Richmond again showed their worthy credentials at the Melbourne Head regatta. Variously referred to as the “Head Racing Championships of Australia”, and a curtain raiser for the Head of the Yarra on the following week, the race nevertheless is a unique opportunity in the season to demonstrate our prowess on home “surf”, among an enlarged competition from across Australia.
Richmond claimed line honours in the mixed and masters categories, with Lindsey & Dennis Beck, Rochelle Stokes and Michael Gehling (yours truly) outsmarting the competition in what was meant to be a casual, social quad… with that intention overridden by competitive spirit, in typical Richmond style. Speaking of typical Richmond style, Carolyn Manning overcame a fierce field, as well as a tangle with an octuple scull, to take line honours too!
The day started with the Men’s Eight raising the curtain on their Head of the Yarra appearance the following week, with solid efforts backed up by Allen Randall, George Frederiksen, Jon Roberts and Laurent Demay in the Club Four competition and Michael Calvert, Andrew Yuile, Dave Micallef, Charlie Burke in the Club coxed quad, with Shern Timmins and Sarah Houghton expertly navigating down the familiar waters. James Attenborough, Ka Ki Wong, Todd Marshall and Alexander Reid also joining the Quad race, admirably rounding out the field in their first ever regatta. Andy Harrison and Ivan Gushchin also represented us well, coming mid-field in the single sculls.
Richmond’s masters’ men also kept the competition on their toes, with Leigh Sullivan, Guy Ayres, Denis Henry and Phil Munson, coxed by Chris Sullivan, cruising over the line with a solid mid-field placing.
Richmond was well represented by its female contingent in the Double Sculls, with Stef Dudczig & Sarah Houghton, Ally Dejaegher & Suzie Mullner with Jodie Naisbitt and Vicki Brennan all competing in the doubles. The club coxed quad sculls competition also saw a great turnout from Richmond. Gabriella Ibbott, Dana Hill, Karin Bouvin and Da Pravitharangkul, coxed by Stef Dudczig, fought off Suzie Mullner, Morgan Chandler, Ally Dejaegher and Chris Sullivan, coxed by Laurent Demay. Sophia Robinson, Ainsley Raggatt, Karen Doggett and Lisa Ortu, coxed by Mike Numa, took out an admirable third over the 3.5k course.
Afterwards, Richmond threw open the doors, and the bar, for a post regatta barbecue. Thirsty rowers, old hands and new friends lapped up the view, rounding out a beautiful, clement and successful day for the race and the club.