Tag Archives: Regatta

Victorian State Championships 2020

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!!!

Jon Roberts

Nagambie Regatta 2020

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.

Hamish Taylor

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

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