As if rowing and training doesn’t work us hard enough, April brought with it a new set of challenges as we exercised our smile muscles and handshakes to welcome a record number of local, interstate and overseas visitors to the Club.
Our local guests were of course the CBA Corporate Rowing crews who trained throughout April as part of the annual Les Taylor Corporate Rowing Challenge. The five week program wrapped on 29th April up with the customary Regatta and Carnival at Davidson Park. Despite cool and windy conditions racing was completed more or less on time, little if any serious damage was sustained to boats or participants, and everyone left with a smile and a promise to be back next year. While financially important to the Club this annual event places considerable strains on us all, especially as it coincides with the peak of the Masters season, but as always this was handled with good nature by our members. Thanks to those who helped out as Pontoon Marshalls – too many to mention but an important job. I would particularly like to acknowledge those who did the heavy lifting as coaches, video crews or in vital regatta day roles. These individuals put in an enormous effort, often taking on multiple roles, and they again set the standard for this event. A big thanks to all!
One name in particular must be singled out for special attention. Tony Blay yet again played a pivotal role in managing the significant logistical challenges of the CBA program, from arranging boats and managing repairs to setting up boat rosters and playing fill-in coach. Tony was also the “constant”, arriving at the sheds well before the first crews arrived and showing a “Radar-like” knack of fixing problems before most of us knew they existed (if this doesn’t make sense ask your parents!). The Club again owes Tony an enormous debt of gratitude for his enormous and invaluable contribution to the program and the Club.
On a National level we are still privileged to be hosting the Australian Women’s Eight in the lead-up to their departure for Lucerne and hopefully the Olympics. Their coach is of course our beloved Head Coach Nick Garratt, so they are truly in the best of hands. For those who aren’t aware, Nick is currently on ‘secondment’ to Rowing Australia so while he’s still here physically he also isn’t if you catch my drift. Nick’s sole priority is to take the Women’s Eight to Lucerne and then onto glory in London. Until Nick returns his coaching and squad duties will be handled by Club Manager Matt Pearce. Please direct any rowing, training or squad related queries to Matt or alternatively to me. We will farewell Nick and the W8 girls properly over the next week or so.
In amongst all of this we were honoured to have a visit from the Russian Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov and his Deputy Victor Evtuhov. Apart from their considerable political responsibilities in Russia, Alexander Konovalov and Viktor Evtuhov are both accomplished rowers who are leading a project to re-invigorate the “English Club” (yes, really!) in St Petersburg, one of Russia’s oldest rowing clubs. This is an exciting development for rowing in Russia and we hope to establish a ‘sister club’ relationship with this long-standing club on the banks of the Neva River. A number of us had the pleasure of rowing with Alexander and Victor, who dwarfed most of us on and off the water, and despite some ‘interesting’ moments - including a close call with a reckless speedboat driver, Maritime showing their might with lights ablaze, and even a swamping (long story!) – I am confident that their time at Mosman has established an exciting new long-distance relationship and an opportunity for MRC members to try something new. In fact for those who fancy an overseas jaunt next year, we have a standing invitation to participate in the English Club’s Sprint Regatta during the 2013 White Night’s Festival in St Petersburg. I’ll pass on details when I get them.
As you will have seen in a recent note from John Dollisson, the club is facing a decision on whether to sell it's residual rights over the Killarney property as part of a prospective change of ownership. Members have been asked to e-mail questions and comments to Club President.
Work has been continuing to refresh our squad structures and to beef up our coaching team and capabilities in readiness for our winter programs and for next season. The finishing touches are currently being applied and details will be provided shortly.
A few other important things to note:
- · The 2012 RNSW Presentation Dinner will be held at Dede’s Restaurant, Sydney Rowing Club, 613 Great North Road, Abbotsford on Wednesday 16th May 2012 commencing at 6.30pm (that’s two weeks today). A three course dinner and drinks will be provided with entertainment from guest speakers. We would like to get a very strong MRC turnout on the night. Please let me know asap if you would like to join a table. More info is available at http://www.rowingnsw.asn.au/news/267/609/rowing-nsw-presentation-dinner-2012-awards-nomination.html and http://www.rowingnsw.asn.au/pages/presentation-dinner.html.
- · The Winter Training programs for year 10 and 11 boys and girls will kick off at the end of this month and will run from early June to mid-September. We also have limited space for Year 12 students who wish to train their way to the HSC. If you know of anyone who may be interested please contact Annie or Matt for an invitation letter.
- · The NSW State Masters Championships are on this weekend at SIRC. Good luck to all those competing … here’s hoping for plenty of podium finishes and lots of ‘bling’!
- · Dates for the 2012 JB Sharp Memorial Regatta Series have just been announced – see details here. Mosman edged out Leichhardt and Sydney to win the Series by one point last year, but it was a close-run contest with only one point in it at the end, so let’s try for a BIGGER win in 2012!
There’s A LOT going on this month so stay tuned for more soon ...
2nd May 2012