Mr. L. Phillips and former club captain Mr. R. A. Petrie were added to the roll of life-members in recognition of their services to the club. It the interests of putting the club in a more sound financial position and to address the problem of the non-payment of subscriptions, the committee decide to forgo attending most regattas this season. This did achieve the desired goal but at a dire cost to the club’s win tally.
Ballarat Regatta was held on the 23rd of February 1902: “The weather was perfect, the Lake almost full and with good fields for each race-left nothing to be desired.”(Star newspaper, Feb.24th 1902)
The club had a great regatta with crews entered in most of the Maiden and Junior events and also a Senior pair. The Junior pair of A. A. O’Dea and Graham Coulter with Reg Cooper, cox, won their race and also secured the Massey-Harms Cup-a perpetual cup attached to that race. The Annual ‘Smoke Night’ was held in May and the occasion used to present the Massey-Harms Cup to stroke of the winning pair Mr Andrew Alipius O’Dea.The club then competed at Barwon Regatta in March but again despite some very close and gruelling racing were unable to score a win.
The State Sculling Championship was held on the 25th October 1902 and C. E. Suffren representing the Ballarat Rowing Club, having transferred from City, raced finishing third.
The club was represented at the VRA Regatta and at the BRA Novice Regatta in December. After the Novice Regatta the committee expressed their dissatisfaction about the inequality of boats used and suggested that in future only one crew from each club race and that they all row in racing boats to put the three clubs on equal footing.
Three lots of Trial pairs were raced this season with great interest evinced and the majority of members availing themselves of the opportunity to race. The trophies were won by A. A. O’Dea and H. Rolfe, W. Hawthorne and S. Symonds and the third round by H. F. Herbert and J. Buchanan. A medal was presented to Master Oswald McPhail as most successful cox having steered 12 crews to victory while Master Reg Cooper came second having steered 9 winning crews.
Two new sculling boats were purchased at a cost of 26 pounds and a set of four Aylings racing oars were also purchased. Membership increased but again the non-payment of subscriptions was still a perennial problem for the club.