Well well well !!! What a great Easter break that was !
The Wentworth and Mildura regattas were surely one of the nicest and most enjoyable regattas I have got to experience.
Originally concerned by the driving (a good 7 hours), it became clear very early on the Friday morning that it would be a very exciting trip.
A few stops along the way for coffee, lunch and a beer at the Mildura Brewery Pub and there we were : Wentworth NSW!
Interesting fact, Wentworth is in NSW while Mildura is located in Victoria, separated by the Murray river.
Wentworth lies at the confluence of the Darling and the Murray rivers, the regatta taking place on the Darling.
The Darling Junction Motel, which is ideally located walking distance from the site where the regatta took place ,was exactly what you would expect from a Motel. Clean basic rooms and bathrooms, and a small pool to cool down after a hard day at the regatta. Perfect !
Time to relax, stretch the legs and enjoy the local life by heading straight to the Wentworth Royal Hotel in the town centre (no chance to get lost in Wentworth !) for a B&B experience (Beer & Bite).
What a delight to see all the Tigers having such a good time in that very typical country pub.
I discovered very quickly the limited range of beers available after asking for a Peroni at the bar. The lovely lady stared at me with a questioning face and asked me to repeat the name of the beer a couple of times. For a minute I thought it was my strong french accent but she actually did not know this brand. With a large smile, she prompted me to choose from one of the few Australian beers available at the tap. So I did and we became the best friends !
Dinner time arrived and we all moved from the beer garden to the dinning area, enjoying company, wine, beer and food. A delightful first evening in Wentworth.
D Day arrived ! 1st regatta : Wentworth. – 1000m races
A beautiful early fresh start to the day. Absolutely beautiful scenery with the Wentworth Rowing Club nestled on the edge of the Darling river and the village literally sitting one street behind.
The coffee and ice cream vans were already there and Wentworth RC had set up the breakfast/lunch stand (steak sandwich, bacon and egg rolls, fruit salads …).
The friendly organisation of the Regatta really gave a good vibe and dynamic to the whole event . Smaller than most events, I would almost be tempted to call it in a very positive way, the « Boutique » regatta.
18 Tigers participated over the next 2 days of racing, with Yennie, Anh and Kenny in the background making sure that coffee and catering remained at acceptable standards. I got the feeling Little Yennie tried every single sugar based substance available around the whole town. Each time I turned round, she was negotiating with a new flavour of some sort ! But most importantly she helped dramatically to keep the spirits up and some of us quite busy… Susanna ? Theresa ?… Thank you Yennie ☺
Sarah is on the water. She is the first Tiger to go out. Confident. Smiley. First heat in the Female D Grade Single Scull won against Bendigo and Wentworth.
Same good effort in the final where Sarah led and won against Hawthorn.
First Medal for the weekend !!! Bravo Sarah !
The 2nd Medal came to the MD8+ competing against the Mildura Composite FM8+.
Unfortunately both crews had no one else to compete against in their category so it was decided they would race against each other… both being winners, whatever the outcome.
The MD8+ had nevertheless a very nice, comfortable row.
A medal is a medal after all… and the only one I brought back home over the 2 days racing.
Races kept going , unfortunately with no further medal for the Tigers but good results and efforts.
It was nice to see Tim and Jon going out in a MC2-.
Considering they hardly ever trained together, especially in a pair, they both had an oarsome good row.
Out for a good race, Sarah and Shern won the heat In the FD2X and came 2nd in the final against Bendigo Mildura and Essendon.
For some reason, they had both decided to have an extra row in between the heat and the final.
Thinking the next race (final) was on, they presented themselves at a deserted start lane – no other contestants to be seen…mmmm.
No one knew what was happening and all Tigers were shouting across and supporting the Richmond crew while cruising pass towards the finish line.
It seemed quite bizarre to see Sarah and Shern so relaxed with no other competing crew to be seen around until we discovered they were way over 30 minutes ahead of schedule for their race ☺.
They were surely far more challenged at the final but still with an excellent result at the 2nd place … 30 minutes later.
All other crews did extremely well with many arriving 2nd. Not enough to bring a medal back, but all done in such a good spirit. Well done Tigers !
With a more than civilised and respectful time to finish the first regatta (around 4pm), it was then time to relax and head back to the Motel for a quick jump in the pool ! Not a « quick » jump because we were running out of time for the restaurant but only because the water was sooooo cold !!!!
Dinner was organised by the friendly Wentworth Rowing Club.
Long tables were installed on the grass, in front of the club, overlooking the river with a beautiful sunset! Can this get any better ? well yes it can !
Wentworth Rowing Club had put together an absolutely amazing banquet to cater for everyone and every taste.
Countless delicious salads, meats and beautiful deserts were available for a small contribution of $25.!
Thank you Wentworth RC for the wonderful evening and Dennis for the nice « Thank you » speech to all the organisers and WRC on our behalf.
It was just a perfect way to close a nice warm and sunny racing day.
Shern, thank you for keeping up with this evening event and prompting the club to join. It was just a total enjoyable success !
D Day – 2nd Regatta Mildura – 500m races
The Mildura regatta was also hosted on the Darling River at the Wentworth RC which just made it so easy for everyone. No need to load and unload the boats and again, a short walk from the Motel. Just ideal.
It was agreed that Mildura and Wentworth would alternate each year to host the regatta. Next year, Mildura will host on the Murray river on both days.
Another sunny and warm day to come but with a rather chilly start though. Must have : a warm top and even warmer coffee.
Sarah will be once more the first Tiger on the water winning the heat and coming up 2nd on the final.
All the Richmond Tigers had a great row during the whole day with many crews arriving 2nd but unfortunately no medals.
The 500m race starting line was on the other end of the river (further down towards the Murray river). The course was a little trickier presenting a progressive long curve at about 100m from the start.
Many coxless crews got confused and crossed lanes (4 lanes), sometimes literally crossing pretty much the whole river !
Sarah and Shern were unfortunately one of the many crews to experience the treacherous course during the FD2X. The race was called off and crews had to race again.
It surely did not deter our Tigers. Sarah and Shern who got 2nd in the heat and 2nd in the final.
Tim and Jon went back on for a nice race in a pair. They really enjoyed the ride and it looked pretty neat from the riverside !
The end of the day was celebrated by putting together a Novelty boat race mixing different clubs in 4 x eights. What a race this was ! Many of the Tigers joined and competed and for some of them, a medal awaiting at the finish line ☺.
Rob was himself challenged with the very last race of the day.
2 x eights were created with the oldest members of each clubs and organisers/BRO . A fantastic race which saw Rob pulling together the very last bit of strength he had left. Well done Rob !
There was such a great spirit and they surely worked really hard on these 2 last races of the day.
It was then time for the classic raffle where Mike and myself were the happy winners of 6 bottles of wine each while Susanna came back home with a light weight portable camping table!
Boats loaded on the trailer, we all went back to the Motel, exhausted but still strong enough to handle a beer and jump in the ..still cold.. pool.
The last evening was booked at the Crown Hotel, still walking distance from the Motel. Don’t we love that !
A nice and relaxing evening with some really good food and great company.
The climax of that evening came when Kenny won the Richmond AFL teddy bear on his first attempt at the « robot claw » machine in the restaurant.
The teddy bear and some of the wines won at the raffle were then auctioned at the Richmond Rowing Club quiz night .
Everyone seemed thrilled with their weekend away, remembering and discussing all the events of the last couple of days.
So thank you to all 18 Tigers, Yennie, Anh, Kenny and especially to all the organisers in the background for making this event such a memorable regatta.
A special thank you to Tim for looking after us and his constant great humour and support and Leigh & Christine for getting the boats all the way there and back.
Thank you to all below tigers who made the weekend so special :
Michael, Morgan, Matthew, Tim, Rob, Denis, Sarah, Jennifer, Theresa, David, Susanna, Philip, Jon, Christine, Leigh, Shern, Andrew.