Category Archives: Regatta Updates

Saltwater Challenge 2019

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.

Pippa Trevella

Time to think about the Winter Sculling season…..

Whilst many will be thinking its the end of the rowing season, of turning towards the lighted inn, their evening rest and sleep to meet.  Other hardy souls at RRC will be following the row that goes on and on, pursuing it with eager oars where many boats and paddlers will meet.  (Apologies to JRR Tolkein.)

Yes it’s nearly time for the Winter Sculling 2019 series.  If you are not familiar with how it works, check out the website for race details, times  (Saturday mornings through June, July and August), distances, rules and locations .

If you might be interested and need some inspiration, speak to Charlotte North-Coombes who won the Ramsbottom Trophy last year or Aline Dejaegher who was fastest female around the island in a tub last year.

RRC has a limited number of sculls available for members to use in the Winter Sculling Series including three Regulation (tub) sculls. It is possible to share fleet across events and the organisers will stagger entries where participants indicate they are sharing a boat with another rower entered.

Please advise the Captain via email (captain@richmondrowing.com.au) before 20 May if you are considering entering the Winter Sculling series so that fleet can be allocated or where necessary sourced from other clubs or schools.  For example anyone wishing to use the Tiger Shark for Winter Sculling will be sharing the boat with the Captain.

Those members with their own boats should also advise the Captain if they are entering the series as we may be required to provide a trailer to away events if we have a high number of participants from RRC.

The Winter Sculling season also needs help from volunteers to act as marshalls and help out. So if you don’t feel like rowing every week, how about volunteering one week. Check out the details here:

Thanks

Barry Campbell

Footscray and Essendon Regattas 2019

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.

Alysia Draper

Victorian State Championships 2019

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.

Rutherglen Regatta 2019 Review

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.

Kirsty Fergie

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

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

Australian Masters Championship 2018

The Australian Masters Championships which end the season were this year held in the beautiful albeit somewhat cold and windy state of Tasmania. A small contingent of Richmond rowers made the trip across Bass Strait to take on the best masters rowers from around the country at Lake Barrington from the 10th-13th May.

The first morning brought with it plenty of rain but going forward the sun would shine and we would be treated to a stunning location and a memorable few days to experience the great spirit and competitive nature of a national masters championship. Thanks to Barry, our Tasmanian captain, pulling in a few favours we were able to borrow boats from some local clubs and RRC was represented in more than 20 different events.

There was coxing success for Dennis Henry on Day 1 picking up a gold with the Mixed Masters E4+ and Ray Dennis started his medal haul with a win in the Mens Masters I4-. Over the four day event Ray Dennis would go on to collect a total of 7 gold medals in a variety of eights, fours, pairs and one little double. With his highlight being a grudge match in the J-L pair (average age of crew >80) in which he and Derrick Wilson from Banks came out of victorious.

The Women’s Masters A four and quad were desperately disappointed to have lost their resident Tasmanian Zoe Maxwell from the crew a few weeks out from the championships to pneumonia but were delighted to welcome Sarah Houghton into the crew and with the experience of masters states and a couple of weeks of training behind them there was no stopping them! Victory in the heat helped grow confidence and an awesome race leading from start to finish in the final rewarded Michelle Joy, Karen Doggett, Kate Dyball and Sarah Houghton with a gold medal and the extra bonus of the fastest club crew with the majority of our competitors being made up of composite crews formed from members across multiple clubs. Despite headwinds that threatened to prevent anyone rowing down the course on Saturday they backed up the quad win with a victory in the coxed four as well again picking up the club crew medal joined by cox Christine Sullivan.

Christine continued the Richmond medal success combining with Leigh Sullivan, Lindsey Brown and Michael Heaton-Harris (Corio Bay) to pick up a bronze medal in the Mixed Masters C Quad. Further doubles, fours and eights would compete across the weekend in some great races many of which making finals but unfortunately missing out on more medals.

With just 9 RRC rowers taking part we punched well above our weight scoring 68 points in the club championship placing us 24th out of 88 clubs for the whole competition, but even putting the rowing aside the food and the wine on offer in Tasmania made the trip a huge success. Thanks to everyone who helped out by organising entries and boats, coxing and coaching through training sessions and generally being an awesome support crew through the power of social media. The RRC Masters Tigers had a great end to the season.

Karen Doggett