Good work to Miles, Hugh, Aimee, Edee and Sarah who went to Mosman Rowing Club to participate in the first NSW Pathway Schools eight training day on Sunday 24th November. It was a great experience for them and one they enjoyed, especially the 2km r18 erg.
Thank you to RNSW for organising the day, to the schools that provided boats and to all the coaches from schools and clubs that helped with the day.
So, I have been busy of late and have not written a proper regatta report for some time, so here it is, please enjoy it.
We headed off to Throsby Creek for the Central Districts Rowing Association Sprint Championships. The highlight of the day was the Throsby GIFT relay, which I will go into more detail about later, but there were also plenty of other races to look forward. It was set to be a windy day, but fortunately all the racing went ahead, and the squad of fifteen Nepean rowers performed admirably.
Four hundred metre racing is much faster and in turn, sometimes more unpredictable compared to standard one thousand and two thousand metre racing. This makes for exciting racing and a good spectacle for onlookers.
Highlights in the singles included Jason taking out both the masters and open categories. Miles taking out the under 19 race and Hugh the under 16 and C grade events. Aimee placed second in the under 17 singles while Edee placed third, and Sarah also placed third in the under 16 event. Annelise took second in the open category. Alliah and Cleo also took out their respective divisions in the D grade racing.
Doubles racing saw the high rating duo (so they tell me) of Tallara, and Jacqui take out the open double. Miles and Hugh came second in the under 19 double after qualifying in a tight heat race and leaving their row up to the start for the final to slightly later than some would say was ideal. Jason teamed up with Conrad from Newcastle University and took out the master’s race. Alliah and Sarah also won their D grade division.
The big boats, saw some newly formed combinations, as is often the case for us. The open quad of Annelise, Jacqui, Cleo, and Sarah made it through a tough heat to qualify for the final. The final was another tight race, and while the Newcastle University composite crew and Nepean quads had some rough strokes it was the Newcastle University composite that went away with the slim victory. The open coxed four of Jason, Joel, Daniel, Miles and Alex got away cleanly and went away with the win despite bow’s less than desirable sweep technique and three seats lack of training (two was, of course, perfect and stroke almost so, but that is in a big part due to his great coach).
The highly anticipated relay race was once again upon us. For those that are unfamiliar with the event, it consists of a mixed double, mixed coxed four, and a mixed quad. The race is over 400 metres and each crew lines up behind each other. When the first crew crosses the line, a flag is waved that, in turn, signals to the next crew to begin racing.
We have won the event for two consecutive years, and we went to the event this year with the hope of being the first club in the history of the event, which began back in 2001 to win it for three consecutive years. This year’s crew would have been the fast we have boated to date, but we were not comfortable with resting on this, and we knew that there would be strong competition to overcome to claim the trophy for a third consecutive year.
The heat saw us draw the strong Newcastle University and Newcastle Grammar crews. Jason and Annelise got out well and claimed a lead for the four to start with, which they capitalized on and continued to gain a bigger lead for the final leg of the quad. The big strong quad (well some of them at least) of Hugh, Daniel, Edee, and Aimee held onto the lead as Newcastle University began gaining on them, but enough of a lead was established that we were ensured a spot in the final.
The final saw us face-off with Newcastle Rowing Club. We headed into the final knowing that we would need to work for it if we wanted to take out the win. The double caught a crab early on, which was less than ideal, but they recovered and were still able to hand the four a lead for their leg. The four were able to hold this lead (rumours are that stroke seat was quite tired by this stage of racing), and it was then left to the quad to close out the race. The quad caught a crab (I cannot recall who caught the crab, that or I am suppressing the memory, so we will say it was the crew) early on, but they recovered well and went on with the job at hand, and crossed the line first.
I want to say a big thank you to the CDRA and Newcastle Rowing Club for being so welcoming and hosting such an enjoyable event. This event along with the Berry park regattas are always a joy to be a part of and is something we as a club will continue to attend due to the great atmosphere and competition provided.
I know one person has missed these reports as I have not been able to praise his continued efforts that never go unnoticed by myself or anyone who is involved with the club. Thank you, Mark, for everything you did to make the day possible and everything else, I know you will thank me for the mention. I say it often, but again it was great to see everyone chipping in pre, post, and during the event. From loading the trailer through to packing up on the day and everything else that is involved, I was delighted to see everyone help wherever required.
Thank you to everyone who cam and gave it a go. Also, a big thankyou to all the Nepean members who helped out on the day.
Please check out the Learn to Row page for details for next years Come Try Day or to sign up for private learn to row lessons.
We headed off to Berry Park for the first time this season. It is always an enjoyable experience racing at Berry Park and one we always look forward to, especially when the weather is favourable, as it was on the weekend.
We had twenty one rowers compete on the day and we had some good results which reflects the hard work rowers have put in during the off-season.
Congratulations to all the rowers on their results and thank you to rowers, parents and supporters who helped loading, rigging, cheering, packing up, unloading and with everything else.
We will unfortunately not be heading back to Berry Park this season however we will be heading back up to Newcastle for the CDRA sprints on the 17th November.
Race results: https://regattas.rowingnsw.asn.au/regattas/4868/
We set off for our first regatta at SIRC for the season. We had a strong contingent of 34 rowers competing and had a full day of racing. We had experienced rowers right through to novices racing on the day. Strong winds could not detract from a great day of racing, despite a handful of races at the end of the day being cancelled.
Congratulations to everyone on their results and as always, thank you to everyone who made the day possible.
Our first club run event saw a new format being implemented with all boat classes being available to race. We were fortunate to have great conditions and with close to 200 competitors in total, it was set to be a great morning of racing. Twenty seven Nepean rowers took part in the event with the majority competing in crew boats, and they all performed very well.
A big thankyou to the seventeen club members who volunteered for the day along with the BRO, Steve. Thanks to this help the event ran smoothly and I am very appreciative of everyone's contributions on the day.
We set off for the final JB Sharp regatta with ten rowers and were fortunate to have good conditions all day.
Racing kicked off with Sarah taking out a win in the under 16 singles having been pushed the whole way by a UTS sculler. The women's intermediate quad of Aimee, Edee, Cleo, and Macayla took out a clear water win with a push to the line in the final part of the race. Later that day an open quad was boated with Aimee switching out for Sarah, and again they went away with the win. The final race for these rowers saw Aimee and Macayla face off against Sarah and Edee in the intermediate double. Aimee and Macayla went away with a good win.
The novice racing saw our newer rowers take to the wate. Alliah has continued to improve, and this showed in her placing second in the novice single. The Penrith Highschool program continues to progress, and we had four boys rowing at this regatta. Alex, Tanish, Eric and Daming raced in the novice quad against only one other crew, Balmain. Although Balmain proved too strong for them, they worked together well and continue to show they are learning every time they go on the water. Alex, Tanish and Eric all raced the novice single. A special mention to Eric for competing in his first regatta and placing fourth in the single.
Congratulations to everyone on your results. It is only very early in the season and is a good starting point for us to build upon for future racing.
This series is always a good experience and we are appreciative of everyone involved who make it possible. A special thanks to all members who chipped in and helped with loading, on the day and unloading. It is everyone's efforts that make it all possible, so thank you.
Our next event will be our own Head race on the 25th August.
We celebrated the 2018/19 season on Sunday. We had a lot to be proud of this season and it was great to see so many rowers come and enjoy the day. Congratulations to all the award winners and boat name recipients. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a great season.
We headed off to the first regatta of the season with a squad of nine rowers. Glebe is always a fun regatta with 500 metre sprints always making for some exciting racing.
Sarah placed second in the under 16 single, beaten to the line by a Sydney University sculler.
The intermediate quad of Aimee, Annelise, Edee and Macayla took out the win.
Aimee won the handicap single and Macyala placed third.
The novice single saw two rowers go for a swim and Monique go away with the win.
A big congratualtions on all those competing in their first regatta: Alliah, Annelise, Monique, Alex and Tanish.
Jason and Aimee put their hands up (or were gently persuaded) to compete in the sixteen kilometre Perth to Fremantle race in their singles.
They both endured some tough conditions and I know short and long term they have learnt (or will eventually) something from the experience that will help them further their rowing in the future.
Aimee won the A-E grade category and Jason placed third in the A-E category.
Will recently moved over to WA and lucky for us he put his hand up to jump into a masters composite eight. While cardio has never been Will's strength, we knew he was going into this event not prepared in the slightest, but he gave it a go, and that is all you can ask.
The much anticipated Australian Masters Championships was upon us once again. With the event being held over in Perth it was no small feat to organise a trip of this magnitude. A big thank you to Jason and Mark who were fundamental to the success of this trip.
We had six rowers along with Mark make the trip from Nepean; Jacqui, Fiona, Aimee (coxswain), Andrew, Jason and myself.
With such small numbers we only had five events that saw exclusively Nepean rowers in the boat.
Mixed A/B quad of Jason, Myself, Fiona and Jacqui placing third overall and first as a non-composite crew.
Mixed A/B double of Jason and Jacqui wo placed second against Rowan and Shantelle from Newcastle University.
A grade double of Jason and myself placing first.
A grade pair of Jason and myself placing second.
A grade single with Jason taking the silver.
Due to only having a small number of rowers we teamed up with numerous clubs to justify taking a trailer over to the other side of the country. These included: Manning River, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Newcastle University, Brisbane Waters and Endeavour.
With many of these clubs we also formed composite crews. These proved very successful with the below resulting in medals.
A grade coxed four- silver- Fiona, Dux (BWRC), Shantelle (NUBC), Jacqui and Aimee
A grade pair- bronze- Jacqui and Shantelle (NUBC)
A grade coxed four- gold- Sean (END), me, Sean (BWRC), Jason and Aimee
A grade quad- gold- Rowan (NUBC), me, Rhett (Mann) and Jason
C grade quad- gold- Sean (END), Rhett (Mann), Sean (BWRC), Jason
B grade coxed four- silver- Sean (END), Rowan (NUBC), Sean (BWRC), Jason and Aimee
Mixed A/B coxed four- silver- Shantelle (NUBC), Jacqui, Sean (BWRC), Jason and Aimee
Mixed A/B eight- silver- Fiona, Dux (BWRC), Shantelle (NUBC), Jacqui, Sean (BWRC), Rowan (NUBC), me, Jason and Aimee
,We also had some very good performances, that while not producing medals, are still commendable, especially considering the high standard of racing this year.
A grade quad- 4th- Fiona, Dux (BWRC), Shantelle (NUBC) and Jacqui
B grade pair- 4th- Sean (BWRC) and Jason
A grade double- 5th- Dux (BWRC) and Jacqui
A grade single- 6th- Jacqui
Jason and myself were privileged this season to be part of the interstate racing as coaches of the men's quad consisting of Gary (Drummoyne), Sean (Endeavour), Sean (Brisbane Waters) and Rhett (Manning River). While they did not have the perfect race they still went away with a fourth and learnt a lot form the experience, as did Jason and I.
A big thank you to everyone who made this such a great trip. I will leave you all with some pictures I got on our way back, along with some great snap of Mark.
The final NSW regatta for the season was finally here, and the older members of the club had the opportunity to race against the best in the state in their respective age groups. We only had a small contingent of six Nepean rowers competing, however we were able to organise a few composite crews which enabled us to have more racing.
Saturday racing commenced for Nepean with Jacqui teaming up with Dux (BWRC) in the A double. A strong Glebe crew pushed off early and while the Nepean composite crew began to claw back Shellharbour City, they did not have enough left in the tank to bring back the early lead they established. They went away with the bronze. Jacqui shortly after this race jumped into the mixed double with Jason to defend their title from last year. Newcastle Uni and Nepean pushed away from the rest of the field and it was a two-crew race for the gold. While Jason and Jacqui started to gain on the Newcastle Uni crew in the later stages of the race it was not enough and they had to settle for second with only eight one hundredths of a second separating first and second.
In other mixed racing, Jason, Magnus, Jacqui and Fiona teamed up to take out the mixed quad. The other big boat of the day saw Jason, Sean (BWRC), Magnus and Daniel line up for the B quad. A good start and smooth racing resulted in them having a boat length lead coming into the final two hundred and fifty metres. A crab by the Nepean composite crew saw the trailing Black Mountain crew take a brief lead but this did not faze the crew who lifted for the final couple of hundreds of metres to take the gold.
In the small boats, Magnus had a tough race in the C single. A Melbourne University sculler was the one to watch and he got off to a good lead with Magnus trailing in second. Magnus kept his composure and while some would say his recovery was not seamless, he pushed through in the final stages of the race to claim the victory.
Paul had a tight tussle with Sean (BWRC) in the D single and got on top in their battle, with Paul taking the silver by four hundredths of a second.
Jacqui had a good race in the A single to place fourth. While still not attaining a medal, she continues to move in the right direction having placed sixth in the same event last year.
Jason and Daniel raced the A pair, with only having raced the pair once previously, one of the members was a bit nervous (easy guess as to who that was). A mishap by the starter did cause some confusion but the pair got on with the race at hand. Keeping their composure, they came into the final stages with the Black Mountain crew who lead from the start in their sights. A less than desirable few strokes by someone who will go unnamed was not ideal and saw the Black Mountain crew take gold and Nepean take silver. While not happy with the result due to matters both outside and within the crew’s control, we always need to learn from experiences such as these and implement this into future racing.
Sunday racing began with still conditions but much like the previous day the conditions changed throughout.
The first final of the day for us was the women’s A four. This crew has improved since first coming together, however they are still a very new combination and are still working on moving the boat together. The crew of Jacqui, Shantelle (NUBC), Dux (BWRC) and Fiona got off the start cautiously but began to find their groove as the race went on. They pushed away from the remainder of the field to claim a six second victory.
This same crew combined for the A quad and went away with bronze. Shantelle (NUBC) and Jacqui then came together for the A pair. They have had a few training sessions in the pair and have come together well. They were off a two second handicap from the other two crews in the race but they made this back within the first two hundred and fifty metres to then push away and go on to claim the gold.
Jason and Daniel progressed through their heat to make it to the A double final. A controlled start saw them in the mix early on with Manning River crew pushing off to a lead coming through the middle of the race. However, the Nepean crew kept to their plan and pushed through them to take away the win. Jason went on to combine with Sean (BWRC), Rhett (Manning) and Sean (Endeavour) in the C quad. They reclaimed their title from last year with a good race to row through the early leaders from Glebe. Later in the day Jason raced in the A single. It was a two-boat race early on with Newcastle Uni pushing Jason for the first half of the race but with three hundred metres to go Jason pulled away to take away a good win and claim the title for the second year running.
We have come to our final regatta for the regular season, with only master’s racing ahead of us now. The NSW grade Championships is a highly anticipated regatta in Nepean’s regatta schedule as it gives us an opportunity to boat competitive crews with rowers of various ages.
We were welcomed by great conditions over both days of racing. We had a smaller squad than in previous year’s, however we were able to still boat various competitive crews over the weekend and a few good small boats.
Saturday saw some strong results in the big boats.
The men’c C eight of Jason, Miles, Joel, Magnus, Daniel, Trent, Jooya, Hugh and cox Aimee got off to a good start but it was Glebe who pushed off to an early lead, claiming a boat length lead on the field in the first few hundred metres of the race. The Nepean crew did not let this phase them and continued to race to their plan. The third 250 metre saw Nepean take to the lead, and then push away for the win with Glebe dropping back to third and Canberra taking away second.
Jason, Magnus, Miles, Jooya and Aimee once again took to the water shortly after the eight in the C four. They went away with a comfortable win in the end. However, Jason, Magnus and Aimee did not get to rest long as they went back out with the two roughies from the C eight, Trent and Hugh, to contest the D four. They got off to a good start and slowly pushed through the field to claim another win for Nepean. Surprisingly the oldest rower in the D crew was able to make it through the three races, but that is probably just because it was favourable conditions, otherwise we may have had issues.
Paul raced in the C single and after a strong heat race he was in a good position for the final. He went off hard and had a good race but unfortunately, he was just short of claiming a medal, taking away fourth place.
Victoria and Tallara took to the water to contest the women’s C pair. There was some strong competition with ANU and UTS hosting strong crews. The girls have been training the pair consistently in the lead up to the regatta, and this was fortunate because when they started training it had its fair share of issues, with a capsize being a big one. Though, I am assured stroke seat rows perfectly, so bow is presumably to blame for any issues. The girls had a good row and took away the bronze which was a great result for them given their limited preparation.
A special mention to Harry for competing in his first race, contesting the D single. He progressed through to the semi final which was a good achievement for his first regatta. Unfortunately, he had a bad stroke early on in the semi and went for a swim. He, in true Harry form, raced the remainder of the race despite this mishap.
Sunday again saw good results in a couple of big boats and also good racing in the small boats.
The women’s sole big boat for the weekend, saw Tallara, Victoria, Fiona, Aimee and cox Sarah take to the water for the C coxed four. A strong UTS crew took to the lead early but the Nepean crew did not let them go easy and held off the UNSW crew to claim the silver.
In the small boats, Aimee claimed a bronze in the C single with gold and silver going to women older than her mother. This however was not a first for Aimee, with her being accustomed to her elders being quicker than her, with a fifty year old beating her just last year.
Sienna took out the win in the A single with Sydney closing in on her in the final stages but she had enough in the tank to hold her off. Sarah and Cleo both progressed through to the semi-finals in the D single however were unable to progress through to the final.
A certain rower who will go unnamed, dislocated his finger on Saturday afternoon at footy. Some would say that if he was not dogging the boys this would never have happened, but that is just what I have heard. Despite this late withdrawal all the men’s racing was able to go ahead with Paul stepping up to race the C quad and B four and Miles racing the B pair.
The C quad of Miles, Jooya, Hugh and Paul progressed through to the final after a steady heat. In the final they got off well but some of the other crews as expected got off very quick in the early stages of the race. The boys crawled back to place third with second place Leichardt only being five tenths of a second in front of them on the line.
Miles then quickly jumped out of the quad and into the pair with Jason. We were all excited to see this great transfer Miles talks about translate to a fast moving pair. Fortunately (probably for Miles mostly) the boys had a good race and were able to claim a clear water lead 500 metres into the race and could settle down as the race progressed so as not to exhaust themselves too much with a four race shortly after.
The B four saw Jason, Miles, Jooya and Paul face off against ANU and UNSW crews. Early on it was clear it was going to be a battle between Nepean and UNSW but Nepean proved too strong and they went away with the win.
A few special mentions must be made for Sunday’s racing.
First, Edee competed in her first single race in the D category and performed well for the amount of rowing she has done to date. Everyone’s first race is a daunting experience however we realise in in retrospect that it was not as scary as we thought and we learn a lot form this.
Second, Letisha competed this weekend for the final time for a long time with a knee surgery this coming week meaning she will be out of the boat for a minimum of twelve months. We wish Letisha all the best for the surgery and during her recovery.
Third, Tallara backed up twenty minutes after competing in the C four in the A single. This was a credit to Tallara, it was no small feat. This year saw only the one women’s crew boat for the regatta due to a lack of numbers and depth on the women’s side meaning small boats were a bigger focus. A big thankyou to Tallara for showing the team spirit I think we should all aim for, in putting the team in front of herself, and racing in a crew so close to her single.
Fourth, Mark’s feats are often marvelled by onlookers and this weekend proved no different. Due to Tallara’s tight turn around in the single she was unable to get back to the boats to row to the line. Mark stepped up and carried her single 1500 metres to the start line. While it was a sight to be seen, Mark’s continual work at the club is something that I am very grateful for and even the not so entertaining to watch jobs he does do not go unnoticed.
As always, a big thank you to everyone who made the regatta the success it was for Nepean. We came fifth in the medal tally which was a good achievement given the number of rowers we had competing over the weekend.
For some this marks the end of the season and the beginning of off-season training that recommences this week. For master’s two big regattas remain, in the state and National titles still to come.
Aimee travelled to Grafton with her mum to compete in the Combined High schools Championships having won the under 16 single last year at SIRC.
Heavy winds were expected though the regatta went ahead as planned.
Aimee raced up an age group and competed in the schoolgirl single. She won her heat which placed her in a good lane for the final, which could prove useful in windy conditions. She had a good race in the final and she was happy with her performance, going away with second place, only three seconds behind the winner.
She also had the opportunity to jump into an inter regional eight which was a good experience and the crew came second.
Our next school events for our junior rowers will be the Schoolgirl and Schoolboy Head of the River's on the 16th and 17th March respectively.
The pinnacle event for age racing for the state was finally upon us. We had a small group of rower’s head to SIRC for the event. The NSW State Championships is the strongest state Championships in Australia with many interstate competitors competing in all age categories. We had very good rowing conditions for all three days and the rowers took advantage of this along with some good training coming into the competition, to pull very good times.
First up was Miles in the under 19 singles on the Friday afternoon. Being an under-age rower in an event with half the competition from interstate, meant it was going to be hard to progress to the final. Miles executed a very good race a and pulled a personal best time but unfortunately missed out on making it into the final by just one and a half seconds. He then went on to compete on the Sunday in the schoolboy single representing Penrith Anglican College. He progressed through to the semi final where he had a good race, but he was not quite quick enough to progress to the final, coming in sixth, with the final qualifying fourth spot being one and a half seconds quicker than him.
In the under 16 single Sarah had a comfortable heat to progress through to the semi-final. She pushed hard off the start but paid for this in the later stages, and she was unable to progress to the final. She did pull a personal best time, and learnt from the experience.
Hugh competed in the under 16 singles. He had a tough heat and pulled a big personal best to progress to the final. He had a very disciplined race in the final, racing his best race to date and pushed through the field as the race progressed to place fourth. While not attaining a medal, this is a very good achievement, and one he should be very proud of.
Aimee competed in the under 17 singles. She progressed through the heat and semi to make it into the final. She raced her own race in the final and came off the start at the back, but worked hard to place sixth in the race and fourth against the NSW rowers.
Jooya was the final race on the Sunday for us and competed in the under 17 single. He did what he had to in the heat to progress through to the final. He paced his race well in the final and was out the back off the start. He worked through rowers as they tired, to come second against a Queensland rower. A silver medal after a tough off season due to an injury is a good demonstration of his good work ethic which has allowed him to get back on track so quickly.
I was personally very happy with the results on the weekend and for anyone who knows me, knows that does not happen all that often. The rowers sent to this year’s regatta worked very hard this season to achieve these results and they should all be very happy with their own personal achievements. While I was happy with many aspects of the racing over the weekend, I was most impressed by the mature racing of such young rowers. The ability to flat pace, especially in young age categories, is tough with so many other rowers positive splitting races. The ability to do this shows great maturity and puts these rowers in a good position for future racing.
For the first time in my memory, a regatta was held on Australia day. High temperatures were predicted but our small squad of rowers were keen to have a last hit out before State Championships which is only three weeks away.
There was tough competition for this regatta with the vast majority of rowers competing also preparing for State. A notable performance by High saw him place third in the under sixteen single, this places him in a good position for State.
Unfortunately due to the schedule and hot weather, some of the afternoon racing was cancelled.
Good luck to everyone competing at the NSW State Championships.
Our annual rowing camp kicked off on the 2nd January as usual. Approximately twenty rowers took part in all or some of the week-long camp. The weather started off warm and cooled down as the camp progressed. The increase in training load and intensity was a shock to many of the rower’s systems but they all pushed through and saw some great improvements over a short period of time. We were able to boat larger boats that we can rarely boat in normal training sessions to prepare for the Taree regatta and other large club regattas where we will boat these larger boats.
We headed off on Friday morning to Taree Summer regatta with nineteen Nepean rowers in total. This is considerably lower than last year but was still enough to be able to boat several larger boats. Over six hundred rowers from across the state entered this year’s event which is one of the biggest club events in the state and one we always look forward to.
Upon arrival the weather was okay, warm and a slight tail wind though this wind turned far worse as racing began but did not lead to any racing being cancelled. We setup our tents, organised boats and got ready to begin for another year.
First up was Jack and Hugh in the D grade double. They had a good race but the Mosman and Macquarie Uni crews proved too strong and they went away with a third. The boys again teamed up on Sunday in the C double and improved on their performance and subsequently went away with a second against a strong master’s crew from Manning River. Next up was the women’s C quad of Aimee, Eleanor, Jacqui and Victoria. Though we had not practiced this combination this experienced crew put up a good race but the UTS crew proved too strong and the girls claimed second place.
The women’s D doubles saw Fiona and Sarah along with Letisha and Cleo claim wins in their respective divisions. The men’s C quads were up next with Jason, Jack, Daniel and Hugh facing off against Miles, Joel, Will and Jooya. Some healthy banter was exchanged before the race to build it up even more. Rough conditions meant a clean start was vital to set a good platform for the remainder of the race with conditions only getting rougher as the waterway opened up further down the course. Jason, Jack, Daniel and Hugh got off well gaining a lead early and holding on to it to claim the win with the other crew taking away fourth.
The final event of the Friday was the mixed quads. The first race saw two Nepean crews face off and resulted in a first and second. The crews were respectively Jason, Joel, Tallara, Aimee and the other Miles, Jack, Eleanor and Jacqui. The last division of the day saw a composite crew with Brisbane Waters with Daniel, Finn (BRISW), Fiona and Sarah (BRISW) take on Hugh, Will, Sarah and Victoria. Again there was much talk between the crews pre-race (that may have to do with one particular rower who was also in the C quad) about what the outcome would be. The composite crew got off well but the Hunter Valley crew proved too strong and they settled for second while the other Nepean crew took out fourth.
While banter and chat within and even to other clubs in the appropriate manner is all well and good, we must always be aware of the importance of respecting fellow rowers and being good sports. Never should the pursuit of winning over shadow good sportsmanship and no matter what the outcome, or your own personal performance, you should genuinely congratulate fellow club members and other members on their performance sincerely.
One day was down. We went back to the accommodation and had good feed from the pizza shop across the road, went for our traditional walk down to the shops to get our ‘healthy snacks’ and we were in bed early to get ready for another day of racing.
We arrived to the course with a small squad of those racing in the early races and the conditions on the water were far more favourable than yesterdays. First up was Sarah in the under 16 single who went away with third against some strong competition from Glebe and Mosman.
A highlight of the weekend was the number of composite crews we were able to boat, in particular in the master’s categories. The men’s master eight saw five clubs combine to form the B crew of Jason, Daniel, Rowan (NUBC), Sean (ENDVR), Rhett (MANN), Conrad (NUBC), Gavin (SRC) and Colin (MANN) and coxed by Aimee. The E crew from Sydney was the crew to beat and with a ten second handicap it was a big ask for a scratch crew, but they put up a good race however Sydney went away with less than a two second win with the composite crew placing second.
Next up was another composite master crew in the coxed four with Eleanor, Jacqui, Sarah (BWRC), Shantelle (NUBC) and cox Tiffany. They had a good row for their first race and took out second place with an experienced Leichardt crew claiming the win.
The master’s single has been an event Jason has had much success at recently however he was facing off against Hugh McLeod who beat him at the CDRA Sprint Championships late last year. It was a good race for Jason who moved through Hugh as the race progressed and went away with a clear water win.
The women’s D grade four of Fiona, Letisha, Sarah, Cleo and coxswain Aimee were not the most technically proficient crew but they worked together well to go away with a win.
The men’s C grade eight was next up and there were high expectations for the crew with Nepean having claimed three consecutive wins in this event from previous Taree regattas. A last-minute sickness meant Will was unable to race and a call was made for Tallara to jump in. This was a long-awaited call up for Tallara who has always wanted to row in the men’s eight. The crew got off to a good start and UNSW held with the crew for the first half of the race but the Nepean crew proved too strong and the crew of Jason, Daniel, Jack, Joel, Miles, Tallara, Hugh, Jooya and cox Tiffany took out first.
The men’s master pair saw Jason and Daniel take to the water and with a thirteen second handicap to St George and a nine second handicap to Sydney who were the crews to watch, it was going to be a tough race. Though unable to catch either crew they made substantial ground on the two crews and placed third in the race. The two teamed up again later in the day and with a smaller handicap implemented due to versing younger crews, went away with the win.
The much-anticipated mixed eight’s race was finally upon us. This is a wonderful spectacle even if you do not have a club crew in the race with fifteen eights lined up across the river. We for the third consecutive year were able to boat a crew. The handicaps for some crews was questionable but the crew did not let this affect them and they went out there and did the best they could. While not a perfect race (is there ever one?) for the crew it was a great effort and one everyone in the crew should be proud of and a respectful sixth place was attained.
On a side note we were the fortunate recipients of the lucky draw prize for the none placing crews and claimed a $750 Croker voucher.
The afternoon racing saw many more Nepean crews take to the water. In the pair racing Jack and Joel claimed the win in the C pair and Joel later on in the day teamed up with Jason to claim second in the men’s open pair.
The single racing saw Aimee and Sarah claim second’s in their respective C grade divisions while Cleo won her division. Aimee also raced a light weight single and placed third while Tallara placed third in the open’s single.
Hugh and Jooya both placed second in the under 16 and under 17 singles respectively behind Hunter Valley Grammar rower’s who will be tough competition come State Championships next month.
The big boat racing saw Victoria, Sarah, Cleo and Letisha take second in the D grade quad while the C coxed four of Miles, Jack, Jooya, Hugh and coxswain Tiffany had a rough row with the crew taking away third.
Another day of racing was behind us and back to accommodation we went. Food was prepared and we had a good feed together. One of the great parts of racing at Taree is not just the many races but the gatherings after where we can talk to each other (mostly banter about each other) and just relax from the day of racing.
We were up early again (one individual decided to have a sleep in but I hear he is important so it is okay) the next day with the open, under 23 and lightweight men’s singles up first. Jason was the first to race and while having a good performance (though still grabbing during the drive) with a strong finish a strong UTS sculler claimed the win and Jason took out a well earnt second place. Jack was up next and he had an improved race compared to past single races to take fourth. He improved on this with a better row later on in the day in the C single where he took second. Joel was next and rumours were he was super excited to race a 2km single, though not as excited as we was to have four 2km races in one day, which he thanked his coach for. Joel claimed fourth in his race and Miles took out second in the lightweight division.
The women’s masters eight was next. Four clubs made up the crew of Katrina (NUBC), Sarah (BRISW), Katrina (ENDVR), Diane (ENDVR), Shantelle (NUBC), Jacqui, Fiona, Eleanor and coxswain Conrad (NUBC). The crew had time to make up on most of the crews and they did so to take out the win. The men’s masters coxed four saw another composite crew of Sean (ENDVR), Daniel, Sean (BRISW), Jason and coxswain Tiffany take to the water. A large margin of thirty-four seconds was made up on the eventual second place crew from North Shore with the composite crew taking away the win. The same men’s crew also contested the master’s quad and went away with second with an experienced Glebe crew taking the win.
In the remaining small boats racing for the day Letisha claimed third in the D single. Aimee went away with a second in the under 19 double with Mosman rower, Bronte and then went on to claim another second in the B double with Jacqui. Jacqui later on in the day teamed up with Eleanor where they like the whole field had issues at the start with an issue in the handicapping by the starter, but they pushed on and raced hard regardless, taking third place. Jason and Joel rounded off their weekend of racing in a tough open double against strong UTS crews to take the second place.
The big crew boats remaining for the day were the men’s B four and the women’s C eight.
The four had a good chance though with one rower past his prime, another who is small, a social rower and one old man, they definitely had their flaws. The conditions did make keeping a straight course hard but the crew managed to gain a lead early and hold a reasonable line and hold off the other crews to take the win.
The eight had not rowed together before the race due to the difficulty of organising all nine rowers to be available at one time. A strong Hunter Valley crew took out a good win with the Nepean crew taking out second. The speed of the crew was respectable but there is still plenty of work to be done before the eight reaches its potential.
Racing concluded and we swiftly packed up so we could get on the road for the long trip back home.
A weekend like this would not be possible without the help from many people. I would like to thank everyone for there help packing/unpacking the trailer, helping at camp, at Taree with boats, food preparation, cheering on fellow rowers, helping each other on and off the water and so much more. It is always a highlight of this regatta to see fellow rowers help each other out.
Special thankyou to Jeff for being our photographer for the weekend. Lyn, Michelle and Nigel for helping with food at the accommodation and other odd jobs. Thanks to Mark and Lisa for providing food at the course over the regatta. As always, the regatta ran so smoothly because Mark was busy in the background rigging and de-rigging boats continuously. Thanks to Mark also for again towing a trailer and to Jason for towing the other trailer and assisting with coaching during camp and at the regatta.
The results were again a reflection of the hard work of all rowers and supporters and something everyone should be very proud of. Now we buckle down and get ready for the upcoming championship regattas that are held locally knowing the hard work put in during this period will help us achieve our goals for the season.