1978 Quality not quantity

Mr. Alf Quick took on the role as president and Ralph Murphy was the secretary. There were only five committee meetings held this year well down on the sixteen or so that were usually held. The Annual Report was rather brief this year. Secretary Ralph Murphy was also doing the hall bookings and was heavily involved with a local football club. This meant that tasks were delegated or sometimes forgotten. Ralph’s office was the boot of his car and his filing system somewhat shambolic. Danny Elliott was Captain and in the Annual Report he made note of the small number of competing members but a gratifying number of wins, “Obviously the quality not quantity of oarsmen and their TRAINING is important and if all oarsmen put in greater efforts in the coming season we will see greater success.”This became our modus operandi for the next 25 years were the effort put into training and racing by every single member was phenomenal. We also understood that to provide good coaching and decent equipment we had to work on quality not quantity. Every single member counted, there were no hangers on or freeloaders.

 The hall floor needed replacing and a special account was set aside to accumulate funds to achieve this. Membership was down again both men and women. The Begonia City Ladies Club was, for all intents and purposes, run by the Ballarat City club with combined committee, elections and meetings. Kate Wise was Captain of Begonia City Ladies and Andrea Kriz was secretary.

 Despite the lack of active members the club did have a very successful season beginning with BRA Open Day when the club won Novice sculls and pairs and had two members in the combination crew for Novice four. The next wins came with the Novice pair of Bryce Raworth and Mick Bracka at Metropolitan and Banks Regattas. We had a Novice eight of St.Pat’s boys coached by Kevin o’Brien, race and win Novice eights at Horsham and Dimboola. The crew were Mark Ryan, Steven Haintz, Luke Buenen, Paul Reedy, B.Smith, Barry Auchettl, Andrew O’Brien, Paul Younis with cox Simon O’Brien. Paul Reedy went on to join Melbourne University Boat Club and had an extremely successful career. https://rowinghistory-aus.info/rower-profiles/reedy-paul

 At Colac Regatta Barry Auchettl and Paul Auchettl also won the Novice pairs, Captain Danny Elliott continued his successes of last season winning Lightweight Senior sculls at Upper Yarra  and Albert Park Regatta and the Senior Double sculls at Ballarat rowing a composite crew with Terry Poole of Corio Bay. They then went on to win the Senior Double Sculls at the Victorian Championship Regatta held on the lake The ladies also had two wins, a Senior B four of Jenny Burzacott, Marg Elliott, Andrea Kriz and Kate Wise at Ballarat and a Senior B pair of Andrea Kriz and Kate Wise at Y.W.C.A.’s Regatta on Albert Park Lake.Danny was coaching all the women’s crews by this stage as well as training seven days a week in the scull and working full time. It was at Ballarat Regatta that our Italian coxswain first made his appearance in a program. L.Buggerdefarno was listed as the cox for the Begonia City entry in the Champion Youth fours race. Unfortunately the crew were not successful and despite extensive investigations, officials were unable to find any registration for Buggerdefano!.Our total of wins this year was  11.

Winners of the Annual trophies were: Most Improved Novice-Barry Auchettl, Clubman of the Year-Bob Angow and Most Successful Oarsman for the third year in succession, Danny Elliott.

Danny Elliott headed to the National Championships this year in a double scull with Terry Poole from Corio Bay. They had been training and racing together during the season sometimes in Geelong sometimes in Ballarat. This was the first time a Lightweight double scull had been put on the program. An experienced crew from Haberfield in Sydney, Stuart Wilson and John Bailey won the race. Stuart had come to Australia on a rowing holiday in ’78 and in 1979 at the World Championships in Bled he won gold for Britain in the Lightweight coxless fours. They placed fourth and Danny headed back to Ballarat, bought a new Sykes lightweight single scull and started winter training again. This meant that I could use his old scull and so in the winter of 1988, I also took up sculling.

Terry Poole and Danny Elliott heading out to race Senior Double sculls at Ballarat Regatta 1978
  1. Danny’s new Sykes scull 2. L.Buggerdefarno 3. National Regatta Program 4. Poole and Elliott racing in the LITTLE FELLAS.
  2. NOTE: To all of you who read the posts right to the end, go back to 1974 and see the addition of Danny Elliott’s very first National Championships experience.
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