Tag Archives: Richmond Rowing Club

Rutherglen Regatta 2020

Following Christmas and a wild New Year’s celebration at RRC, it was the first regatta of the decade. Having joined the club just that week, I was excited for the rowers of Richmond to show me how it’s done.

Two fully laden trailers were towed to Rutherglen and once settled in at The Lydoun Motel, final race preparations included consuming a few vinos of Coach Dario’s selection.

Racing kicked off mid-morning with entries in a multitude of events – I’ve been told this is the Richmond Way!

The 800m course was proving difficult to some steers across the clubs, with it’s sparsely buoyed lanes and bend. Despite at least one capsize on the way to the start line, a few detours across the course and many clipped buoys, everyone came off the water smiling.

We had a great base set up located perfectly to spot the yellow and black zooties (still a new word for me) in time to jump and cheer. The atmosphere was relaxed, but with excitement to go smash it and bring home a medal or two – or 5 if you’re Dario Sportelli.

It was difficult to keep up with the rate at which people were going on and off the water, sharing boats and swapping coxes. Admittedly, I was impressed it always worked out when people were making these decisions within an hour of racing!

The first medals of the weekend went to Dennis Beck, Jon Roberts, Allan Randall and Michael Gehling, coxed by Pippa Trevella in the male masters quad. Next was Dario, commencing his collection with the C grade single scull.

Jon and Allan took the win in the C grade pair, with Dennis and John also coming second in the final.

The first women’s medal was won by Lily Innes-Irons in the D grade single scull. Gypsy Shepherd and Dario Sportelli came first in the mixed double scull.

Coxed by Will Golding, the womens D grade quad was won by Gypsy Shepherd, Ally Dejaegher, Kirsty Fergie and Mel Perkins.

A tense final was had in the women’s D grade double scull, with the two Richmond crews closely missing the win. Second place came Kirsty and Ally, followed by Lily and Susanna.

After a successful first day’s racing in the sun, the pool at the motel was enjoyed by a few before dinner.

The ladies put together a great barbecue and spread to cater for everyone. Especially big thanks to Lily, Susanna, Ally and everyone else who contributed. We had a few drinks and I enjoyed getting to know people from across the squads a bit better. Thanks also to the those who helped cook the BBQ on the night Shern, Kim, Allan and Mim (Lily’s dad).

Sunday came with a new challenge of deteriorating air quality. Sadly, we were reminded of the current crisis with visible smoke across Lake Moodemere and the surrounding area. We had regular updates on the conditions and racing continued, with a course distance of 500m this time.

Winning the male masters quad again was Dennis, Jon, Allan and Michael, coxed by Pippa.

The weight hanging around Dario’s neck increased with another win in the C grade single scull. He and Gypsy then again took first place in the mixed double scull!

The winning 4 ladies from Saturday took their second medal as a crew, this time in the D grade four coxed by Dario.

Aside from the wins, Richmond had many other notable races and close finals. I believe there was a split prize for the masters ladies in their double scull, Diana Vernon and Christine Sullivan who chose the medal over the wine!

Alex Huang took to the water for her single’s race coming a strong second, having learnt to row in August. The men’s D grade quad won their heat and came second in the final on Sunday with Lachlan Stewart, Kim Begelhole, Richard Healy and John Hellerstedt.

Development squad men Campbell, Igor and Hamish had their first regatta experience, racing in multiple events including quad, four and eight. And whilst I heard they were slightly traumatised by the eight as they’d never been in one before, I’m sure they’ll be back for more with the reassurance and wisdom of their ex-London rower and guru Will Golding.

After packing up, loading the trailer and a quick dip in the lake for some, it was time to go home and relax following a fantastic weekend of racing.

A few personal highlights of mine include Dario’s interview with the commentator over the tannoy, the raspberry muffins baked by Lily and her Dad, and of course winning my first sculling medal and first regatta in Australia!

There are many thanks to be given to those who organise entries, trailering, accommodation, coaching and all the other contributions big or small that make it such a success doing the sport we all love. When’s the next one?!

Mel Perkins

End of Year Regatta Recap and New Boats Named

It’s been a busy few months of regattas culminating with Melbourne Head, Head of the Yarra and Carrum Regatta just last weekend.

Congratulations to the 4 crews who represented Richmond at Head of the Yarra, a mixed masters crew, one female D grade crew and two male D grade crews. There were good performances by all following a large amount of training in the run up.

We made the trip to Carrum, for the Carrum regatta last Saturday for the final regatta of the year. Richmond was well represented at the regatta which saw a large amount of elite and school crews competing. A strong contingent competed in every category from Open to D Grade with crews in all boat classes except eights.

Competitive performances on the day saw wins for:

  • Dario Sportelli in the C-Single,
  • Lachlan Stewart, Richard Healy, Tom Brooks, Pavel Oborin coxed by Ainsley Raggatt in the D Grade Four
  • Kirstie Fergy in the D-Single
  • Amy Catlin and Lily Innes-Irons in the C-Pair
  • Dario and Ainsley in a composite mixed double
  • Thomas Brooks, Richard Healy, Lachlan Stewart, Pavel Oborin in the D Grade Quad
  • Kirsty Fergie, Aline Dejaegher, Jon Roberts, Allan Randall coxed by Rosie Dickson-Hoyle in the mixed quad

A day after Carrum we held our final club races for the year. Three eights took to the water to fight it out. Clearly the starter was not loud enough for one crew, with “attention” being the new “go”. Congratulations to the crew of Derek Begg (cox), Michael Gehling, Kim Begelhole, Jingyi (Alex) Huang, William Golding, Kathryn Spinnler-Jenkins, Lily Innes-Irons, Emily James and Red Skelton who took out the win.

We then gathered to name our three newest boats. Firstly, a double named Morpheus by Ally Dejaegher as part of our recent raffle to name a boat at Melbourne head.

Then Yass Queen, a new mid weight single named by Dana Hill, also as part of our recent naming raffle.

And finally the Riverboat Jasper, a single kindly donated by captain Barry Campbell.

Following the smashing of bottles we retreated to the club for our annual Christmas lunch to celebrate the year gone. We also wished Kathy Macrow a happy 60th birthday on the day!!!

Happy Christmas and don’t forget your New Years Eve party tickets!!!

Head of Goulburn 2019

Following the great day we had at Bendigo last week, on Saturday Richmond Rowing Club was back on the racing scene for Head of the Goulburn, the best regatta of the year (in my completely biased opinion)! It starts from Nagambie Regatta Centre and follows down the beautiful Goulburn river for 7.2 km, meandering through gorgeous eucalypt forests populated with galahs and cockatoos, all the way to Tahbilk winery. As far as I know, it’s the only rowing race that finishes at a vineyard! Good incentive to get us there faster 🙂

Another nice thing about HOTG is that racing starts from 11am for everyone except school kids, a very gentlemanly schedule indeed, giving us plenty of time to drive up, load up on caffeine and get nervous. The forecast had announced a promising “14 degrees, 80% chance of showers, with possible hail storm and sustained 35km wind”, which turned out to be pretty much bang on, but it was the gusts that were particularly fierce. In fact while we were waiting around, an 8 and a 4 ended up going for a swim on the way to the start line.

1. Dario and Stef sheltering before the race

2. A Wentworth crew getting swamped by brutal wind and waves on the way to the start line

3. Bit too heavy to row now 🙁

 Finally the wait was over and it was time to go. First up were Susanna, Christine, Diana, Anthea, Charlie, Phil, Guy and Leigh in the mixed 8 event, coxed by Dianne. They powered down the course in a great time of 35:05.

4. The XM8+ crew coming in after the race

Next was the D grade male 8 with Rob, John Hellerstedt, Steven, Pavel, Nathan, Lachlan, Alex, and Garret, coxed by returning member Sarah Houghton who had only just returned from the USA the night before. Thanks Sarah for jumping in despite the jetlag! The lads had a great row and were so close to winning the event, only just a few seconds behind the Argonauts crew, bringing them in second place

5. The boys ready to rock!

6. MD8+ at the finish, tired but happy

After the eights came the quads, and our first was the men’s B grade quad with Jon Roberts, Allan Randall, Mike Gehling and Dennis Beck, steered by superstar cox Derek Begg. They were looking very clean and powerful throughout, and despite the gusts managed to get a brilliant time of 31:20. This brought the first win for Richmond, well done boys!

7. The MB4X+ looking strong on the finish line

8. Winners are grinners! Medals all around

We then had two mixed quads competing: The first in the Masters category consisting of Shern, Tim, Mike Calvert and Sarah Hardy, coxed by Kathy, who came third of their event with a very respectable time of 36.05.

The second mixed quad was up next with Dario, Kirsty, Keith and Ally, expertly coxed by Lilian for her first time at HOTG, well done! Despite a few windy wobbles, the row was strong and got us a win for the event. Celebrations and wine were in order!

9. Lilian getting the cox treatment 🙂

10. X4X+ between rowing and wine tasting

The final Richmond crew to head off was the Women’s D grade 4 with Amy, Imogen, Lily and Stef, coxed by the lovely Laurent Demay. They had an excellent row, but the competition was too fierce and they came in second.

After all the exertion, it was time to join the rest of the Richmond gang at the cellar door, to refuel and hydrate among all the goodies Tahbilk had on offer. We could also admire the lovely old buildings, huge wine barrels and vineyard equipment that gives this old winery all its charm and character. Even the medals reflect this heritage, featuring the famous Chinaman’s bridge and the iconic 3-tiered farm building. They’re really pretty.

11. Tahbilk winery looking sharp

12. Pretty medals

13. Time for some food, hot sauce dribbling into blisters

Well done everyone for another brilliant regatta! All in all it was great craic despite the weather, and Richmond took full advantage of it all. In fact we were the last to leave, as usual 🙂

14. Obligatory shot in the vines before leaving

Big thanks to Steve Sheppard for his duties as BRO Level 2 during the regatta.

Thank you also to Chris and Leigh for towing the trailer, and Barry for bringing the trailer from the Regatta Centre to Tahbilk.

And Finally, massive thanks to all the coxswains who made the trip up to Nagambie and allowed a crew to race: Dianne, Sarah H, Derek, Kathy, Lilian, and Laurent. You guys are legends!

Ally

Bendigo Sprint Regatta 2019

Last Saturday the Bendigo Sprint Regatta took place, a 480-meter race event on Lake Weeroona in Bendigo. The day started very early for some of the single scull rowers, which is the reason why some of us spend the day before in Bendigo as well. A very good Italian dinner cooked by Dario and a good night sleep made all of us ready for the next day full of races! For us, Lilian and Dieuwke, it was the second event we joined as a Richmond rower and we were proud to be part of the team. Richmond was well represented and the day was full of fun, cheering, mugs and we are happy and proud that we could be part of the Richmond rowers!

Keith and Lilian started of the day in the male open single scull and female c grade single scull fields and they both did a great job! Unfortunately, the competition was high, and they did not reach the finals, but they set the bar high for the other Richmond rowers. Dario’s first race as a Richmond rower was the next event, in the male c grade single scull in which he showed his great rowing skills and finished first in his heat and later first in the final with a time of 1:38.56: the first mug for Richmond!

Next, it was the turn for the d grade female quads and male fours. The quad with Gypsy, Ally, Dieuwke, Kirsty and Derek as a cox, finished first and therefore placed themselves in the final where they won with a time of 1:42.90! Also, the male four with Alex Pupko, Richard, Lachlan, Pavel and Derek coxing placed themselves in the final, but the opponents were very strong so unfortunately they were not able to beat them in the finals.

After this, some double scull races took place, where all the male open double scullers found their way into the finals. Also, the mixed double scull of Dario and Gypsy, the d grade double scull of Ally and Kirsty and the d grade single scull of Gypsy made it to the finals. One of the last races was the female novice quad, with Lilian, Lea, Pauline, Dieuwke and Pippa as a cox: they also made it to the finals where they won with a time of 1:43.89.

Halfway the day, more finals started. All of us were standing close to the waterfront to have a good look at the race and cheer them to the finish line. The finals of the male c grade and female d grade pairs were very exciting, with Stef and Lea finishing first: they did an amazing job! The four with Lily, Imogen, Stef, Pauline and Pippa as a cox also did an amazing job by finishing first with at time of 1:49.18. Keith and Dario, c grade double scull, took the first place in the finals as well with a time of 1:27.69. Next up were the finals of the male, female and mixed eights, which all showed great rowing skills, but unfortunately the opponents were too strong to beat them.

All in all, it was a great day for the Richmond rowers. Together with the rest of the female yellow squad, we celebrated the end of a very successful day by taking a photo with the mugs and all went back to Melbourne with a very proud feeling. Especially for us, it was a great opportunity to experience this Australian rowing race since we are exchange students leaving back to the Netherlands soon. The experience we had with the whole squad and the enthusiasm of our coach Dario, made us eager to continue rowing once we are back home! Thanks everyone for making it an amazing day!

Lilian and Dieuwke

RRC Head Season Training Camp 2019

Thoughts of a ‘never camper’

This was my first rowing camp. This was my first brush with a camping experience of any kind, period. I rocked up with a mind full of newbie questions: what’s it going to be like? ‘how remote is Nagambie if I forget something’? As a result, I packed like I was preparing for an apocalypse – gear for every weather condition and snacks for every hunger level. Also, someone please explain ‘box biting’?

Getting to Nagambie

The drive to Nagambie the one of the most beautiful experiences. I carpooled with the Hardys (Sarah and Matt) who knew the roads we were travelling so well. The conversation was lively, lolly supply generous and the drive itself was a super unwinding experience with views of endless canola fields and at one point, alpacas!

The first thing that strikes you on reaching the cabins is the spectacular view of lake.

I spent a good half hour on my cabin deck just taking it all in. The weather was surprisingly sunny and bright for most of the weekend, and a glimpse of the summer to come. That evening, we got ready for our first row, which for me was a quad. This row helped me get a feel of the lake with its many buoys and weeds.

We ended the day with a drink at the pub followed by a box-biting demonstration from the reigning champion himself, Keith, back in the cabins.

Rowing Hard

Saturday started super early with a view of a gorgeous sunrise from the cabin deck.

The first session of the day was a quad again but this time, we went up the Goulbourn river with Kathy coxing us (thanks a ton!). We had a shaky start to begin with, mostly because our crew hadn’t rowed together and we all brought our unique styles. But we kept at it with our cox and Michael coaching us from the ‘tinny’ through the second and third sessions that day. All the hard work was made worth it by the carrot cake at lunch (I still get dreams of it). The last row of the day was a highlight because it was my first time in a single skull. Though, the looks of trepidation on Barry and Michael’s faces while I almost tipped the boat getting in were priceless. I had a constant mental record of “hands together”, “oars feathered”, “DON’T FALL IN”!

Saturday night BBQ left me in a food coma. I unapologetically went for a second round, it was that good. Then came box biting. I would still like to know the origins of the tradition; if you know, stop and share. We had 2 rounds of everyone trying until it came down to the final round. Of course Keith won, but I think we also spotted an emerging talent in Pippa who gave him some tough competition. The general strategy seems to be picking the highest edge of the box. Until next camp, my strategy is going to be practicing Yoga to maintain develop the balance and flexibility!

All the coaching and practice from Saturday came to head on our Sunday rows. By now, a few of us from DS had been working as a consistent crew. If Saturday was shaky, Sunday was strong and sturdy. I count them as one of the best rows I’ve had. We had a moment going up the river when we held the boat still to just take in sounds of the birds and look at the giant pelicans. A far cry from the urban sounds and sights of Melbourne.

Can’t thank everyone who organised, coached and coxed for the weekend enough.

All in all, here are my somewhat helpful ‘pro tips’ for first-time campers:

  • Bring snacks, lots of them
  • Don’t skip the cake
  • Bring Beer (or your poison of choice), you’ll need it after a hard day’s row
  • Nearest good coffee is at a café called Foxhole, but be prepared for a 20-minute wait (resulting in a missed session on water!)
  • About 50% of people at boat loading/unloading are as clueless as you but acting super purposeful. You’re not alone!

Its been a few weeks since Camp now, and I can feel the change in my technique. Looking forward to next year.

Saloni Dikshit

2019 RRC GRAND FINAL PIE DAY – TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

All RRC members, friends and family are invited to join us to celebrate a great Melbourne tradition, The AFL Grand Final! 

Why not cheer on the teams from our amazing balcony, just down the road from the MCG.

Pies and Nibbles are included in your $18 ticket price.

Drinks at bar prices
Saturday 28 September 2019 at 1pm

LOCATION

Richmond Rowing Club

7 Boathouse Drive, Melbourne

BOOKING LINK

https://www.trybooking.com/BFKVE

Time to think about the Winter Sculling season…..

Whilst many will be thinking its the end of the rowing season, of turning towards the lighted inn, their evening rest and sleep to meet.  Other hardy souls at RRC will be following the row that goes on and on, pursuing it with eager oars where many boats and paddlers will meet.  (Apologies to JRR Tolkein.)

Yes it’s nearly time for the Winter Sculling 2019 series.  If you are not familiar with how it works, check out the website for race details, times  (Saturday mornings through June, July and August), distances, rules and locations .

If you might be interested and need some inspiration, speak to Charlotte North-Coombes who won the Ramsbottom Trophy last year or Aline Dejaegher who was fastest female around the island in a tub last year.

RRC has a limited number of sculls available for members to use in the Winter Sculling Series including three Regulation (tub) sculls. It is possible to share fleet across events and the organisers will stagger entries where participants indicate they are sharing a boat with another rower entered.

Please advise the Captain via email (captain@richmondrowing.com.au) before 20 May if you are considering entering the Winter Sculling series so that fleet can be allocated or where necessary sourced from other clubs or schools.  For example anyone wishing to use the Tiger Shark for Winter Sculling will be sharing the boat with the Captain.

Those members with their own boats should also advise the Captain if they are entering the series as we may be required to provide a trailer to away events if we have a high number of participants from RRC.

The Winter Sculling season also needs help from volunteers to act as marshalls and help out. So if you don’t feel like rowing every week, how about volunteering one week. Check out the details here:

Thanks

Barry Campbell

RRC 2018/19 Presentation Night – Tickets on sale now!!!

This years RRC Presentation Night is now only a few weeks away on Friday 31st May at 7pm. So pack away the zootie and dress to impress as we celebrate all the achievements of our club members for the last year.

We’ll be honouring all of these along with our Annual awards including rowers and coxswain of the year. Club races and time trial winners will also be announced so make sure you’re there to receive your awards!

This evening is also the perfect opportunity to thank everyone who has made the year possible including coaches, coxes and volunteers. It’s the ideal time to come together and celebrate all that is great about our special club and the friends we have there.

Early bird tickets including a three course meal for $50. Tickets purchased after Friday 10th May will increase to $70 per person. Drinks will be available to purchase at the bar.

Tickets are on sale now at Trybooking. Bring along your partner or friends for what will be a special night at the clubhouse.

Club races and our latest boat naming

Club Races

Fast and furious – with lots of splash – is how four eights competed in Sunday’s Club Races.  Around 20% of the competitors were in their first club races and it was great to see our DS members joining in and experiencing some racing.  After the heats, crews competed in an A Final and B Final.

The winning team of the A Final was Andrew Yuile, John Carey. Alan Randall, Leigh Sullivan, Kim Begelhole, Cristian Udovicich, Imogen Aitken and Kate Riley, coxed by Stef Dudczig.

Our selectors of crews did a pretty good job, but then tried to outfox us with the use of French on the starter’s line! Derek managed to video the finals so if you want to see your form check out the Facebook posts.

BBQ

It was great to see lots of our current Learn to Row group enjoying the BBQ and deck with the rest of the club.  It won’t be too long before they’re rowing in the next Club Races!

The Development Squad under the leadership of Sarah Hardy organized a fabulous BBQ.  And Sarah even co-opted Matt (hubby) and Bridgette (daughter) to help out on the BBQ while we were all racing.  Thanks to the salad providers… Pavel, Alysia, Emma & Matt, Amy and Sarah Hardy.  Sarah even provided homemade vege/vegan burgers – yummy!  The DS (including Oliver & Mikey G) also did a great job setting up the tables and cleaning up afterwards and photographing the day.

Bar server thanks go to Ally, Kathy, Dennis, Gypsy, John C, Amy and Kim B.  And thanks to Gypsy for coordinating the bar.

Boat Naming

We were pleased to name the latest acquisition to our fleet – a secondhand midweight single. (It’s a Wintech 2016 Club Trainer 75-85kg ACW honeycomb kevlar/fiberglass – for those interested in the technical details).

The committee has discussed over the past year the possibility of acknowledging and honoring the traditional owners of land on which our boathouse stands and the waterways on which we row.

What better way than naming a boat which is regularly in view of our members and other river users as well as to visitors to Melbourne.

The Boonwurrung elders have given us permission to use the word “Gurrong” – which means canoe in Boonwurrung language – on this, our newest fleet acquisition.

Kathy Macrow