May Madness and Merriment – A Weekend to Remember at RRC

Phase 1: Barwon Masters Regatta
Saturday 5th May saw a small contingent of 9 RRC rowers braving a breezy Barwon River for the GRA Masters Regatta. Charlie expertly towed the trailer, and Bec tried out her navigation skills behind her brand new P-plates.
With several masters rowers thinking that the trailer park was an excellent place to park – nice and close to the water – it took a few club Captains to channel their inner coxing voice and clear room for the queue of waiting trailers.
First off the start line for RRC was the male masters 4+ with Charlie, Gareth, Nigel and Michael finishing in 4th place.
Next the female masters coxed quad with Julia, Michelle, Corrine and Natalie.  Being the youngest average crew age in the race they faced an 8 second handicap… which they overcame to win the gold.  The girls then jumped out of the quad and split into the doubles to finish in some well fought minor places.
The boys then took on the novice quad and improved on their Albert Park results to finish a creditable 3rd.
YYRC then borrowed the lovely Bec who coxed their Novice girls to gold (and they were kind enough to give her back too).
With racing all done and dusted and the trailer packed, the chosen few headed home to Melbourne.  The youngest male members of the men’s masters crew were also taught a valuable lesson in shouting the trailer driver as well as themselves.  We shall say no more.
Phase 2: RRC Names the “Walter Lambert” and the “Don Dudgeon”
Sunday morning then dawned for club races, boat naming festivities and the final learn to row session for our latest recruits.
Club races saw two mixed quads race off in a best of three battle over the 300m course, with the finish line right outside the club house for the cheering fans. The winning quad consisted of Charlie, Aaron, Sarah and Kate K coxed by Rachael.
Next was the turn of the sweep rowers, with three highly competitive mixed fours also sprinting over the course for a best of three event.  Two out of three wins made Bev, Dylan, Lauren and Keska coxed by Leonie the victorious crew.
Following the races members and friends of the club, young and old, gathered to celebrate the naming of the two newest boat additions to our fleet. The boats were purchased thanks to the fundraising efforts of members last year at both the trivia night and the Bunnings sausage sizzle. Both boats were named in honour of great members of the club.
The “Walter Lambert” was named in honour of the club’s first Olympic representative. Walter represented Australia in the 1948 London Olympics and was recently inducted into the Rowing Victoria Hall of Fame. The coxed quad bearing his name was the boat proudly rowed to victory just one day previously by the Women’s master quad at Barwon.
The second boat, a coxed four, was named to honour the late Don Dudgeon. Don was a treasured member of Richmond Rowing Club who sadly passed away last year. He was not only a highly competitive rower, representing Victoria, but he spent many years serving as coach and mentor sharing his love for the sport of rowing. His contribution to Richmond Rowing Club as president, captain, secretary, treasurer and general committee member over several decades will not be forgotten and we were pleased to welcome members of the Dudgeon family to the ceremony to name the boat.
The day concluded with a spectacular spread of hearty home-made soups and cakes made by our very multi-skilled members and Ben opened the bar to all those wishing to toast to the newest additions to our fleet.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to making the weekend a huge success, with a special thanks to Derek for organising club races and Anthea for organising and co-ordinating the day on Sunday.
Barry & Karen