This year, the continuing economic depression that caused many men, young and old, to leave the city in search of work meant that all three rowing clubs had a quiet year. At Ballarat Regatta where traditionally Ballarat and City could count on home course wins, neither were able to score a in this year. The new club, Wendouree, in operation just three years, flew the flag by winning the Maiden fours and Junior eights. City were unlucky in the Maiden four. They were a bit slow out of the start and an enthusiastic supporter in the umpire’s boat shouted “Freshen up!” The stroke took this as an indication to stop rowing which he did, effectively putting them out of the race before they really got started. It was again a fine day for the Ballarat Regatta in February with thousands of spectators lining the shores and crowding the jetties to watch the racing. The Phoenix Foundry Brass Band provided entertainment for the afternoon. Mr. S. Edwards of Melbourne gave an exhibition of outrigger sculling as outrigger sculls were still not in common use. He rocked the boat from side to side, turned a back somersault and did a headstand on his seat and jumped out and got back in again while holding his oar handles together. The boat must have been a lot more robust than present day craft to allow such a performance!
In club scratch racing Mr. Oldham and Adair won the club scratch pairs series for trophies presented by Mr. B.Hepburn. The scratch fours competition the winners were A.Wright, H.Adair, E.Smith and A.Balhausen.
At the Annual meeting President Daniel Brophy alluded to losing so many members especially on the committee “….we feel that our efforts have been much weakened by the many changes that have taken place throughout the year, and notably so in the more important working officers of the club……… the subsequent departure of your Treasurer, Mr. John Fitzgerald and your secretary Mr. Emmerson Bayley….. their great efficiency and zeal in furthering the interests of the old club,” would be sadly missed by the club.
In October ‘87, the three clubs combined in a rare show of co-operation and fellowship to hold the first Grand United Aquatic Festival. In the organization and planning of this festival a great deal of the work fell to veteran president Mr. Brophy, vice-president Mr. Bechervaise and secretary Mr. Kortlang who all worked “indefatigably and unsparingly” to make the occasion a success. The Grand Aquatic Festival was a success and netted the sum of eighty-eight pounds ($8800) for each of the three clubs.