2021 Victoria “eights challenge”

2021-11-27 was the Victoria “eights challenge”  to replace the Head of the Yarra this year as Melbourne & Australia emerge from covid restrictions. It was very fast racing conditions with high tide, fast water, and a strong tailwind down the course from Powerhouse to the Judges box. A blustery, sunny day for racing.

Testosterone was running high in the pileup of long boats in the narrow above Big Bend getting the 60’s bow numbers sorted from the 40’s.

It was the last of the D grade eight racing with the new Rowing Victoria grade change. The powerwashing happening at the front of MRC’s renovation was a lowlight, Kathy doling out gummy worms after the race was definitely a highlight. 

Three Richmond eights after the race. Photo: Will Golding

Richmond vs. Richmond in the MD8+:

Men’s D8+ coxed by Derek Begg. Photo: Steve Sheppard

Cox: Derek Begg
Jack Hellerstedt
Pavel Oborin
Ben Wardle
John Carey
Michael Gehling
Jon Roberts
Allan Randall
Kim Begelhole
First place, 11:23.29

We made the HoTY ‘gram.

Men’s D8+ coxed by Kathy Macrow. Photo: Steve Sheppard

Cox: Kathy Macrow
Dennis Beck
Leigh McKee
Alex Pupko
Tim Gruner
Richie Healy
Ryan Simmons
Keith Wong
Redmond Skelton
Second place, 12:15.06

Women’s C8+

Women’s C8+ coxed by Mike Numa. Photo: Steve Sheppard

Cox: Mike Numa
Kate Dyball
Karen Doggett
Chelsea Crouser
Kirsty Fergie
Lily Innes-Irons
Zoe Maxwell
Michelle Joy
Alex Huang
3rd place, 11:42.5

John Carey getting his D-grade medal from coxswain Derek Begg. Photo: Will Golding

Richmond were also represented in the masters, with Ray Dennis rowing with Banks in the MMI+ (1st place, 15:08.85) and our own president Gerry Goss rowing in a multi -club composite in the FMF+ (1st place, 13:33.7).

The fastest time down the course was the men’s open eight Mercs/ Sydney composite with a blistering 9:15.32 aided by a pair of ex-Olympians in 7&8.

College rowers in April and May

Training for the intercollegiate regatta recommences on Saturday 22nd of April after the Easter break culminating with the regatta day on the 6th of May.
It’s worth noting that whilst some crews are ex-school rowers with plenty of experience many have never rowed before and will be getting a crash course in sweep rowing before competing in that first regatta in two weeks.
This year RRC has leased the Schouten Family and the Jennifer Campbell out to the college crews exclusively along with the timber veneer Croker oars. These boats have now been blocked out for booking until after the 6th of May. We will also loan the Ambush on an ad-hoc basis until that crew’s boat is available at MUBC next week.

Crews leasing RRC boats are from University and Queens Colleges and MLC are leasing to Ormond and Trinity. With RRC and MLC leasing fleet to the intercollegiate rowing this year there will be between 50 and 70 odd new faces around the club when you add rowers, coxswains, coaches, reserves and friends. That’s a lot of potential new members so make them feel welcome.
The college crews predominantly train weekday mornings but I suspect they’ll be trying to get a few extra sessions in over the weekend and through to ANZAC day now the enforced Easter break is over. Those using RRC boats have been reminded to use the log book but even RRC’s experienced members forget sometimes so check the boats are all on the racks before you lock the RRC shed up.
More information on the intercollegiate various sports including rowing can be found here:
The girls from the Victorian Pathway Team eight have also been boating out of the MLC shed over the last week and will be attending Time trials over the next few days in Penrith. RRC wish them luck.