Victorian States Championships 2021

At the end of February the club headed to Nagambie with high hopes of a success and States taking place this year, one year on from a blown out States at Ballarat and a pandemic disrupted season.

There was a fantastic turn out of rowers at all levels from people competing the 2km course at open, a and b grade and the very competitive c and d grade events over 1km.

It’s fair to say that Richmond had amazing success with 9 Golds, 3 Silver and 6 third places which saw us come 5th overall in the medal table. Congratulations to all involved, athletes, coxswains, coaches and supporters.

A full list of medals is included below


FB2-     Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield

FB2X    Kate Dyball, Zoe Maxwell

FC2-     Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield

FD1X    Lily Innes-Irons

FD2-     Alex Kinsman, Lily Innes-Irons

FD4+    Alex Huang, Alex Kinsman, Chelsea Crouser (cox), Frederique Le Bescond, Melanie Perkins

FD4X+ Alex Huang, Frederique Le Bescond, Kathryn Spinnler-Jenkins, Sarah Houghton (cox), Victoria Petersen

FO2-     Kirsty Fergie, Xanthe Hadfield

MD8+   Ethan Lovett, Jack Austin, Jack Hellerstedt, Ka Ki Wong (cox), Kim Begelhole, Leigh Mckee, Matthew Lowe, Pavel Oborin, Richard Healy


FA2X    Kate Dyball, Michelle Joy

FD2X    Alex Huang, Victoria Petersen

MD4X+ Derek Begg/Zoe Kral (cox), Ethan Lovett, Jack Hellerstedt, Michael Gehling, Richard Healy


FA1X    Kate Dyball

FA4+    Chelsea Crouser, Derek Begg (cox), Melanie Perkins, Michelle Joy, Xanthe Hadfield

FD8+    Alex Kinsman, Chelsea Crouser, Dana Hill, Frederique Le Bescond, Kirsty Fergie, Lily Innes-Irons, Melanie Perkins, Will Golding (cox), Zoe Maxwell

FO2X    Kate Dyball, Michelle Joy

FO4X-  Karen Doggett, Melanie Perkins, Michelle Joy, Zoe Maxwell

MD4+   Derek Begg (cox), Ethan Lovett, Jack Hellerstedt, Pavel Oborin, Richard Healy

Thank you to John Carey and Jack Hellerstadt for their take on the weekend

Thursday boat loading

One last on-water session for the MD4x’s, some great race-pace action between the MD4x and MC4+ before finishing up the loading spearheaded by most of the women’s squad.


A day of rest, hydration and meandering gazes towards any stretch of water. Deep inflections of what it will take to win at Nagambie, which crews will we face up against and will I get an egg & bacon roll or venture towards the McGambie. 


See Friday…..


Perfect weather, pretty hot and rising already from quiet early.  No clouds no wind. Foxhole cafe just SW of the water tower is a must-stop on the way to the course. Offers a tiny slice of the Irish-Aussie experience, with the owner hailing from Monaghan.

Cheer squad extraordinaire featuring: Amy Catlin, Lachie Stewart, Charlotte North-Coombes, Shern Timmins, Roberts parentals and Basil (the dog, not our wonderful London-based former coach).

MD4+ Jack H/Ethan/Rich/Pavel/Derek was a four boat final with the school-boys taking it off the line from the start. Edged out Carrum to just make it onto the podium.

Egg & bacon eat your heart out. This year’s BBQ featured a top-shelf gourmet snag on the menu, beef or lamb, would love to see this appear as a regular event.

RRC MD4x+ were split across the two heats, hard fought for Matt/ Jack A/ Leigh/ Kim/ Christine (?) just missing the cut by 7 seconds.  Jack H/ Ethan/ Rich/ Mikey G with Banks guest coxswain Zoë Kral stayed on Melbourne for a comfortable second place ticket to the final.

RRC MC4+ Denis/John C/Liam/Jon R with Derek (cox) left in the dust by Ballarat Clarendon who stormed home in a blitz of backsplash, completing the 1,000m course in 3.02 minutes. The lads were happy with their own performance, coming 5th in a time of 3.23 minutes. 

The much anticipated M/F D8+ tête-à-tête had it all: yellow card for unlawful entry to the course, mid-flight cable repair to save Keith from having to race boxless, and the year-ten Carey Grammar crew first down the course by a comfortable 6 second margin to remind us that two coxed quads does not-quite make an eight.

Derek stepped back in for the MD4x+ final. It was anyone’s race for the first 500 with RRC trading in some grace for power at the start to stay in it, but Melbourne dug deep and couldn’t be caught. Satisfying second after seeing the late arvo heat catch up with Melbourne three-seat on the way back in.

Monday boat unloading

A largely uneventful affair with almost 2 trailer-loads of boats being unloaded in 56 minutes and 55 seconds.


33 athletes, 18 medals from 36 events, 9 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze.

5th in the overall medal table; just behind Uni Melb! Massive effort- go Richmond!

Victorian State Championships 2020

The majority of the club headed to Ballarat on Sunday for the Victorian State Championships. This was the culmination of many months of training and expectations were high as crews arrived early for the start of racing.
Dario had been competing on Saturday in the Lightweight Men’s Single, Lightweight Men’s Double and the Open Four. We heard about the great conditions and the unfortunate duck that got in the way of Dario’s oar as we rigged our boats. Unfortunately the conditions had deteriorated over the night with a strong cross wind causing issues from the start of racing.
Ally and Kirstie were first up for Richmond on Sunday in the C Grade double, rowing well and finishing 4th in their heat despite the conditions. They were quickly followed by Lily in the D Grade single, in the fastest of all the heats Lily finished third to just miss out on the final where the 2 rowers who finished before her in the heat took out the first two places in the final.
Allan and I made it through our heat in the C Grade pair, finishing 2nd to progress to the final. Keith started his D Grade Single heat well, but with the wind picking up through the second half of the race he was unable to progress to the final.
The women’s D grade 4+ of Amy, Chelsea, Pauline and Imogen, coxed by Pippa took to the course and finished 6th in their final as conditions continue to worsen, with gusts of up to 40km/hr recorded. Allan and I then raced our C grade pair final, finishing 6th while the commentator was heard to rowers surviving on the course.
The Men’s D grade 4+ of  Jack, Lachie, Richie and Pavel, coxed by Derek showed us how it’s done, powering through the conditions to pick up silver, our first medal for the day.

Michelle and Kate were next up in the Women’s A Grade Double, trying to retain their championship from 2019. In a very tight race impacted by the wind, they stormed home over the last 100 meters to push into first place and take out the win by 0.59 seconds.

Quickly following was Dario in the men’s B Grade single, leading for the majority of the race he was pushed hard over the closing stages but pushed on to win the gold by 1.7 seconds.

With conditions continuing to worsen, with white caps on the lake making getting to the start, racing and landing boats a real challenge for all crews RV called a one hour delay to the regatta. Unfortunately, with conditions set to deteriorate (winds of 50km/hr were recorded in the afternoon), the regatta was cancelled. Quick calls were made to the men’s 8+ who had yet to arrive to head back to Melbourne.
This was obviously disappointing for all competitors given the hard work training for the State Championships. Richmond picked up 2 gold medals and 1 silver on Sunday in 8 races before the regatta was cancelled. With many more medal chances in the afternoon this was looking to be a significant improvement on results from previous State Championships, but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully this will spur all the crews on to the remaining regatta’s for this season and start plans for next.
Those crews who didn’t get to race on the day were:
Female C Grade Quad – Michelle, Susanna, Dana, Sarah Houghton
Female D Grade Doubles – Ally and Kirsty, Shern and Sarah Hardy, Pippa and Kat, Lily and Gypsy
Male C Grade 4+ – Dennis, Dario, Allan and Jon, coxed by Derek
Male D Grade 8+ – Campbell, Alex Reid, Alex Pupko, Matt, Nathan, Hamish, Chen and Kim, coxed by Estelle
Female B Grade Double – Michelle and Kate
Female D Grade Pair – Amy and Chelsea
Female D Grade Quad – Pauline, Imogen, Sarah Hardy and Shern, Coxed by Stef
Female D Grade Quad – Ally, Kirsty, Gypsy and Lily, Coxed by Pippa
Male D grade Pair – Allan and Jon
Male C Grade Single – Keith
Male D Grade Quad – Jack, Lachie, Richie and Pavel, Coxed by Derek
Male A Grade Single – Dario
Congratulations all on a great season!!!
Jon Roberts

Victorian State Championships 2019

After a long season of training, the Victorian State Championships were held on 3 and 4 March 2019. Richmond were well represented across the day. With temperatures pushing 37 in the afternoon, the new tent was greatly appreciated and looked the envy of all clubs. However the heat was accompanied with strong winds in the morning making conditions tricky, especially for the smaller boats.
The heats of the women’s D grade singles were Richmond’s first events of the day. Competition was strong with 28 entries across 4 heats. Kate Riley, Rosie Dickson-Hoyle and Gypsy Shepherd were all competitive in their races with Rosie progressing from her heat to the final. As a recently joined member it was great to see Kate also backing this up later in the day in the C grade single.
As the morning progressed Dana Hill, Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Zoe Maxwell and cox Charlotte North-Coombes, took out Richmond’s first win of the day in the D grade women’s 4. A great effort in tough conditions with them leading throughout.

The men’s crews were up next with Alan Randall and Jon Roberts stepping up to compete in the men’s C grade pair. Competitive throughout they finished 4th in a strong field.
The men’s D grade 4 were up next, after a restart Andrew Yuile, Dennis Beck, Michael Calvert and John Carey, coxed by Derek Begg, finished strongly but just outside the medals in 4th place.
Michelle Joy and Kate Dyball finished Richmond’s involvement in the morning session in the A grade women’s double. Leading throughout in the 2km event Michelle and Kate brought home gold with a outstanding performance in this high quality event.

After a well-earned lunch break we were back in action with the events coming thick and fast. Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Zoe Maxwell, Kate Dyball and cox Michelle Joy represented the club in the heat of the highly competitive C Grade quad.
This was quickly followed by the D grade double with 2 crews of Gypsy and Rosie and Dana Hill and Louise Roberts-Bailey representing Richmond. Gypsy and Rosie won their heat, finishing just outside the medals with a 4th place finish in the final.
Allan Randall, John Carey, Dennis Beck, Andrew Yuile, and cox Charlotte North-Coombes were up next in the C Grade Four. Another strong field saw the crew finish just outside the medals again in 4th place.
The D grade women’s quad was up next Louise Roberts-Bailey, Dana Hill, Rosie Dickson-Hoyle, Gypsy Shepherd and cox: Charlotte North-Coombes made it through their heat into the final. In what felt like a theme for the day, the crew rowed well, but finished just outside the medals in fourth place.

Andrew Yuile and John Carey faced off against a Power House crew in the D Grade pair, taking out the gold medal by just under a second in a close race.

Dennis Beck was back in action in a single, competing in the C grade single late in the day.
The final medal for the day went to Sarah Houghton, Geraldine Goss, Kate Dyball, Michelle Joy and cox Derek Begg, in the B grade quad. Progressing well through their heat, they finished third in the final to pick up the bronze.

Overall a great performance by all involved, with huge thanks to our supporters and coaches that turned up on the day.

Victorian Masters State Championships 2018

written by Stefanie Dudczig


It was a sunny 12.3 degree celsius Saturday morning (it felt more like 6.2) when we arrived at Lake Nagambie for this years Rowing Victoria State Masters Championships. The weather was actually very kind to us with lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures later on in the day.

The racing started off with the Mixed Masters A-B coxed Four consisting of Morgan, Lindsey, Allan and John C., coxed by Derek. They crossed the finish line ahead of Powerhouse by 4 seconds, winning the first (and unfortunately only) Gold Medal for Richmond.

A mentionable race, but no medal involved, was the Male Masters C Eight against Cardinals. A club I’ve never heard of before but according to Kim they had crew members that rowed at the 1980, 1989 and 1991 National Championships in the Men’s Youth Four and Youth Eight.

The boys of our Eight (Dennis, Jon R., Allan, John C., Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob, coxed by me) did well and gave everything, but were unfortunately no match for them. Later we found out that the Cardinal Crew were only training for 14 months!!!!! prior to this event. We had 14 minutes to the start line and a borrowed boat with more spiders than people in it.

Another medal for Richmond came from the crew of Denis, Phil, Guy and Leigh, coxed by Christine in the Male Masters E coxed Four. They secured themselves a Bronze medal beating Bairnsdale and Melbourne Argonauts Composite crews.

More strong performances of Richmond crews included:

  • Christine, Morgan, Guy, Leigh coxed by Denis in the Mixed C Four

  • the Female Masters Club Eight with Yash, Jodie, Dana, Sarah, Christine, Morgan, Lindsey, Cat (Note: she just came to Nagambie for this race! Thumbs up!) and Derek (cox) trying to make up a 19 second handicap.

  • Male Masters Club Fours: Richmond-1 with Allan, Jon, Dennis, John, me (cox) and Richmond-2 with Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob and coxed by Shern (who also just came up for this race…. and the Tahbilk winery).

  • Karen and Michelle making it to the Final in the Female Masters A-B double scull

  • Female Masters A-B coxed Four with Sarah, Dana, Jodie, Yash and Derek (cox)

  • Female Masters Club Quad Scull: Richmond-1 with Michelle, Karen, Kate, Lindsey and Richmond-2 with Sarah, Dana, Jodie, Yash, coxed by Christine.

After a successful race day, Rowing Victoria invited everyone for free drinks to the finish line. They definitely didn’t spare on beers, wine and bubblies. Whilst most drove back to Melbourne for the night, some stayed at the Big4 caravan park in Seymour taking advantage of the walking distance to the Pub and the inflated jumping pillow after 6pm.


More racing followed on Sunday. It wasn’t cold, it was freezing!!! I finally gave up on squeezing my zootie over 10 layers and decided, that a black jumper with Richmond on the back was more appropriate than a bright orange jacked one of the other coxes were wearing. The sun was shining again, but this time with a bad cross wind. This made attaching the stern to the boatholders at the startline and staying in a straight line for the start quite difficult. Thanks to all the bow and 2 seat people for their endless tapping and backing.

The day started well with the girls of the Female Masters A-B Quad Scull (Michelle, Karen, Kate and Sarah winning) picking up silver, missing out on gold to the Victorian Nationals team.The Male Masters A-B coxed Four (Allan, Jon R., Dennis, John C., coxed by me) got Bronze by beating the second boat of the Argonauts, leaving Gold to Power House and Silver to the Argonauts first boat.

Bronze also for the Female Masters Club Four (Michelle, Karen, Kate, Sarah, coxed by Denis H). Their race had one boat on GO (Latrobe University G crew) and 7 crews with a 25 – 30s handicap. Our girls came solid third with only 1 second behind Melbourne University in second and 5 seconds behind Power House in first leaving two Melbourne crews, 2 Latrobe crews and Yarra Yarra  behind.

The probably most exciting and nerve-wracking race was the Mixed Masters A-B Eight. Michelle in stoke seat lead Karen, Kate, Sarah, Allan, Jon R., Dennis, John C and myself (cox) to a silver medal. Whilst sitting just slightly behind Melbourne for the first 600m of the race Michelle found the turbo button that made us zoom past them in the last 300m finishing in second place 4 seconds ahead of them. You should have seen their faces… shocked to see the Richmond crew overtaking them. Well done everyone!

A last bling for the day came from the composite crew with Latrobe University. The Mixed Masters F Eight with Leigh, Guy, Phil and Denis won silver beating a Argonauts composite crew by 5 second.

More great performances came from the following crews:

  • Male Masters E quad scull with Leigh, Guy, Denis and Phil

  • Male Masters A-B Eight (Dennis, Jon R., Allan, John C., Tim, Kim, Ray, Rob, coxed by me)

  • Male Masters Club Quad Scull (Kim, Alex, Ray, Rob coxed by Christine)

  • Female Masters A-B pair (Lindsey and Morgan)

  • Male Masters C coxed Four (Allan, Jon R., Tim and Dennis coxed by myself). This boy’s did a fabulous job staying next to Power House of the start. It looked promising until the steam started to run out after 250m…..

Check out all results, crews, handicaps  and times here:;regatta=3799;club=356


Kim our Richmond cameraman on site, was full in action taking footage of the mens Eight and Men’s four whilst racing. I’m pretty sure that we will see some of the actions shots at our soon upcoming presentation night.

Denis Henry is the man with the most medals won at this Regatta (silver and bronze for coxing, silver and bronze for rowing).

Allan and John C. managed to collect the complete set (one of each: gold, silver and  bronze).

Big “Thank you” goes to:

  • Phil, Kim and Christine for volunteering as Boat holders at the start line. Kim unfortunately missed out on this unique job as there were more than enough people in his session.

  • Leigh for pulling the trailer to Nagambie and back

  • Tim and Barry for organizing boats, crews, people and for being there for us.

Ahhh… and I nearly forgot one of the highlights of the whole Regatta: the BBQ food van. OMG! This brisket and pulled pork burgers were AMAZING! Ask John C. for the full tasting experience as he managed to sample everything. And I think we all agreed that the pulled pork loaded potato was the winner of the whole menu. We are looking forward to see them again at future regattas.

Victorian State Championships 2018

The pinnacle of the racing season arrived after weeks of on water training, ergos and circuits. The Victorian State Championships were held on March 3-4 this year on the ever-unpredictable waters of Lake Wendouree.
Squad training for the men’s and women’s crews started early this season, kicking off in earnest in December 2017 with a demanding training program overseen by Richmond’s Head Coach, Basil Amin.
Solid preparation paid dividends for all rowers who competed at the State Championships this year, with impressive individual and crew performances seen on both days of the competition.
The first day of racing saw Michelle Joy secure a convincing win in the D Final of the Open Single Scull event.
The women’s quad scull (Michelle Joy, Karen Doggett, Kate Dyball, Zoe Maxwell, coxed by Derek Begg) finished off their States campaign on a high. Keen to push the boundaries this year, the crew began their weekend of racing with a strong performance in the Open Coxless Quad Scull event. (The post race debrief with Basil about human stretching techniques to match the heights of the 6 ft. plus competition being (mostly) in jest).

The crew went on to secure a gold medal in the C Grade Coxed Quad Scull and silver in both the A Grade and B Grade Coxed Quad Scull events.

The men’s four (Allan Randall, Jon Roberts, Charlie Burke, John Carey coxed by Ally Dejaegher) added more silverware to the Richmond medal tally, with a nail biting performance in the D Grade Coxed Four. In a race which made for great viewing at the finishing line, the men finished less a canvass behind the winning Melbourne crew to claim a silver medal. The men went on to put in a good performance in the C Grade Coxed Four event later in the day.

The women’s quad (Edwina Griffiths, Shern Timmins, Jodie Naisbitt, Yash Vegi, coxed by Derek Begg) put in an impressive performance in the highly competitive D Grade Coxed Quad Scull event, finishing a close second in their heat and boat lengths ahead of nearest rivals, Footscray City and Hamilton & Alexandra.
Lindsey Brown and Morgan Chandler capped off a successful season at States, with strong performances in both the B Grade and C Grade Pair.
Sarah Houghton rounded out a successful racing season with second place in her heat of the C Grade Single Scull event – finishing a mere 0.7 seconds behind the winning boat. Sarah went through to the C Final and also raced the B Grade event.

With only a few practice rows under their belts in the weeks leading up to States, Rochelle Stokes and Edwina Griffiths and Andrew Yuile and Dennis Beck put in good performances in the D Grade Double Scull and the C Grade Pair, respectively.
It has been said that success is a journey, not a destination, and the 2018 season is a testament to the truism.
The rowers who represented Richmond at the State Championships achieved gains over the season as individual athletes and as crews. With many wins and close finishes in regattas in the weeks leading up to States and crews across the board stepping up to compete in divisions they had previously not thought possible – this season was a comprehensive success for Richmond Rowing Club.

For all this our thanks must go to those who worked tirelessly to make Richmond’s States campaign success a reality – especially our Head of Rowing, Tim Evans, Head Coach, Basil and Captain, Barry Campbell.
Thanks must also go to expert coxen’s Derek and Ally, who dedication and motivation each helped give their crews the winning edge this season.
Zoe Maxwell

Vic State Champs

I was plied with alcohol when I somehow agreed to write the States blog for Karen, hence its lateness, as I had forgotten all about it by the time we got back from Nagambie for boat unloading!
The early birds scored Richmond some serious bling- Geri and Ainsley a Gold in their C Double and the boys (Laurent, Dave, Jon and Allan), championed by Stef had their Gold stolen by a bow ball in the D Four. Still I think Silver suits them quite well. We love medals but we also love it when everyone gives their best and the girls from “the eight” (Boat one: Shern Timmins, Catherine Dorian, Zoe Maxwell, Gabriella Ibbott, cox Derek Boat two: Yash Vegi, Karin Bouvin, Edwina Griffiths, Jodie Naisbitt, cox Stef) had some fierce competition in the D Fours. All this success before I even rocked up after a blissful sleep in, around 11am, to assume my previously acquired position at States as #1 cheerleader (this year as Toms Tigers ailed crewmate).
Womens C2X goldMens D4+ states
Wouldn’t be a complete blog without an interlude about the weather!
It was a far cry from the previous regatta. The wind still blustered away but the sun shone fiercely with no rain to speak of.
The medal trend continued through the afternoon with the successful combination of Geri, Ainsley, Michelle and Karen earning Bronze in the final of the C Quad (coxed by Sue Andrews) and Gold in the 2000m B Quad first and final (coxed by Derek Begg).
Womens B4X states
The ladies Eight fought hard in their race, alas the competition was fierce with Powerhouse taking the win.
Toms Tigers (Lindsey, Morgan, Lisa and Carolyn, coxed by Derek) plowed through their heat to the hotly contested final, where there’s no doubt they left nothing in the tank making Coach Tom in his flash crew teeshirt pretty proud. The men’s pairs was a fun race to watch with Tim and Jon racing against Nic and Dave. It was a tough race with a pretty happy Tim and Jon getting the Silver. The Men’s Quad championed by double n Dennis had 50% of the original DEMN crew as Martin kindly stepped in to fill Charlie’s seat with Mike C and Andrew. Even Nicole was in the coxswain seat for the heat. They pushed through and collected a Bronze. Perhaps Martin might consider a come back after all!
Mens D2-MD4X+
All in all a pretty successful year at the 2017 Vic State champs for Richmond. Bring on masters season!
Sarah Houghton

Vic State Championships, 2016

The Day Dave Tried to Kill Me
Leaving behind the sights and sounds of my new home, Melbourne, we cruise our way towards Ballarat for the 2016 Victorian State Championships. Having only half prepared for the weather (packing a jumper was a stroke of genius) the first thing I noticed was the temperature and the wind. I don’t think anyone could have missed how cold it was.

Women's B Quad Champions
Women’s B Quad Champions

As I prepared myself mentally for my one race of the day, I witnessed some amazing performances from the Richmond team. The girls racing in B grade over 2km showed great skill, spirit and stamina. The highlight of which was Sophie, Michelle, Ainsley and Gerry coxed by Mike pulling away to victory over Melbourne in the quad scull, a crew against whom they had been battling with all season but waiting until the state championships to assert their dominance. Continue reading “Vic State Championships, 2016”