An insight into what its like to be an Olympian

Drew Ginn is updating his blog sharing a few lines on what it is like to be involved in

the biggest sporting show on earth…..OK the second biggest.

Jump in and have a look, as it provides a great insight into gearing up for the event. It should get a little more interesting over the next 48 hours leading into the finals and a showdown with the British and USA fours.

Go Drew!

Nick & Christine in Europe

Christine and Nick have been travelling around Britain and The Netherlands, meeting up with a R.R.C member and rowing with other clubs.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Anne Carter who is attending Oxford University for a second year. Anne kept up her rowing last year being part of her University College Boat Club. Unfortunately, Anne doesn’t think that she will have the time to commit to rowing this time around.
Although we only had a short time in Oxford, Anne showed us around many colleges and was able to take us to places no tourist gets to see. We were so pleased to meet up with Anne and enjoyed our time with her.
While staying in London we were able to row with Twickenham Rowing Club. Twickenham Rowing Club is situated on Eel Pie Island on The Thames. Eel Pie Island has quite a long history especially more recently in the 1960’s and 70’s. Twickenham Rowing Club built their first clubhouse on the island in 1861. Access to the island is only by footbridge. We received a very friendly welcome from our other crew members and were informed that everyone wears gumboots until in the boat. We were able to borrow from an array of fashionable colored gumboots. Trying to balance a boat while taking off gumboots and stashing them was not done as elegantly as those who have had plenty of practice.
We had a great row up to Teddington locks before turning around a heading down stream to Richmond Bridge. We stopped every now and then to look at the sights along the river. Our crew members, John and Dennis, were perfect hosts and we thank them very much.
We went to Amsterdam to stay with our son and while there we rowed with the K.A.R. & Z.V. “De Hoop”. Their membership is about 900 and their boatshed was rather amazing with so many boats of all descriptions including boats with collapsible rigging for navigating through skinny arches.
Nick went out in a quad and headed inland rowing past many boathouses and buildings before coming to a pinnacle signaling the end of the city continuing through fields and past windmills. Christine joined her crew to row a skiff which was placed on a trolley and wheeled down to the water, one advantage of living in a country that is dead flat. Rowing down river to the canals of Amsterdam fitting though tiny bridge arches, passing theatres and museums and feeling like you are in a peapod when next to those massive barges on the river.
After our row we joined everyone for freshly made cappuccinos, etc. in the clubhouse and heard how on Hitler’s orders all boathouses in Amsterdam were demolished because of their strategic positions along the river and many other stories including their international rowing in Europe, USA and recently in Queensland.
Great times. Great people.

Bairnsdale camp this weekend

This weekend sixty two members of the Richmond Rowing Club are heading to Bairnsdale to take part in the annual training camp.
The three day camp promises to be a grand blister filled occasion with members rowing up to four sessions a day including a 20km epic to the ‘sandy cliffs’ on the picturesque Mitchell River.
Friday is expected to be the pick of the days with a forecast top of 25 with sunshine in the morning before clouds move in late in the afternoon.
The forecast of showers and rain on the Saturday is not expected to dampen the enthusiasm of the crews but it will no doubt have the coaches reaching for their wet weather gear in an attempt to stay dry and focused during the sessions.
The rain is expected to clear on Sunday when crews are expected to make their journey to the sand cliffs and take part in the traditional club races in what will be the last rowing session of the camp.
Hostilities will resume on the Saturday night in the annual box biting championship where a new champion will emerge due to the non appearance of last years winner Emma Catford.
Runner up of last years box biting competition (and Emma’s house mate) Fanzi Locher, has been secretly training over the past 12 months to refine her technique in an attempt to make up for the disappointment of last years defeat and is expected to be the one to beat on Saturday night.

Congratulations Martin and Nicole

…on arrival of first child.
I found the below in my files, have no idea idea who originally wrote it and for whom (honestly not me), but seems appropriate!
Rowers make better parents: As parents of an infant:

  • They understand sleep deprivation
  • They are unfazed by incessant crying and whining (a skill developed after years of ignoring coxes and coaches)
  • Immune to the horrors of nappy stench, thanks to years of training with other gross stinky people

As parents of an impressionable teenager:

  • Will ensure their child doesn’t contribute to the obesity epidemic, by teasing it about its skinfolds and how it will never make lightweight in a million years if it keeps on inhaling those lettuce leaves.
  • But will also make child feel better about its own image, by proudly parading his/her middle-aged body around in form-clinging lycra. Especially when child’s friends come over to visit.
  • Will be cool about child testing boundaries and experimenting with alcohol and drugs (“You passed out after how many drinks? You’ll have to do better than that if you ever want to do a Rutherglen regatta”).

Jim Cooper

Presentation Night – Oh what a night….

Oh what a night…late December 1963…oh, sorry, mid July 2010. I was just having a flash back to my Uni days of awards dinners and late night dancing…good times
What a difference a month makes!
Having braved the cold night and wandered (or tottered for those of us in heels) up Swanston street in search of Gate 6 at Melbourne Uni, we were rewarded with Emma’s warm greeting and the very welcoming bar staff at Tsubu. And who knew just how glamorous our club could be….75 Richmond Rowers left the lycra (and woolly knits) at home and showed that it is not just the Men’s crew who know how to strut their fashion sense (or bulging biceps).
Having finally recognised all the members of my squad (sorry about that Kelly), remembered just how tall Tams, Em and Karen are even without 4 inch heels and given/received a great round of hugs from the long lost non-winter rowers, tables were selected and we all settled in. And the Japanese food extravaganza began. Oysters, sushi and gyoza, were all demolished in record time and then it was onto the main stage for the whole point of the shindig…presentations.
The first presentations were made to the Club Time Trial Winners.
Rachel Button took out the women’s tub scull
Sam Morrison the men’s tub scull
Geraldine Goss and Susie B the women’s tub pair
Martin Foster and Dennis Beck in the men’s tub pair
Half of Franzi’s boys lead by Charlie took out the Men’s tub 4
Rochelle Stokes, Anthea Amos, Karen Doggett, Susie Ballentyne (Mike Numa) took out the Women’s tub 4
The DS led the charge on the coaches presents with Denise Castro presenting wine and to Justin and Comedy Room tickets to the squad of coaches who have been supporting him over the last few months and la Plonketts making a special award to Kev.
With everyone duly celebrating and exclamations made over how we would have done better time trials if we had only just sorted out a crew and actually done the race, it was on to main course. Wagu, wine, wagu, beer, chicken, potatoes, wagu, beer, did I mention the wagu? It was obvious the Men’s squad had influenced the menu and we loved their work! Fabulous!
As the meat coma settled in it was time for the rest of the coaches’ presents. While Barry and Simon scored night passes to Mens Meatfest 2010 at La Luna (date still to be confirmed), Kev got a chunk of GPS, while Derek and Mike got some beautifully wrapped items (code for the beer was now adding to the meat coma).
Now the club has some big awards they make every year for people who have made significant contributions over the year both in rowing and other activities to support the club.
Big awards for the night
Simon highlighted the amazing achievements of club members in the last year presenting a series of new photographs commemorating this year’s achievements to grace the club walls;
Geraldine Goss, Carolyn Manning and Ray Dennis for their achievements at the 2010 Australian Masters Championships;
Team Richmond and their achievements at the 2009 World Master’s Games in Sydney;
Laura Schouten for her brilliant row in the single scull at the NSW Club Championships in Sydney; and
Emma Catford, Dennis Beck, Martin Foster and Nicole Stupka for their two year reign as Australian Masters Champions in the mixed quad scull (2007/08)
The major club awards were then presented to:
Don Edwards Trophy (Coxes): Derek Begg
John Sawyer Trophy (Womens’ Trophy): Geraldine Goss – was there anything she didn’t compete in this season?
Having been warned by Simon a few months ago that there was serious competition for the Mal Scott, in the end it was a three way (be still my beating heart!) between Barry Campbell, Sam Morrison and Dennis Beck
President’s Award: Simon Crunden
Then it was on to the year in photos. Collated by Karen Doggett, she had carefully pulled out all the shots where our rowing was less glamorous and focusing instead on all of the champagne rowing moments both on and off the water.
With the formal celebrations over, the camp seems to split in two, those whose only aim was to find a bed (any bed) and those who were set on dancing (or at least talking) the night away. While we missed out on the bands, we got the best of Melbourne’s lane way bars culminating in what I understand to be a RRC tradition, KFC at 3am and the long walk home. When are the bunk beds going to be installed in the sheds?
In closing I would like to propose a new post-presentation night award for bravery and sheer hardcore attitude. For while many of us were nursing hangovers or still walking home, Franzi’s Men’s 8 were out training on Sunday morning – and she isn’t even in the country! Well done boys, we expect to be celebrating your great regatta triumphs next presentation night!
To Emma and everyone who attended the evening, thanks so much for a fantastic night and see you all at camp in October!
Please note: no responsibility is taken by the author for any factual inaccuracies, it is how presentation night happened on her world, your world may have experienced a slight time shift or altered reality on the night in question.
PS – Jim is an awesome MC if you are thinking of getting married at some stage soon.
Sally McArthur

RRC Metro Men

The Men of Richmond Model for the Herald Sun Weekend Magazine

The men of Richmond have ‘slipped into preppy v-necks, new look wind cheaters and knits so chunky you could eat them’ according to the Herald Sun’s weekend magazine.
Johno Downie, Nick Schouten, Martin Foster, Andrew Smith and Sam Morrison looked very much the part modeling a ‘stylish’ range of winter wears for designers Kosi Kosi, Jack London, Leopold, Britten and Trimapee.
The article quotes all of the lads with Andrew stating that his jumper was slightly strange – ‘I’m not sure of the reaction I get in the clubrooms – but it’s warm and comfortable. Something I could think about wearing after rowing’ he said.
The opening paragraph sets the scene on the Yarra on a cold winters night:
‘Backs straining and biceps bulging, the power down the Yarra on a winter’s night. And when their oars finally come to a rest on the river’s edge and they haul themselves out of their boats, members of the Richmond Rowing Club rug up fast in winter jumpers.’

ASF Tax Deductible Donations

Hi everyone,
It’s coming up to the annual tax deadline and is the traditional time for making some tax deductible donations. We are asking all members to make a donation before 30 June to support the club’s fundraising this year.
Through the Australian Sports Foundation Richmond Rowing Club has two registered projects that members are able to make tax deductible donations to:
Project no. 981861 for Fleet Renewal: This year we spent $22,000 on new fleet and over $12,000 on fleet maintenance. Fundraising is essential for the club to keep its fleet on the water.
Project no. 981860 for the Boathouse Redevelopment: The upcoming redevelopment will cost the club approximately $25,000 in architect and legal fees before our partner, MLC’s, funding for the actual building kicks in, plus we will need to purchase new racking systems for our boat bays.
It’s so easy you can do it now!
1. Go to
2. Print the form for the project you wish to support and fill it out
3. Post the form to the address shown on the form
Please ensure the form will be received by RRC as soon as possible and BEFORE 30 June otherwise your donation may be registered in next financial year.
Thank you in advance for supporting your club!
RRC Committee
Please note:
The Australian Sports Foundation Ltd. (ASF) was established by the Australian Government to assist organisations to raise funds through public & corporate donations for the development of sport in Australia. Pursuant to the ASF’s listing in the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997) (div 30, S 30-90), donations of $2 or more to the ASF are tax deductible.
Donors must contribute unconditionally to the ASF to claim a tax deduction, however the ASF’s structure makes it possible for a donor to nominate a registered project as the preferred beneficiary of their gift. Richmond Rowing Club Inc. – Boathouse Redevelopment Appeal, project no. 981860, is registered with and conducted under the charter of the ASF.
All claims are subject to being accepted by the Commissioner of Taxation. If either an individual or business is uncertain of their position they should seek their own professional advice.

Richmond Brings in the Big Bucks

On Saturday 20 March the RRC hall was full of budding trivia nuts all wanting to take out the brainiest rower award and look after ‘Wiki the Wombat’ (mascot) until the next battle of the brains in 2011. With 69 people jostling for position and Justin Thomas as Quiz Master, it was going to be a tough evening.
The quiz night, also known as the ‘fleet fundraiser’, was the first of the 2010 fundraising initiatives for RRC and as the title would suggest was all about raising money to help fund equipment purchases.  Last year the club was able to buy a new Tub Four with the money raised through the quiz night and plenty of chocolates sales.  This was a welcome addition to the fleet and used across all squads and in particular the development squad, who have already picked up some wins and close seconds in it.
The small organising committee, comprising Justin Thomas and Emma Catford, set their ‘stretch target’, for both participants and money raised, only to be blown away on both counts on the night.  A total of $5,499 was raised through a combination of entry fees, auction items and a few games – this is almost $2000 more than what we achieved in 2009. A pretty staggering amount for what was also a fun social evening too.
Justin prepared 5 rounds of questions, testing both right and left brain and well as general capacity for retaining info from trashy magazines; and with only one yellow card issued for the night he had the crowd well under control.  The wooden spoon after a few attempts to award it to other teams was won by Oarstentatious who also won best decorated table – by a mile.
Although they lucked out on the trivia questions their physical prowess didn’t let them down with both winners of the physical challenge coming from that table. David Hepworth beat his younger competitors by pumping out 45 push-ups and Deb (who also won last year) held a brace position for 4.17mins, knocking out 8 other women to take the honours’.  The prize for best team name went to the ‘Unlikely Suspects’, however the full glory all went to Sunglasses@Night who snuck into 1st place, by half a point, ahead of the ‘Dennis has bony girl arms’ team.
Special thanks goes to all those that donated items for the auction, in particular Sally Allen for putting up the use of her Eco-Friendly Lodge in Gippsland which went for $900; and ‘Chef’ Shirley who offered her services to cook a spectacular meal for 10 people – this fetched $500.
Big cheer also for Mieke for doing much of the behind the scenes work both before and on the day, Justin for all the questions and hosting the evening, Jim for taking the place as Auctioneer, Rachael and Sally for marking the quiz, Yarra Yarra for lending us the tables and to all those that moved them up and down boathouse drive.
So I hear you saying what’s next? Similar to last year the club is also running a Chocolate Drive which is being coordinated by Susie, Karen, Rosie and Rochelle. Order forms can be picked up at the club and need to be completed and returned by next Wednesday – 24 March.  The chocolates will arrive the following week and can be picked up from the club.
The next RRC social event and celebration of achievements will be in June for the end of season presentation night. More details regarding the event, including cost and venue, will follow shortly.
Well done tigers

Wiki the Wombat

The fleet fund-raiser night is just days away but who’ll be there and who will win the various prizes?
Sally Allen will be bringing a large party who will be looking to defend their best decorated table title but Tamara’s team have sent me a ‘text of intent’ on this issue.  The funniest name competition is fairly open but this year Jim Cooper will be amongst us; Jim is a former scribe and currently makes his money as a corporate apologist and has some talent in creative composition.
The main prize for winning the quiz will be a bit different this year.
Inspired (if that is the correct word) by the infamous toilet seat prize at the Mildura inter-club talent competition, Emma commissioned me to find a suitable prize that can be presented to the winners each year at the quiz.  What the prize was up to me but given the event is a fund-raiser it had to fulfil a crucial criterion, it had to be cheap.  As it is I decided to purchase Wiki the wombat out of my own cash starved wallet but the prize will be there, the winners will look after Wiki for a year, but who will they be?
Last year Derek Begg captained a UN team of Aussies, Canadians and the club’s only Swede to a tremendous victory.  Before the quiz I suggested to Derek that his team might be undermanned but his response was short and accurate “We are not many, but we are enough” or something slightly less dramatic.
But this year could be different, there are some new kids on the block, there will be half a dozen Phds in the house, three architects, three lawyers, two vets and enough IT geeks to re-launch Microsoft.  Katie Kandalaars with her fellow DS girls will be there and will certainly be looking to get one over the DS men, or as they are popularly titled “Franzi’s boys”.
Franzi herself was missing last year along with her old buddy Julia due to a mysterious problem with their car.  Derek’s team members have never denied sabotaging it, probably because no one has ever asked them if they did.   Will their presence this year alter they outcome?
To quote one of my heroes, Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, “We shall see”.
Justin Thomas