1928

The club recorded excellent results at regattas this season, again placing them third on the junior premiership. This would have been a second place except for a disqualification of one of our crews at VRA Regatta. The club scored nine wins in total with the highlight being the success in the Maiden eights at Ballarat Regatta. President Mr.Alf Dawson remarked in the Annual report that the club had not had a win in Maiden eights for forty years or so. It certainly was a long time between drinks! The crew were T.Edwards, A.McKay. Keith Elliott, E.Robinson, Lou Zillies, R.Aley, J.McKay and F.Davis with the coach J.A.Wilson. Lou Zillies was a giant of a man with the longest arms I have ever seen on a rower of that era. He was the drum major with the Ballarat Scottish Pipe Band and I’m pretty sure he would have been excellent at tossing the caber. He was also a good runner and in later years organised and coached marching girl teams.

As well as the success of our Maiden eight, maidens of another sort made an interesting appearance at Ballarat Regatta.There was an exhibition of women’s rowing, with crews from the Essendon Ladies Club and Albert Park Ladies Rowing Club giving a demonstration of rowing.

While rowing of course was the main attraction at the Lake on Saturday, there were numbers of other features that were interesting, attractive and amusing. For two regattas the Regatta Association tried very hard to popularise a section for decorated boats, on each occasion the response was encouraging. This year it was decide not to arrange a competition for fancy craft, and two new features were introduced.

One of these was an exhibition of rowing by five crews of ladies. The ladies boats were beached near the yacht Club and from the time they launched their boats until they were again beached keen interest was manifested in the ladies efforts. Unexpectedly the five crews put up an excellent exhibition of rowing and the critics on View Point cordially agreed that each of the twenty young ladies comprising the five crews had been well coached in her work. The five crews rowed out from the Yacht Club house some 400 yards and from there rowed to the point and formed a circle and in this formation the crews gave the spectators on View Point a splendid exhibition of their skill. Ballarat Courier on Monday, March 5, 1928

Club racing was held this year. The following is a list of races and winning crews:President’s pairs-J. Landrigan and Joe Bickart;Scratch fours-J. Lawn, J.Beattie, Lou Zillies and Frank Findlay;Scratch pairs-A. Browne and J.Beattie.

The clinker racing eight that was ordered last season arrived and the old racing eight, the HARRY BUNCE was disposed of to South Hawthorn Rowing Club (a breakaway from Hawthorn that had a brief existence). An order was placed for a set of eight new oars to use with the new boat in the forthcoming season from Stephenson’s of Melbourne.

An Opening Day was held on the 4th of November with Scratch pairs raced. Mrs.Morris then christened the new eight the OUR LADIES in honour of the ladies committee. The Ladies’ Euchre Committee presented the funds to pay for the new set of oars. The new eight was purchased at a cost of one hundred and five pounds. Besides buying the set of oars the Ladies’ Euchre Committee also presented the treasurer with a substantial cheque. The Ladies’ Social Committee were also raising significant funds by holding a weekly dance at the City Fire Brigade Hall. The amount raised for the year was seventy-four pounds and this when the total from member subscriptions were fifty-five pounds.

This season Mr. Johnson donated a medal that was for the most improved novice rower. This was presented to Mr. J. Russ. Mr. Rice, father of one of the members, also donated a cup to be used for the advancement of rowing. The committee handed it to the BRA to be awarded to the winners of the Maiden eights at the Ballarat Novice regatta.

Pictured below 1.Ballarat Novice Regatta winning certificate. 2. Regattas and crews 1928 from Annual report. 3.Dixon and Hauser Junior Pair Footscray Regatta.4. Crocodile float Ballarat Regatta 1928. 5.Ballarat Rowing Club crew

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