World Masters Rowing Regatta

A week after the opening of the new clubhouse, the highlights continue for the Richmond Rowing Club with a number of superb performances at the World Masters Rowing Regatta in Ballarat. Richmond was represented in 28 events, winning eight gold medals and a number of minor places to finish sixth overall in the medal tally.
Caroline Manning and Ray Dennis were the standouts for the club, winning three gold medals each over the four day regatta. Carolyn and tom
Caroline Manning won two golds in the B and D single sculls and one in a D composite quad sculls. Caroline was ecstatic with the results. “It’s not often that this happens in life, it is very special moment for me”, an emotional Caroline said after her win in the single scull. Caroline paid homage to her partner and coach Tom Appleby, saying she was grateful for the huge amount of time and effort he had invested to help her to prepare over the last six months leading into the regatta; “He has been remarkable”, she said.
On the first day of the regatta, Richmond lRay Dennisegend Ray Dennis picked up the clubs first gold medal in the I single scull against rowers from Australia, Germany, Japan and Great Britain. Ray won his second gold medal on day two in a I-K quad scull, and his third in the bow seat of a composite I-K eight on the fourth and final day. Ray was unlucky not to pick up a fourth gold medal but unfortunately, his pair partner had an accident putting the boat on the water forcing them to pull out of the event in which they were hot favourites.
Also on day one, Geraldine Goss picked up yet another gold medal at a major Masters regatta, this time in an E quad scull. Running late due to an eventful trip up from Melbourne, Geraldine only just made it to the start line in time for the race. Despite the rush, the crew were able to catch their breath before the start and managed to pull off a narrow win against a determined Essendon crew. One win was all Geraldine had time for, as she had to cut her regatta short to fly to Boston to join her crew to race in the Head of the Charles.
On day two, Alex Silber, a member of the club for over fifty years, won his H single scull in rather dramatic circumstances. Alex struggled in the heavy conditions finding himself in last place at the halfway point of his race. However, Alex found his form as the conditions flattened out towards the shelter of the finish, and proceeded to row through the field to win by two seconds, and in the process, pick up the club’s third gold medal.
Richmond crews dominated the small boat racing throughout the regatta. Club President Karen Doggett, was pleased to see so many Richmond rowers competing and was particularly impressed with the club finishing sixth in the medal tally. “Another highlight was the large contingent of international crews, including a Japanese men’s eight that competed on Lake Wendouree during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics”, she said.
Head of Rowing Rochelle Stokes, was also very pleased with how the club performed. “The wins in the singles were a major highlight; the first time Richmond men and women have won single sculling races at the same World Masters Championship”, she said. Rochelle was also pleased to see so many members competing strongly in the Richmond colours in the extreme conditions experienced on the first two days of the regatta.
Finally, the quote of the regatta goes to Tamara ‘Tams’ Mayfield, who excitedly said before the start of the women’s B eight, “Have you seen the competition girls? We are going to smash this”! Moments later, a boat featuring a large number of the Australian women’s eight from the 2004 Atlanta Olympics rowed onto the course and onto the start. As they say, the rest is history.
Well done to all the crews that competed at the World Masters rowing Regatta and the many people who assisted the crews leading up to and during the event.
Simon Crunden