1899

The lake level was maintained splendidly this season through the flow of water from the Gong Reservoir. The Water Commission were able to successfully use the 18-inch main to full capacity and restore the now famous clear sheet of water to perfect condition. As such rowing affairs could carry on expeditiously.

This season committee member Graham Coulter left to serve in South Africa in the Boer War. He went with the First Victorian Contingent which contained that other famous Ballarat identity, Pompey Elliott. The Annual report expressed the members hopes for Mr. Coulter’s speedy and safe return.

The first regatta of the season was at Upper Yarra on the 16th of December 1899.The club sent a strong contingent and was represented in most of the Maiden and Junior races and also boated a Senior pair-the first senior crew for some seasons. It was hoped that the ‘City boys’ would not only be represented but also be successful at senior level. However, this was not to be. At Upper Yarra the club did not record a win. At Nagambie Regatta on Boxing Day 1900 several of the crew members that could have raced were unable to get leave of absence from their employment so the club’s only representatives were a Maiden pair of A. Cartledge and T. Porter with W. Jenkins as cox. They succeeded in scoring our first win for the season.

Ballarat Regatta was overall a great success with good weather and good racing. The club, as was usual, entered as many crews as possible took out four of the seven races on offer.  R.A.Petrie won the maiden sculls; J.Murfett, J.Bentley, A.Harvey and W. Caldwell won the Maiden fours; Charles Suffren and J.Hamilton won Junior pairs and Charles Suffren, J.Hamilton,A.A.O’Dea and Graham Coulter were victors in the Junior fours. Interestingly, a competition for decorated boats with different themes was held for the amusement of spectators. The Ballarat City entry also won this with a crew dressed as four spirits and the coxswain as an undertaker!

 Then followed Barwon Regatta we scored one win with Charles Suffren winning the Maiden sculls

The Sculling Championship of Ballarat was held and Mr. R. A. Petrie, the club vice-captain was the winner of this event. This competition was between the members of the three clubs in Ballarat and ran from 1897 until 1914

The usual trial or scratch fours were held during the season and competed in enthusiastically by the members. The two practice fours ordered by the club last season arrived and added to the club’s already large stock of boats. The cost of the purchase was 66 pounds.

The membership list again increased from last year with 23 new members nominating at the Annual meeting but there were a large number of unfinancial members which caused considerable difficulty in meeting our liabilities.

Mr. A. A.O’Dea resigned as secretary and the vacancy was ably filled by H. E. Bull until he too resigned and was replaced by Mr. C. Tulloch just prior to the Annual Meeting.

Maiden four, Ballarat Regatta, 1899. Back from L-R A.Harvey, W.Caldwell, John McPhail(coach) Front:J.Burley,W.jenkins,J.Murfett.



Dr. Champion presented a portrait of himself to the club to commemorate his presidential year and local photographer Mr. Dearden presented the club with a photograph of the members. It was handed over by Mayor Elliott who congratulated the club on its highly successful performance presented a photo of all the club members to the club. Dr.Champion is the man in the top hat saluting!

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