The first of the annual JB Sharp regattas was held last Sunday, with Sydney represented by a big turnout of juniors racing on the Glebe course. Despite a successful day for the club on the water, the regatta ended in controversy as the SRC men’s eight was disqualified from the final event for a breach of strict protocols enforced by regatta officials.
SRC was undoubtedly the best represented club at the first of the JB Sharp regattas of 2016, as a huge number of juniors entered the regatta, many of whom were enjoying their first ever race. The rowers and supporters were welcomed by the ever-hospitable Glebe Club and treated to fine conditions on the testing two furlong course in Blackwattle Bay.
The JB Sharp series has a strong focus on junior and novice rowing and provides a safe space for those just starting out in the sport. From numerous entries across the boys and girls novice races, Sydney was able to claim a couple of medals and a strong start to the pointscore competition held over the five regattas. The novice quad of Lucas Chabo, Alex Migdalious, Bradley Deng and Oscar Gullickson were narrow winners, while William Ma was impressive in taking out the novice scull.
The senior men also competed and won the open four comfortably, before taking to the water to race in the open eight. The crew finished a close second to Glebe and returned to the boating area disappointed, but proud of their efforts. These emotions however soon turned to anger as the crew was informed that regatta officials were considering disqualifying the Sydney boat on the basis that one of the crew members, Fiona Coates, was born a woman and this was “a men’s race”.
Spokesman for the regatta, Liam James, did not defend the decision, however strongly asserted the right of the organisers to make and enforce the rules as they saw fit. It is understood that avenues of appeal are currently being considered.
Click here for all the results.
Sydney Rowing Club’s Head Coach Donovan Cech has been awarded the distinction of Rowing NSW coach of the year. The honour came in recognition of a fantastic season for the club’s elite program under Don’s leadership. SRC also took home the 2015-16 youth pointscore shield and a number of the club’s athletes were presented with scholarships from the NSW Union of Rowers.
The NSW rowing community came together for the annual presentation dinner on Tuesday night to celebrate the 2015-16 season and recognise the best achievements and contributions of the year. The glittering ceremony was held at the UTS clubhouse, with both the athletic and administrative stars of the sport assembled in their finest livery. This included the particularly arresting sight of the St George, Leichhardt and Sydney tables all wearing club blazers in a proud show of traditionalism.
The crowd was welcomed by the delightful Sarah Cooke, Olympian and Rowing NSW Director, who spoke passionately about the struggles at the elite levels and the importance of clubs as the foundation for any success. Then followed a Mezze starter and awarding of youth scholarships from the Union of Rowers. Senior Union official Paul Coates presented the cheques, including to young SRC members Harriet Hudson, Pasha Bevan and Charlie Patterson who were each grateful for the Union’s support of young athletes and better conditions for rowers.
Over the season the Rowing Association runs a number of point-score competitions across the different boat classes. This year SRC won the youth shield for points in under 19 and 21 races held across the season. Club Captain Paul Coates received the shield on behalf of the club and paid thanks to the many volunteers who contribute to the successful operation of regattas throughout the year. St George Rowing club won the overall point-score and recognition as the top club in NSW.
After a main of alternate service of beef and salmon, the CEO of Rowing NSW; Anthony ‘Doc’ Blower presented the individual merit awards. This year the athletes of the year were Sal Kehoe and Cam Girdlestone from SUBC, both of whom were abroad in training for the Rio Olympics. SRC’s own Donovan Cech was awarded coach of the year for 2015-16, a great honour placing him alongside the likes of past winners Nick Garret, Phil Bourguignon and Dr Andrew Randell. Lachlan Carter was on hand to receive the award in Don’s absence and spoke of his keen eye and eagerness to race his athletes.
Other notable honours recipients were Vic Walter, who received the Rusty Robertson award for his outstanding contribution as a regatta official over many years and Dave Jennings, who was awarded schoolboy coach of the year for a record 5th occasion. The night was enjoyed by all and thanks must go to the Rowing NSW staff for their efforts in organising the event.
The mature members of SRC migrated north to compete at the 2016 Australian Masters Rowing Championships held at Lake Kawana, Bokarina a suburb of the Sunshine Coast. The first SRC person I spotted was Dorothy De George, who arrived at the athlete’s briefing in her stylish SRC blazer – the only athlete to wear full club blazer. It was Tony Brown who noted this and commented to the crowd. Tony was invited by Rowing QLD to oversee “Field of Play” – with his knowledge of the equipment he was a great resource and his efforts were very much appreciated by all.
Steve Handley’s Legends – Australian Champions 2016:
A total of 41 athletes travelled up and were supposed to compete in 21 events. A total of 17 medals were won – 7 Gold – 4 Silver and 6 Bronze. Not only did athletes travel but support crew as well – Skello was the first person I saw wearing the volunteer polo.
Masters Men’s D8 win NSW Championships:
The Sunshine Coast unfortunately did not live up to its name – the conditions were rough to say the least – but all the Sydney rowers kept smiling and racing to the best of their ability. Ken Ambler was listed as competing in a total of 11 races – a great effort for any age. Due to the conditions racing was postponed on Saturday morning – racing commenced at 1.30pm. All the Interstate races saw great competition between states. Sunday the rain stopped but so did the rowing due to the strong winds, with the boat holders not able to hold boats. Running starts were tried but were not successful.
Men’s Master’s D8 training:
Rowing Queensland hosted the event and made every effort to make the Regatta enjoyable for all – The stadium across the road provided some shelter and also made for a great presentation area. The Wallabies had a closed session in the Sunshine Stadium they also wandered down to look at the Rowing. They could not handle the weather conditions – not as tough and committed as rowers – they left and the rowers stayed.
It was great to see the spirit of Sydney Rowing Club shining even though the sun was not.
Click here to check out the awesome raffle prizes. See you on the 19th in the Smoking Goat.
Check out this drone footage by Rowing NSW of the Aus Men’s 8+ training hard for the Olympic Qualification Regatta, featuring our SRC boys Josh Hicks and James Chapman as the bow pair. The crew will debut in just over a week’s time at the Regatta of Death on the glassy waters of the Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland. Look out also for the cameo by the Women’s 8+! Keep on swingin’ fellas! Click here for the regatta website. Photo Credit: Tim Masters
It must be thirsty work giving exclusive interviews to the national Media. “Our” Spencer recovers with a Slushie and a chat to the camera. Look out Don he has an eye on the Head Coach job at SRC. Click here for the Youtube vision.
As proud of Spencer Turrin as all of us are at SRC, his home town is pretty well pleased with their Olympic hopeful too. With only one other Olympian hailing from the timber and dairy town of Dungog in country NSW.
Equestrian, Kevin Bacon represented Australia at three Olympic Games in 1964, ’68 and ’76. Bacon never brought Olympic glory in the form of an Olympic medal home to Dungog but Spencer has his heart firmly set on doing just that.
In a recent interview with the Newcastle Herald Spencer confessed; “I was never that good at sport growing up, I was a bit of a fat little boy, so I don’t know, I always thought I’d probably try to play for the Wallabies and be a front rower for them, because I was pretty fat,” he laughed. “But I’ve trimmed out a bit since then.”
Spencer and his equally trim pair partner SRC’s Alex Lloyd leave for training and regattas in Europe on Tuesday before their Olympic debut in Rio. We wish all our SRC Olympians the best of luck over the coming months. Click here for the full Newcastle Herald story.
Steve Handley’s Legends were first to race in a trial to gain representation for the state team at the Master’s Nationals in June. Conditions were perfect and the racing swift, the Mosman crew, containing a recent Olympian in Dan Noonan had to row the course in under 3 minutes to claim the right to represent NSW, they did this in a time of 2:59.86 with SRC close behind in 3:01.70.
Hugh McLeod made the trip down from his new domicile of Taree to compete once again in the light blue with Gavin Parcsi he did so admirably, claiming silver in the B4- and gold in the B4x. Hugh was a member of composite crews that made the dais in the C4x (silver) and D4x (silver). Hugh has ages 27 – 50 covered in the quad.
It turned out to be an expensive trip for Macca, who posted a cry for help from the M4 on his way to Penrith, with two singles atop his car, the Police pulled him over for overhang and there he had to wait to be rescued by a Trailer. Despite some friendly legal advice from Liam James, a hefty fine ensued, together with the loss of valuable demerit points.
Gavin Parcsi also paired up with Michael Hart from UNSW and had some great results taking a medal in the AB2- and AB2x.
Dorothy De George and Kaye Smythe were back to their winning ways taking out the H2x. Despite family wedding preparations distracting Kaye from her usual intense preparation and training, she still managed a dais finish in the G1x. Dorothy and Kaye later teamed up with Deb Church and Noni Martin to claim the silver in the G4x. Noni and Deb winning silver in the F2x.
Ken Ambler, Rick Martin, Carl Quitzau and Geoff Raymond took the silver in the F4x. Ken and Charles Lloyd Jones came together with a couple of Glebe rowers to win silver in the E4-. Charles also took a Bronze along with Martin Little in the E2-. Ken bagged silver in the G1x.
A new SRC combination of JA Brighton, Donna Chan, Helen Bremner and Jo-Anne Armstrong had a good hit out to qualify for the final in the WC4x.
Disaster struck The Legends who collided with a wayward 2- whilst warming up on the back lake for the D8+. This resulted in a return to shore for speedy repairs. Boat Race Officials held up racing whilst repairs were effected. Safely back on the water this crack crew managed regained their composure to win the D8 race.
Back on land, half the crew was changed for the E8+ result – GOLD. The crew divided by two again to contest the D4- result – GOLD and BRONZE, break it down once more for a D2- GOLD. The mercurial, Roger Brighton was in each of the Gold medal winning boats.
Husband and wife team Rick and Noni Martin teamed up with Ken Ambler and Deb Church to win the mixed D-F 4x. Rick and Noni went on to win in the D-F2x.
Your author was lucky, on the back of little training due to injury, I stepped into a C8+ with only one chance of glory, this being my only race of the championships. Glory hurts. GOLD makes it worth it!
Wishing the master’s team every success at Nationals in Queensland.