Michelle Joy and Kate Dyball, coached by Dario Sportelli, will be representing Richmond at the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships at Lake Barrington in the Club Women’s Double Scull. Following a very successful Victorian State Championships campaign, we wish them the best of luck competing against Australia’s best crews in Tasmania.
There will be a live stream of the races accessible via the RV website with Michelle and Kate competing on Thursday afternoon and Sunday Morning. Hopefully everyone is able to get online and watch them do the club proud.
At the end of February the club headed to Nagambie with high hopes of a success and States taking place this year, one year on from a blown out States at Ballarat and a pandemic disrupted season.
There was a fantastic turn out of rowers at all levels from people competing the 2km course at open, a and b grade and the very competitive c and d grade events over 1km.
It’s fair to say that Richmond had amazing success with 9 Golds, 3 Silver and 6 third places which saw us come 5th overall in the medal table. Congratulations to all involved, athletes, coxswains, coaches and supporters.
A full list of medals is included below
FB2- Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield
FB2X Kate Dyball, Zoe Maxwell
FC2- Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield
FD1X Lily Innes-Irons
FD2- Alex Kinsman, Lily Innes-Irons
FD4+ Alex Huang, Alex Kinsman, Chelsea Crouser (cox), Frederique Le Bescond, Melanie Perkins
FD4X+ Alex Huang, Frederique Le Bescond, Kathryn Spinnler-Jenkins, Sarah Houghton (cox), Victoria Petersen
FO2- Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield
MD8+ Ethan Lovett, Jack Austin, Jack Hellerstedt, Ka Ki Wong (cox), Kim Begelhole, Leigh Mckee, Matthew Lowe, Pavel Oborin, Richard Healy
FA2X Kate Dyball, Michelle Joy
FD2X Alex Huang, Victoria Petersen
MD4X+ Derek Begg/Zoe Kral (cox), Ethan Lovett, Jack Hellerstedt, Michael Gehling, Richard Healy
MD4+ Derek Begg (cox), Ethan Lovett, Jack Hellerstedt, Pavel Oborin, Richard Healy
Thank you to John Carey and Jack Hellerstadt for their take on the weekend
Thursday boat loading
One last on-water session for the MD4x’s, some great race-pace action between the MD4x and MC4+ before finishing up the loading spearheaded by most of the women’s squad.
A day of rest, hydration and meandering gazes towards any stretch of water. Deep inflections of what it will take to win at Nagambie, which crews will we face up against and will I get an egg & bacon roll or venture towards the McGambie.
Perfect weather, pretty hot and rising already from quiet early. No clouds no wind. Foxhole cafe just SW of the water tower is a must-stop on the way to the course. Offers a tiny slice of the Irish-Aussie experience, with the owner hailing from Monaghan.
Cheer squad extraordinaire featuring: Amy Catlin, Lachie Stewart, Charlotte North-Coombes, Shern Timmins, Roberts parentals and Basil (the dog, not our wonderful London-based former coach).
MD4+ Jack H/Ethan/Rich/Pavel/Derek was a four boat final with the school-boys taking it off the line from the start. Edged out Carrum to just make it onto the podium.
Egg & bacon eat your heart out. This year’s BBQ featured a top-shelf gourmet snag on the menu, beef or lamb, would love to see this appear as a regular event.
RRC MD4x+ were split across the two heats, hard fought for Matt/ Jack A/ Leigh/ Kim/ Christine (?) just missing the cut by 7 seconds. Jack H/ Ethan/ Rich/ Mikey G with Banks guest coxswain Zoë Kral stayed on Melbourne for a comfortable second place ticket to the final.
RRC MC4+ Denis/John C/Liam/Jon R with Derek (cox) left in the dust by Ballarat Clarendon who stormed home in a blitz of backsplash, completing the 1,000m course in 3.02 minutes. The lads were happy with their own performance, coming 5th in a time of 3.23 minutes.
The much anticipated M/F D8+ tête-à-tête had it all: yellow card for unlawful entry to the course, mid-flight cable repair to save Keith from having to race boxless, and the year-ten Carey Grammar crew first down the course by a comfortable 6 second margin to remind us that two coxed quads does not-quite make an eight.
Derek stepped back in for the MD4x+ final. It was anyone’s race for the first 500 with RRC trading in some grace for power at the start to stay in it, but Melbourne dug deep and couldn’t be caught. Satisfying second after seeing the late arvo heat catch up with Melbourne three-seat on the way back in.
Monday boat unloading
A largely uneventful affair with almost 2 trailer-loads of boats being unloaded in 56 minutes and 55 seconds.
Sunday 25th October saw a large turn out of Richmond rowers at the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships. Certainly not our usual kind of regatta however after so many weeks in lockdown any competition was welcome.
Throughout the preceding weeks we had been training hard on zoom with the ever motivating coaches Dario Sportelli and Will Golding. Having built the 4 sessions per fortnight into our working from home schedules it was great to catch up with other club members so frequently and still be able to train as a team. In the lead up to the event we all had our software updated, internet connections tested, AB cables at the ready and our ergos cleaned and prepped.
We started the day itself off with a yoga session from Gerry, which was a perfect way to ease into the day, settle the nerves, keep time moving on and ‘be present’ for our races.
It was certainly a different atmosphere to what we are used to, being alone in our houses getting race ready but another thank you to all that logged on to the zoom channel to offer their support.
First up were our coaches themselves, Dario and Will competing in the 19 -29 Men’s 2000m (Will in lightweight). Dario came away with a silver and Will a gold – setting the tone for the day.
At 11am it was the turn of the girls 2000m. Playlists at the ready and we were off, the 2k plans were in place we knew what we had to do. Despite feeling prepared we went through the whole 2k rollercoaster, yeah I’ve got this, keep pushing, when is this going to end, what the heck, can I just stop?, why are we doing this, stay strong, only 300m left, let’s go!
And the PBs and medals came rolling in.
Congratulations to all the competitors and medal winners
Chelsea Crouser 19-29 2k Lightweight – Gold
Xanthe Hadfield 19-29 2k – Gold
Kirsty Fergie 30-39 2k – Bronze
Sarah Hardy 50-54 2k – New PB
Geraldine Goss 54-59 2k
Phil Munson 65-59 2k
And a special mention to Helen Pearce 40-49 2k – Gold plus a new Australian Record.
And as if that wasn’t enough a short recovery time and (for what seemed like a good idea at the time to do both) it was the 1000m
Alex Kinsman 19-29 1k – Silver
Kirsty Fergie 30-39 1k – Bronze
Helen Pearce 40-49 1k – Gold
Cynthia Masters 55-59 1k – Silver
Michael Gehling 30-39 1k – New PB
Pavel Obrin 30-39LW 1k – New PB
Campbell Mayne 19-29 1k
Then on to the 500m
Xanthe Hadfield 19-29
Geraldine Goss 54-59
Finally, to end the day the 2000m relay where Richmond picked up
Richmond Women – Ainsley Raggatt, Xanthe Hadfield, Chelsea Crouser, Kirsty Fergie 19 – 39 2k Silver
Richmond Women – Susanna Mullner, Sarah Hardy, Geraldine Goss, Helen Pearce 40+ 2k Silver
Richmond Men – John Carey, Will Golding, Dario Sportelli and Michael Gehling 19 – 39 2k
Richmond Mixed – Pavel Oborin, Campbell Mayne, Alex Kinsman, Amy Catlin 19-39 2k Gold
We ended the evening with a zoom call to raise a glass to ourselves and congratulate each other on what was an intense but rewarding period of training. A big thank you must go to Dario and Will for their ongoing encouragement and dedication to the coaching sessions, and to the club for loaning out the ergos to give us the opportunity to train. We hope our new found strength can be put into good use on the water and look forward to the next time we will be able to race. Go tigers!
I am very pleased to share with the Richmond Rowing Club membership that we placed 2nd in the RV Club Premiership for the 2019/20 year.
This is an excellent result for all involved with the club. As you may recall one of our 4 objectives guiding our 5 year vision was to place in the Top 5 of the RV Club Championship. It is great to know we have achieved this only 3 years into this 5 year period.
Well done to all the rowers, coxswains, coaches, volunteers and supporters who were part of this achievement and good luck for the coming year where we hope to back this up.
I would also like to congratulate Derek Begg who placed 3rd in the 2019/20 RV Male Coxswain of the Year Award. It is great to see Derek recognised in this way, he is a dedicated coxswain and coach for the club and it is wonderful we have someone of his experience as part of the club. Well done Derek!!!
The majority of the club headed to Ballarat on Sunday for the Victorian State Championships. This was the culmination of many months of training and expectations were high as crews arrived early for the start of racing.
Dario had been competing on Saturday in the Lightweight Men’s Single, Lightweight Men’s Double and the Open Four. We heard about the great conditions and the unfortunate duck that got in the way of Dario’s oar as we rigged our boats. Unfortunately the conditions had deteriorated over the night with a strong cross wind causing issues from the start of racing.
Ally and Kirstie were first up for Richmond on Sunday in the C Grade double, rowing well and finishing 4th in their heat despite the conditions. They were quickly followed by Lily in the D Grade single, in the fastest of all the heats Lily finished third to just miss out on the final where the 2 rowers who finished before her in the heat took out the first two places in the final.
Allan and I made it through our heat in the C Grade pair, finishing 2nd to progress to the final. Keith started his D Grade Single heat well, but with the wind picking up through the second half of the race he was unable to progress to the final.
The women’s D grade 4+ of Amy, Chelsea, Pauline and Imogen, coxed by Pippa took to the course and finished 6th in their final as conditions continue to worsen, with gusts of up to 40km/hr recorded. Allan and I then raced our C grade pair final, finishing 6th while the commentator was heard to rowers surviving on the course.
The Men’s D grade 4+ of Jack, Lachie, Richie and Pavel, coxed by Derek showed us how it’s done, powering through the conditions to pick up silver, our first medal for the day.
Michelle and Kate were next up in the Women’s A Grade Double, trying to retain their championship from 2019. In a very tight race impacted by the wind, they stormed home over the last 100 meters to push into first place and take out the win by 0.59 seconds.
Quickly following was Dario in the men’s B Grade single, leading for the majority of the race he was pushed hard over the closing stages but pushed on to win the gold by 1.7 seconds.
With conditions continuing to worsen, with white caps on the lake making getting to the start, racing and landing boats a real challenge for all crews RV called a one hour delay to the regatta. Unfortunately, with conditions set to deteriorate (winds of 50km/hr were recorded in the afternoon), the regatta was cancelled. Quick calls were made to the men’s 8+ who had yet to arrive to head back to Melbourne.
This was obviously disappointing for all competitors given the hard work training for the State Championships. Richmond picked up 2 gold medals and 1 silver on Sunday in 8 races before the regatta was cancelled. With many more medal chances in the afternoon this was looking to be a significant improvement on results from previous State Championships, but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully this will spur all the crews on to the remaining regatta’s for this season and start plans for next.
Those crews who didn’t get to race on the day were:
Female C Grade Quad – Michelle, Susanna, Dana, Sarah Houghton
Female D Grade Doubles – Ally and Kirsty, Shern and Sarah Hardy, Pippa and Kat, Lily and Gypsy
Male C Grade 4+ – Dennis, Dario, Allan and Jon, coxed by Derek
Male D Grade 8+ – Campbell, Alex Reid, Alex Pupko, Matt, Nathan, Hamish, Chen and Kim, coxed by Estelle
Female B Grade Double – Michelle and Kate
Female D Grade Pair – Amy and Chelsea
Female D Grade Quad – Pauline, Imogen, Sarah Hardy and Shern, Coxed by Stef
Female D Grade Quad – Ally, Kirsty, Gypsy and Lily, Coxed by Pippa
Male D grade Pair – Allan and Jon
Male C Grade Single – Keith
Male D Grade Quad – Jack, Lachie, Richie and Pavel, Coxed by Derek
Male A Grade Single – Dario
Congratulations all on a great season!!!
Sunday February 9 saw the Richmond Rowing Club descend on Lake Nagambie once more for the annual Nagambie Regatta!
For most, it was an early start with cars filled with sleepy rowers departing Melbourne at 5am to make it for the beginning of a long day of races along a 1000 metre course. But other keener rowers took full advantage of the culinary, specifically brewery related, delights that Nagambie have to offer and arrived a day early.
The trusty Richmond tent was stationed along the last 200 metres of the course, perfect positioning for boosting the morale of the weary rower who has fallen victim to the dreaded ‘fly and die’.
Dana and Susanna delivered a strong performance in the Female C Grade Double Scull heat but missed out on making the final of the event. However, they had subsequent opportunities to compete in the C Grade Coxed quad scull with Mel Perkins and Sarah Houghton joining in too, winning the second heat convincingly but just falling short by a few seconds in the final coming second against Melbourne.
Lily Innes-Irons and Mel Perkins came first in their D Grade Single Scull heats, coming an admiral second and third place in the final. Mel came second place by 0.45 seconds behind her opponent from Caulfield Grammar. A tremendous effort!
Rosie, Gypsie, Kirsty and Ally did us very proud coming second by an absolute whisker against Melbourne in the Female D Grade Coxed Four, reliably coxed by Derek, crossing the line only 1.92 seconds after the victors.
The hardworking dream team of Pavel, Lachie, Richie and Jack came second in the Male D Grade Coxed four defeating a newcomer crew comprised of Alex P, Nathan, Campbell and your’s truly, who had jumped in the boat together for the first time on the day of racing.
Rosie Dickson-Hoyle and Gypsy Shepherd have some more bling to add to their collection after their stunning victory in the Female D Grade Double Scull arriving at the finish line 2 seconds ahead of Rutherglen. Yet another tremendous effort and testament to both their hard work and the coaching brilliance of Dario Sportelli. Dario, who along with Jon Roberts, Allan Randall and Dennis Beck proved unstoppable in the C-Grade Men’s Four, boosting Richmond’s medal tally again.
After what Will Golding admits was an ‘interesting choice of steering’ over the first 100 metres of our race, the rag tag team of development and yellow squad rowers, claimed victory over Hawthorn in the final for the Men’s D-Grade eight. Once again, this was the first time this crew had rowed together. It was quite a surprise for the rest of the team including Campbell Mayne, Tim Evans, Nathan Brumley, Kim Begelhole, Alexander Reid, Matt Hardy, Alexander Pupko, myself and our fearless leader Will Golding all coming home with a gold medal.
Unperturbed by their second place in their previous race, Pavel, Lachie, Richie and Jack won gold in the Male D Grade Coxed Quad after a strong performance, finishing 11 seconds ahead of the other competitors. A brilliant result for one of the many hardworking Richmond crews that were out on Lake Nagambie.
Particular thanks should go towards all those who came to support us. Our spirits and energy levels were particularly bolstered by Lily Innes-Irons wonderful mother, Jill, who provided a metric tonne of honey joys for anxious rowers to nibble on ahead of their race. I put their sugary and buttery goodness down to our surprise victory.
I think most can agree that 2020’s Nagambie Regatta was one filled with highs and lows. While there may have been some personal disappointments following the regatta, all of our performances were testament to our hard work and determination and only spoke to our competitiveness for States and an exciting year of racing we can all look forward to.
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?!
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!!!
With regatta season gathering momentum Richmond Rowing Club saw themselves heading out to Dimboola for a Saturday of sprint racing followed by a Sunday of head races. Most made the 3.5 hour journey on Friday evening, rooms had been booked in Horsham for the majority and a few of us chose to brave camping near by in Dimboola. The campers had dinner in the Dimboola pub and I have to say it was the most ‘English Pub’ I have been to in Australia which was a great start to the weekend! We survived a night under canvas with the wildlife (kangaroos and emus a plenty and no, there weren’t any monkeys, they were kookaburras but plenty of other interesting noises.) Anyway – Saturday morning was time for the 132nd Dimboola regatta. And we were ready! A few of us walked up the river to see the start and check the course. 3 lanes, not buoyed but well marked with a couple of bends (probably insignificant to anyone not steering), 750m. The Female Masters 4x+ started the day by example winning their race, well done to the ladies of Richmond for getting the first medal of the day Christine Sullivan, Diana Vernon, Susanna Mullner, Anthea Amos, Cox: Aline Dejaegher. We hoped it was a sign of things to come. Unfortunately the Male Masters 4x+, Denis Henry, Philip Munson, Guy Ayres, Leigh Sullivan, Cox: Christine Sullivan didn’t follow the lead coming second in their race to Powerhouse. Next up were the Mens Open 4+ with a crew of Jon Roberts, John Carey, Dennis Beck, Michael Gehling, Cox: Michael Calvert the boys didn’t quite manage to bring it home coming second to Melbourne RC in their final. Shern Timmins was next up for the girls in the Masters 1x placing third. The following round was the C Grade Male 1x and Dario Sportelli and Keith Wong were representing Richmond in 2 different draws. They both came through their heats first qualifying for the final and finished both their finals off in style (or did the final finish Keith off…) with a gold medal each. Well done boys! The Female D Grade girls 1x were next with Lillian Van Oosterhout and Kirsty Fergie in 2 different heats. Both girls came through first in their heats to face each other in the final. It was a fun race for the girls managing to get a Richmond 1,2 with Kirsty just coming in front of Lilian. Ally Dejaegher and Susanna Mullner were in the masters 2x placing third followed by Amy Catlin and Lily Innes-Irons coming third in their first race in a 2-. Richard Verheyen, Steven Sheppard, Michael Calvert, Tim Evans, Cox: John Carey of the Male D Grade 4+ came down the course in third place in their heat followed by Denis Henry, Philip Munson, Leigh Sullivan, Guy Ayres, Cox: Christine Sullivan Male Masters 4+ also finishing third. Male Open 4x+ Jon Roberts, Michael Calvert, John Carey, Michael Gehling, Cox: Aline Dejaegher finished third in their heat. It was now time for the Mixed 8+ to take to the river consisting of Christine Sullivan, Diana Vernon, Denis Henry, Philip Munson, Guy Ayres, Leigh Sullivan, Susanna Mullner, Anthea Amos, Cox: Imogen Smith. Finishing 2nd in the straight final but missing out on the win. Keith and Dario were back in a boat together hoping to mirror their C Grade 1x success however the energy spent in the earlier 1x races took its toll and they came in second place. Ally and Kirsty took to the river again for their D Grade 2x. Having won their heat they managed to narrowly push past Horsham City in the final later in the day to claim the win and another medal. Unfortunately they didn’t get out of the heat in the C Grade 2x, coming a respectable second. The winning streak continued with the Female D Grade 4+ Shern Timmins, Amy Catlin, Lily Innes-Irons, Lilian Van Oosterhout, plus cox Keith Wong seeing off their competition to win another gold medal – well done girls! With races coming in thick and fast boats continued to get on and off the water, Richard Verheyen, Steven Sheppard, Dennis Beck, Tim Evans, Cox: Shern Timmins represented in the D Grade 4x+ managing a second place in their heat. This was followed by Mike Gehling and Dario Sportelli back in a single for the Open. In different draws Mike came second in his heat followed by Dario coming first in his heat he then powered through to win the final. The afternoon of racing was drawing to a close with Keith Wong, Michael Calvert, Jon Roberts, John Carey, Cox: Christine Sullivan in the Male C grade 4x+ coming second in their heat followed by Shern Timmins, Lilian Van Oosterhout, Lily Innes-Irons, Susanna Mullner, Cox: Denis Henry in the Female D Grade 4x+ winning their heat but being pipped to the medals in the final. The masters mixed 4x+ were up for the penultimate race of the day (exc finals) with Christine Sullivan, Guy Ayres, Leigh Sullivan, Diana Vernon, Cox: Denis Henry Despite their handicap they came through strongly to take the win, seeing off E grade crews Wentworth and Warrnambool and another medal was theirs. Finally was the mixed 4x+ Anthea Amos, Amy Catlin, Richard Verheyen, Dennis Beck, Cox: Aline Dejaegher who finished off the day coming third in their heat. Overall it was a great day for Richmond with too many athletes to count taking part in 24 events. Whilst people weren’t racing there was an awesome cheer squad at the tent with really good viewing. When we weren’t on the water it was equally fun watching other crews battle it out on the water and obviously prepare our vocal chords for when a Richmond boat was passing. After the conclusion of the day the happy campers went back to the campsite for some fire cooked food (I tried a new Aussie delicacy of bananas stuffed with chocolate cooked on the fire in foil – YUM) and the other Richmond-ers headed back to the motel for some more civilised thai food. And then it was Sunday and we were ready for the Head of the Wimmera. A 6.2km course finishing in the same place as the regatta. Special thanks to the coxes, some of whom I am sure would have preferred to row but enabled other crews to do so, it is always appreciated. The Richmond crews were: Male Open 4x+ Jon Roberts, John Carey, Dario Sportelli, Michael Gehling, Cox: Ka Ki Wong, Coach: Derek Begg Female D Grade 4x+ Shern Timmins, Lilian Van Oosterhout, Kirsty Fergie, Aline Dejaegher, Cox: Dennis Beck, Coach: Dario Sportelli Mixed 4x+ Richard Verheyen, Steven Sheppard, Amy Catlin, Lily Innes-Irons, Cox: Michael Calvert, Coaches: Dario Sportelli, Ainsley Raggatt Mixed Masters 8+ Christine Sullivan, Diana Vernon, Philip Munson, Tim Evens, Guy Ayres, Leigh Sullivan, Susanna Mullner, Anthea Amos, plus Denis Henry. The row up the river was a great warm up however I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking, ‘I’m going to have to come back down here at race pace!’ With a couple of tricky bends on unfamiliar rivers the coxes all did a great job. Congratulations to the Female D Grade 4x+ and Mixed Masters 8+ crews who both rounded off the weekend coming first in their categories and bringing back more bling. With boats packed and the trailer loaded we then made a weary journey back to Melbourne, and for many a winning feeling inside! A big thank you to Barry and Anthea for towing the trailer. Steve Sheppard for BRO’ing and to Shern for organising the accommodation and dinners. Not forgetting the coaches who constantly do a dedicated, fantastic job as well as all of those who work hard behind the scenes to make regattas happen. We all greatly appreciate it.
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!