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.
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.
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!
After checking the percentage chance of rain every hour (possibly every five minutes) during the week before, the panic was over when we arrived in glorious sunshine. I got into a single and started to hesitantly row out from the safety near the shed onto the lake. I firstly thought I’d just head to the middle before getting a call from Tim on the bank to not go so far away (I assume due to the high likeliness of my falling in!), so I made my way to the very impressive 2km course. After bumping into a few buoys on my way in, I calmly splashed my way down to the finish trying to keep up with the other girls. Definitely the most professional course I’ve ever seen – I truly felt the Olympics were only a stroke away!
Had a lovely outing in a double which was more successful than my single (mostly because I wasn’t steering), before heading off to dinner at Nagambie Rowing Club. Had a great catch up with some new rowing buddies till they turned off all the lights which I think was our cue to leave. You know that you’re enjoying it when you don’t realise that everyone else in the pub has left! Back for an early night before an early start (which apparently was a lie in compared to last year!).Tim helping me rig a single
So 7am Saturday we got up, put some eights together, and got on the water to row up the beautiful Goulburn river. Mixing the crews up I got into another eight going up and down the course, and thanks to Kathy had my first experience lying down in a rowing boat! After munching down on a lovely lunch (thanks Zoay) and probably too much cake, we headed off in a four to take the course with Dave coxing.
Onto Saturday night’s AMAZING bbq and the infamous box biting championships (which I had being getting demonstrations of and tips for, including the importance of footwear choices and not wearing tight trousers, throughout camp). The aim of the game is to pick up a beer box with your teeth, having hopped at least three steps into the middle of a circle, while still standing on one leg. The box would then get slowly smaller being expertly cut by Michael. I was very proud that I made it through the first round but not even Charlotte and Kat could beat the human pretzel, aka Keith. Congratulations! So after a wild game of Exploding Kittens (thanks Amy), it was off for a not so early night but still early in the general scheme of things. Rowing is seriously affecting my body clock!
Two outings later we were taking all the boats apart again and packing them all onto the trailers to head back to town. After washing the boats and putting them all away it was off home for the earliest night of the weekend! Overall I am definitely a lot better at rowing, made lots of new friends and got to show off my very blistered hands to my colleagues on Monday (I’m still not sure why I did that – I’m not sure they appreciated it!)
Thank you to everyone who helped organise camp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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
The Richmond Rowing Club Annual General Meeting was held at the club on Saturday 28th July 2017. It was an opportunity for club members to come together, hear from the Committee about the clubs operations over the past year. It was great to see so many members present on the day.
Thank you to all Committee members for their significant contributions through the year. A brief summary of the year’s activities is provided below; the full Annual Report including all Committee member reports is attached RRC Annual Report 2017/18
Membership Growth – During the year, we increased the number of our financial members from 125 to 142 at 31 May 2018, a 14% increase. This achievement was through a combination of attracting new members and retaining existing members.
In particular, we increased the number of Learn to Row courses to four and scheduled three courses on summer evenings resulting in increased retention of Learn to Row participants. Our Development Squad is maintaining good numbers with dedicated coaching focused on improving their skill levels. We plan to continue this in 2018/19, continuing our Learn to Row program and transitioning Development Squad rowers into the competitive and social rowing squads.
Demonstrate Club Success on the Water – As a major step forward for the club, we engaged our first paid head coach resulting in focused training programs, squad structure, selection criteria and focused coaching. This has contributed to some excellent regatta performances through the year. Although Basil has returned to the UK, we have appointed Matt Wilson as our Head Coach for the coming year – he will be starting with us in early August.
Member Engagement – The club runs a number of events to bring club members together, from our Training Camp and regular circuit sessions, to social events like Quiz Night and New Years Eve. In 2017/18 we held 6 successful major events at the club and a number of smaller events.
The Committee plans to continue this level of events in the current year. This takes a significant effort to arrange and we are always looking for volunteers to assist. Our club would not be able to operate without all of our members who volunteer their time in so many ways. As we look towards the coming year, we will be asking for more help and creating more volunteer roles to take some of the pressure of the usual suspects. If you have a special skill or would like to help regularly, please reach out to the Committee as we would love your support.
Governance and Finance – The clubs finances remain strong, underpinned by income from hiring our amazing venue. This allows us to invest in the rowing program, but we must also continue to invest in our facilities, to generate this revenue. This year we refurbished the bar and kitchen to bringing it up to the standard of the rest of the club.
During the year, we also invested heavily in our fleet and equipment, christening both a men’s and women’s brand new top of the line Sykes quad/four and investing significantly in our refurbished gym. We were also able to purchase a new set of oars for the men’s eight and pair, whilst benefiting from a VicHealth Active Club Grant for a set of sculling oars.
In addition, the Committee is pleased to announce we have ordered 3 more brand new boats to improve our fleet with a men’s and women’s double/pair and a coxless quad for our most competitive crews. These additions will also allow other crews greater access to better quality boats as we replace our oldest boats in our fleet.
A major part of the AGM is to elect a new Committee and saying farewell to any departing members from the Committee.
Geraldine Goss, our outgoing Vice-President has been a member of the Committee for four years, the last three years as Vice-President and Fundraising Coordinator before that. During this time, she has supported two different Presidents and numerous Committee members. She has been active within the Fleet subcommittee and in considering Richmond’s licensing requirements. Whilst at the same time she has been incredibly successful as a rower. Thank you for all your assistance.
Laurent Demay steps down from the position of ordinary member having contributed strongly over the past year with new member communications and fundraising activities.
The new committee for the 2018-19 season consists of:
President – Jon Roberts
Vice-President – Aline Dejaeger
Secretary – Kim Begelhole
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, Stefanie Dudczig
Congratulations and welcome to our newest Committee members, Kim Belgelhole and Stefanie Dudczig.
Following the conclusion of the AGM we took to the water for some fun with club races. With a change in formal to get us ready for Head Season, the races were a time trial format from the Island to the Club. Congratulations to all those who took part.
Thank you to everyone who helped with the bbq and bar afterwards, especially Gypsy, John and Laurent for preparing the food and Karin and Dennis for looking after the BBQ.
- Mal Scott Award – Male Club Rower of the Year – Jon Roberts
- John Sawyer – Female Club Rower of the Year – Shern Timmins
- Male Masters Rower of the Year – Leigh Sullivan
- Female Masters Rower of the Year – Michelle Joy