Richmond takes on our northern neighbours in the NSW Club Championships

Twenty five members of the Richmond Rowing Club travelled to Sydney last weekend to compete in the Edward Trickett (NSW Club Championships Regatta).
The regatta – named after Australia’s first World Champion (in any sport), Edward Trickett who won the World Single Scull Championship in June 1876, was being held for the fourth time attracted over 530 entries from  clubs throughout New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria (with Richmond being the sole Victorian club).
The weather on the first day (Saturday) was perfect for racing with sunshine and slight tail wind conditions producing fast times and amazingly competitive racing across all categories. The sunshine was out again on the Sunday but there was also a head wind that increased in intensity throughout the day pushing the times out and making it tough for all of the competitors.
Richmond crews performed extremely well over the weekend winning one gold, one silver and two bronze medals over the two day regatta.

Richmond Women take out the Bronze medal in the Female D Grade Eight at the NSW Club Championships

The Women’s D grade eight stroked by Laura Schouten started the medal count by picking up the bronze medal in the first day of the regatta missing out on silver in a photo finish to Leichardt and St George. In an extraordinary close race, the girls were brilliant to hold their nerve in the first of many close finishes for the club over the weekend.
Sam Morrison produced a brilliant third 500 metres in his 2000 metre race to row from fourth to second to pick up a silver medal in the Men’s B grade single scull behind promising Mosman junior sculler Jay Ditmarsch.
The final medal on the first day, a bronze, was won by the Men’s D grade four rowing the James Butcher – the only wooden boat seen at the regatta. The crew stroked by Jonathon Downie were second until the final 100 metres of the 1000 metre race but were unable to hold out the fast finishing crew from Canberra.
The second day brought the club’s only gold medal of the regatta with Laura Schouten winning the Women’s C grade single scull in one of the best performances seen by a Richmond sculler in a number of seasons.
Laura showed great determination in the tough head wind conditions to over haul Hunter Valley sculler Rebecca Humphries in the third 250 metres of the 100 metre races to take the gold medal by just under three seconds.
There were many highlights for the weekend and some of the best rows by Richmond crews came from crews that didn’t feature on the podium.
The men’s eight were unlucky in the C grade eight to finish fourth in a race where the only 1.47 seconds separated the first five places. The men’s eight again showed their ability in the B grade eight against Sydney and Mosman. Sydney featuring a number of former representative rowers, blitzed the race to finish 22 seconds in front of the other two crews Mosman and Richmond.
The real race however was for second place between the Richmond and Mosman. Richmond lead Mosman for the first 900 meters of the race but were unable match the power of the highly fancied Mosman crew in the second half of the race finishing one and a half boat lengths behind in third to miss out on their chance to claim a medal for the weekend.
The Richmond women’s crews again showed their class in a number of races and had some unfortunate luck in the D grade four where equipment failure in the James Butcher pushed them from a good second to fourth in the final stages of their hotly contested final.
I have been privileged to be a part of a great weekend with the club. The regatta was superb and being able to row on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Rowing course was a great experience. The standard of racing was excellent, especially in the C & D grade sculling events and the Richmond crews that competed were extremely competitive which is a credit to the coaches who assisted in preparing the crews for weekend.
Huge thanks to the Schouten family who towed the trailer up from Melbourne (and back), and to all the Richmond rowers and supporters that attended the regatta and cheered on the Richmond crews over the weekend. Also a big thanks to the multiple cooks who kept us all well fed throughout the weekend, to the chiropractors who worked on our ITB’s and to Rowing NSW who put on a great regatta in an incredible venue. See you all again next year.
PS – Joe’s chocolate brownies are so good that single males who have tasted them will be lining up to propose.
Simon Crunden