Weekend away to focus on training for the head racing season.
Save the date!
Weekend away to focus on training for the head racing season.
Save the date!
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
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
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
Thursday night: The trip didn’t seem like it was getting off on the right foot when we left Melbourne on a cold, rainy night for the 2 hour dark drive up to Nagambie. After an exhausting week at work we arrived at the campsite and already we had encountered our first challenge, a boom gate. Thanks to organisation queen Kathy’s email “most” of us got through without a hitch – others needed to wake up the locals only to be reminded that the code had already been sent out. A couple of U-turns later we found our cabins and settled in for the night.
Day 1: Early morning wake-up call. It seemed each cabin had a morning person and ours was Edwina. Leaping out of her bed at 5:30 AM and annoying those who wanted an extra 10 minutes (or 2 hours!) snooze. Yash wasn’t quite coping but a coffee delivered to bed fixed her up soon enough.
Again the weather didn’t seem to be ideal, cold, rainy, and muddy we set out for the day. Down to the lake at 6:15 to rig the boats, a quick meet & greet and then straight on to the water. Given that 2 hours is about the most any of us beginners have rowed in a day we were in for some hurt. We had a massive 6 hours ahead of us and despite the enthusiasm, it wasn’t easy! (How do the regular members keep up their energy?!) One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was the barbeque, which we were all excited about! Over some delicious BBQ the DS heard some great stories and advice form rowing veterans, mainly Rob.
Fed and somewhat rested it was then time for the box biting challenge to begin. For those who couldn’t stay out to watch, Dave was live on facebook, moving around the cabins to make sure nobody missed out (rumour has it that he was locked out of his own cabin!!). It came down to a battle to the death between Alan & Edwina but it was a win for the girls and the DS!
Day 2: Another early start, another coffee for Yash, two morning rows and some new experiences for us all. Yash had her first go at being a coxswain for RRC. Following a “slight” disastrous coxing experience in another club, she considered it a win by not sinking the boat. Well done
Edwina had her first go in a double with Jen. She thought she was killing it until she realised Jen had been balancing the boat the entire time. It’s okay Edwina, we think you killed it. Then we went to the pub for the AFL grand finale. Most patrons supported the Dogs, but for Yash and Edwina even watching the game was a new experience. The most heartbreaking moment of the day was watching Kathy’s face of disappointment at the Swan’s defeat, her fault for following a team from Sydney I guess (just kidding). After a long afternoon of eating & drinking, most of us were ready for an early night.
Day 3: This was probably the most difficult morning start. Packing up the cabins before the first row wasn’t what we had in mind after 2 days of rowing. But all good things must come to an end. The killer sunrise made us hopeful but the wind made it difficult, the water was choppy and there were a few grumpy seats in boats.
The fatigue and empty headedness showed as we all let go of our oars when Rebecca told us to throw up our arms for a photo, we didn’t realise she was joking…..For the last session the other crews raced each other but DS were struggling to keep the balance of the boat amongst all the waves. By the end of it we weren’t sure which had more water in it, the lake or our boat.
With all the fun over it was time to pay our dues, as if our muscles hadn’t suffered enough over the last few days. De-rigging, boat loading, car-packing and back to Melbourne for re-rigging, boat unloading and car unpacking as well as washing the boats & oars. At least the sun was shining?
We don’t know about everyone else, but I was asleep by 8 that night and looking forward to sleep past 5:30 AM. What a weekend! Thanks for everyone who organised the weekend – especially Kathy, Tim, Barry & the coaches but also to all the other members for including and supporting us. We not only had a great time but bonded well as a team despite a lack of sleep and a bunch of blisters. We are sure all of the DS feel the same way, sore, glad, grateful and keen to go again – we had such a great weekend!
-Edwina & Yash
Celebrate grand final weekend in Nagambie with all your RRC rowing friends at our annual head racing season training camp.
Travel up on evening of Thursday 29th if you can.
A beautiful day on Saturday at Lake Nagambie was the setting for this years Victorian Masters State Championships. The last regatta of the season in Victoria was a successful day for many of the clubs crews with a special mention to all the novice rowers who came away winners on the day.
Justin’s novice girls not only learnt to row this season but also learnt to scull and in their first ever sculling race were involved in a close battle with Footscray but keeping focussed all the way to the line and according to the commentator “sitting up just that bit taller than their competitors making all the difference over the last 100m” they came away victorious. The mens novice crews also showed cross discipline skills winning in both the four and quad.
It was great to see Laura Schouten back out on the water in a Richmond zootie (in her first ever masters regatta) rowing in a composite crew with Lindsey Brown taking home a gold medal in the eight. Geraldine Goss was also busy getting plenty of race practice in ahead of national Masters to be held in NSW in a couple of weeks. We lost count of the number of events and medals but there were some great races. With RRC finishing 5th on the medal tally (with only 16 rowers competing) we are clearly a strong force in Victorian rowing.
A big congratulations to all involved in a great day and a wonderful conclusion to the 2014-15 season. Thanks to Tim Evans for towing the trailer and our support crew of friends and family whose cheering helped ever tiger push that bit harder to the finish line.
Richmond Crew Medallists
Male masters Novice Coxed Four (gold) – Robert Gordon, Raymond O’Shea, Jon Roberts, Allan Randall and cox Rebecca Lionnet
Male masters Novice Coxed Quad Scull (gold) – Robert Gordon, Raymond O’Shea, Andy Harrison, Allan Randall and cox Rebecca Lionnet
Female masters Novice A/C Coxed Four (gold) – Josepha Smith, Susanna Mullner, Merry Kraina, Aline Dejaegher and cox Mike Numa
Female masters Novice A/C Coxed Quad Scull (gold) – Josepha Smith, Susanna Mullner, Merry Kraina, Aline Dejaegher and cox Shern Timmins
Male masters A/B Single (Silver) – Andy Harrison
Mixed Masters A/C Quad Scull (silver) – Michelle Joy, Andy Harrison, Tim Evans and Karen Doggett
Female masters A/B Double Scull (bronze) – Michelle Joy and Karen Doggett
On Saturday, Richmond rowers headed to Nagambie to compete in the 8th Annual, Head of the Goulburn, Tahbilk ‘Bridge to the Vines’. A favourite amongst many, the 7.2km course commenced at Chinaman’s Bridge and finished at Tahbilk Winery.
The women’s D8+ crews were first off the mark. With the hint of a glass of wine spurring them on, the senior D8+ coxed by Derek had a strong second place row, missing out on first place by only 7 seconds. For many in the women’s novice D8+, this was their first ever race. Coxed by Lindsey Brown, it was a fine and admirable effort from all.
Next came the men’s C4X+ finishing in third place. With an exuberant shout from commentator Neville, the boys had spectators running to see the finish.
Our women’s C4X+ were next to power to the line. With a daunting 23 crews their competitors, Richmond finished in fifth place with a mere 24 seconds separating the first five crews.
Rachael Button put in a fantastic effort flying the Richmond flag in a Latrobe Uni/Richmond women’s M4X+ and placing second overall.
The men’s D4+ represented by Matt Crouch, PJ Eadie, Charley Catford, Dylan Nicholson and cox Rebecca Lionnet had a convincing win, charging to the line with over a four minute lead. And finally, Carolyn Manning in the women’s masters 1X flew to the finish at an incredible 28 strokes per minute to win her division. Fantastic wins for both the men’s D4+ and Team Carolyn.
Congratulations to all Richmond crews who participated and a special thanks to the many Richmond volunteers and supporters whose assistance and encouragement we’d be lost without. From coaching, coxing, towing boats, carrying oars and the loud cheering over Neville’s dulcet tones, there are many people who contributed to Richmond’s successful day on the Goulburn.
RRC VP, Justin Thomas reports on last weekend’s training camp.
I hadn’t attended a ‘country ‘ camp for a couple of years but while I was looking forward to it some mixed memories came flooding back, not least my first camp at Bairnsdale which seems an eternity ago now. The huddling into a cramped cabin out of the fickle Gippsland weather, the long and exhausting final row and most unpleasantly being on a floor level bunk when the guy above threw up after a big Saturday night. However when I arrived at the spacious cabin with a balcony overlooking the lake I realised that things were going to be different.
I arrived at the trailer early the next morning I was met by a solitary but significant figure; it was Jane Robinson our new coach mentor. I had heard about her but never met her and as I chatted with her as others arrived I knew this was someone who could bring invaluable help to us. The first session though had its problems, the presence of single scullers on the course prevented RRC from going up and down the course in the respective lanes. While one aim of spring camp is to bring us together as a club the temporary and high speed union of the senior women’s eight and the coxless quad into a twelve was not what was intended. When the session ended and the video analysis begun we were relieved to see Gerry walk in, albeit with an ice pack.
Many commented on how useful the video analysis was, even if the analysis didn’t directly concern them. Some of the less experienced rowers found it a valuable lesson in seeing that even the most experienced rowers at the club had technical faults and everyone was trying to improve themselves as rowers. The next session focussed on the technical output from the video session but the wind across the lake remained strong. Partly because of this the final session on Saturday was on the beautiful Goulburn River and it was my turn amongst the coaches to accompany Jane in her boat. As we weaved our way through the RRC flotilla I picked up valuable insights as our boats powered upstream. But as our boats turned I heard shouting in the distance and a desperate paddle was being waved in the air from a stationary power boat upstream. Our reluctance to leave the rowers was (just) overcome by a sense of civic duty and we gave four members of the local intelligentsia a tow. When a jet-ski appeared with the petrol they needed they sped off and Jane vocalised a little frustration that their lack of planning had impacted our coaching but I remembered something from my upbringing, Matthew c7 v1 to be exact “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” and sure enough as we neared the women’s novice eight our engine spluttered and died. A Yelled conversation over 500 metres with their cox Jim Cooper informed him of our plight and he was eventually able to despatch some passing Bogans to our rescue. In the meantime I found myself being paddled along the heavily wooded Goulburn by a former Olympian sat on the bow of her power boat, with me carefully listening for the sound of engines…or banjos.
The evening saw an excellent club barby at the cabins in front of the lake with Peter Schouten a veteran of many such events at the forefront (thanks also to chef Charlie and Barry). It was the rowers turn to refuel and looking at the fridge in one of the men’s cabin a fair bit of refuelling was planned! I got to speak to my rowers individually (it wasn’t a confessional as some suggested!) but my evening ended on a low point when Vicki Brennan told me her cabin was having a party and I wasn’t invited. I trudged home and cried myself to sleep.
The next morning saw another long row up the Goulburn this time Derek was my tinny companion and it was great to get his perspective on the rowing we saw. The camp finished with handicapped races on the course, all in the sunshine that we had been lucky enough to enjoy for the whole camp. As we packed away Jane commented on how impressed she was with our club, how people like Barry, Dennis, Jim Nicole and others would row, cox, drive tinnies or do whatever was required to make the camp work. She was particularly impressed by the mid-stream cox swap in a bow coxed racing four! I have a feeling that her expertise and our fantastic volunteer spirit could make a powerful combination this season.