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!