Building works nearly complete

Thanks everyone for your patience while the kitchen and bar are refurbished.

The builders now expect to complete all works on Thursday 19 October so use of the main hall will return to normal after that.

The hall can be used this weekend as it has been cleared for a venue hire but the builders will need to use the hall again next week to store some of their materials and equipment.



Spring Camp 2017

Rowing camp can instil a dreading fear in the best of us and I hesitantly left Melbourne on Friday evening with a h’anger and exhaustion that manifests after a hectic week in work. Challenged with the insight that I was likely to be rowing in a pair, I ensured to pack my goggles, banana hammock and trusty life-jacket…and planned for imminent hypothermia.


Much to my delight however, I arrived to a toasty cabin 42. Considering my previous experience of camp accommodation was a mouldy mosquito-laden bunked shed in (very) rural New Zealand, I’d fallen into 5 star camp conditions! I was sharing with a potential dream-team for box-biting; Rens, Cam, Keith, James and his partner Lizzie. We quickly commenced a (sober) practice session of box-biting in anticipation for Saturday night and enjoyed Richmond’s thumping of “so-long Geelong”.


We awoke to an awe inspiring view; with a peaking sun, clear skies and silky smooth waters. W.B. Yeats’ would have been proud, so we quickly (slowly) took off to arrive at 6.15am for camp initiation.

We were welcomed by a tenacious Tim and dangerous Dennis, who informed that rowing in pairs would form the morning session. Much to my own and Allan’s delight, we managed to stay afloat and zig-zag our way down the 2km course.


The mid-morning session consisted of a 7.2km row down the Goulburn to the forbidden fruit; a vineyard. Unfortunately the docking spot beside the sacred ground was occupied, and a merry Masters crew waved us past from the shoreline. Maybe next year…

Other crews were busy at work too, with over 50 of Richmond’s finest rowers weaving their wave down the Goulburn and Nagambie lakes park.

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The long row did not go un-noticed though and we were rewarded by the “the roll that had it all”. Never in my wildest dreams did I envisage a roll so packed with wonderful surprises; beetroot, the finest cheddar cheese and crunchy ‘slaw… DELICIOUS.

The afternoon was sprint session of speedy proportions as we continued to knit as a 8 man crew. Stroked by “Usain” Allan Randall, we worked our way through a pyramid piece which fizzled the mind to the point of “just row, don’t think”. We left the water optimistic of our potential as a crew.


Next to the good stuff; the barbeque and box-biting… The food committee outdid themselves with ample supplies of coleslaw, potato salads, vegan options and bbq-classics. Rens was in dream land and gloried in a food coma induced by his first Australian barbeque experience.

Box-biting was hilarious from the outset. Coopers Ale kindly supplied a box worthy of all our saliva and the chief umpire Dave was on hand to meticulously shave off 3.75 cubic centimetres from the box per round. Box-biting legends, Barry and Dave whispered invaluable tips on how to overcome the beastly box. “Avoid the soggy bit”, “aim for the opposite side”, “get caught beyond the catch” and choose the “right side to bite” still echo in my ears.

Much to my dismay, I bowed out during round three. The competition was far from over at that point though, as 4 heroes of the box entered a new realm of awesome. They really did demonstrate how to bite a box. Allan surprised us all in his flexibility skill-set and demonstrated the importance of active wear. Tina, 1 year on from delivering her first born was on hand to serve up sizzling single leg squats. Meanwhile, Keith and Edwina were at lager heads to become champion; stooping to new levels and re-writing the box-biting history books for good measure. There were shouts for the sport to be endowed as an Olympic event, as it went to the wire and 12 nail (and box) biting rounds. It led to a new box-biting record of 8cm from the floor to crown a winner. Keith rose above his bronze placed finish from last year and ousted Edwina off her biting throne to claim victory for a revering cabin 42.


The final day consisted of 2 further exhausting rows.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge set by the pair and can see the carryover back into the 8. I’m hoping my wrestling match with the oar is over and I’ll be more graceful in avoiding over-muscling the blade in such a sensitive boat.

What a winning weekend for Richmond Rowing Club! Huge thanks again to all the organising committee, coaches and participants.


I’m tapping out for now (or not). Looking forward to seeing all of the now familiar faces in training over the coming season. Let’s go Tigers!


John Carey and James Attenborough

Member Safety During Building Works

A reminder that the building works for the kitchen and bar start on Thursday this week.

During this time the hall is a building site and the builders have requested that members do not access the hall as it will not be left safe for use by members.

From today member access fobs will not access doors into the hall. To get to the terrace, please go through the MLC classroom (all member fobs will work for the classroom door).

The renovation will only take 4 weeks and then we can all be back to normal use of the hall.

Thanks for your patience and we look forward to celebrating our newly refurbished bar soon!

Continued investment in our fleet announced at the AGM

Our AGM was held at the club on Saturday 29th July 2017 in our wonderful facilities. It was an opportunity for the members of the club to come together and reflect on the clubs operations over the past year. We continue to be able to present a healthy balance sheet. Thank you to all who attended and thank you to all the Committee members for their contribution through the year. The clubs healthy finances benefit greatly from our amazing venue and our ability to continue to hire the venue through the ongoing work of the Committee and Lucy as our Facilities Coordinator. As you will have seen from recent blog post about the kitchen and bar refurbishment we continue to invest in the club so we can maximise our income. We were pleased to announce at the AGM our ability to continue to invest in the renewal of the fleet as the outgoing Committee have placed an order for a brand new Sykes boat, a men’s Kevlar bow coxed quad/four.

A major part of the AGM is to elect a new Committee and Farewell any departing members from the Committee. The three Committee members who stood down will be sorely missed.

Karen Doggett, our outgoing president has been a member of the Committee for six years, four of them as president. During this time her dedication and commitment to the role and the club have been evident to all. She has also found the time for significant on water success during the time. The club is in a strong position as Karen leaves the Committee.

Dave Micallef has been the clubs Fundraising Coordinator over the past year, he has overseen a successful fundraising contribution that has allowed us to refit the gym and invest in some much needed new oars. Nick Forte steps down as ordinary member having contributed strongly to the fleet subcommittee and redesigning the gym.

The new committee for the 2017-18 season consists of:

President – Jon Roberts

Vice-President – Geraldine Goss

Secretary – Aline Dejaeger

Treasurer – Kathy Macrow

Captain of Boats – Barry Campbell

Head of Rowing – Tim Evans

Facilities Coordinator – Lucy Crunden

Fundraising Coordinator – Christine Sullivan

Two ordinary members – Yashwini Vegi, Laurent Demay

Congratulations and welcome to our newest Committee members, Christine Sullivan, Yashwini Vegi and Laurent Demay.

Following the conclusion of the AGM we celebrated the newest addition to our fleet, the Dennis Beck, our brand new women’s Kevlar bow coxed quad/four Mould 10. Dennis was on hand to swing the hammer and officially name the boat.

Thanks to everyone who then helped out with the bbq and bar afterwards.

Naming Dennis Beck

Kitchen and Bar Refurbishment

We have now signed contracts with Visual Builders for the kitchen and bar refurbishment. The works will commence on 14 September and will be completed by 12 October.  During this time members should use the classroom in preference to the hall.

We will need some assistance to empty the kitchen and bar of all items the club wishes to keep. If you are available to assist on Tuesday 12 September, please let Lucy know using the email.

If anyone is interested in purchasing the fridge and dishwasher in the kitchen from the rowing club, please make an offer by emailing


RRC’s goals and future planning

Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who participated in our strategic planning day at the beginning of this month. Some lively discussion helped us to define exactly who we are, our values and what we want to offer to our members. We were also able to come together and concentrate on generating some specific objectives to assist us in continuing to grow by focusing in on what matters to us.

So here is a very quick snapshot summarising the outcomes of the day.

Firstly RRC’s mission statement:

“Richmond Rowing Club has a long proud history as an active and competitive, volunteer managed rowing club. We will continue to provide opportunities to participate, develop and compete in an inclusive, friendly environment, balancing lifestyle and rowing.”

At the conclusion of the day we settled upon 4 Objectives for the club going forward, with intermediate goals and a plan to be put in place to help achieve them over the coming years:

  1. Membership Growth – Grow to over 200 members in five years
  2. Demonstrate Club Success on the Water – Place in the top 5 of the RV Club Champion premiership
  3. Member Engagement – Engage members through vibrant off water events and a culture of volunteering
  4. Governance and Finance – To be able to independently finance fleet renewal and building improvement

We now want to hear from you! Every member of the club is invited to give feedback or comments on anything listed here. Furthermore we need input from you all to help us formulate a plan and build the goals that will lead to us achieving these objectives.

We are proposing to hold a workshop at the boathouse on Saturday August 26th from 10am to discuss Membership Engagement. Achieving an active and engaged membership base will no doubt help with building membership growth and contribute to depth in skill and experience that can contribute to success on the water. Therefore it is this critical objective that feeds in to all the others that we have decided to start our plan with. Please try to make the time to participate in helping make RRC a club we can be proud of, each and everyone one of us can do something no matter how small and your first step is to come along and join in the discussions.

Any questions, comments, suggestions let me know,


Automated External Defibrillator at RRC

A few years ago, while playing in our regular Monday evening social mixed doubles comp, one of my team members, Malcolm* collapsed on court having suffered a cardiac arrest. He was 47, with no previous history of heart disease. Not long after, my daughter was diagnosed with a particular heart arrhythmia that has been associated with sudden death during exercise. Malcolm’s life was saved because the tennis club had an Automated External Defibrilltor (AED), and, together with prompt CPR, the AED was used within two minutes. The AED was available, and people knew how to use it: otherwise he would have died that evening. AEDs are the only known device that stops chaotic electrical heart activity and allows the heart to re-establish itself to a normal rhythm.

Today Malcolm is back at work and plays tennis regularly. Since these events I have become interested and aware of programs aimed at fitting all sporting clubs with AEDs and I am proud to say that RRC has been successful in obtaining an AED through this grant system.

The survival rate from cardiac arrest is about 6-8 %, but when AEDs are available it can rise to 35-45%. Time is critical. You cannot do any harm when someone is having a cardiac arrest as they would die if there is no intervention. The minimum ambulance arrival time is 9 minutes., but brain damage starts after 3-4 minutes. This can be avoided if people recognize cardiac arrest, start CPR and use an AED. AEDs are portable and designed to be used by virtually anyone to save a life. Defibrillation within 3 minutes increases the chance of survival from 5% to over 70%.

The AED will be installed on August 15th at 6.30pm and club members are invited to come along and learn how to use the AED. Instruction will also cover first aid measures for sprains, strains, use of slings, management of near drowning, CPR and how to use an AED. Members are invited and strongly urged to come along! Once you are aware of them, you will start to notice AEDs everywhere you go. Please let me know if you plan to attend as numbers are limited to 20 people: reply to

You may never be called upon to use one, but let me tell you, if you are involved in saving a life because you knew CPR and knew how to use an AED- it’s a pretty cool thing to do.

Geraldine Goss

Good news RE. Parking permits

Thankfully the council have amended their earlier error in only issuing us temporary parking permits.

I’m pleased to inform you that we now have the 4hour permits that allow parking Monday-Friday prior to 9am and after 3pm and Saturday to Sunday anytime at the back of the boathouses. These are limited though and we do not have enough for every member! So we ask you all if you borrow one – from the locked storage box in the back stairwell, PLEASE return it straight after your row so it can be available to another member who may need it.

Also remember that at weekends there is NO CHARGE for parking along boathouse drive, so you do not have to be behind the boathouses.

We do offer our committee members and regular coaches access to Parking permits so please see head of rowing if you would like to request one.

Apologies for the confusion at the beginning of the month when the wrong permits were issued to us by the council.

RRC now has a Limited Renewable Liquor Licence

It has taken a lot of time and effort but RRC was recently awarded a liquor licence, which will allow us to open the bar and sell alcoholic beverages. This does not mean that we seek to become a drinking club, but we hope this will enhance the social aspect of club activities and add an avenue for fundraising as well.

Importantly, events where the bar is open must be conducted in a manner consistent with liquor licensing legislation. The committee will publish a formal club policy but here are some brief points:

  • Members serving behind the bar MUST have their Responsible Service of Alcohol qualification. You are strongly encouraged as a club member to complete one of these courses. The more qualified members we have the more potential we have to open the bar and the less we rely on the same people to do all of the work.
  • The licence is only valid in the upstairs area of the clubhouse, including the deck. Alcohol cannot be taken downstairs or outside of the clubhouse.
  • Alcohol misuse can lead to risk taking, unsafe, unacceptable and/or illegal behaviour. As club members we will expect a responsible approach and use of good judgment when alcohol is available. Members will not compete, train, coach or officiate if affected by alcohol. Alcohol will not be served to persons aged under 18 years.
  • We ask that all attendees at our functions plan their transport requirements to ensure they arrive home safely and prevent driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Non alcoholic beverages will also be served whenever the bar is open.
  • Members may bring guests to club functions where the bar is open. Guests MUST sign in to the club register with their name and address, and the name of the member they are with. The register will be kept in the bar.
  • Non member functions that are catered by outside caterers will continue to operate under the licence of the caterer. A sign will be displayed in the clubhouse indicating that this is the case for that particular function.

A liquor licence will allow greater scope in organizing club functions and fundraising. If you have any ideas or would like to organize a function (eg a movie night, speaker where an open bar may be fun and may assist in fundraising) then you are strongly encouraged to discuss with the fundraising coordinator.

Geraldine Goss

Parking Permits

Parking Permits for club members are no longer available due to changes by the City of Melbourne

Rowers, coaches and coxes are encouraged to attend training by use of public transport and/or bicycle or foot.  If you drive, please allow sufficient time to park in the Boathouse Drive parking spaces, spaces around the Tan/Botanical Gardens or use the available parking stations at Southbank.

The council has issued the club with three permits only and 30 single use vouchers.  The committee will discuss at it’s next meeting how our normal club operations (rowing coaching, boat repairs, cleaning & facility maintenance, hall hires and can continue with these 3 shared vouchers and the single use vouchers).
We were only advised of this situation yesterday so were unable to give you more notice.