feathered”, “DON’T FALL IN”!
Saturday night BBQ left me in a food coma. I unapologetically went for a second round, it was that good. Then came box biting. I would still like to know the origins of the tradition; if you know, stop and share. We had 2 rounds of everyone trying until it came down to the final round. Of course Keith won, but I think we also spotted an emerging talent in Pippa who gave him some tough competition. The general strategy seems to be picking the highest edge of the box. Until next camp, my strategy is going to be practicing Yoga to maintain develop the balance and flexibility!
All the coaching and practice from Saturday came to head on our Sunday rows. By now, a few of us from DS had been working as a consistent crew. If Saturday was shaky, Sunday was strong and sturdy. I count them as one of the best rows I’ve had. We had a moment going up the river when we held the boat still to just take in sounds of the birds and look at the giant pelicans. A far cry from the urban sounds and sights of Melbourne.
Can’t thank everyone who organised, coached and coxed for the weekend enough.
All in all, here are my somewhat helpful ‘pro tips’ for first-time campers:
Its been a few weeks since Camp now, and I can feel the change in my technique. Looking forward to next year.
Richmond were out in force for the first regatta of the season, the 2019 Saltwater Challenge, with 34 rowers and coxswains involved across ten crews. The weather was against us, with cold temperatures, periods of rain and strong winds, but we still had an enjoyable day on the Maribyrnong.
The first event for Richmond was the Male Master’s quad, in which we had two crews: Jon, John Michael and Dennis, coxed by Derek, and Richie, Steve, Alex and Kim, coxed by Keith. Both crews performed strongly in a highly competitive field of 20 boats. The first of these crews was also the fastest Richmond boat of the day, with an impressive time of 17:10.
The Female D grade quad was the next event, with three Richmond crews ensuring that Dario was kept very busy as he attempted to follow all three boats on his bike. Dieuwke, Gypsy, Kirsty and Ally with cox Rosie were first out, followed by Sarah, Shern, Amy and Susanna with cox Anthea and finally Imogen, Lilian, Pauline and myself, coxed by Wendy. For many of us it was the first time competing in the Salty and it was my first race ever, so nerves were high in the marshalling area – not helped by the long wait in the cold. Once we were off, however, we warmed up quickly and the 4500m race flew by. We were happy with our placings of 4th, 9th and 5th respectively out of 12 boats and look forward to putting our training to the test at the next race!
At the conclusion of these races, many had to row back up to the start with minimal break while those of us not rowing or coxing again sought warmth and shelter from the elements inside the Essendon rowing club, a perfect place to watch the finish. The first Richmond crew in the final bracket of the day was the Male C grade quad of Keith, John, Red and Dennis, coxed by Derek, closely followed by the Mixed Master’s quad of Diana, Charlie, Michael and Anthea with cox Wendy.
Many of the women from the D grade competed again in the master’s event (Shern, Sarah, Ally and Amy with cox Kathy) and C grade quad (Kirsty, Rosie, Gypsy and Dieuwke with cox Lilian), performing valiantly at the end of a big day with 18km of rowing! Finally, the Male D grade quad of Lachlan, Amir, Duyao and Alex, coxed by Imogen, rounded out the competition with another strong performance.
While unfortunately there were no medals for Richmond, there were many excellent performances and it was a fun day, especially in hindsight after a hot shower! Many thanks to all of the coaches, coxes and supporters and everyone who worked behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the day.
The Richmond Rowing Club Annual General Meeting was held at the club on Saturday 27th July 2019. 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 2018/19
Membership Growth – Following a 14% increase in members last year, our financial member numbers grew by a further 13% to 161 (from 142 last year).
Member number growth continues through our Learn to Row program transitioning into our Development squad. As a result we have invested in increased coaching for this group of new members to continue to increase their skill levels as they start to compete at regattas and look to progress into other squads. Whilst we will continue to focus on Learn to Row courses in the coming year we will focus them on the summer months to maximise numbers and retention so the Development Squad continues to have a critical mass.
Member Engagement – Our events continue to bring the club together socially while generating funds for clubs fleet expansion. We held 6 major events, a number or smaller events and our training camp during the year from casual BBQ’s to Quiz Night, Presentation Night, New Year’s Eve. Thank you to Christine Sullivan for leading the Fundraising role with support from many of our members, a special thank you to all of the members that have helped out during the year.
The Committee has also turned their mind to our environmental impact as a club, implementing recycling bins in the club, facilitating the use of rain water for boat washing and supporting the Yarra River keepers Association as part of their projects to tidy the Yarra.
Demonstrate Club Success on the Water – In 2018/19 we expanded the number of paid coaching resources to support our volunteer coaches and we will continue this in the coming year.
It has been great to see excellent participation and regatta results throughout the year, lots of successes and members competing in their first regattas. In particular the results at the State Championships, where we picked up three golds including Michelle Joy and Kate Dyball in the Women’s A Grade Double.
Governance and Finance – Our venue continues to generate significant income through day and evening rentals resulting in a strong financial position.
We have continued to invest in the rowing program, but we must also continue to invest in our facilities to generate this revenue. Surplus funds generated are split between fleet and facility, with funds prudently reserved for significant capital works expected on the building in coming years. During the year the club invested in re-racking the rear middle section of the shed to increase boat capacity, at the same time we renegotiated the MLC sublease to progressively take back part of the third bay for our own use as the fleet expands.
We again invested heavily in our fleet, christening three new Sykes boats, a coxless quad and men’s and women’s double/pairs, and a second hand Wintech mid-weight single. We also expanded the number of oars and added a further 4 ergos to the gym.
In the coming year we have committed to further expand the fleet, replacing the Jennifer Campbell with a 5 year old Sykes 8+, buying a second-hand Sykes double and a new mid-weight Wintech single.
A major part of the AGM is to elect a new Committee and saying farewell to any departing members from the Committee.
Stefanie Dudczig and Yash Vegi have been the 2 ordinary members as part of the Committee over the last year. Stef has provided great assistance to the Secretary with the new member process and Yash has worked closely with Tim in relation to the Learn to Row organisation. Both of them will continue to assist with these areas in non-Committee roles. Thank you to both of you for your contribution to the Committee.
The Committee for the 2019-20 season (the 157th RRC Committee) consists of:
President – Jon Roberts
Vice-President – Aline Dejaeger
Secretary – John Carey
Treasurer – Kathy Macrow
Captain of Boats – Barry Campbell
Head of Rowing – Tim Evans
Facilities Coordinator – Lucy Crunden
Fundraising Coordinator – Christine Sullivan
Two ordinary members – Kim Begelhole and Amy Katlin
Congratulations and welcome to our newest Committee members, John Carey and Amy Catlin.
At the conclusion of the AGM and as part of our fleet renewal program we proceeded downstairs to name our newest fleet addition, a Sykes Women’s Eight. We were very pleased to be able to name this boat after one of our life members who continues to row successfully today, Ray Dennis.
Ray has been a member of the club since 1957 and continues to wear the Richmond zootie, including picking three Gold medals in the 2019 Australian Masters Regatta.
We then proceeded to take to the water for some fun with club races. We ran a Head Season format, with time trials from the Island to the Club. Congratulations to all those who took part and the winning 8.
Thank you to everyone who helped with the BBQ and bar afterwards.
A great night was had by all at the Richmond Rowing Club 2018/19 Presentation Night. Thank you to all of the RRC members and guests who came along to celebrate another successful season. As always it was great to see so many new and old faces present on the night.
We congratulated our Male and Female Club and Masters rowers of the year. These prestigious awards are determined through participation and success at regattas, club races and club time trials. The winners on the evening were:
The Don Edwards, Cox of the year award was presented to Charlotte North-Coombes.
The President’s Award was presented to Steven Sheppard, reflecting on his dedication to Richmond Rowing Club and the sport of rowing in Victoria as a level 2 BRO. Stephen is regularly representing our club at Regattas to ensure their smooth and safe running.
The Hendley Family Mixed Quad Time Trial was presented by Rod Hendley to Kate Dyball, John Carey, Dennis Beck, Geraldine Goss and Charlotte North-Coombes (coxswain).
The male coxed four Round the Island time trial was won by Alan Randall, Jon Roberts, John Carey, Dennis Beck and Charlotte North-Coombes (coxswain).
The female coxed four Round the Island time trial was won by Michelle Joy, Kate Dyball, Karen Doggett, Geraldine Goss and Derek Begg (coxswain).
The Jim Barton Males Tub Single time trial was won by John Carey and the Jim Barton Female Tub Single time trial was won by Geraldine Goss.
A number of other awards were presented on the night including:
Thank you to all those who contributed to such a good night including Tim Evans our MC for the evening and Kim Begelhole for sharing pictures and videos from the season.
We celebrated our Victorian State Championship winners in 2019, pictures of these crews were unveiled which will be displayed in the club. The crews were:
We also celebrated Ray Dennis who represented Richmond at the recent National Masters Championships. Amongst many medals Ray brought home 3 Gold medals in composite crews, Male Masters J Double, Male J-M Pair and the Male J-M Coxed 4.
The slides presented on the evening can be found at RRC Presentation Night 2019.pdf
Some of us started the day of Footscray thinking, ‘What on earth have I gotten myself into, this is my first regatta with Richmond I definitely can’t make a fool of myself,’ and desperately hoped that the piece of toast I was slowing working my way through contained enough energy to help the team cross the finish line at least.
When I arrived, it was comforting to hear that the other members of the team were also nervous, so at least we were all in the same boat- pun intended. We were on the water, having a warm up as the heavens opened and we were faced with the fact that the first few races of the day were going to be in the rain. Even with the questionable conditions, all squads managed to complete their first heats successfully, with many going through to the finals.
The day was an overall success with 3 third places taken out by Charlotte North-Coombes, Imogen Aitken, Kirsty Fergie, Louise Roberts-Bailey with Christine Sullivan as Cox (Female D Grade Coxed Quad Scull), Jon Roberts, Allan Randall, John Carey and Dennis Beck Coxed by Ainsley Raggatt (Male Open Coxed Four) and finally Charlotte North-Coombes in the Female D Grade Single Scull.
5 second places went to Alexander Pupko, Oliver Paterson, Cristian Udovicich and Lachlan Stewart Coxed by Ainsley Raggatt (Male D Grade Coxed Four), Sarah Houghton and Geraldine Goss (Female Open Double Scull), Charlie Burke, Michael Gehling, Kim Begelhole, Richard Healy, Allan Randall, Jon Roberts, John Carey and Dennis Beck Coxed by Christine Sullivan (Male C Grade Eight), Allan Randall, Jon Roberts, John Carey and Dennis Beck Coxed by Christine Sullivan (Male C Grade Coxed Four), and finally to Shern Timmins, Imogen Aitken, Kirsty Fergie and Louise Roberts-Bailey Coxed by Christine Sullivan (Female D Grade Coxed Four).
Sarah Houghton came away with a win in the female D grade Single Scull.
Alexander Pupko, Oliver Paterson, Cristian Udovicich, Lachlan Stewart, Diana Vernon, Sarah Hardy, Saloni Dikshit and Alysia Draper with Christine Sullivan as cox celebrated a row over in the Mixed Coxed Eight.
The crews I was a part of started and finished strong, coming second in the ladies D Coxed Quad Scull heat and winning the Mixed Coxed Eight, which was a fantastic achievement for our first race together as a team. I was pleasantly surprised in my abilities as I hadn’t competed in over three years and was very happy to find such a lovely and supportive group of teammates.
The weather cleared up and we joined the rest of the club at the tent to watch Richmond start their next race. We cheered for the black and yellow crews all the way through to the finish line for the rest of the afternoon. Even if I had only been in the club for a short while, I was very grateful for the opportunity of being a part of the team.
The final race of the day was soon upon us as we carried the coxed eight down to the water. Another successful race completed as we finished first in our category, and we hoped to bring the good luck into the next day further up the river at Essendon.
Another early start, but this time it was filled with a bit more confidence that I wasn’t going to catch a crab and that wearing the club Zootie actually looked quite cool.
I had two more races to compete in, one in a Female D Grade Coxed Quad Scull and one in the Female D Grade Coxed Four. It took us a bit to get used to coxed Four but after a few strokes our boat was well into the race. Even if we didn’t finish first in our final race of the day, there was a big sense of achievement at the end of the weekend regattas.
A second place went to Diana Vernon, Dianna Angus, Anthea Amos, Christine Sullivan, Charlie Burke, Philip Munson, Guy Ayres and Leigh Sullivan Coxed by Ainsley Raggatt in the Mixed Coxed Eight.
The crew that came away with a winner’s medal on the day was the Female Masters Coxed Four with a crew of Diana Vernon, Dianna Angus, Anthea Amos and Christine Sullivan Coxed by Charlotte North-Coombes.
Another brilliant day concluded with having a few beers after the boat unloading. I have made a lot of happy memories by being a part Richmond Rowing Club, and it has made my placement experience even more special. I hope that I can enter another regatta with the team in the future when I eventually travel back down to Melbourne.
After a long season of training, the Victorian State Championships were held on 3 and 4 March 2019. Richmond were well represented across the day. With temperatures pushing 37 in the afternoon, the new tent was greatly appreciated and looked the envy of all clubs. However the heat was accompanied with strong winds in the morning making conditions tricky, especially for the smaller boats.
The heats of the women’s D grade singles were Richmond’s first events of the day. Competition was strong with 28 entries across 4 heats. Kate Riley, Rosie Dickson-Hoyle and Gypsy Shepherd were all competitive in their races with Rosie progressing from her heat to the final. As a recently joined member it was great to see Kate also backing this up later in the day in the C grade single.
As the morning progressed Dana Hill, Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Zoe Maxwell and cox Charlotte North-Coombes, took out Richmond’s first win of the day in the D grade women’s 4. A great effort in tough conditions with them leading throughout.
The men’s crews were up next with Alan Randall and Jon Roberts stepping up to compete in the men’s C grade pair. Competitive throughout they finished 4th in a strong field.
The men’s D grade 4 were up next, after a restart Andrew Yuile, Dennis Beck, Michael Calvert and John Carey, coxed by Derek Begg, finished strongly but just outside the medals in 4th place.
Michelle Joy and Kate Dyball finished Richmond’s involvement in the morning session in the A grade women’s double. Leading throughout in the 2km event Michelle and Kate brought home gold with a outstanding performance in this high quality event.
After a well-earned lunch break we were back in action with the events coming thick and fast. Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Zoe Maxwell, Kate Dyball and cox Michelle Joy represented the club in the heat of the highly competitive C Grade quad.
This was quickly followed by the D grade double with 2 crews of Gypsy and Rosie and Dana Hill and Louise Roberts-Bailey representing Richmond. Gypsy and Rosie won their heat, finishing just outside the medals with a 4th place finish in the final.
Allan Randall, John Carey, Dennis Beck, Andrew Yuile, and cox Charlotte North-Coombes were up next in the C Grade Four. Another strong field saw the crew finish just outside the medals again in 4th place.
The D grade women’s quad was up next Louise Roberts-Bailey, Dana Hill, Rosie Dickson-Hoyle, Gypsy Shepherd and cox: Charlotte North-Coombes made it through their heat into the final. In what felt like a theme for the day, the crew rowed well, but finished just outside the medals in fourth place.
Andrew Yuile and John Carey faced off against a Power House crew in the D Grade pair, taking out the gold medal by just under a second in a close race.
Dennis Beck was back in action in a single, competing in the C grade single late in the day.
The final medal for the day went to Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Kate Dyball, Michelle Joy and cox Derek Begg, in the B grade quad. Progressing well through their heat, they finished third in the final to pick up the bronze.
Overall a great performance by all involved, with huge thanks to our supporters and coaches that turned up on the day.
The majority of us made the Friday escape up to Rutherglen and we all congregated between our accommodation in nearby Chiltern and, naturally, the pub for the first regatta of 2019. Great ‘country’ hospitality was enjoyed on the Friday evening before heads turned to the regatta and Saturday morning was upon us.
Personally I was not sure what I had let myself in for as we arrived at Rutherglen after a short drive at 0700 to mid 20 degree heat – and it was only going to get hotter! Trailer unloading, rigging and racing then commenced.
The Saturday comprised of an 800m course on Lake Moodemere and on Sunday the majority of entries were the same for the 500m course. In total Richmond entered 63 boats (inc finals) and 34 clubs were being represented over the weekend making for some good competition.
The Richmond Saturday performance was strong, with many scratch crews there was a lot of positivity as to what could be achieved over the rest of the coming regatta season. Special mentions and congratulations to those that brought home the medals for the club on the Saturday over 800m: Sarah Houghton Female C Grade Single Scull Michael Calvert, Michael Gehling, Jon Roberts, John Carey, Cox: Charlotte North-Coombes Male D Grade Coxed 4 Male Masters Coxed Quad Philip Munson, Tim Evans, Guy Ayres, Leigh Sullivan, Cox: Christine Sullivan Male Masters D Grade Coxed Quad
As the day progressed the temperatures increased with close attention being made to the heat policy and the reminders to keep hydrated! The new RRC tent looked amazing and provided some much needed shade. Thankfully the lake was on hand to cool off in. By c.1600 Level 3 of the heat policy had been instigated (over 38 degrees) and the final few races were shortened to 500m.
Once the day was over and the boats had been racked the Richmond team made their way back to Chiltern via the off licence. A quick dip in the pool was enjoyed by many and with a couple of beers having been consumed we all headed back to the local pub for dinner. With good food on the menu it was perfect for a group of hungry rowers (and here I enjoyed my first Chicken Parmi, and a few glasses of a local red). The racing and heat had taken its toll on the group and we then made our way back to the motel to get some sleep before the Sunday began.
Again, it was a hot day with enjoyable racing. Congratulations to Gypsy Shepherd who brought home the gold in the Female D Grade Single Scull over 500m on Sunday morning. Aside from the rowing the local winerys were a feature for some over the weekend whether it was between early and late races depending on the draw or on the way home!
For me it was a weekend of many Aussie firsts – first Australian regatta, first Chicken Parmi, first plus 40 degree experience (who knew rowing was even possible at that temp?!) and first, and definitely not last, experience of the Richmond hospitality!
I am sure there are too many people to thank, so at risk of forgetting those who deserve a mention (apologies), thank you to Tim Evans for the organisation, Matt Wilson for the coaching, Leigh and Christine Sullivan for towing the trailer, Shern Timmins for organising the accommodation and Michael Gehling for the photos of the regatta and, of course, all the cox volunteers!
With the first regatta of the season down I am sure many feel inspired to build on their successes and get back on the ergs – I know I do and are very much looking forward to Barwon Regatta on Sunday 27th Jan.
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.
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.