State Champs Round Up with Jim Cooper

Another year, another successful state champs campaign for Richmond Rowing Club. While no crew took home a state champs title, we finished the weekend with three silver and one bronze medal, and with practically every boat class making finals and putting up strong, competitive rows. Given the early date for states this year, and limited preparation, the coaches were very satisfied with the calibre of weekend’s performances, setting us up with a solid platform for the rest of the racing calendar, culminating in our April trip to Penrith.
Difficult windy conditions on Saturday saw solid finals results for our single scullers (Sam, Carolyn, and Gerry) and our female double scull (Rosie and Rachael). Our powerhouse female D grade four overcame an injury-affected preparation to finish fourth in their A final – a really solid effort for the girls in their first state champs appearance.
Our men’s D grade eight brushed off a few technical issues (namely leaving their boat riggers in Melbourne) to finish just out of the medals in their final.
Sunday dawned with calmer conditions and more solid racing. Our B-grade men’s quad rowed a great first 300 metres in their 2km final, then wished they’d done more training. However, they held it together and put in solid row that hold lots of promise for future male quadliness.
Our girls did the club proud on Sunday, stepping onto the podium to grab silver in the quad scull (all-too-close to gold), the tub pair, and the D eight.
And in a stunning display of organisational brilliance, our men’s C-grade eight managed to:

  • Tell a crew member the wrong start time for their heat, resulting in him being 40kms from the course at race time.
  • In choosing a rower to impersonate the missing man, they selected a guy who not only took the boat out of C-grade class, but who is on first-name basis with Rowing Victoria regatta official.

Despite the palaver, the boat rowed hard and well, making the finals. With the final approaching, the cunning rower swap was noticed by about 70 Rowing Victoria officials. Rules meant the crew technically would not be allowed to row the final. Men’s squad coach Simon Crunden approached race officials and did his best to explain the crew’s actions and thinking (ie, my squad are a pack of idiots). He returned to tell the crew that after some haggling, we were allowed to row the final.
Simon wouldn’t tell us exactly what he had to do to get this concession, but in an unrelated development, his eldest child has been renamed Rowing Victoria Crunden. Say it a few times, it grows on you.
Anyhow, the guys took out a bronze in the final and have been checked into a organisation development course.
So another fun campaign, and not possible without the dedication of our coaches and coxes. Big thanks also to Barry for getting our boats to and from the regatta, and to Dennis for coordinating boat hires and trailer loading.
See you all on the river.
Jim Cooper
RRC Results