Latest News

Kirsten takes on Tawe Nummugah

SRC Masters member, Kirsten Liljekvist recently took on a different kind of challenge, competing in a fleet of small wooden boats in the Tawe Nummugah, as part of the recent Hobart Wooden Boat Festival. Taking a break from the boat, Kirsten is pictured rowing a Derwent Skiff on the River Derwent, the skiff has a sliding seat and is built for open water conditions.

Tawe Nunnugah”  means “going” by “canoe” in the local Aboriginal language.  The event took the name to honour the first navigators of southern Tasmanian waters.   Every two years keen adventurers set off from Recherche Bay in the far south of Tasmania to row and sail to Hobart , more than 100 nautical miles away, in a fleet of small boats. This expedition –  over 10 days  takes participants along some of Tasmania’s beautiful and unique coastline, from the wild south and along the spectacular and historic D’Entrecasteux Channel and up the Huon River before entering the Derwent River to Hobart.  This arrival coincides with the start of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

Row Better, Faster and Stronger

At Sydney Rowing Club we’ve opened 2017 applications for STAP (SRC Talented Athlete Pathway). This targeted annual Winter Program aims to enhance the development of talented male and female school athletes in Years 10 and 11. Click here for more information.

Boating on the Clarence – CHS 2017 by John Bivell

In the theatre they say “break a leg,” a message upheld by champions and chairs at this year’s Combined High Schools Rowing Championships, held in Grafton. A team from Fort Street High School, Sydney Secondary College (SSC) and Concord High School all piled into the party bus on Sunday morning – driven by Paul “Allergic” Coates – and began the 10-hour drive north to the venue, where they hoped to snag some gleaming medallions for their schools. With the knowledge of regatta squatters and tolerant bus-goers Sydney Boys High absent from competition, the Sydney Rowers felt confident as the Maccas rolled by down the highway. Driver Paul was particularly invigorated by a selection of “groovy tunes” supplied by UE Boom beat-master William “Beef” Ma.

After a meaty mouthful at the local hotel in Grafton, the rowers caught some winks before waking bright and early for day one – the heats. The SSC Rowers joined Concord’s Cristian “Paint” Pezo in the Men’s Championship Scull heats. Tal “Slap” Lewis triumphed in the semis and progressed alongside longtime veteran Lloyd “Salted” Caetano to the final. Andrew “Up & Go” Li was also successful in hit U17 Men’s Single Scull heat, pulling a cheeky fourth. Up next came the doubles: Concord’s crew of Lucas “Bearded” Chabo and Lloyd advanced with Fort Street’s John “Still Here” Bivell and Alexander “Lamington” Migdalias. Richard “Lullaby” Quach raced well with Mr. W. Ma as Fort Street; Daniel “Minogue” Wark and Aaron “Wizkid” Winata did themselves proud with a strong sprint in their double. Tal Lewis was joined by none other than Benedict “Knockin’” Brenner, a man evidently confident with his numbers as he cruised with Tal to the top four and advancement.

Racing on day one ended with the Inter-regional Eight. From the goodness of their hearts, the Sydney North crew of exclusively Fort Street complexion delayed the race start to allow their friends in the dubiously constructed “Sydney East Eight” to tap up to the start line. As the course was extended to an unprecedented two kilometres, every crew still raced extremely well. Concord and Sydney Sec representatives came first and Sydney North beat an assured Hunter Eight for second. Racing done, Fortian quads took to the Clarence for a practise run, coxed by Mr. R. Quach and Genevieve “Junior” Bivell. As they slugged away at the oars, a veteran coach and young novice three kilometres downstream were affronted by a hardened felon who, to escape police detection, fortuitously shapeshifted into an otter. The animorph offered these sage words to a petrified novice rowing nearby: “Perseverance is key,” a neologism so inspiring that many an aquatic mammal was sighted perusing the depths of the Clarence.

The CHS Dinner was a great event for meeting other rowers, as testified by budding socialite Bradley “Biggest Twenty One Pilots Fan” Deng. All attendees were given a motivational speech from none other than rowing legend Hugh MacLeod, the Stan Lee of CHS Rowing who cameos once a year in every regatta. As rowers turned in at the hotel and proper supervision was executed to the utmost care, the only sounds were the drip-drip of rain and the cries of unscrupulous pool aficionado’s punching above their weight.

Day two – the finals. Every school did themselves proud. Ben and Tal won gold in the Men’s Championship Pair with Cristian and Lloyd in second, complementing Leichhardt’s second in the U15 Double Scull from Andreas “Slurpee” Migdalias and David “Hyper” Lee. Fort Street won their first official bronze medal in the tightly contested Men’s Championship Quad Scull: John, Alexander, Andrew and cox Richard brought up by stalwart two seat Jason “Hourglass” Huang. The team cheered club compatriot Deborah “Psyched” Prospero to second in the Championship Women’s Single Scull before Fort Street took out first and second in the Championship Men’s Four against Merewether High. More sculling medals – Lloyd in third for the Championship Men’s Single; Andy Migdalias in second and David Lee in third for the Men’s U15 Single. The Leichhardt rowers with teammate Namkai should be congratulated on their strong performance despite a fresh beginning.

Andrew Li did Fort Street proud by taking out third place in his U17 Single Scull. The regatta was rounded off with John and Alexander taking out third in the Men’s Championship Double Scull. Quick showers and a speedy trailer send-off by coach Sean  Madeley preceded a jovial presentation, where Sydney Girls won the overall regatta point score. A good job well done, all competitors packed into the bus with their bags full of medals and their minds full of dirty bird promised by team tough guy Kurtis “Skiid’ Aroney.

A huge thanks has to go to Mrs. Bivell and Mrs. Lewis for accompanying the competitors as parent supervisors. The coaches – Paul Coates, Sean Madeley and Luke “Corporate” Stait – also deserve our huge gratitude for the hours they put into the rowers. A final shoutout to Bryoni Gerofi and the CHS team for making this regatta happen, and to Pontoon for the school zooties. Mr. L. Caetano, as a senior, saw his last CHS Regatta ever. For the rest, onto the winter season and future successes for their school and Sydney Rowing Club. CHS 2018 – a Penrith affair – from yonder year beckons.

Sydney Turns up the Heat

In record-breaking temperatures and with a raft of cancelled races as a result, SRC took to the water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith for the NSW State Championships last weekend. RNSW implementing revised start times to 7 am daily, in an effort to conduct races in “cooler” temperatures.

Notwithstanding the steamy conditions, our athletes brought home a haul of 8 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals. Harriet Hudson picked up the first Gold for the weekend with a narrow win in the U231X. The Elite Men’s 2- provided a light blue podium finish with Spencer Turrin teaming up with Alex Hill to take gold and Gus Moore and Josh Hicks the bronze. Romy Davenport had a very tidy win in the U21L 1x with daylight between her scull and the 2nd placegetter.

Our U19W 4+, in a Leichhardt composite easily won their final against a field of schoolgirl crews. Similarly, the CME4+ flew down the course, beating the field by close to 20 seconds.

Our first gold for day three of the championship went to Georgia Bradley in the Championship Schoolgirl 1X, while Georgia was competing for Sydney Girls High, we’ll still count the win as ours. Georgia also added bronze to her bow in the CWU19 1X.

Our Champion Elite Men’s 8+ ensured that the QL Deloitte Trophy remained at its rightful home, winning the race by nearly 7 seconds from Sydney University and Melbourne Club Mercantile.

SRC’s Medal Tally




ASM1X Erik Horrie

CWU231X Harriet Hudson– Coaches Don Cech, Lachlan Carter.

CME2– Spencer Turrin, Alex Hill (Adel)


U21LW1X Romy Davenport – Coach Lachlan Carter


CWU194+ Lauren Graham (SRC), Lauren Lyon (LEICH), Ella Hudson (SRC), Georgia Bradley (SRC), Cox: George Davis (SRC), Coaches: Lachlan Carter (SRC), Harold Kratz, David Cameron


CM4-Angus Moore (SRC), Alex Purnell (SUBC), Jack Hargreaves (SUBC), Alexander Hill (ADEL)


CM4+ – Edward White, Alexander Lloyd, Christopher Morgan, Nathan Bowden, Cox: Pippy Wiseman, Coach: Donovan Cech


CME8+ – Edward White, Charlie Patterson, Christopher Morgan, Alexander Lloyd, Spencer Turrin, Nathan Bowden, Angus Moore, Joshua Hicks, Cox: Kendall Brodie, Coach: Donovan Cech


CMU21 1X Thomas Barnes – Coach Donovan Cech.


CWE4- Leah Saunders (SRC), Ellen Pozzi (UQBC), Jess Morrison (MERC), Lucy Stephan (MUBC)


CM4- Darcy Wruck (COMM), Angus Widdicombe (MERC), Spencer Turrin (SRC), Joshua Hicks (SRC)


CMU21L 2X – Sebastian Myles, Wyatt Batt, Coach: James Stride

CWU191X Georgia Bradley –   Coach: Lachlan Carter


CME2- Angus Moore, Josh Hicks


CMEL 4- Sebastian Myles, Wyatt Batt, Christopher McCarthy, Ryan Baskerville, Coaches: Lachlan Carter, James Stride, Jason Baker


CMU23 2- Thomas Barnes, Charlie Patterson, Coach: Donovan Cech


CWU19 4X – Ella Hudson (SRC), Crystal Piper (LWRCL), Lauren Lyon (LEICH), Georgia Bradley (SRC), Coaches: Lachlan Carter, David Cameron, Harold Kratz.


CWE 4X –  Emily Partridge, Susannah Dear, Harriet Hudson, Leah Saunders, Coaches: Lachlan Carter, Donovan Cech

Click here for full regatta results.

QL Deloitte Stays at Sydney RC

Standing: Alex Lloyd, Chris Morgan, Charlie Patterson, Josh Hicks, Kendall Brodie (c) Kneeling: Nathan Bowden, Angus Moore, Spencer Turrin, Ed White

The much coveted and magnificent QL Deloitte Trophy for the Champion Men’s eight of NSW is staying at home for another year at SRC. Our victors; Ed White, Charlie Patterson, Chris Morgan, Alex Lloyd, Spencer Turrin, Nathan Bowden, Angus Moore, Josh Hicks, Cox: Kendall Brodie and Coach: Donovan Cech defeated top crews from Sydney University and Mercantile on Sunday’s final day of State Champs in a time of 5.44.68 with Sydney Uni coming in next  nearly 7 seconds behind our light blue crew. Coxswain Kendall Brodie reporting that “it was a great race, I love an open water lead”. Congratulation to Don and this outstanding crew.

SRC Preps for Season at Perisher – by Coach Carter

It was a typical stinking hot start to the year in Taree and Penrith.

Good thing we were in the Perisher Valley instead. The temperature was a cool 20 degrees every day and the hottest it reached was about 29 degrees on the water which was perfect. The 0 degree mornings felt like 15 degrees which was very strange.

The camp consisted of a wide variety of activities which eliminated any boredom. They’d row 20km each morning and climb Mt. Perisher after brekky at 11:30 for the second session. In the afternoon the rowers would do a 75’ technical row if the water was good or go into town for their Strength and Conditioning. Other afternoons would simply consist of some aerobic topping with 90mins on the ergs and Watt bikes. The Ski Erg was everyone’s favourite machine as it gave everyone a new stimulus which worked the legs and core with a bit of bicep action. Anyone who doesn’t like the ski erg is generally weak.

The heavy training days consisted of either a long cycle or the Kosciuszko-Main Range trek/run. The 2hr cycle up the long gradual ascents were either from Guthega or Jindabyne all the way up to Perisher Valley where our Ski Lodge was located. Clinton Boltman had a slow trip up the hills on his mountain bike but endured the climb and arrived just in time for dinner. Everyone else had finished about 2hrs before him. On the first ride JB had worked so hard on his mountain bike to be one of the first guys back until Nick Clifton snuck up on the inside of him up the driveway to beat him back with everyone cheering them on. JB said Cliffo would never be picked in any crew boats again after that.

Lloyd Caetano won the good bloke award for the camp but did not win any awards for being a speedy cyclist. Last year everyone said he showed a lot of guts last summer but the only guts he showed were the ones hanging out of that skin tight Sydney shirt of his. This year Lloydy lost a few kilos and is keen to get back down to lightweight again.

The 22km Kosciuszko Main Range trek was a gruelling 3hrs on foot. Ed White was 11km from Charlotte’s Pass when he landed in some mud and snapped his ankle in half. Coach Don Cech couldn’t believe Ed’s luck as he was literally as far away from the cars as possible. Luckily Dylan had some sticky tape and put Ed back together. He was in agony when he rolled the ankle and was very lucky that he didn’t do any serious damage. Everyone offered to carry Ed all the way back but he refused and battled his way back to the cars on his own two feet. Amazingly, Ed woke up the next morning completely fine. This is just some of the marvellous courage, spirit and determination that you can expect from SRC athletes.

Some of the standout athletes from the Trek were Charlie Patterson who finished first with an army pack on his back (not with much weight I might add). I think it was just for show. Charlie was closely followed by Candice Williams who punished everyone up and down the hills. She showed spectacular aerobic ability and surprised a lot of people as to how quickly she could conquer the mountain. A couple of big strong strapping young lads from Newington joined us on camp. Alex Nicol and Harry Crouch. Harry showed his country toughness as he ran with me for the 9km to the top of Mt. Kosciuszko. Thankfully he was happy to go at my slow pace.

Alex and Harry did some great work in the pair together during the camp and are showing a lot of promise. After stepping on a red belly black snake up Mt. Perisher, Harry ensured that snakes were not going to be a problem for anyone. Mt. Perisher is a 1600m climb with 300m of elevation. It tests everyone and is very deceptive in how tough it is to even just walk up. It takes a non-athletic regular person (NARP) about 25mins to climb. The rowers are generally pretty tired from all of the other training they are doing so they can walk up in under 20mins. The better guys will take about 17-18mins without pushing it too hard. Since I’m fresh as a daisy, I spent some of my free time attempting to get to the top as fast as I could. As an all-out maximal effort, last year I ran up in 15min 41sec and after 4 attempts this year I got to the top in 15:22 which is a new world record. Going under 15mins would be a tough ask but I think only Chris Morgan, Spencer Turrin or Angus Moore have the capacity to do it. Maybe they are too heavy. Perhaps the lighties are better suited to the steep ascent. I’ll have a crack next year. I’ve done 2km erg tests and plenty of hard rowing races but I don’t think anything tested me as much as this. My heart rate sits at 173bpm average and my breathing is out of control and parts of it are too steep to run. Sometimes it is quicker to walk those bits.

Susie Dear also found the climbs very hard. She said “I found the climbs very hard”. Very insightful. On the way down it can be very sketchy. Most people have the occasional slip and fall. I managed to stack it on the way up and hoped Kendall didn’t see it but she did. One of the worst things on the climb are the horse flies. They latch on and keep biting so you need plenty of aero guard. You end up slapping yourself the whole way up and down the mountain and you look insane.

The rowers had plenty of time to recover and when they weren’t passed out on the lounge they would spend a lot of their downtime playing board games. Scattergories, Chess, Articulate, Poker and Cards Against Humanity. Articulate was a popular game in the first week until Nathan Bowden and Will O’Connell memorised all of the cards just so that they could be the winning partnership. It turns out most of the rowers were not very articulate though. Georgia Bradley is probably the smartest girl we’ve ever met and she couldn’t articulate the most famous Batsmen Australia/the World has ever seen to her partner Romy Davenport who is also from Sydney Girls High and incredibly bright. In a 30sec time limit Georgia started to articulate to Romy…

Georgia “Ok what’s the first three letters of our head coaches first name”?

Romy “Don”

Georgia “Ok who is married to Angelina Jolie”?

Romy “Brad Pitt”

Georgia “yes ok but just his first name”

Romy “Brad”

Georgia “what’s the opposite to a woman”

Romy “Man”

Georgia “Yes now put all of those names together?”

Romy “Don Pittman”?

Everyone just lost it completely and were in hysterics when we found out that Georgia was trying to get Romy to guess ‘Donald Bradman’. Maybe you should try mentioning that this person has the highest test average and is the most famous name in Cricket.

Nathan and Will walked away with another victory and the next day everyone decided that poker was the next game to be played. Coach Don Cech showed his poker face and cleaned up a victory in a game of about 10 people. Alex Lloyd was second and unlucky not to draw a good hand and finish Don off. Mario Kart on the 1996 Nintendo 64 was very popular. They should have stopped making computer games after this because it’s perfect and nothing surpasses it. It was a good feeling to school the late 90s kids on how it’s done. Most of the guys were just awful especially Will O’Connell who can only play Wario Stadium and can’t even win when he uses the lightning to knock people off the jump. What an amateur.

The food at this camp was second to none. A bigger than really big thank you must go to Sally and John Clifton who worked tirelessly each day to provide the best rowing camp food any of us have ever had (Sorry Steve). There was a party in everyone’s mouths with every tasty meal. Eggs benedict or B&E rolls for brekky and cooked lunches. The dinners were insane and I think I went overboard on the sticky date pudding for dessert.

Everyone likes Nick Clifton so much more now because of his parents cooking. More thanks must go to their helpers, Roger Brighton, John Duignan, Dave Greenslade and Steve Graham. These guys helped to prepare meals and clean dishes so that the athletes could rest up. These contributions to the club make a big difference and go a long way to helping the athletes be the best they can be.

It was great to have Alex Lloyd at the camp as he worked to prepare himself for King’s Cup selection in the pair with Olympic bronze medallist (2012) Chris Morgan. Morgs is also a World Champion in the coxed pair so the coxless pair should be a piece of cake. Especially since Lloydy is Australia’s best stroke side rower. Lloydy lead the way on the Guthega bike ride but his time off has cost him some fitness as he was unable to beat Nathan Bowden up to Perisher Valley.

Max Brenner arrived in the second week of the camp in an attempt to improve his fitness after breaking his arm in a nasty cycling accident he had with a speed camera pole on Parramatta Road in December. Max climbed Mt. Perisher 3 times every morning while the others were on the water. In the afternoons he would spend time in the tinny with one of the coaches just to get his eye in. Max learned a lot from watching the rowing and listening to the coach’s comments. He said “I learned a lot from watching the rowing and listening to the coach’s comments”. After his first day of this he could feel his lungs struggling and he felt as though he was about to get sick. After a lot of discussion about this we decided that Max was not to get sick and that he must keep training until he felt better. It worked.

Max had a break from Mt. Perisher for one of the days and ran the Main Range track with the token Irishman Ryan Baskerville in less than 2.5hrs. Super effort that. Ryan told stories of famous Irish dishes. One of which includes three varieties and styles of potatoes. On the water Ryan was having some difficulty with the height of his gates. He asked me if I had any spare ‘pop fuks’. I was very confused as to what a ‘pop fuk’ was but he was talking about the blue spacers that you pop on and off the pins to adjust the gate heights. He said “you ‘pop’ them off, and when they fall in the water you say ‘fuk’!. You know… ‘pop fuks’”.

There were heaps of other things that happened. Dylan capsized again. He seems to be making a habit of this. It’s a yearly thing he does at camp. Georgia’s hat blew off while she was rowing. Ah what an event that was.

While the girls were busy eating all of the cookies, there were about 50 kangaroos chewing all of the shoe laces in the rowing boats down by the water. Every night they would lick the oar handles and shoes in all of our boats because they love the salty surprise. Every morning we would arrive at the boats ready to row only to find out that the shoe laces have been chewed in half and there are Kangaroo poos all through the tinnies.

On the last night we went into Jindabyne to have dinner at the Bowling and Sports Bar. We played barefoot bowls and then went in for some trivia with dinner.

All in all, it was a fantastic camp and one which everyone made significant gains in the technical and aerobic ability. The daily training environment and culture was on point as everyone got on with the tasks at hand and worked hard to make the camp a great success. Thanks to everyone involved and all the best for the rest of the season.

Sydney Sizzles at Small Boats – by Gavin Parcsi

It was a very warm welcome to the January racing season out at SIRC last weekend as RNSW hosted the 2017 Small Boats Regatta. There was talk of rain a little earlier on in the week, but when racing got underway at 8am there was not a cloud in the sky, and the flags on the finish line semaphore were flat.

It was anticipated that there would be plenty of spectacular sporting action on the regatta course with many athletes vying for coveted places in state crews; but there was also plenty of exhilaration on the tow path as coaches, coxswains, and hangers-on spurred on our light blue stable mates with vocal vigour and enthusiastic encouragement as they cycled beside each race.

Lloyd Caetano

For most of our athletes Small Boats was their first regatta of the year, however there was quite a few juniors who had had a tremendous start to their year with some exciting racing in Taree just a couple of weeks ago. With the bulk of our crews recently returning from Jindabyne, they were revved up to the maximum, ready to race at 110%, some of them taking to the water at 170% – 180%. Sydney Rowing Club was well represented across the field, from U16s right through to masters; dead set we nearly had a crew in every event.


While there was no shortage of exciting racing; here are some of the highlights and lowlights of last weekend’s action:- Luke Stait opened the racing for SRC, unfortunately he didn’t quite get his bow ball across the line first; and therefore it was pretty hard for him to claim victory. The first SRC win of the day went to Fiona Martin in the WM1x, edging out regular victor Kaye Smyth who is just back from 4 months travelling around this great nation of ours. It wasn’t all bad news for Kaye, who went on to take out the WM2x with Dorothy De George later that day. Nick Clifton and Dylan Boakes put on a show to safely show the boys from UNSW how to win the MU23 2x. Our recent Irish import Ryan Baskerville managed to claim victory in the MU21L 1x, narrowly missing out on the MU23L division in the same race. Young Georgia Bradley not only managed to take out the heat in the WU21 1x, but she also took out the final in similar style. Charlie Patterson walked away with the MU23 1x, while Ed White and Nathan Bowden claimed the ME 2- and Jake Brighton and Lucas Giles took out the MU21 2x. The last wins for the light blue went to Harriet Hudson; teaming up with Cara Grzeskowiak from Capital Lakes/ACTAS to scull to an easy win in the WE 2x – . Fabulous stuff.


Notable mention also goes to Tom Barnes who safely won his heat, but couldn’t quite hang on in the final coming off second best to a plucky little colt from the SUBC stables. One of the most popular and certainly most entertaining events of the day was the MU19 1x; with no less than 10 SRC athletes lining up at the start; Concord High and SRC veteran Lloyd Caetano put up a good fight to progress from the heat, through the semi, and into the final in the hotly contested event.


Demonstrating that SRC is not only a fabulous sporting institution, the majority of the athletes and supporters were looking resplendent out at SIRC in the summer heat; proudly wearing their new 100% cotton, light blue SRC tee shirts that Coach Carter had organised – sartorial elegance in abundance! I definitely think that we are in the running to win this season’s Best Dressed Team award. Anyhow, the results of all the racing can be found over at the Rowing NSW website. I tell you what, if the results of the past weekend are anything to go by SRC is going to have an absolute pearler of a season, kicking goals with both feet. Bring on States!

We Want You! Volunteers Required

Click here to volunteer for SRC’s Regatta 25 February 2017.

Head of the Yarra 2016 – by Coach Carter

SRC rowers and coaches headed en-masse to Melbourne last weekend for the 58th Head of the Yarra Regatta. The club fielded five eights with Leah Saunders and Kendall Brodie also representing in a composite boat in the Women’s Open eight who placed 2nd behind Melbourne University. The Masters started the regatta with a victory in the D Grade event, after a time penalty was reversed following a successful protest. This was a terrific performance from Steve Handley’s legends, especially after coming so close in 2014 and 2015. Special thanks must go to Stuart Johnston for fitting Yarra specific rudders on all of our boats to handle the sharp bends in the river.


With our Women’s program building we were very excited to be able to field a women’s eight.

We also had four more girls in the Mixed Eight. They came 13th out of 251 crews overall, beating two men’s open crews (including the UTS Men’s 2nd Eight by a minute), three men’s B crews, over 30 schoolboy Eights and every single female crew by a long margin.


Our Men’s Open Eight were the clear favourites to win the 8.6km time trial but unfortunately had to start behind the other crews. This left Milly with no space for overtaking as they had to paddle behind the line of Open Eights. The Men’s crew eventually caught up to a few of the Open Women’s Eights who were gridlocked under the last bridge before the finish. The Banks Women’s Crew had collided with the MUBC Women’s Eight and Banks were left motionless until the SRC Men’s crew offered to help by giving them a nudge towards the line.

The following crews competed in the regatta:

Men’s Masters D Eight

Men’s B Grade Eight

Women’s Open Eight

Mixed A Grade Eight

Men’s Open Eight

Congratulations to all who raced!

Full results click here.

How to Set Goals the Right Way – with Jen Edge

Join Jen Edge in the boatshed on Thursday 1 December for a free information session. Click here.