Category Archives: Regatta Updates

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

Victorian Masters State Championships 2018

written by Stefanie Dudczig

SATURDAY

It was a sunny 12.3 degree celsius Saturday morning (it felt more like 6.2) when we arrived at Lake Nagambie for this years Rowing Victoria State Masters Championships. The weather was actually very kind to us with lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures later on in the day.

The racing started off with the Mixed Masters A-B coxed Four consisting of Morgan, Lindsey, Allan and John C., coxed by Derek. They crossed the finish line ahead of Powerhouse by 4 seconds, winning the first (and unfortunately only) Gold Medal for Richmond.

A mentionable race, but no medal involved, was the Male Masters C Eight against Cardinals. A club I’ve never heard of before but according to Kim they had crew members that rowed at the 1980, 1989 and 1991 National Championships in the Men’s Youth Four and Youth Eight.

The boys of our Eight (Dennis, Jon R., Allan, John C., Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob, coxed by me) did well and gave everything, but were unfortunately no match for them. Later we found out that the Cardinal Crew were only training for 14 months!!!!! prior to this event. We had 14 minutes to the start line and a borrowed boat with more spiders than people in it.

Another medal for Richmond came from the crew of Denis, Phil, Guy and Leigh, coxed by Christine in the Male Masters E coxed Four. They secured themselves a Bronze medal beating Bairnsdale and Melbourne Argonauts Composite crews.

More strong performances of Richmond crews included:

  • Christine, Morgan, Guy, Leigh coxed by Denis in the Mixed C Four

  • the Female Masters Club Eight with Yash, Jodie, Dana, Sarah, Christine, Morgan, Lindsey, Cat (Note: she just came to Nagambie for this race! Thumbs up!) and Derek (cox) trying to make up a 19 second handicap.

  • Male Masters Club Fours: Richmond-1 with Allan, Jon, Dennis, John, me (cox) and Richmond-2 with Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob and coxed by Shern (who also just came up for this race…. and the Tahbilk winery).

  • Karen and Michelle making it to the Final in the Female Masters A-B double scull

  • Female Masters A-B coxed Four with Sarah, Dana, Jodie, Yash and Derek (cox)

  • Female Masters Club Quad Scull: Richmond-1 with Michelle, Karen, Kate, Lindsey and Richmond-2 with Sarah, Dana, Jodie, Yash, coxed by Christine.

After a successful race day, Rowing Victoria invited everyone for free drinks to the finish line. They definitely didn’t spare on beers, wine and bubblies. Whilst most drove back to Melbourne for the night, some stayed at the Big4 caravan park in Seymour taking advantage of the walking distance to the Pub and the inflated jumping pillow after 6pm.

SUNDAY

More racing followed on Sunday. It wasn’t cold, it was freezing!!! I finally gave up on squeezing my zootie over 10 layers and decided, that a black jumper with Richmond on the back was more appropriate than a bright orange jacked one of the other coxes were wearing. The sun was shining again, but this time with a bad cross wind. This made attaching the stern to the boatholders at the startline and staying in a straight line for the start quite difficult. Thanks to all the bow and 2 seat people for their endless tapping and backing.

The day started well with the girls of the Female Masters A-B Quad Scull (Michelle, Karen, Kate and Sarah winning) picking up silver, missing out on gold to the Victorian Nationals team.The Male Masters A-B coxed Four (Allan, Jon R., Dennis, John C., coxed by me) got Bronze by beating the second boat of the Argonauts, leaving Gold to Power House and Silver to the Argonauts first boat.

Bronze also for the Female Masters Club Four (Michelle, Karen, Kate, Sarah, coxed by Denis H). Their race had one boat on GO (Latrobe University G crew) and 7 crews with a 25 – 30s handicap. Our girls came solid third with only 1 second behind Melbourne University in second and 5 seconds behind Power House in first leaving two Melbourne crews, 2 Latrobe crews and Yarra Yarra  behind.

The probably most exciting and nerve-wracking race was the Mixed Masters A-B Eight. Michelle in stoke seat lead Karen, Kate, Sarah, Allan, Jon R., Dennis, John C and myself (cox) to a silver medal. Whilst sitting just slightly behind Melbourne for the first 600m of the race Michelle found the turbo button that made us zoom past them in the last 300m finishing in second place 4 seconds ahead of them. You should have seen their faces… shocked to see the Richmond crew overtaking them. Well done everyone!

A last bling for the day came from the composite crew with Latrobe University. The Mixed Masters F Eight with Leigh, Guy, Phil and Denis won silver beating a Argonauts composite crew by 5 second.

More great performances came from the following crews:

  • Male Masters E quad scull with Leigh, Guy, Denis and Phil

  • Male Masters A-B Eight (Dennis, Jon R., Allan, John C., Tim, Kim, Ray, Rob, coxed by me)

  • Male Masters Club Quad Scull (Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob coxed by Christine)

  • Female Masters A-B pair (Lindsey and Morgan)

  • Male Masters C coxed Four (Allan, Jon R., Tim and Dennis coxed by myself). This boy’s did a fabulous job staying next to Power House of the start. It looked promising until the steam started to run out after 250m…..

Check out all results, crews, handicaps  and times here: https://vic.rowingmanager.com/?results;regatta=3799;club=356

GENERAL COMMENTS and THANK YOUs

Kim our Richmond cameraman on site, was full in action taking footage of the mens Eight and Men’s four whilst racing. I’m pretty sure that we will see some of the actions shots at our soon upcoming presentation night.

Denis Henry is the man with the most medals won at this Regatta (silver and bronze for coxing, silver and bronze for rowing).

Allan and John C. managed to collect the complete set (one of each: gold, silver and  bronze).

Big “Thank you” goes to:

  • Phil, Kim and Christine for volunteering as Boat holders at the start line. Kim unfortunately missed out on this unique job as there were more than enough people in his session.

  • Leigh for pulling the trailer to Nagambie and back

  • Tim and Barry for organizing boats, crews, people and for being there for us.

Ahhh… and I nearly forgot one of the highlights of the whole Regatta: the BBQ food van. OMG! This brisket and pulled pork burgers were AMAZING! Ask John C. for the full tasting experience as he managed to sample everything. And I think we all agreed that the pulled pork loaded potato was the winner of the whole menu. We are looking forward to see them again at future regattas.

Geelong Masters Regatta 2018

April 7th marked the start of the 2018 Masters season. The rowing Gods put on an amazing show of glorious weather.

The racing for Richmond started off with Rob in the single scull. Next up was the Men’s Coxed four competition with two Richmond teams head to head. In the end it was Jon, Dennis, Tim and Allan Coxed by Stef who managed to beat Phil, Denis, Guy and Leigh Coxed by Christine by less than 1 second.

The first medal for the club came when Zoe, Karen, Michelle and Kate Coxed by Derek beat their competition during the Coxed four. Follow up medals for all continued during the doubles races of Zoe and Karen, and Michelle with Kate. The superstar team also claimed gold for their performance in their quad race, overcoming a handicap of 9 seconds to still win by a margin of 14 seconds.

 

Another valiant effort from Yash, Jodie, Sarah and Dana Coxed by Derek in their quad scull event. However, the quad event on everyone’s agenda to watch was Dana, Shern, myself and Yash Coxed by Stef. After a textbook smooth entry into the boat we were off, managing to secure 2nd position out of a 2 boat race.

Rounding out the competition was our mixed eight boat achieving 3rd containing Rob, Phil, Christine, Sarah, Jodie, Anthea, Guy and Leigh, Coxed by Denis.

Well done to all that competed and thanks to our wonderful coxes, boat towers and riggers.

The next regatta for the season was to be Ballarat the following Saturday the 14th. However, it was all over before we’d loaded 2 boats, the club choosing to withdraw due to the wild weather on Friday night. A fantastic decision seeing as the event was officially cancelled early Saturday morning.

Now on to States at Nagambie!

Amy Catlin (first regatta at Geelong!!!)

Victorian State Championships 2018

The pinnacle of the racing season arrived after weeks of on water training, ergos and circuits. The Victorian State Championships were held on March 3-4 this year on the ever-unpredictable waters of Lake Wendouree.

Squad training for the men’s and women’s crews started early this season, kicking off in earnest in December 2017 with a demanding training program overseen by Richmond’s Head Coach, Basil Amin.

Solid preparation paid dividends for all rowers who competed at the State Championships this year, with impressive individual and crew performances seen on both days of the competition.

The first day of racing saw Michelle Joy secure a convincing win in the D Final of the Open Single Scull event.

The women’s quad scull (Michelle Joy, Karen Doggett, Kate Dyball, Zoe Maxwell, coxed by Derek Begg) finished off their States campaign on a high. Keen to push the boundaries this year, the crew began their weekend of racing with a strong performance in the Open Coxless Quad Scull event. (The post race debrief with Basil about human stretching techniques to match the heights of the 6 ft. plus competition being (mostly) in jest).

The crew went on to secure a gold medal in the C Grade Coxed Quad Scull and silver in both the A Grade and B Grade Coxed Quad Scull events.

The men’s four (Allan Randall, Jon Roberts, Charlie Burke, John Carey coxed by Ally Dejaegher) added more silverware to the Richmond medal tally, with a nail biting performance in the D Grade Coxed Four. In a race which made for great viewing at the finishing line, the men finished less a canvass behind the winning Melbourne crew to claim a silver medal. The men went on to put in a good performance in the C Grade Coxed Four event later in the day.

The women’s quad (Edwina Griffiths, Shern Timmins, Jodie Naisbitt, Yash Vegi, coxed by Derek Begg) put in an impressive performance in the highly competitive D Grade Coxed Quad Scull event, finishing a close second in their heat and boat lengths ahead of nearest rivals, Footscray City and Hamilton & Alexandra.

Lindsey Brown and Morgan Chandler capped off a successful season at States, with strong performances in both the B Grade and C Grade Pair.

Sarah Houghton rounded out a successful racing season with second place in her heat of the C Grade Single Scull event – finishing a mere 0.7 seconds behind the winning boat. Sarah went through to the C Final and also raced the B Grade event.

With only a few practice rows under their belts in the weeks leading up to States, Rochelle Stokes and Edwina Griffiths and Andrew Yuile and Dennis Beck put in good performances in the D Grade Double Scull and the C Grade Pair, respectively.

It has been said that success is a journey, not a destination, and the 2018 season is a testament to the truism.

The rowers who represented Richmond at the State Championships achieved gains over the season as individual athletes and as crews. With many wins and close finishes in regattas in the weeks leading up to States and crews across the board stepping up to compete in divisions they had previously not thought possible – this season was a comprehensive success for Richmond Rowing Club.

For all this our thanks must go to those who worked tirelessly to make Richmond’s States campaign success a reality – especially our Head of Rowing, Tim Evans, Head Coach, Basil and Captain, Barry Campbell.

Thanks must also go to expert coxen’s Derek and Ally, who dedication and motivation each helped give their crews the winning edge this season.

Zoe Maxwell

Rutherglen Regatta 2018

The 13th and 14th of January were the dates this year for the much liked and well attended Rutherglen regatta, with more than 700 competitors contesting 340 races across the weekend. This was the 153rd running of this regatta, making it the oldest rowing regatta in Australia.

The 800m course on the Saturday and a short 500m sprint on Sunday leaves you with short, sharp, shocks of excitement over a fun packed weekend thanks to the quick race starts and the tricky boomerang bend.

Outstanding performances included Morgan Chandler and Lindsey Brown in the Female D grade pair on Saturday (800m) and Female open pair on Sunday (500m).

On Saturday, Michelle Joy was victorious in the Female B Grade single scull, with Sarah Houghton taking silver. Sliver was also the colour for Zoe Maxwell and Michelle Joy in the female open double scull (800m).

The newly formed mixed coxed eight enjoyed the second spot on both days, not a bad effort for a bunch of folks that had never set foot in a boat together prior to rowing to the start.

Stefanie Dudczig and Allan Randall were heroic in the Mixed Double scull on the Sunday picking up silver after a fantastic start – pipped at the post thanks to some pesky buoys and a reedy finish.

Praise too for the Wentworth Richmond composite Male Masters Eight who won on both days thanks to their great efforts and huge long and lanky Wentworth rowers. Our all Richmond masters eight gave it all they had, but a 6 sec handicap over 800m and 4 seconds over the 500m run made the race for a medal just out of reach.

There was lots of “in-boat” video footage taken over the weekend, and we can confirm the number of actual strokes it takes to complete the course. Over 500m the pair of Morgan and Lindsey took 64 strokes, the double of Dave and Charlie did it in 59 strokes, the men’s D grade coxed four took 58  and the mixed eight 54. Our male masters eight took only 49 strokes over the same distance. Loving the stats!

In addition there was the christening of a new member owned boat – the Hobbit.  The name has nothing to do with the height and furry feet of the crew – and any gossip is ‘fake news’.  Denis Henry also proved that he is still a wizard at Rock-Paper-Scissors (to keep Leigh and Christine’s daughter entertained).

Off the water – Freshly made bacon and egg rolls for lunch and awesome chicken parmies’ later in the pub, all washed down with plenty of coffee and beer. Mostly beer.

Chiltern – our host for the night is an idyllic, charming and historic town with plenty of laughs in the numerous bars. We visited most of them in search of the best table and the coldest beer.

All up it was an awesome trip, the weather was especially kind to us with day time temps hovering around the 27 deg mark. Many thanks must go to those that worked behind the scenes organising accommodation and boat transport. You all know who you are, and know that we could not have done it without you, and we can’t forget our effervescent Yash who volunteered as our BRO for the weekend. This is definitely one regatta we should all make an effort to attend. Bring on 2019.

Kim B. and Alex R.

HotY 2017

We started our journey in the men’s eight, in earnest, around September of this year. A “Head Season”, with unremittingly long distances, curves, bends and crashes was a completely new concept for me. Basil brought a new fiery intensity to the club; putting us through our paces with some grueling ergos and a new weights program. As well as some killer (literally) circuits. All the joys.

To think 12 weeks ago, I would go on to actually ENJOY sustaining a 28-30 stroke rate for over half an hour seemed laughable and virtually un-doable! However, I genuinely enjoyed every last minute of this year’s Head of the Yarra.

I’m a nervy race-day rower… as my team-mates will confirm from excessively detailed body-workings on our WhatsApp group; “Morning Glory”. I arrived 4 hours before the race; keen to revel in the atmosphere, cheer on other crews and wind down the nerves. However, the nerves quickly turned to an astute state of focus once I watched a few boats taking off from the judges’ box.

Tim gathered us together as a crew at 12.45 with a final few words of wisdom. “Lengthen” would be our call. Lengthen to tidy up your last stroke and reset. Lengthen to ensure a full and strong finish. Lengthen to get your body over for a tender catch.

The starting line announcer sounded mechanical and almost haunting. Boat names were being called out like the quelling from the Hunger Games, with one simple instruction; “ROW”.

“Boat 206… row”.

The race itself feels a little like a blur. I remember the relief of getting around “big bend” (I was sitting in three seat) and then faintly thinking about tanking up for the next corner…

Stef was clinical in her calls and coxing. She put in a stellar performance, driving her crew on for pieces and navigating a difficult course in what can only be described as a coxswain’s race. We managed to hunt down and pass a crew around the 3km mark. We had drawn blood! There was a hunger and a freshness in the boat, perhaps Basil’s intensity was finally beginning to rub off. We wanted more… Tim was screaming from the bank; ushering us on to take another boat down. He wanted the “bumble-bees” from Balmain… The rush of passing another crew lifted us. We soon entered a crash site. Argonauts, were the casualties, missing a bend and lodging themselves in the middle of the river. Quick thinking from Stef and an “oar”esome save from Club President Jon ensured we sailed past our rivals unscathed. We were still hunting right to the finish line; pressing Balmain on the line and perching ourselves right up the pecking order.

Our hard work seemed to be answered in the overall results. Although the results posted on the day had us in 4th place, further inquiry and clarification had us ultimately with a quality 2nd place finish from 12 D Grade Crews. Our time of 33.25 placed us into 90th place overall. Even without knowing the result, I felt an exhilarating rush of joy! We’d finally come together as a crew to put in a solid row. We drove hard right out to the end and we had the shared euphoria of a team’s effort. A beer well earned!

We couldn’t have put a Richmond men’s eight together without wider help from the club. We cannot thank Tim, Dave and Keith, Ray and Kimmy enough for stepping in during training sessions and keeping the momentum going. Special mention to Matt Ebbatson on this front, for stepping up on about a week’s notice to fill in for Tim on race day after Tim succumbed to injury. We also lamented the losses of Laurent, James and Cam to injury at earlier points in the campaign; watch this space! They’ll be back. And an extra special thanks to Basil, Tim, Dennis and Ger for driving us on as coaches. The feeling of vindication for all the training and mileage off the water made me feel like a proud, proud man!

And of course, the men’s 8 was far the only Richmond presence on the water at this year’s HoTY. First off the mark from the Richmond crews was the women’s masters A-C 8 at about 11.15am, coxed by Mike Numa. By all accounts they made a great start, pushing off strong and swiftly passed several crews through the first half of the course up to big bend. Although the coaching observation had to turn back after that, the crew pushed on to finish in a solid 8th in category in a time of 37:01. This is the first time Richmond has entered the masters category, competing with some very strong crews. They’ve now set the benchmark for those to come!

Just shortly before the men’s 8 was to kick off, the women’s D grade 8 made their dash down the course, starting at about 1.20 and coxed by Derek Begg. Again, some strong crews were amongst the competition. The reports are again that the team pulled down the course strongly. They ultimately finishing 8th in category in a time of 41:51, improving on their overall placing from 2017. Ed has passed on her take on the girl’s tilt: we made a good start, the boats who were going to pass passed and then we had a steady row down to big bend. The bend was tricky in shallow water and rowing started to get difficult. With no other boats in sight it almost felt like any given Sunday row. We got a second wind going pass Scotch and eventually make it over the line, exhausted. Once we’d cooled down with some beers in the shade, the pirates rowed the eight home, and the highlight was cap’n Derek who did not give his pirate voice a break the entire 8.6km back. Thanks for keeping it fun Derek!

In addition to those full crews, Tigers were on the water in other boats. Gerry Goss, as well as coaching all of the Richmond crews at various times, scorched her way down the course in a composite Nagambie boat in the women’s masters F-K category. Her crew won their category in a time of 33:55! Ray Dennis also competed in a composite Banks crew in the men’s masters I-K 8, which crossed the line in 35:15. And we can’t forget Basil of course, who ended up scoring a seat in a masters Argonauts crew at the last minute.

There were also Tigers on the water in the coxswain’s seat. Shern Timmins was on the water early, coxing a composite Year 10 MLC/Tara schoolgirl’s crew from Sydney – Shern’s second HoTY in the cox’s seat! Nicole Stupka also steered an Adelaide crew down the course. And Lindsay Brown added an international element, taking control of a mixed crew from New Zealand.

Although some names have already been mentioned on the coaching front, it never hurts to say them again and to make sure that everyone is included. All the coaches put in a huge amount of effort and time, which is almost entirely out of their dedication to the club and their passion for rowing. They also fulfil multiple roles, as Derek (coach/cox), Mike (coach/cox), Tim (coach/rower) and Dennis (coach/rower) all demonstrate. We’d like to say again thanks to Basil, Tim, Dennis, Derek, Mike, Gerry and Barry.

With all that, another HoTY down – bring on HoTY 2018!

John Carey (telling the story of a first HoTY experience) and Andrew Yuile (doing the round-up on all RRC involvements)