We Came, We Hunted, We Collected

Woke up this morning,
from the strangest dream
I was in the biggest army,
The world has ever seen
We were marching as one,
on the road to the holy grail
OK so we didn’t have Mark Seymour on the road with us, but RRC still had a holy grail of the sprint regatta season: the opportunity to row on the 2000 Olympic rowing course at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC), Penrith. Under the glow of the Olympic Rings, what a 5 ring SIRC-us it was to perform in and to hopefully secure a medal on the presentation dias.
An RRC squad of 35 hit the road and the air to seek fortune and glory the weekend of the 09th and 10th April, to proudly represent their club, Richmond with the painted-but-not-tainted claws of a tiger and the shrill, chill haka from Lone Grey Goosen echoing in our heads for daily inspiration.
The New South Wales Grade State Championships are a hotly contested regatta, represented by over 42 Rowing Clubs. We quickly realised that our competition was not only NSW Clubs, however International Rowing Clubs including Hanoi (professional rowing squad representing Vietnam…. in Australia for a 6 week training camp) We were also up against crews from Canberra, Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Barwon, the Sunshine Coast and others.
Women’s Squad Results
Umm pretty good actually. Big fields in the sculling events, lots of strong wins through the qualifying heats and semis. We were able to show strength and staying power across all grades entered, and as a squad we proved to be distinctly better than almost all takers in the first & final sweep events.

WC8+ Gold
WD8+ Gold
WC4+ Gold – Pump up the Jam, pump it up!
WD4+ 4th in final
WC4X Bronze (Professional Hanoi crew pot hunting for Gold)
WD4X Silver
WC2X Zara/Sophie 5th in semi
WD2X Rochelle/Kate (endearingly titled, Pocket Rockets, with rival club members asking while they were on the dias, ‘are they your club coxes’?)
(you should have seen the size of their competition)
WD2X Karen/Leonie 5th in final (Won their heat and 2nd in Semi)
WC1X Kate (blown away in the final…Penrith unleashed her winds)
WC1X Rachael (conserved her strength in the heat for…)
WD1X Rachael Silver
And that meant that each women’s squad member received at least one medal. Their coach is mightily impressed with their dedication, willingness to reach for new heights and competitive spirit.
They are all pretty happy with how it went too. Did we mention crushing strong performer Leichardt? Yeah, did that. Big-noting Griffith Uni Surfers Paradise? Yup.
Man Squad Results (as overheard by the women’s squad)
Yeah so Sam and Nick cheated by actually training but I suppose good on them to win Gold in the C double. Then Nick in the single, what is he on anyway, and where can I get some? Oh yeah, Sam showed us all up with a Bronze in the B single, and then pimped his citizenship for Silver in an exhibitionist race against Hanoi, won by some Balmain guy with a pot.
Man Squad Results
MC2x – Gold
MB1x – Bronze
M1x (sprint) – Silver
Women’s Squad Results (as overheard by man squad)
M1: “Chicks did alright, eh.”
M2: “Whatever”
Social Correspondent’s Report
Darlings, we all know what happens at Penrith stays at Penrith.
So your social correspondent is simply unable to make sense of any of the following late breaking stories:
• man squad’s repressed competitiveness. Gosh, which really is the fastest way to Penrith?
• a little boy lost in Woolworths
• the true meaning of “a glass of wine with dinner”
• did the quarry start work early or was Captain B.C. Snoralot crowing the dawn?
• one male rower’s fructose-friendly product endorsement of Gordon’s
• Nick’s special relationship with Dijon mustard
Finally however we look to the dear reader to enlighten us on an announcement to the packed regatta crowd of the name of the NZ river where Sam Morrison won his international sprint regatta title. Just as it was announced we were distracted by a stray 6-pack, so dites-moi was it:
• North End
• Living End
• Whakapapa
• Fukatani
• all BS to begin with
We started out, seeking fortune and glory, it’s a short song, but it’s a hell of story….. How the Tigers went to Sydney Town and bathed in the Holy Grail.
All the locals scattered, they were hiding after the row
We were so far from home, but man did we know,
there’d be nothing left to plunder as we
Coveted the Holy Grail!
Well done Tigers, Our Richmond Rowing Family the Schoutens and Derek for following every race on Tiger Wheels making sure we did our best!
Derek Begg with Rochelle Stokes