College rowers in April and May

Training for the intercollegiate regatta recommences on Saturday 22nd of April after the Easter break culminating with the regatta day on the 6th of May.

It’s worth noting that whilst some crews are ex-school rowers with plenty of experience many have never rowed before and will be getting a crash course in sweep rowing before competing in that first regatta in two weeks.

This year RRC has leased the Schouten Family and the Jennifer Campbell out to the college crews exclusively along with the timber veneer Croker oars. These boats have now been blocked out for booking until after the 6th of May. We will also loan the Ambush on an ad-hoc basis until that crew’s boat is available at MUBC next week.

Crews leasing RRC boats are from University and Queens Colleges and MLC are leasing to Ormond and Trinity. With RRC and MLC leasing fleet to the intercollegiate rowing this year there will be between 50 and 70 odd new faces around the club when you add rowers, coxswains, coaches, reserves and friends. That’s a lot of potential new members so make them feel welcome.

The college crews predominantly train weekday mornings but I suspect they’ll be trying to get a few extra sessions in over the weekend and through to ANZAC day now the enforced Easter break is over. Those using RRC boats have been reminded to use the log book but even RRC’s experienced members forget sometimes so check the boats are all on the racks before you lock the RRC shed up.

More information on the intercollegiate various sports including rowing can be found here:

The girls from the Victorian Pathway Team eight have also been boating out of the MLC shed over the last week and will be attending Time trials over the next few days in Penrith. RRC wish them luck.…/JuniorPathwayTeam/

Footscray and Henley on the Maribyrnong Regattas

Saturday and it’s overcast with the likelihood of rain, not the best weather for racing but the carpark was already full. 9 o’clock and we’re plenty early for a 10.36 race time.

As usual when the Sullivans tow, the trailer is handy and loaded with other Club’s boats. A big thanks for Shern whose been here since the start of the day to fulfill the clubs BRO duties.

Our first race; Guy, Leigh, Phil and Denis; Race 33, the MM4X+ first and final. The familiar impatient wait at the landing for a space, that odd nervy sense of haste to get the feet set and find a line to move down the transition lane.

On the way down to the line we get to cheer on Andrew as he comfortably takes out a heat of the MD1x. Later in the day after plenty of racing a tired Andrew after recovering from a less than perfect start, performs well in the ensuing final.

Plenty of room down behind the start line for some race starts and a “faster, faster” set. Hitting 52 is a great confidence builder for the first race.

While we’re down behind the line, it’s Gerri and Ainslie’s turn. Appearing to have the other two crews covered they easily win Heat 2 of the FC2X with a boat length and a half margin.

Off before us, it’s Dennis, Andrew, Jon and Allan in the MM4X+ with Stef on the tiller and Corio Bay and Footscray on the line. Despite what the programme says, these are all first and finals. Confessing later to never have got going in the race, the guys finish 3rd – maybe it was the quick turnaround for Andrew, maybe the first race of the day, First races are often a triumph of adrenaline over technique.

Richmond off GO; don’t you love being an E crew! Hawthorn and Rutherglen Lakes/Wahgunyah are both off 3 seconds; we get a great start and enjoy a comfortable win.

Straight after Andrew’s D single final, Dennis, Dave M, Jon and Allan coxed by Stef race down the course in the MD4+. The Wahgunyah crew doesn’t let up and chases them all the way to the line but can’t prevent another Richmond win.

Footscray 4+

Now to the final of the FC2X; two well-credentialled Essendon crews can’t prevent Gerri and Ainslie racing to the line and taking another win for the Club.

Back in the quad for the X4X+; Jen, Denis, Leigh and Christine. One of those starts that reminds us all to be ready every time; because none of the crews was. Hardly is a line called than we hear Go! Surprisingly, we’re out of the blocks fast and first. Two great crews; Footscray City and Essendon keep the chase on and by the 300 metre mark they’ve drawn alongside. Unbelievably they end up in a dead heat and no, that doesn’t make it a 2nd for us – that would be 3rd.

Race 108; the MM4+ first and final, two Richmond crews (Leigh, Guy, Denis, Phil and, Allan, Jon, Andrew and Dennis) and Rutherglen Lakes/Wahgunyah, a grudge race? No, but plenty of banter at the start line. And what did I say about being an E crew? You gotta love it! Richmond -Sullivan off Go, Rutherglen Lakes off 3 secs and Richmond – Randall off 9 secs.

The chase was on from the start and it’s a great one, two for Richmond with the Sullivan boat holding off the fast finishing Randall crew. Was the margin still 9 seconds? Depends which boat you were in. J

We don’t get to see Race 66; the final of the female C Grade double scull, safe to say Richmond, Goss and Raggatt have a comfortable win over two Essendon crews.

Race 123, the first and final of the FC4X+; Karen, Michelle, Ainslie and Gerri coxed by Shern have a win over a sole Essendon crew.

Late in the day Keith, in his double with Dave M takes out his first win in the B final of the double. There’s nothing more encouraging than your first win. That is what brings you back to the start line time after time.

It’s Sunday and standing high above the river at Essendon you get that great view of the full 350 metres of the course and you know that if you don’t start fast here you don’t win.

We find out that before we even arrive, Anthea has won in the FM4+ composite with a Caulfield and Mercantile crew.

11.36; it’s a much better time to for the first race of the day. The MM4X+ again with Rutherglen Lakes/Wahgunyah off 1 second; 1 second! What sort of start is that? And Barwon/Corio composite off 3 seconds – that’s a bit better.

It’s tricky to get a practice here but with a steady hand and a keen eye Christine takes us through the weird bridge foundations to get a couple of starts in and get the heart rate up.

It must have worked, a really tight finish with Barwon/Corio right in the mix – when it’s that close it’s always hard to know especially when the finish line is angled across the river. Finally it’s confirmed another Richmond win!

Back in the mixed quad and on the line against Barwon and Hamilton and a mighty young crew Hamilton looks. Mixed should be Masters J so we suggest they give us a 22 second start which unobligingly they ignore. A great start for Richmond but Barwon comes off their racing line, oars clash, some have to stop rowing; we get going again and dash for the line, holding off Barwon comfortably. Where is Hamilton – I can only see two boats – gear failure on the line? But no! They win and we’re left wondering – but for the crash – maybe?

Anthea has a win in the Mixed Eight in a combined Caulfield, Mercantile, and Richmond composite over Barwon and Essendon.

In the end a great weekend of racing with a swag of medals for Richmond and best of all for tired rowers, a short drive back to the sheds for a quick boat unloading.


By Dennis Henry

Vic State Champs

I was plied with alcohol when I somehow agreed to write the States blog for Karen, hence its lateness, as I had forgotten all about it by the time we got back from Nagambie for boat unloading!

The early birds scored Richmond some serious bling- Geri and Ainsley a Gold in their C Double and the boys (Laurent, Dave, Jon and Allan), championed by Stef had their Gold stolen by a bow ball in the D Four. Still I think Silver suits them quite well. We love medals but we also love it when everyone gives their best and the girls from “the eight” (Boat one: Shern Timmins, Catherine Dorian, Zoe Maxwell, Gabriella Ibbott, cox Derek Boat two: Yash Vegi, Karin Bouvin, Edwina Griffiths, Jodie Naisbitt, cox Stef) had some fierce competition in the D Fours. All this success before I even rocked up after a blissful sleep in, around 11am, to assume my previously acquired position at States as #1 cheerleader (this year as Toms Tigers ailed crewmate).

Womens C2X goldMens D4+ states

Wouldn’t be a complete blog without an interlude about the weather!

It was a far cry from the previous regatta. The wind still blustered away but the sun shone fiercely with no rain to speak of.

The medal trend continued through the afternoon with the successful combination of Geri, Ainsley, Michelle and Karen earning Bronze in the final of the C Quad (coxed by Sue Andrews) and Gold in the 2000m B Quad first and final (coxed by Derek Begg).

Womens B4X states

The ladies Eight fought hard in their race, alas the competition was fierce with Powerhouse taking the win.

Toms Tigers (Lindsey, Morgan, Lisa and Carolyn, coxed by Derek) plowed through their heat to the hotly contested final, where there’s no doubt they left nothing in the tank making Coach Tom in his flash crew teeshirt pretty proud. The men’s pairs was a fun race to watch with Tim and Jon racing against Nic and Dave. It was a tough race with a pretty happy Tim and Jon getting the Silver. The Men’s Quad championed by double n Dennis had 50% of the original DEMN crew as Martin kindly stepped in to fill Charlie’s seat with Mike C and Andrew. Even Nicole was in the coxswain seat for the heat. They pushed through and collected a Bronze. Perhaps Martin might consider a come back after all!

Mens D2-MD4X+

All in all a pretty successful year at the 2017 Vic State champs for Richmond. Bring on masters season!

Sarah Houghton

Quiz Night Fundraising Success

For those of you not on Facebook you may have missed this comprehensive write up of Saturdays great fundraising quiz night success and I didn’t want anyone to miss out, so find it copied below. Along with this chronical came the daily trivia teasers leading up to the event and all the behind the scenes efforts to make the night a triumph and I wanted to offer my personal thanks to everyone who contributed to keeping the annual RRC fundraiser a fun night not to be missed. Look out for news here on how the funds will be spent to directly benefit the members of the club.

“I lost my virginity again on Saturday night, hosting my first ever trivia night. And even before I got to the first question, we lost the answer sheets and the table round questions (quotable quotes). I swore, as I do in these situations, walked around the room a few times until Dave appeared with a ream of paper. Crisis averted.

It was a nervous start: rules were read and rehearsed jokes fell flat. The warm up served it purpose, pin pointing the location of the drinkers, and those not on facebook. It was a bit long winded and the punters were starting to get restless, they just wanted the trivia.

Round one, Arts and Entertainment. I was told the night before the questions were too easy. After only a few questions, it was obvious this may not be the case. However, by the middle of the round, most teams looked to be answering questions. I relaxed, and we started to hit the groove. That was until I read out the answers at the end of the round.

Question eight, the hecklers started; the team not on facebook (known herein as the minority) . Yes, I stuffed up, most first timers do. They questioned, I defended, they questioned back (with interest), I conceded, they offered to Google, I conceded again, they muttered words and shook heads. Question retracted. They were hear to play.

The highlight was the round was the karaoke. Three great renditions of Valarie, Throw your arms around me and Life on Mars. I was impressed, and so were the punters. Bonus points awarded to the brave.

We broke for the Auction. Derek kicked off the first round superbly, raising over $1K with the five items on offer. Things were looking up.

Round two, Melbourne. After a fairly even first round, teams would falter on their knowledge of Melbourne. If only they were tourists, trawling for background on the city they would soon visit, they would have nailed every question.

The minority skipped away with a solid round. Despite their lead, they continued to heckle and question. Yes, Archer did win the cup twice, but he won the first in 1861 not 1862. If I wanted the year the second Melbourne Cup was run, I would have asked for it.

I hand the keys over the Derek and head to the bar to buy a beer.

Derek took to the floor for round two of the auction. The prizes were bigger this round and so were the bids. The big one was the hall hire. It went for $950. The clubs jewel in the crown became the five bedroom weekender, and as the bids increased, the committee collectively smiled.

Round three, general ignorance. A not so flattering photo of Trump brought a chuckle among the crowd. Several drinks into the night, the crowd was starting to catch up with the lads at the back of the room.

The questions were bastards. The type that sit on the tip of the tongue but you can never spit them them out. What is Donald Trumps personal twitter handle? Where was the Titanic built? Right royal bastards.

The answers were read out, fists pumped and cries of anguish were heard as each way bets proved the difference between right and wrong. The elephant in the room arrived during this round on the back of the Grand Old Party. Two out of seven teams walked away with the bonus points.

The minority were at it again. Neptune is a gaseous planet not terrestrial, according to NASA, and I am guessing they know a bit about these sorts of things. And by the way, when the question asks for four planets, don’t list six to cover all options. Oh dear, the quiz master is having difficulty in adding up their scores correctly. I have always been bad with numbers.

Round three of the Auction and Derek is working the room raising more than he should on items lost on their owners. This is what the auction is all about. By the end of the round he will have raised over $4K for the club. A great nights work.

Round four, sporting glory. The final round starts with a slide of the Australian mens heavy weight four catching a massive crab mid race at Lucerne. We are all human after all.

It’s a fun round with most teams fairing well. However, some responses left me feeling that sporting knowledge is not on the agenda for some people. Perhaps they have given up, and their intention was to make me laugh. It certainly worked. There is no question that Gough Whitlem was a remarkable person, however, I am not sure he managed to kick the goal that put Australia into the 2006 World Cup.

The final answers are given, and for the first time of the night, the minority remain silent.

Dave runs the sit down game and we raise a bit more cash for the club. We complete the night by announcing the minority as the winners by a slender margin of two points. They come forth to claim their prize, winning the tiger and refusing to accept it’s birth certificate. It remains behind the bar.

It’s been a good night for the club. We have raised over $6K for new equipment which helps keep members in new boats and in the medals.

If the truth be told we were all virgins tonight. It’s was also Derek’s fist time as an auctioneer and Dave’s organising the event. Following on from the master Justin was going to be tough, but I think we did alright.

See you all next year.”

Simon Crunden

Shiny New Boat (and it’s first win!)

Thanks to everyone who put forward suggestions for the name of our newest RRC fleet addition. As a committee we thought long and hard about the choice for this new boat. It is a brand new Sykes coxed quad/four for women that will no doubt get extensive use and be with the club for many years to come (if we look after it very well! – please). As a result we believed it was important to name it after a person who embodies the Richmond Rowing Club spirit and who has contributed throughout many years, continues to do so today and hopefully will continue for many years to come, so it is my pleasure to announce it is to be named the Dennis Beck.

Dennis has been a smiling face around the club for many years and has been an active and very successful rower, representing RRC at state and national levels. Most current members will know him as regular coach, cox and substitute extraordinaire happy to jump in and fill a seat or do what is necessary to ensure crews get on the water and have fun. He is never far away when we call for a volunteer to BRO at regattas, serve drinks on the bar, or man the BBQ. Along with this he has served on the committee in the role of captain and been a constant helpful hand at the club. The current committee believe he is very well deserving of this honour.

Dennis collageCan you recognise the man throughout his RRC career? and some other familiar faces.

I was delighted to be at the club with the man himself when the shiny new boat was delivered just over a week ago and also very proud to be involved in its maiden voyage at Nagambie last weekend. Now just over a week old the brand new boat has received its first bling with a successful row on Saturday with the WC4X+ winning through a heat, semi and the final to take out the title at Australian Henley.

Let’s hope for many more successes in this beautiful boat (and with some more fundraising maybe we can buy another one 😉 – don’t forget to buy your Quiz night tickets for 18th March now).

WC4X+ Aus Henley Champions
WC4X+ Aus Henley Champions – Sophie, Karen, Gerri, Ainsley and Mike N (cox)


Ballarat and Nagambie Sprint Regattas

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Wins for RRC crews

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


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

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

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

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

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

Wins for RRC crews

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

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

Well done everyone!!

By Anthea and Piyada

Trivia Night Auction Items

With only a few weeks to go until the trivia night, we are desperate for items to auction on the night.

Here are a few ideas for items you could donate for the auction: holiday houses, a few years ago I sold a weekend away for $1500; wine, who doesn’t like a good drop of wine; tickets to events; sporting goods, including old rowing kit; food hampers; and any unique item that attracts a bit of interest, for example, Canter’s freshwater pearl earrings cultivated on an Olympic rowing course.

Another idea is to donate your time.  Handyman, house keeping, gardening and babysitting services always attract good bids as do professional services, including, tax returns, legal wills and life coaching.

Have a bit of a think about what you could donate to raise money for the club.  When you have made up your mind, send us an email ( with the details and we will add it to the items to sell at auction.

We will set the ball rolling by donating a magnum of French Champagne.

RRC annual Trivia Night is under a month away

Christmas club races/bbq and New Years Eve were both fantastic events at RRC and we also raised $3500 for our fundraising goals. As a result we’re nearly ready to order of the gym equipment (though we didn’t quite raise enough for the mirrors to help keep an eye on your posture). The good news is that annual RRC trivia night is under a month away on the starting at 7pm Saturday the 18th of March and it is often the biggest of the fundraising events.

The theme chosen ‘Saints & Sinners’ was one that if you still are dressed in the costume from the day before being St Patricks day it will save precious time. Justin Thomas regrettably can not board the ship back to Australia for the occasion he is writing the question and hopefully on the night won’t be captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland to look after animals. Simon Crunden is getting his voice ready to as the annual fundraiser auctioneer and he will MC the trivia.

It has previously been a great night and as always it’s great for friends, colleagues and family to enjoy each other’s company. Get your tickets through Try Booking. Donation of auction items / services big and small will be greatly appreciated. Please contact myself David Micallef or 0414 907 075 .

Yoga for Rowers- Starting Tuesday 21st Feb 6.30am

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

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

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

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

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


Boathouse security

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