Presentation night – 25 May – cancelled

Due to very low ticket sales for the clubs annual presentation night this coming Saturday, 25 May, the committee has had to cancel the event. Minimum numbers were not reached and therefore costs were becoming prohibitive.
Consequently club awards will be announced and presented at the club AGM on 27 July.
The committee apologies to all those that did sign up to attend. The Treasurer will reimburse all those that purchased a ticket.
For all those still interested in getting together on Saturday to have a drink/bite to eat and swap season stories, an alternative more casual option is currently being investigated. Details will be circulated shortly.

Redevelopment FAQ – General

I have more questions – where can I get further information?
The most direct way to get additional information about the redevelopment project is to either post a question/comment on the blog or send an email to one of the redevelopment team.
The project team will endeavour to get back to you with relevant information as soon as they are able.

Redevelopment FAQ – Governance

Who is working on the redevelopment project?
The Redevelopment project team comprises:

  • Martin Foster – Head of Club Development
  • Lucy Crunden – Vice President
  • Emma Catford – President
  • Franziska Locher – Club member and Architect
  • Liz Sheil – Club member and Construction engineer

Franziska and Liz are leading the design and build phase of the project and are working very closely with the architects and other service providers to ensure the new building meets with MLC and RRC requirements.
Martin, Lucy and Emma have primarily been focusing on the new lease negotiations with CoM, MLC and prospective new tenants, finance, liquor licensing, and other project management functions.
This team reports to the RRC Committee who is ultimately responsible for the project and ensuring its completion within budget and on time.
Has the committee asked other rowing clubs about their experiences of boatshed expansions?
Yes. The committee as sought feedback from both YYRC and MRC regarding their experiences with their redevelopment projects and the impact on membership numbers.
On membership numbers post redevelopment, both YYRC and MRC have mentioned that they experienced a short lived boost which levelled off within a year or two.

Trivia triumph – March 2013

This year’s trivia night, held on 16 March, raised another staggering amount for the club – over $7000. As you know this is our biggest fundraiser event during the year and would not be possible without members, their friends, family and fellow rowing club members support. This support is provided by coming along on the night to have a good time, donating the huge array of goods and services for auction and of course to those that are the successful bidders. 

This year’s funds will be directed to new equipment such as an ergo, cox box replacements/ refurbishments, shoes, boat upkeep to name just a few. Plus any remaining funds will be considered by the Committee over the coming season to be spent on other equipment as required. 

Of course the night would not have got off the ground if it weren’t for the mastery of Justin Thomas – he true brains of the outfit. Justin ably put us through our paces again with questions being all things Russian. Thanks also goes to the numerous assistants – Vicki and Gemma for running the bar, Mike for all the logistics, Simon as auctioneer, and Katalin for entries and being Justin’s sounding board as he prepared for the big night.

If you have any ideas of fundraising activities/concepts you think we should try to raise funds for either new equipment or the boathouse redevelopment fund please drop me a line or another member of the Committee as we are always interested in new ideas.

The next event on the RRC calendar is presentation night – 25 May. Look forward to seeing you there.

Cheers Emma

[email protected]

Changing the Club Racing Uniform – Have Your Say

Hello All
As discussed at the club AGM (28 July 2012) a proposal has been received by Geraldine Goss to change the current design of the RRC racing zootie. For those that are new – this is the official uniform that must be worn by all RRC members wishing to enter and compete at a regatta. This uniform must also be registered with Rowing Victoria (RV) so umpires and other rowing officials can identify the club/school competing.
Gerry has been working with Susie Palfreyman (Designer Paintworks) and JL racing to design a ‘new look’ zootie for the club as we enter our 150th year, and one that takes advantage of new fabrics that now exist and used in modern sportswear.
A few reasons behind the proposal to change the official RRC uniform

  • Over the last few years zootie manufacturers have increased the cost of making the current RRC uniform due to the number of panels required in our current design. If members wanted to use high tech fabric for their zootie, these costs would increase again making it quite expensive.
  • Most current suits are made from polycotton (given the price point) which also have a tendency to hold on to water (i.e. not dry quickly) and have poor wicking capabilities. These combined mean that polycotton can be uncomfortable when wet and cause the rower to get colder than perhaps if they were wearing more advanced fabrics.
  • Additionally polycotton does not hold its shape or colour as well as newer high tech fabrics.
  • JL unisex suits are well made, have a flattering V front and extra lining on the rear. The fabric they use have excellent wicking properties, extra support and as a result are very comfortable.
  • JL make their zooties in two pieces, meaning there are options for varying sizing e.g. and smaller top and a larger bottom, or extra length in the body or legs.

Reasons against changing

  • As noted above, all members competing in a regatta for RRC must wear the official uniform that has been registered with RV. Consequently if we decide to change the uniform all members will have to purchase a new zootie/shorts and top in order to complete for the club this season. Racing members would therefore be required to spend a minimum of approximately $80-90.

So what are the options?
Gerry and Susie have come up with two options.

Option 1

  • This option retains the current design but removes the vertical side stripe (MUBC did this a few years ago and the result is a cleaner look which is also more flattering and comfortable).
  • Cost approx $82. Note: this is based on high tech fabric – polycotton would be cheaper.

Option 2

  • This option adopts a more vertical look. The yellow contrast is also more vertical in orientation.
  • Cost approx $87. Note: this is based on high tech fabric – polycotton would be cheaper.

Both versions retain the RRC logo on the front. The same designs can be made in top and bottom for those who prefer racing in separates rather than a one piece.
Also see the RRC Rangeboard. Although the above designs have been prepared by Designer Paintworks other manufacturers, such as Oarsome and Rowbust, could also make the new design if adopted by the club, so it is possible that prices may vary. (Prices listed are based on bulk orders and include freight. (It would be more expensive to order one by one)
Next steps
While the design of the club uniform is something that the Committee can decide on without consulting members, the Committee believes this is an important issue and one that all members should have an opportunity to say whether they think it should change and what it should change to.
As agreed at the AGM all eligible members (i.e. those with a current membership) are invited to vote:

  1. Should RRC change its current official racing uniform? Yes/No
  2. Ifthe uniform were to change which option would you prefer?
    1. Option 1, or
    2. Option 2

Making it fair – the process
Given changing the uniform is an important decision the Committee has decided on the following rules/criteria in which to determine whether the vote is valid.

  1. In order for the survey to be considered valid – a minimum of 45 members need to participate/respond to the questions posed. This number is approximately 50% of our membership base.
    For example:
  • If only 40 members respond to the survey, the committee will deem that not enough members have participated and as such the uniform wouldn’t change.
  • Even if you don’t think the uniform should change, please participate in the survey and indicate your preference – as it is important all members take an active role in club decisions/changes
  1. Of the 45 responses received, a minimum of 30 responses (two thirds) must choose ‘Yes’ for the club to change the uniform.
  2. If 30 or more members who respond to the survey vote in favour of changing the uniform, the option that gets the most votes will be the one that the club adopts.
    Note: Even if you don’t think the uniform should change, your views regarding which option you prefer are still sought.

To participate please follow the following link – The survey will be open for 2 weeks and will close at midnight on 3 September 2012.
If you have any questions regarding the new design options or would like to view the samples – please contact Gerry Goss ([email protected]). In addition if you have any questions regarding the above described process – please contact Emma Catford ([email protected]).

Redevelopment Goals

As all memebers are aware, redeveloping the RRC clubhouse has been something the club has been working toward for a number of years – and one that we now getting closer to achieving. Goals for the redevelopment project are listed below and describe the outcomes the committee believes will be achieved through this project.
1. To extend the boathouse to provide opportunities for growth.
2. To modernise the boathouse and create a building we are proud of.
3. To make the boathouse work better for members and improve facilities for members:

  • More changeroom space
  • Dedicated gym area
  • Balcony
  • Improved hall suitable for club functions
  • Improved access to facilities during functions.

4. To be able to generate income from the boathouse from hall hires and bay rental to enable RRC to be a sustainable community club by:

  • investing in our fleet
  • investing in the boathouse over the lease period
  • subsidising operational costs to keep membership costs down.

5. To create a boathouse that will not require major structural work for 40-50 years and that has affordable and manageable ongoing maintenance requirements.
6. To have only one funding partner (MLC).

Redevelopment FAQ – Design

Who decided the design of the new building?
The Committee and MLC have engaged FMSA Architects to design the new building.
During the design phase of the project FMSA, Franziska and Liz met with MLC on a fortnightly basis, and alternatively with RRC to discuss design ideas and requirements.
Final design approval is subject to agreement by both RRC and MLC.
When can we see what the new clubhouse will look like?
For those that attended the RRC Presentation night on 2 June you would have been taken through the plan for the interior layout of the new clubhouse by Emma and seen a copy of the proposed design.
During June and July FMSA, with the project team and MLC, have progressed the design for the clubs exterior including possible options for the materials/finishes that might be used.
Some of the considerations in determining the final look for the club include: material durability, cost, future maintenance, graffiti, aesthetic and connection to the existing structure.
While the design for the interior has been agreed upon, no decisions have been made on the exterior. However it is intended that final design will be available for member viewing at the upcoming AGM on 28 July. At this meeting there will be a full briefing and 3D drawings available on the clubhouse design.
Copies of the final drawings will be made available on the club website/blog as soon as RRC and MLC have reached agreement.

Redevelopment FAQ – Boat Bays

How many bays that will be allocated to RRC fleet?
For the time being RRC will continue to operate out of one boat bay.  There are no immediate plans for RRC to occupy additional ground floor space, however we will get some additional boat racking space by moving the front stairs to the outside of the building’s footprint. This will provide the club with approximately 20% more boat racking space.
The committee believe that this space will meet the club’s needs into the foreseeable future.  The sport is phasing out non-racing (tub) hulls, and boat builders have recognized that storage space is increasingly at a premium; newer boats of all sizes (1, 2, 4, 8) are designed to be rigged and de-rigged for each session.  With updated racks, improved sources of ongoing revenue from the development, and ongoing fleet turnover this would allow the club to effectively double the number of boats stored on each rack.
The number of members that the club can support today is primarily limited by the number of volunteer coaches and coxes, as well as the limited common time available to train that each member of a crew has at their disposal.  This is why a lot of the club’s current rowing schedule is clustered around Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning and evenings, as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings.
If required, fleet utilisation can be further increased by wider distribution of crew training times (5 weekday mornings and evenings, 2 full days on weekends).
The above would support the twin goals of storing more fleet, and maximising the utilisation of the space.
Will there be additional storage space at the clubhouse for riggers, oars, furniture?
Through the redevelopment additional specific storage space will be allocated to store, among other things, tables, chairs, riggers and other equipment.
Internal storage and layout logistics are still being worked out and there have been many improvements in racking and storage designs over the last 10-15 years that we hope to take advantage of, until we figure out all the configurations, we can’t say for sure what will be stored exactly where at this stage.
However additional space will be created by moving the front stairs outside of the club’s current footprint will require us to reconfigure the current boat racking and oar storage configuration. As noted above this will provide the club with approximately 20% more boat racking space.
It is also envisaged that the space between Melbourne and RRC may allow for some external storage allowing older less used fleet to move outside again freeing up rack space within the shed for newer fleet.
Who will occupy the remaining three boat bays?
MLC will occupy the two ‘new’ boat bays, allowing them to consolidate their fleet which is currently stored in other sheds and at the school.
At this time no decision has been made regarding who will occupy the fourth bay.
Discussions are underway with parties that have expressed interest.  In assessing which choice to make the management committee is bound to choose what it believes is in the best interest of the club.
On what terms will the fourth bay be leased?
As discussed above, discussions regarding a tenant for the third boat bay are still being worked through and no confirmed decision has been made at this stage.
However some of the terms that the committee wish to pursue with the parties that have expressed interest include:

  • Willingness to accept RRCs proposed terms of sub-lease, e.g. offering a 5 year term with the following options of – 5 + 5 + 6 years
    This will allow both parties, RRC and the tenant,  the opportunity to consider whether they wish to execute the options. The committee believes this provides RRC with a great deal of flexibility allowing for the club to reassess its needs at each 5 year term, such as whether more boat storage is required for RRC fleet.
  • Willingness to make a long term financial commitment and payment of an annual fee, generating regular and consistent cash flow for the club
  • RRCs assessment of our ability to create a constructive day to day and management relationship with the tenant.

Will the membership be consulted on the tenant that will occupy the fourth boat bay?
The committee will not be canvassing member opinion about the tenant for the final bay as this is not a robust process for selecting a tenant.  The committee has established criteria, as described above, such as:

  • Willingness to accept RRC’s proposed terms of sub-lease;
  • Willingness to make a long term financial commitment; and
  • RRC’s assessment of our ability to create a constructive day to day and management relationship with the tenant.

Redevelopment FAQ – New Facilities

Will RRC members have to share the changing rooms with other tenants?
As shown on the proposed floor plan the new clubhouse will comprise three changing rooms – two existing and new one. The new changing room will be allocated to MLC for the exclusive use of their rowers. Any other tenants would use the existing club change rooms.
Will members be able to use the gym when there is a function in the hall?
It is our belief that as a result of the redevelopment, club members will gain greater access to the club’s facilities. The gym will allow members to train while functions and/or educational activities are underway in the hall space.    The club will continue to raise operational, fleet, maintenance, and future redevelopment funds from function hire; as such members will be asked to refrain from entering the hall while a function is underway.
The exact interaction with the 4th bay tenant and 1st floor facilities is unknown at this time because this tenant has not yet been determined.
Will RRC members be able to use the MLC education space?
At this stage it is anticipated that when MLC isn’t using the educational space, it will be made available to club members if the main hall is in use by another party.
Given neither the club nor MLC have had such a facility before it is likely that how we envisage this working will need adjustment overtime.

Redevelopment FAQ – Building Works

When will the building works begin and how long will they take?

Our building permit expires on 9 October 2012, therefore the club intends to commence building before that date.

Until a builder is engaged we do not know when the building works will be completed. However it is anticipated to take between 8-10 months, subject to variations etc.


Will the existing parts of the shed be upgraded?

Hopefully! Ultimately what we do to

the existing shed will depend on the funds available; however it is very likely that any updates will be done incrementally.

It is intended that the existing changing rooms will receive a minor touch up – painting and replacement of hand basins etc – however the kitchen and bar will stay as is.

Given the club will increase in size substantially and comprise a large outdoor area it is anticipated that the demand for hall hires will increase. As such revenue from functions and leasing the fourth bay will provide the club with funds to reinvest into the building.

Will we have to move our boats? And if so where will they be stored?

At this stage it is not anticipated that boats will have to be relocated from the shed for the whole build phase. The majority of works will occur on the ‘new’ side of the building however we will have to move boats when the stairwell at the front of the shed is relocated.

Last time the club renovated boats were temporarily stored outside and on trailers. The committee will finalise arrangements once the builder is appointed and timeframes are known.

Will we be able to still use the shed and facilities during the building works?

Most likely yes. However until a builder is engaged and the program of works put together we will not know what space may or may not be useable.

Last time the club renovated, which included the changing rooms, members were able to use the facilities off neighbouring clubs. We have already received offers to host our members again should the need arise. The committee will keep you informed as the project progresses and what options have been secured.