Gray Matters looking for readership

Hi Team,
It’s kind of like the Emperor’s new clothes…..Next week we’ll have the Women’s Squad N*de maybe in the food court at Southbank, so tune in should be equally as exciting.
Recent statistics from the RPAA (Rowing Personal Assistant Association) show readership of my blog has for the first time slipped below the Melb Uni PA who seems to write only about Alumni dinners and bang on about their balcony, where as I on the other hand wear myself into the ground taking care of our extensive and demanding committee’s administrative duties in order to free up their faxing, pencil sharpening time which they can devote to You-Tube research to shape you guys to be world champions. I am GUTTED. All the time I have spent reminding you pansy’s about attending training and attending regattas and is it appreciated NO. It’s like Beverley Hills 90210 when everyone finally stopped watching and poor old Luke Perry went from Heart Throb to driving a Bus (maybe) or possibly doing porn.
We have a presentation night for those of you who give a d*mn we’re having a fr*ggin party. So if you’re not at an alumni dinner and you like your committee’s pencils sharpened then you had better show up.
If you consider yourself to be a rower or a club member, then CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:
to either accept or decline attending presentation night ASAP.
The only reason to not click on this link is if you are a boat. If you can’t go, you plan on getting maggotted and picking a fight with Justin, You plan on eating your cutlery and tablecloth and not replacing them when asked, it’s your 3 week anniversary with your new love, you are hibernating for winter with Winnie and Eeyore, then click on the link and let us know you can’t make it on this occasion. Kapeesh? If you don’t click on the link I may well find myself looking for lawn mowing jobs in Mulgrave (those massive strips down the middle of all of those massive roads).
This is important so that we know who is coming and the committee can feel happy knowing that our blogs, website and communications are being read and followed.  By clicking on the link you will make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The response has been underwhelming and the slide show is one of the fun bits of presentation night.
Because Sam didn’t get any photos and is about the nick of to Bali (maybe you were to shy to send to Sam?) – Karen Doggett has volunteered to take over the presentation night photos, because scientists are really great with PowerPoint.
Please give her your photos in person, post them on the RRC facebook page or leave a burned cd in the RRC mailbox at the bottom of the stairs addressed to her.
But if no rowing photos are submitted, then Karen will be forced to pad out the presentation with microscope images of her fruit fly research!
Masters Nationals
The club had a very good regatta picking up five gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. Not a bad haul considering we only had three rowers at the regatta (and no boats, kidding! I think we had boats). Probably the only ones who read the blog, both my parents and my brother I’d imagine.
Carolyn Manning was the star picking up three gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. Geraldine Goss was also outstanding picking up 1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze. (So 5 readers)
Our only male competitor at the regatta 70 plus year old Ray Dennis club legend (6, yippee, good to see the older generation using the internet, though perhaps Carolyn or Geraldine mentioned it to him in passing and he did not read my blog), from the sixty’s who recently made a competitive comeback, capped off a great year winning two gold medals in the J-K and I division eights.
Challenge Races
Great racing in mixed quads and eights over the 250 metre boathouse straight. Three quads battled in out in a best of three races with Captain Splash’s crews taking the honours. Splash also featured in the winning eight taking only two races to clean up the opposition in the best of three races.
Guest of honour Nicole was splendid with her pot belly and a bit of makeup (and we thought she was a boy) and over 50 people turned up to bid her a fond farewell to motherhood.
TIME TRIALS & CHALLENGE RACES – CLOSED for 2010.  The winner can look forward to bling on presentation night.  Well done to all rowers and organisers – especially the awesome catering by the women’s squad and Mike Numa. (Simon, MNB, loved the brownies and the lasagne!).
Katie Gray – PANS

Gray Matters polishing her bling ready for the presentation night

Hi Teamies,
1) Regattas are done and dusted for the year – the coaches, coxes and rowers are happy to have come to the end of a long and busy season (some are very busy polishing their bling – although there are a couple more chances for glory left before presentation night in June. That’s right if you want to have an early morning and use your spanner you’ll have to find some nerdy friends with meccano sets. If you are not weighed down polishing your bling (personally I think it’s all about taking part, not necessarily winning, sometimes it’s good to give the others a chance, and I may just be practicing for my 95th birthday song by gasping hip hip hooray to YET more winning crews after dragging part tub part cement mixer along the length of the Barwon / Yarra / Murray / Maribyrnong).
Sam Morrison has put his hand up to put together the slide show for presentation night on June 19th to torture the B team and various new DS members with on presentation night. If you have any good photo’s, quotes or any other stuff that could be used for the show, email Sam and sent it through (if you have too many photo’s, burn them onto a CD-rom and give it to Sam directly or get one of the guys to put it into his locker (that is the one with the burn’t Australian flag hanging from it after Australia scored a goal to win the world cup soccer friendly in the 94th minute).
2) A couple of serious notes about boats:
MLC boats: now that the Masters’ season and the Learn to Row course is done, please do not take out MLC boats unless you have spoken with Dennis Beck. Or if you are Cate Blanchett, the head maser of MLC, you’re romancing the MLC coach, or the rotten kids have left the change room really messy. Our own fleet should serve all rowers.  When MLC lends us boats, they are being very generous, but the equipment belongs to the school not us.  So please refrain from using their fleet for winter training.
Boat Booking Board:  The boat booking board is up and running.  Please check the board before taking a boat out or you will have an hopping mad zootie clad of angry rowers who have full access to the white board and blog to seek their revenge, if you are no longer using your booking remove it, there is NO need to book boats to remain on the racks, we have plenty of high up boats and ones with funny winchy things that do that all by themselves. If you notice boats being booked but not used, please contact Colonel Beck and Sergeant Stupka. On Thursday nights and Sunday Mornings at 10 am, all tub fours and the tub pair belong to Justin and his DS squad of rowers and coaches, if you take their boat, they will take a sleek yellow one and get wet. So, if training in that time use other fleet.
Chocolate Fundraising is in full swing (almost swung really) I now find it hard to read my book on the train in morning rush hour without a few crunchies to nibble on. Smooth Simon (MNB) sold a box of chocolates for a $67.80 profit….one box to go. (Think that might have been to a small child). Simon (MNB) has taken up running to work off the excess chocolate kg’s (anything to avoid another row).
4) Time Trials, get in QUICK
Time trials close at the end of the month….get a crew together and my PA ([email protected]) who when he is not booking in various disciplinary procedures for key staff members should be able to assist.
5) Winter Sculling – All those rowers interested in Winter Sculling need to contact Nicole ([email protected]) by this Sunday May 27. Please specify which boats you would like to use and which races you would like to see.
6) Presentation Night (19 June) – We are on enemy territory this year (University of Melbourne) and the Pres is planning a big night out. Cost is $50 (despite what was advertised on the blog previously) and dress code is evening attire and guys let’s see if we can get a few more clothes on this time round as jocks and a bow tie might be a bit cool this time of the year….click here for more information.

Gray Matters stakes her claim for Rowing PA of the Year

Why am I late this time? I’ve been on strike. Nicole failed to send my entry for Rowing Personal Assistant of the Year 2010. (Although, yes I forgot to send Simon’s). Something about impending motherhood, a career, exceptional chocolate fund raising, and I fear she has been listening too closely to rumours of work experience students who have suggested that I do not know the difference between the fax and the Bob Stanley (I was storing documents there in the shoes BTW to fax at a more convenient moment) and a dictaphone and the cox box (simple multi tasking by dictating minutes while coxing saved me hours which could be better devoted to colour photocopying car parking passes). Anyway, she managed to get a late entry and we have saved the kitty on the $5 a day drain the frigging gen Y work experience kids were costing us. (Sorry Simon, they wouldn’t except further late entries).
So I thought I might mention some below outstanding items that Nicole has mentioned in the last couple of team meetings (where I have carefully drawn big love hearts with Katie 4 Oarsome Foursome 4 Eva on my notepad whilst she has continued to waffle on about petty cash, the cost of stamps and the zootie machine wash testing)
1) Alright greedy guts, your chocolate money is due. (I am in final discussions with channel 10 for biggest gainer for 2011 to coincide with our next fundraising drive) It’s $28.80 per box (payable into your B-Pay fundraising account). This also means that everyone should have picked up their chocolate boxes by now – the bar is open so there are no excuses. Now we didn’t sell these at cost, we made a profit, not sure what we do with that yet, might have been mentioned in a number of recent meetings. But I’m sure it will crop up again. In the mean time, use that money to buy me a drink and I’ll let you know (this money may be to be raised twice to cover beverage expenses)
2) The boss (as I had refused to open mail) received regatta entries for APSM (All People Smell Mouldy (when wet)) on May 8th and hopefully the weather will be nicer than at Barwon. It’s the last regatta of the season and the bosses last regatta as HOR (before the boss goes to have a baby girl rower) – so lets make it a good one.
Personally, the HOR would love to see RRC crush Powerhouse in a mixed 8. (Watch out for a couple of girls (well they entered as girls) that flogged JK and I few years ago, you’ll know them, they have red eyeballs and are part machine, might be best to crash into them at the start and render their boat unrowable, or hope it rains and they short circuit).
3) We will be holding time trials around the island this Sunday. I drove it the other day and it took me 9 minutes, so I am looking for the time closest to that. Franzie’s Novice Men’s 8 is going split in two bow four and stern four and battle it out for novice guys supremacy. The plan is mix up all female rowers into even crews and let be a battle of guts and glory.
Please, note that these time trials are for “bling” at presentation night. (And its super nice, without my success in previous years I would be having to drink only primas or stubbies or out of the tap at home) – which will be held on the 19th of June. If you are not happy, with your tub four time you can repeat the trial in any crew of your choosing three weeks later. Other time trial bling up for grabs is time trials in tub pairs and in tub single. These are from the club, around Swan Street Bridge. If you are interested in competing in the small boat time trials, please let your coaches know and they will arrange a time for you to do it safely.
I have a few special mentions.
Laura Schouten – Mother of two who knows what it means to keep pushing when the going gets tough. Awesome display in Sydney in a big head wind and gearing that most blokes would be bragging about.
Sam Morrison (AKA Captain Splash) – Another big pusher who in the third 500 meters of a 2K race moved from 5th to 2nd taking three boats lengths off the competition in the process.
Joe Lian-Lloyd – Awesome (and secretly seeing other crews, sobbing)
From Simon (MNB) Naturalists Award
Goes to Johno and Matt from the men’s eight for their efforts in losing a frog in Sam’s bed on the Sunday night of the regatta. The frog planted in Sam’s bed took a side exit while Johno and Matt when back for another beer. When the lads came back the frog was gone and the tricksters fearing that the frog had gone astray, ending up in someone else bed or even their own, pulled the cabin apart looking for the frog while abusing each other for losing the frog. Comedy at it best.
Lastly, Girls, Very important! Vote on the thingy button on the blog. The B team has voted so many times that Netspace and Intel have repossessed our computers. Some of those boys are probably in jail now for erroneous voting, press the button and bring us our deserving victory.
Katie Gray (PANS&SK – Personal Assistant to Nicole Stupka and Side Kick (get it))

Gray Matters tall and chocolate sweet

Hi Team,
Chocolate money is due by April 14th – so sell hard or eat lots. As I am typing this I’ve had 3 freddos.
As I’m piling on the kilos all in the name of fundraising I am cheered by such thoughts as

  • Errr heavier people are harder to kidnap
  • Larger people are historically hot!
  • No need for buttock enhancement surgery (can spend that money on cake)
  • Constant health fears gives every day an exciting uncertainty and really helps you live in the moment!

Sydney was awesome – I think Simon put stuff up on the blog.  Lots of raving on facebook including photo’s.

Learn to Row
Better late than never, let your friends know or alternatively go in disguise and ask all those questions you have been too embarrassed to raise, eg who is Karen Anzinger and what poor soul had parents who named him/her Punt Road, Why is Backsplash necessary when you are going forward?, why do I always yet the slow erging machine?
We have a LTR course starting for the next four weeks, on Sat at noon (fits in perfectly after Yum Cha) – which means that in a month’s time there will be lots of new faces around the club.  There will be a need for DS coaches so if people are interested in a new challenge, talk to Justin Thomas, Camel Musterer and DS coordinator.

Masters Regattas
Lots of fun if you dig ole people in zooties, they are not so easy to beat either, the older they are the bigger headstart they get, dig out your old fake ID which probably says you’re at least 3 years older than you are and we’ll use that for your entry.
Masters regattas – Think about your availability and let your coaches know if you are interested in racing (Click here for all the details).

Club Challenge Races
The club runs challenge races in fours, tub pairs and singles. Challenge races have been around for a long time and are a proud RRC tradition. Keep your ears and eyes open for information on when the races will be held.
See you next week.
Katie Gray PANS (Personal Assistant to Nicole Stupka)

Gray Matters and the Fundraisers

Hi Teamies,
Ok, there has got to be something going on is this high powered rowing world of ours. Now let me think back to the minutes I wrote at our team meeting (not all that many as I have finally perfected the exact shade of white eye shadow to use to draw my eyeballs on the outsides of my eyelids and purchased (on ebay) a motorised pencil, to make it look like I was alert and busy).
Sydney – two weeks to go – RRC is training hard with the men’s rowing a shiny new 8 – bought with fundraising funds. So happy are they to use this, despite the fact that the men’s funds combined were enough to fund an our, (from Big W when they are selling their pool equipment late summer).
The Easter Bunny (sponsored by Cadbury in this emerging corporate world) is delivering our chocolates on Thursday and will be ready to pick up from Thursday night at the club. If you’re not there on Thursday you’ll find that your chocolates will be stored in the bar fridge with your name on them – your coaches/committee members have access to the bar fridge, so if your box level is lower than expected then hit em up for a few multiples of $1.20.
Now, while it is great to see the gold coins mount up, before you decide to you throw them willy nilly into parking meters and pokie machines and to obtain gold coin entry into the Camberwell market….. Remember, you actually need to pay for the choccies.
Payment for chocolates will be due April 26th at the latest to via B-Pay to your fundraising account.  If you don’t pay up we will pursue you to the end of the earth. You will never be able to relax again as you see a little yellow and black person in the distance wielding a money box in one hand and the Bob Stanley in the other in a threatening manner. It’s not worth it, unless you manage to sell millions of dollars of chocolate, then I suppose you might be able to hire a minder.
Happy Easter – remember Cadbury fundraising chocolates are better than Easter eggs or Lindt chocolate bunnies. Frogs and bunnies both jump, what else matters? Anyway, how many times have you seen a bunny and a frog in the same room hey!! Not many, there is a good chance that they are one and the same.
While the men lavish in our new hard earned boat, they continue to drag their heels in the fundraising stakes! Could it be possible that the lack the necessary charm to approach customers? Or the metal (and at times brute strength) to close the sale? (exception’s here being Justin “Trivia Night” Thomas and Barry “Chocolate Crew Coach” Campbell).
The stats on chocolate boxes sold:
75 = female (curvy, results oriented, smooth and polished sales people)
42 = male (ribby vegans likely to seen talking to the plants in the Alexandra gardens about the existence of drop bears)
Or 36% of sales to the boys and 64% of the sales to the women (Don’t have ASF donation stats yet, it may well have been detailed in the team meeting…).
However, what’s interesting to note – is that the DS women have ordered chocolates, but none of the DS men have. So we’ve taught them to row, do we need to teach them how to eat chocolate too?
Simon Crunden (man not boat), gripping his keyboard as he typed due to a serious deficiency in dairy, sugar, emulsifiers, soya lecithin, 476, flavours and traces of nuts, has some faith in his tree hugging, mung been munching boat loads of lads. He is hoping the boys use their powers of persuasion to sell chocolates in Sydney.
Or possibly forget their wallets and packed lunches and have to resort to eating the lot.
Simon, MNB also would like to point out (and pin his hopes on) the men’s number 1 chocolate fundraiser from last year (Martin) who has not placed an order for chocolates this year (sales fatigue no doubt) but there is no panic in the camp yet, as we have a number of strategies in place to ensure it will not be the men who will be buying the drinks on presentation night.
So girls, think of the Sav Blanc shouts and SELL, SELL, SELL. Let’s face it our new bingo arms will provide more weight on the oar, which can only be good news, and in my advancing years, drinks purchased by the male sex for the purpose of quenching my thirst as err well can I say slightly less frequent than in previous years.
katie gray
PATNS (PA to Nicole Stupka while she not looking after the horses and JK)

Gray Matters with tips on how to consume vast quantities of chocolate

Club races are on this Sunday. Squad bosses, please make sure your rowers RSVP by Friday morning. The boss is on a need to know basis. If she’s in the dark you won’t have a cox or any equipment, which will put you at a significant disadvantage in the race. You may be left with the rejects from biggest loser who may be walking past the club house on their way to the food court, to cox, again putting your crew at a significant disadvantage. Also the boss needs to know for catering and if you have rejected biggest losers coxing for you they will eat all your food and you will have to go to jail because it’s unlikely they are accredited coxes. Anyway by all accounts the food in jail is worse than the men’s crew’s cooking….think blended.
The format will be 3 x 350 m and then finals followed by brunch.
As alluded to, it is catered by the men’s squad! Think beer and cheesy noodles (cheese and 2 minute noodles), hopefully they have ordered pizza the night before and not eaten it all (or had it for brekkie) and they will bring that, don’t eat the one with the prawns on it as it’s unlikely it made it to the fridge over night.
If you’re going to Sydders you’d better rock up as the plan is to have rowers race in the crews that they are training in for Sydney and this is a last chance at race practice.
Chocolate orders are due this week! Maybe even today. Drop them off at the club in the black secretary box or to Karen, Karin, Susie or Rochelle.  Fundraising is the responsibility of each club member and it is the ONLY way we can upgrade fleet.  Like the new tub four coxless quad and eight that we acquired this year.  These boats cost together more than 33k. To the money bags that suggested raising the club membership fees, that’s why we have the option of donating cash if you don’t like flogging or eating chocolates. Personally I’ll sell them to my postman’s diabetic Nanna to save my hard earned rowing PA’s salary and it gives me a chance to put those funds towards Gatorade, print cartridges and a cross backed sports bra to ensure my back looks less like a kitten playing with a ball of string and does not distract 2 and 1 from our winning endeavors.
Last year you may remember the male members of RRC sold in total 1 strawberry freddo, and I think that was to Simon (man not boat as the boat wouldn’t buy a thing) as two would have put him over his calorie quota for the week. This year they have laid down the gauntlet and no I am not talking about Mrs Gauntlet my grade 2 teacher, I am fairly sure they have set the solid (excuse the double meaning here) respectable female chocolate sales people a challenge.
Basically if the soon to be heavy and pimply boys manage to sell more chocolates than the girls we have to buy each of them a drink at presentation night. If the girls sell more they will buy each of us a drink at presentation night. Sounds easy, personally I could eat chocolate for Australia and can vouch for the rest of the B team, hell I just ate 3 frogs while I was writing that sentence. The trick is, when you feel ill, just have some water and you’ll find you can keep on eating, also it’s cheaper and quicker and less messy than cooking a meal, something for those of us with families to keep in mind, and how happy would your kids be! And it’s not like they would lose weight. Also I have a feeling the boys drink beer, where as girls, ta daaa, expensive drink tastes. So don’t let me down gang. Click on Simon (man not boat’s article below and in that you can click again (it’s like a game!)) and you can order your choccies.

I have been spending a bit of time pretending to clean the BBQ out the front to disguise my obvious perving of the men’s 8, and no not the Melbourne men’s 8, no not the Mercantile Men’s 8, not Powerhouse (well it’s not like I turn the other way) but our very own men’s 8. They obviously figured they might as well row hard as their name was on the board and they seem to owe their coach about a slab in late fees. Anyway it’s working. The men’s eight is looking like a sure thing and improving by the day in preparation for the NSW club championships regatta in Sydney.
Crews are in the final throws of selection and Richmond will have a team of 25 people representing the club at the regatta….A team which we can use to play a small round robin in netball with 2 refs and 3 subs after….
Katie Gray
PA to Nicole Stupka or PANS (formally PA to JK who is now living in Sydney working on becoming DR JK aka PADRJK)

Gray Matters back in the swing

Hi Rowers,
Well have I been busy (getting married).
First of all we had the Winter Olympics and Nicole had me up all night each night recording the Australian team to assess and monitor with the aim of recruiting, full thighed people for rowing in the warmer months to increase our chances of regatta wins and save us from having to provide our bling hungry members with medals for attendance and adhering to dress code.
I also had to scan the crowd for Martin’s childhood friends and report back on their levels of baldness and podginess. A very exhausting XXI Olympiad or extra extra tiring Olympics for poor old PANS. To top this off I had to go to Wagga for the World Rowing PA Olympiad Games (fortunately nice and handy this year, not in Ghana as per 09) where I competed in events such as boss’s Zootie care, PA who had secured most attractive delivery drivers, PA who had purchased the most amount of alcohol for the least amount of money, A stop the clock event – Fixing your own photocopier, and a new event, a fashion parade with items of clothing collected from your team’s river.
Thanks to my intense preparation I was able to take out Gold in Zootie Care, Platinum in Delivery Drivers (we have 14 and a lifetime supply of biscuits, toilet paper, cat food, dishwater tablets and curtain rods), lost out completely to Corowa, Barwon, and the Alco’s from Nagambie and Hamilton as it had not occurred to me to use cleaning products in the Christmas punch.
 The nerds from Melbourne took out the photocopier event, though one more kick and mine would have gotten going, the fashion parade was fantastic, I must say I looked (if not smelt) fantastic. Again Gold.
So anyway, Simon (man not boat just stopped in) needed me to let out the waist on his zootie, he pointed out to me that we have some regatta’s coming up.
That’s what we’re all about.
Sydney – 10/11 April – Seems to be some rowing happening there, and let’s face it will be warmer than down here, they have more shops though you will need to take your camel pack to the bars or face ordering drinks you have never heard of ad forgoing any necessary dental procedures for the next 10 years as you won’t have the cash. Because its’ so far away we should be in with an excellent chance for an early morning too :o)
Training has begun and the men’s crews are going like steam trains. Sign up now by sending Simon an email ([email protected]).
Footscray this weekend (lock your car and don’t talk football)
Finally the Mildura Easter regatta is on again – if we can have at least four rowers of a single sex interested in going. Nicole will make sure you have boats to row and coxes to steer. Let your coaches know asap. We all know the Easter Bunny lives in Northern Victoria, so it’s the best time of year to visit, nothing like an Easter egg with some Mildura almonds and oranges before a regatta.
We’re doing lots of fundraising for our new fleet (sounds like a lot but it’s probably only one boat, but hey you can only row one at a time) … Stay tuned for an announcement of a shiny New acquisition to the RRC fleet. Think of how much Orlando would like a new brother or sister. (Last year thanks to fundraising, and the B team going up 3 dress sizes from very successful chocolate purchases err sales we managed to acquire Orlando, sculling oars and double riggers).
Contribute by coming to our Trivia night – this Saturday, bring friends! Entry $20 and there will be an auction and prizes for best decorated table. If decorating table bring food or your fishing rod (and has anyone even seen those guys catch anything, maybe one of those scary bluebottle things might taste better than it looks)! The function is BYO.
Or contribute by eating and selling Chocolates – easy!! order forms are available at the club. Sell lots of chocolates to your co-workers! Forms are due back on March 24th to your coaches or black secretary mailbox. Susie, Rochelle, Karen, Karin are running this with Jo consulting 🙂
Or if you’re scared or the dark, don’t know a thing and are on a diet, then contribute via the Australian sports foundation (ASF) fleet fund – get a form from the club and make a tax deductible donation. It’s a form and you give cash.
Otherwise we’ll make you row the Bob Stanley, or the one that looks like a floating cubby house.
From Friday night, Australian Sports Foundation Fleet Donation order forms are available at the club, near the black secretary’s mailbox.
To drum it in, ok, read carefully penny pinchers here are some cold hard facts about the ruthless rowing world. One of the reasons that fleet fundraising is so crucial this year, is that marine safety regulations are changing and with that the standards for boat buoyancy. We and the rest of the rowing clubs in Victoria do not know what this means for our fleet, but most of our older boats are non-compliant and may not be rowable. So, there is a big push to get new fleet into the Shed that does meet these safety regulation. Or you’ll be on an ergo tied to a raft, wearing floaties and a helmet with Justin cycling along the bank ready to rescue you.
Camp was a blast…good food and great crews…thanks Mike and Nicole for organising. Had almost 50 rowers down training for masters Sydney or personal improvement. The star of camp was Mike Numa who catered on awesome lasagne dinner on fri and breakfast and lunch on sat.
Rumour has it that Mike may be organising a regular Thursday night pasta night catered by the RRC single guys – so everyone offer your support and encouragement of this worthy institution.
PANT (PA to Nicoles Tudka, previously PA to JK until she was transferred to the Sydney North Oar Rowing Team and now makes the lives of the SNORT’s a living hell up there)

Gray Matters walks down the track

'Beauty is still possible for those that pull an oar', just don't check out her hands

Last Saturday, Katie Gray (PANT, PA to Nicole’s Tudka, formerly PA to JK, Rowing Victoria Personal Assistant of the Year, 2008 and silver medallist in the Executive Director Support Category at the National Rowing Club Personal Assistant Awards, NRCPAA, 2008) got married. Katie and Ed Goodchild married on their property in the Yarra Valley, which many RRC members may be familiar with if subtle hints of weekend working bees were realised.
It was a fairly standard wedding really. The bride was covered in dirt until about 4 hours before the ceremony (by some estimates), chickens were squawking around everyone’s feet and despite suggestions she would arrive on horseback, the bride arrived in the old 4×4 (you may have seen it towing the RRC trailer up the Hume), no doubt driving, as apparently she’s the only one who can drive that thing.
Katie’s dress was stunning. Off-white (she swears she was wearing yellow and black underwear), long enough to cover the zootie tan across her mid thigh and perfectly cut to show off her lats in full glory, Katie was proof to rowers everywhere that beauty is still possible for those who pull an oar.
Ed was looking sharp. Manual labour and brisk walks after dinner had led to some weight loss, and a subtle suggestion from Katie three days earlier (“why are you building hurdles when you don’t have a suit yet?”), meant he scrubbed up extremely well on the big day. Might I also add that the look of pure joy on his face throughout the day certainly added to the picture.
The ceremony itself took place under the tree near the greenhouse, with an outdoor piano playing some lovely tunes.
Gray Matters
Check out the Limo

During the brief and delicious break between the ceremony and reception, Katie’s fellow B team members Sharon, Sarah, Joe and ring-in JK were in fine form. Practicing their camera poses (following a fat disaster at the previous B team wedding, Sharon’s), it was decided that Joe “had it” and JK “did not”. Nevertheless, JK found the one photo in 20 where she looked less fat than at Sharon’s wedding and sent it to Simon (man not boat), who had recently reverted to calling her “porker” like he used to, before she ran away from town.
Meanwhile, Sarah horrified Joe, but entertained the rest of us, with her ignorance regarding the events of the following morning’s BRW triathlon. “Umm… swim,… run,… ride?” and “You mean all three of us have to do all three events?!”. For concerned readers out there, do not worry. Sarah lived to tell the tale and apparently she now wants to run a marathon. Let’s hold her to this everyone.
The reception took place in the arena, under an impressive marquee. Katie’s brother, James, (think Katie, but taller, with shorter hair) flew in from the UK with his two-week-old baby to emcee the evening and much to the guests’ delight, Cunliffe & Waters catered the event. “Potato salad (eggy, bacony, creamy) the way it should be” featured on the menu alongside rare breed pig, oysters and steak. There was also a “Potato salad (vegan)”, presumably for those other guests whom we didn’t know how to talk to.
Readers of Katie’s weekly blog may have assumed by now that Katie was no blushing bride. Too right. In fact, one of the tables had placed bets as to whose speech would go for longer, Katie’s or Ed’s. You don’t need to look at Katie’s rowing history to know she’s a winner. She took the show, which she decided was her consolation “for being cheated at the Masters Rowing States last year by the starter, being beaten in the D grade netball grand final by a bunch of 13 year-olds driven there by their parents and for Isaac’s fear of the low hurdles, not the high ones, leading to a poor placing in a recent horse comp…..” (think of her e-mails, but aloud, and longer).
The B team were sharing a table with half Ed’s soccer team, who seemed transfixed every time Joe spoke. Observers were unable to confirm whether it was the stunning red dress she was wearing, or the fact that she piled her plate so high with food it nearly toppled over, then preceded to eat it all, followed by two desserts, all whilst barely taking a breath, that led the boys to such awe.
Sharon, just returned from a luxurious honeymoon cruise, looked as stunning as ever despite two weeks of constant gourmet food and only a boat to run around. Delighted to not be the centre of attention anymore following her own wedding just last month, Sharon kept a low profile (dance floor excluded) but managed to impress many ladies with the size of her heels, retrieved from manbag Graham for photos only.
Chief bridesmaid Sandra Mayes (Hore), stole the show with a speech about the time her and her husband, Aaron had gone on an overnight hike with Katie and Ed. In summary, Ed is the perfect man to take camping with you. He will ignore your attempts to educate him and thus will happily carry a frozen leg of lamb and 6-pack of beers on a 20km hike, then share it all with you whilst you bemoan your sensible-but-uninspiring choice of 2 minute noodles and tuna.
Speeches, as always, reveal many facts.  Apparently, on weekends, Ed goes to the bakery and brings Katie back croissants and maybe makes her a cappuccino and brings it all to her in bed, if memory serves me correctly. Lads, I think you can all learn something from this.
After much laughter and partying, but only a little bit of sleeping, Sarah and Joe got up at 4am to drive back to Melbourne for the BRW triathlon. Hardcore. I think some of Katie’s non-rowing friends may still have been dancing. The rest of us woke up just in time for bacon and eggs before checking out of our beautiful rented homestead, then headed back to Katie and Ed’s for croissants.
All in all, it was a beautiful wedding. Ed’s best man, all the way out from the UK commented that he had “never seen Ed look happier” and Katie was, as always, a delight. The welcoming couple that they are, Katie and Ed encouraged us all to come down and visit them on their property in the Yarra Valley. So go and visit them sometime. You will be most welcomed to enjoy the farm. With a shovel in hand.
Jenny Kozlovski (aka JK)

Gray Matters sharing her notes for the week

Dear Rowers,
We had quite a constructive staff meeting (yes zootie clad of course) this morning where Nicole and I raised some important issues regarding the club and our members. I faithfully made notes and have documented these below.
PA thought for the week: Took a certain senior rower out for a row last week. Unfortunately this raised certain concerns regarding our underground club project regarding the deepening of the Yarra river by RRC rowers, all eyes in the boat noticed that Annalise err this rower, used minimal effort to bring her oar through the water and contrary to true gondola form did not burry half of her shaft to deepen the channel and assist us in our continued search for Sandra’s missing Havianna. If we keep this up, P&O and the Spirit of Tasmania will NEVER be able to dock in Richmond or Hawthorn, let alone Warrandyte, so I beg you all to use this efficient style only when you have coaches eyes on you. It is best to dig deep also when rowing at regatta’s you may have noticed that the lake at Corowa is a little low, so give them a hand so they don’t end up like Ballarat with the expense of bulldozers in there. Do you sport a favour and dig deep. Yes it drastically cuts boat run, but most of that can be made up for by rushing up the slide. It will help to build up extra large muscles which are helpful in opening jars when your partner is away for work and enables you to loosen the nuts on your tires without having to be a fairy princess and wait for the RACV.
HOR thought of the week – it’s from one of the podcasts I listen to when driving and it was meant to describe curling but think it works really well from all the rowing we do at RRC: “Sport is at it’s best when it involves a whole community.”  It has been and will be a few huge rowing weeks at RRC and none of those would be possible without the help of rowers, coaches, coxes, trailer drivers, tinnie drivers, boat race officials, and so on. Well done to all who have raced at Barwon, States and Club Races.  Your efforts have been impressive.  For more details, check out the blog – for the male and female perspective on the weekend.
Things to look forward to:
1) ROWER and COACH development: Coaching Camp this weekend at Essendon Rowing Club.  Talk to your coach to get your squad time and directions, please show up and be time. Don’t forget your club lock, also it’s going to be hot on Sunday so sunscreen up and wear a hat or your burn your head and it will peel and people will think you have dandruff.
2) ROWER DEVELOPMENT: Training camp Friday March 12th evening, all day Saturday and Sunday 13th to 14th.  Please let your coaches now whether you will be coming by March 1st, so we can plan your pain. So that is 3 and a bit weeks away, just enough time to flop with exhaustion after your warm ups (get past the boat houses though in case any hotties are around) in coming week’s and rest part way while carrying oars to the water or washing the boat (complaining loudly of exhaustion), make sure your standard is set as slow as possible. Might be a good idea to put your oar in to the water at a completely different time to your other crew members so you can spend a few days working on timing (and nod favourably when roll-ups are suggested, boring as bat sh*t they might be, but they won’t give you blisters) much easier than working on race starts.
3) FUNDRAISING for Fleet:  Trivia Night and Auction (very classy stuff on auction) March 20th, please bring lots of friends – especially those with money.  We will also be running a chocolate fundraiser, because Lent is a great time to be generous and eat chocolate – stay tuned more details to follow shortly.  We ran both events last year and they were a huge success and as a result we have new fleet in the shed. I think it’s high time we replaced the 70’s style floating cubby house (whatever that brown one is called), word on the street is that after almost 9 years of solid training, thanks to our dedicated coaching team, the B team may soon be ready to graduate to a NON tub 4!!!! So we have high hopes for an appropriate and stylish vessel. Even if you know nothing, eg grew up in Iceland in an igloo with no radio and bears for company (to use one club member as an example) Or you grew up in Wagga raising pigs with your nana and being home schooled with the Bible (old Testament only) come anyway. There will be plenty of know-alls at your table that will jump in early and claim the glory and noone will know that you don’t know your left hand from your right.
4) BOXERCISE Monday nights at 6:20 pm – if you weren’t tough enough at States or have been eating too much chocolate – RFC John will fix you up.
Not sure if you saw the footage on the news a few weeks ago when the incredible B team defeated the men’s 8 with only a 10 minute head start from the 2km mark. What an effort B team, the wind generated by the ferocious race actually picked up a small dog and it’s owner his flight friendly parachute material tracksuit and blew the pair into the Yarra, rather than be annoyed the damp jogger was in awe of the performance he was witnessing.
Katie Gray

Gray Matters scouring Melbourne for a pair of cuff links

Hi Rowers,
Sorry for the lack of news last week. Nicole had me flat out, first it was a boatload of rose petals (pair not 8 thank god, and I now receive a generous discount at roses only if anyone else is interested) for the sunset row, then we had to perfect our chocolate mousse recipe (18 attempts and 7 kilos later as I had to do all the taste testing to keep her slim for the big night), then we compared over 3000 PAIRS of cufflinks to find the perfect ones to match Martin’s eyes.
Finally I coloured all the yellow bits of my winter zootie black and tapped all the maple trees in Toorak (you don’t get all that much per tree) for the syrup for the pancake stack for the following morning, for this very important occasion, their first wedding anniversary.
So here I am fat and exhausted and determined never to buy another French cuff shirt for the rest of my life.

Mini Camp
On February 20 and 21 RRC will be holding a mini rowing camp for all crews. We have a guest coach, Geoff Perry (AKA Pugs) coming from Adelaide to work with all crews and coaches. You will find it a very valuable two sessions, and your coaches are keen to work with Pugs while examining your rowing skills from the comfort of their tinny.
So now is a good time to work out nicknames for each other so they will be well settled in before he arrives. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if he arrived and heard us calling each other by our first names, hardly sporting. If you don’t get nickname or can’t remember someone else’s, then make it up, just make sure you look directly at the person you are talking to (point if necessary).
Camp is going to be on the Maribyrnong and each crew will need to be available for one two-hour session on each of the two days. (Bring your club lock)
Annalise and Nicole are currently working out a schedule for the two days. They would like you to make your crew’s sessions a priority, however, if you have something particularly important to attend at some point during the weekend (eg an appointment with the AIS or your own wedding anniversary), please let your coach know, and we will try to schedule your crew in for an optimal time.
There will also be a club dinner on Saturday night. This is not by any means compulsory but you may like to share dinner with your fellow Tigers (Stevo, Beavo, Snake, Onion, Chicken, Erglover, Puggies Girl) and Pug at the pub (location to be announced).
Boatloading will be on Friday at 6pm at the shed and Sunday at 7pm also at the shed. Basically you need to
Boatload Friday 6pm
Row Saturday 2 hours
Optional Pub Dinner Saturday Night
Row Sunday 2 hours
Boat unloading Sunday 7pm
And we all know how good boatloading is for practice in house moving and also interior design. I had a picnic the other day and just carried the fridge outside and used an extension lead. Easy, felt as light as a feather. Hot night tonight, so I think it’s put it in the bedroom with the door open. Options are endless.

Feeling like a weakling at boatloading? Cox always pulling hard on the side you’re not rowing on? We can help. Also boxercise is back on Monday at 6:20 with John Vickory (Tyronne’s Dad).

Brawn and Brains?
The Pres has posted a notice on member news re the upcoming trivia fleet fundraiser. It will be a fundraiser and christening of the new boats. (MTM – Mother To Mother and Orlando) that evening. Any other suggestions? The Freddo Muncher? Faster than we Look, Too Lazy to Swim, Used to have Pudgy Arms, Never Sleep In.
Sprint races
Club sprint races are on this Sunday. The format is 4 x 350m sprint plus finals.  This is a great chance to practice your starts for all upcoming regattas.  Rowers please let your coaches know by Wednesday morning if you are interested in participating.  To make races go smoothly all rowers need to be at the club changed and ready to row at 9:45 am.  As always, there will be brunch post racing.  If you don’t have a coach and want to race email the boss and she will put you in a crew.
Crews for states have been set and the RRC contingent looks awesome … More info to come later in the week.
Girl Talk
My welder broke last week (and it’s going to take Sarah a week to fix it), Joe and I are fixing up Arnie’s old ford, does anyone else have one they can lend? We’re entered in a drag on Saturday night at Sandown, Susie I know you need yours this week, maybe one of the other girls? Let me know.
PANT (PA to Nicoles Tudka, previously PA to JK until she was transferred to the Darwin Oar Rowing Society and now champions the DORC’s up there)