You’re invited to the next SRC Rowers’ Reunion. Click here for the flyer.
Welcome back to another edition of ‘Rowing Fever’ as we bring you all the spectacular sporting action from around the galaxy as well as the highlights and lowlights of the 2017 Sydney International Rowing Regatta (SIRR).
From the beginning of the week we knew we were in for a long and arduous seven days at SIRC with our best athletes being spread pretty thin over a number of events. SRC had a good start to the regatta in the heats of the small boats with most of our key athletes qualifying for the semi-finals and finals. There were so many highlights through the week but some in particular stood out to be sensational.
Harriet Hudson progressed nicely in the U23W1X with very comparable times to the 500m and 1000m marks against her competition. The 19yr old had a tough battle in the final as she found herself in fourth place all the way down the course. With a huge push at 1400m she was half a length off third but was just edged out by the NTC’s Caitlin Cronin. Whilst it was upsetting for Harriet to miss out on a medal, she gained a spot into the U23 selection trials which are later this month. She gave it everything and really put the older girls in a tough place as they had to suffer to hold her off. Harriet had a great regatta taking out the U21W2X with Romy Davenport and she also won the OW4X with SRC’s favourite South Australian and Rio Olympian Olympia Aldersey.
Leah Saunders and Harriet took on the Open Double and placed 2nd ahead of Sydney University which included Olympian and NTC rower Gen Horton. This was a special moment for Leah as she got to race in the Empacher boat that was so deservedly named after her earlier this year. Leah, Kendall Brodie and Harriet in the NSW eight won the OW8+ sprint Championship of Australia the evening before the Interstate Regatta in preparation for the Queen’s Cup Women’s Interstate eights race. The NSW QC crew lead the race for 1500m. Such a gutsy effort was needed if they were to have any chance of beating the Victorians who unfortunately went on to win their 13th QC race in a row. This was a courageous and brave row from the NSW women and such a major improvement on last year where they placed 3rd which was 10sec behind 2nd place. This year they are under 3sec off 1st which looks promising for next year.
Jason Baker once again coached the Youth eight which absolutely demolished the field with a 4sec margin at the 500m mark. Tom Barnes represented SRC in the NSW crew and was very pleased with the result. Tom commented after the race “I was very pleased with the result”.
One of the best moments of the regatta for me was seeing Spencer Turrin win the single scull. He shot out well in the heat and the semi-final to paddle down the course rating 24 in qualifying positions after the 500m mark.
In the semi-final Spencer had an agreement with Hamish Playfair (UTS) that if they were both in the top four qualifying positions, whoever was in the lead after the first 500m would be allowed to cross the finish line first between the two of them. It just so happened that Hamish beat Spencer to the 500m mark and at 500m to go they looked across at each other and Spencer said “you go first mate, I’ll take fourth and you take third spot”. This can be an incredible gamble because lanes for the final are seeded based on your placings in the semi. Sometimes some lanes are better than others especially if there is a cross wind and they all knew there was likely to be a cross wind for the final which would make Lane One more favourable than lane 8.
After speaking with Spencer about this he said “I just had a feeling that if I play fair and let Hamish Playfair place ahead of me in the semi, I would get Lane One” which is exactly what happened.
Things seemed to be OK but Spencer said he had been struggling to set the boat up right so he could feel comfortable in the Sgt. Fred Wellische. Usually this boat leaks like a sieve but it had just been repaired by Sykes the week before and was dry as a bone inside. Spencer said that he felt like he wasn’t getting the speed for the effort he’d been putting in. He decided to put the rigger as far toward the bow as possible to keep the stern out of the water to help it run on and he lengthend the oars to 290/88cm just to get more purchase on the blades. Now he was all set for the final and ready to take on Olympic Silver Medallist in the Men’s 4X Cam Girdlestone (SUBC) who was favourite to take out the final. Spencer knew this would be his only chance to have a crack at this event and prove what everyone has always thought which was that he is Australia’s best rower whether its sculling, sweeping, big boat, small boat, eyes closed, half slide, feet out, pants down.
He started fast and got half a length lead. Girdlestone was in lane 4 and found it hard to know where Spencer was as he was over on the edge of the course in Lane One. Playfair had drawn lane 7. With SRC supporters on the bikes, we were closer to the end of Spencer’s stroke side blade than he was. He worked hard to hold his half length lead and every time Girdlestone came back at him Spencer put in 10 hard strokes just like you do in the Yr 8 Quads when racing at school. Spencer seemed determined not to give up that margin and he just kept toying with the opposition with schoolboy tactics. At the 750m mark things started to get desperate. This is where the race would be won or lost. Spencer knew that if he remained tough until the 1250m mark, he would come out on top. Girdlestone was pushing hard and gaining on Spencer. His bow ball now moving an inch past Spencer’s body through the 1000m mark. With the challenge came great determination in Spencer’s mind and all he could hear from the bank was “DO IT FOR THE CLUB SPENCER, FOR THE CLUB!” Suddenly Spencer pushed out again and got his half length lead back and there was the 1250m mark. 750m remains between the battler from SFRC and victory. Closing in now on the 1500m mark Spencer heard “GO DUNGOG!” and as passionate about SRC Spencer is he never forgets where he comes from and those words set him off. He could hear his father’s cowbells now ringing in the distance and with 600m to go Spencer ran away like he’d stolen something.
Half a length became 2 lengths in the blink of an eye and suddenly my bike wasn’t fast enough to stay beside him. 250m to go and everything hit Spencer’s muscles all at once. Girdlestone two lengths back was no longer the threat but Playfair now surging on the outside lane was closing in and racing for the line. Spencer started to wobble and for a moment looked to have lost all control. “STAY ON IT SPENCE! LAST 200!” Sgt Fred was still moving fast but the slightest brain melt now would result in a monumental stuff up. Thankfully the finish line drew closer and Spencer collected himself again. Playfair now in second place but it was all too late as winning is a dominant trait for Nate who’s fate had him crossing the line under the psychological 7min barrier to become the Champion Sculler of Australia (dare I say World). The moment Spencer crossed the line, he released his oars, poked his tongue out and the arms went up. He’s a hero, a living legend, the best that’s ever been.
After that race, we rode the bikes back down to the 2000m barrier for start of the Open Men’s Pair where Angus Moore and Josh Hicks were all boxed and ready waiting for the start. Alex Hill (Adelaide RC) teamed up with fellow South Australian Bryn Coudraye who won the race for lanes. Hilly shot out to a canvas lead over Gus and Hicksy. That margin remained for the first 750m and then SRC started to close in and draw level. The Victorian pair of Josh Dunkley Smith and Josh Booth started to fire and joined the party at the 1000m mark and all of a sudden anything up to two or three horses could win it. Since Alex Lloyd is not competing internationally this year, Alex Hill is now the best stroke in Australia. He’s been rowing very well lately and I reckon he could win with a ham sandwich sitting behind him. Not that Bryn isn’t an adequate replacement for a ham sandwich.
Gus and Hicksy were now starting to take the lead as Gus throws the head back and takes a wild swing at each stroke. Booth and JDS were still in the hunt but the SRC and Adelaide pairs were in a race of their own and started to pull away from the Victorians.
The racing was ferocious and they were red lining to the max. If the course had been any longer than 2000m I don’t think either of the pairs would have made it. It looked like they were completely cooked with 500m to go and you can’t imagine how much it would have hurt. If there are two guys that aspiring rowers should see its Gus and Hicksy. That is how you race. People talk a lot about those athletes who are good trainers and good racers, well these two are phenomenal racers. It goes down to the wire every time and there’s never anything left in the tank. Anyhow, Gus and Hicksy managed to pull off one of the best pair races I’ve ever seen and crossed the line 1.75sec ahead of ARC.
The King’s Cup was another highlight especially with four SRC racers in the boat. Congratulations to Spencer, Gus, Ed White and Alex Lloyd for bringing the KC back to NSW and reclaiming what is rightfully ours.
NSW had lost the KC two years in a row and all they needed was more SRC members in the boat to get the job done. Angus Moore (formally ACT) has waited two long years to represent NSW and I knew he’d be quite emotional on the line as this meant quite a lot to him and his mates.
Erik Horrie took his familiar spot atop the podium winning the ASM 1X Erik stating:
“It is hard out there by yourself… but it’s good to be able to come down the course for the Australian titles and to still have that race available for my class”.
To widen his competition, Erik also raced up a class, competing in his second race in the TA Men’s Single Scull final. Although placing second, he was proud of his efforts and excited to have some new competition around. “Up against another category, I’m over the moon with second place… It’s an honour to be able to race against Curtis, it’s great to see him having a go at a great sport like rowing,” added Horrie.
I was delighted to see Ed White get his first spot in the NSW crew. He is the best bowman in Australia and the only man who can keep that boat straight. Ed has won more domestic races than anyone in Australia in the past three years and it was about time he was called upon to assist the Welshman. In my opinion the fastest eight that Australia could possibly boat is a crew made up entirely of SRC rowers. With half of the NSW crew being from SRC, we were in safe hands.
The NSW crew won in fine form and came out of the blocks in true SRC style. Half a canvas lead in the first three strokes and the race is over. The crew was coached by Donovan Cech who has a lot of success with eights racing since he arrived at SRC three years ago. SRC have since won two State Championships and three Gold Cups. Nick Garratt (Mosman) was also coaching the NSW KC crew this year and I thought it was fitting for Nick to have won the King’s Cup as his last time as coach now that he has been appointed the new ACTAS Head Coach position. Good on you Nick and all the best for the future.
The Women of SRC AKA ‘The Dolphins’ brought home three medals on the final day to secure the Club point score for SRC. Romy and new member Maddy Farrar kicked off the club events with a bronze medal in the Club double. This was Romy’s fourth medal of the week. She had a brilliant performance in the U21LW1X to come second and got a bronze in the U23LW4X. Maddy has been training for 8 days and showed us that she’s still got what it takes to perform well.
The Club 4- of Susie Dear, Emily Partridge, Tessa Mapplebeck and Candice Williams dominated the first 1000m to be over a length clear of the field. They cruised to victory to secure a gold for SRC. This was also a momentous occasion for Emily Partridge who since winning the club 2X and 8+ last year has now become the first person in Australian rowing history to win all three club events making her a hero, a living legend and the best that’s ever been.
Brianna Caputo, Lara Campbell, Maddy Farrar and Madi Brown joined them in the Club eight 2hrs later and they were coxed by none other than the fierce Milly Cheetham. They came out of the blocks first as practiced and got out to a half-length lead by the 750m mark. After half way the Banks crew started closing in but SRC just managed to fight them off and win by 0.7sec. Milly had a run in with the same Banks coxswain at the Head of the Yarra late last year where our Men’s eight collided with the Banks women’s eight that were strewn across the river. The girls hung in there and fought for the entire 2000m to stay ahead of a very sharp Banks crew.
Just like last year, every female at SRC came away with a gold medal. This was another very emotional result for SRC because it was the 10-year anniversary of the Sykes eight that our women use, The ‘Q.L. Deloitte’. She weighed in at a very slim 97kg even after being repaired with a new bow in 2009. Emily Partridge and Susie Dear said “The girls love this boat so much that we feel it necessary to retire the old girl out of respect. We’ll row in a new boat if we have to”.
Although Dylan Boakes and Nick Clifton’s single sculling performances wouldn’t go down as one of the highlights of the regatta they turned it around in the U23M4X as they teamed up with two blokes from WA to win a silver medal. They had a nail biting race going stroke for stroke with a crew made up of top 6 single scullers. They were almost level with 500m to go but were just edged out by a more experienced crew. This was the best rowing that JB and I have seen from Dylan and Cliffo. Pretty direct and loose out the front and matching up well with the rest of the crew which was great to see. Lucas Giles placed 3rd in this race to bring up his first National medal which was a fantastic result.
Nathan Bowden had a terrific regatta, single handedly winning the Open Men’s Four with James McCrea, Hilly and Brye Coudraye. It’s the first time an all South Australian Crew has won this event. I don’t mind the South Australians so well done fellas. Nath was representing SRC (sort of) which got us a ¼ of a Gold medal. This was quite selfish of him as our crew of Spencer, Gus, Lloydy and Hicksy came second since they were fried from winning the small boat finals the day before. Nathan should have checked his boat before the line to let SRC win a full Gold medal.
Nathan found it hard swapping sides throughout the regatta and his back started playing up. He stitched the club up again by pulling out of the Coxed Four. Luckily, we have some handy youth rowers like Will O’Connell and Charles Patterson who stepped up and managed to pull off a dominant display and win Gold again for Sydney. Charlie Patterson stroked the boat very well and Morgs and Ed White did their thing in bow pair. George Davis pulled some strings and steered them to victory.
Georgia Bradley, Lauren Lyon, Tessa Mapplebeck and Crystal Piper (Lower Clarence) had a good crack at the U19W4- which they had never practiced before. They showed great potential in the heat to qualify fastest for the final and finished with a bronze medal in the final. Lauren and Crystal raced an U19W4X in a composite crew and Georgia raced in a different crew. Both boats were level all the way down the course but Georgia’s crew were too good and claimed silver. Bronze for Lauren and Crystal. Well done girls.
Chris Morgan raced the OM2X with Wilson Mure (Huon) and won the silver Medal. This is pretty good stuff from Morgs who has been retired since the Rio Games. He’s been ticking over with some weights and a few rows each week. Morgs also raced in the South Australian King’s Cup crew with Nathan Bowden who placed third.
Sydney Rowing Club finished the regatta on top of the point score to be crowned Champion Club of Australia for the second year in a row and best club in the world for the 147th year in a row.
Coach Lachlan Carter
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here for full regatta results.
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.
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”?
Georgia “Ok who is married to Angelina Jolie”?
Romy “Brad Pitt”
Georgia “yes ok but just his first name”
Georgia “what’s the opposite to a woman”
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.
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.
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!
Click here to volunteer for SRC’s Regatta 25 February 2017.