1984 First Victorian rep

1 Victorian State sculler-2 VRA Women’s Premierships-3 Victorian Championships

Last year we had many close second placings and if our crews had been able to convert them we would have had closer to forty wins. Captain Danny Elliott could see that crews just needed a bit more coaching, ironing out the minor faults that would make up the distance between a win and coming second.  So after 10 years of competing and coaching he decided that the club would benefit if he took on coaching all the crews full time. Also we needed more competitive boats and as the club had very little money Danny Elliott, as usual, bought a racing double scull/coxless pair to enable the club to boat crews in this class of boat. He also made his scull available to members who wanted to scull but could not afford to buy a racing boat. This paid immediate dividends as the opening paragraph of the 109th Annual Report really succinctly sums it up:

“This season has been one of highlights for our club. It has been the most successful season ever. We won two VRA Premierships-Women’s Champion Club and Women’s Champion Junior Club. In the points for the Champion Club we scored a massive 31 points, 14 points clear of our nearest rival Melbourne University. We won the Junior premiership with 65 points from Corio Bay on 48 points. This was outstanding considering that we had only nine women competing for us.”

The club also won three Victorian Championships with Kate Elliott winning Champion Elite Sculls, Sonia Adrians and Alison McKee winning Champion Youth pairs and Colin Angow winning the Arthur Cambridge Memorial Sprint sculls Championship at Bendigo. The club attended a total of twenty regattas and recorded 46 wins.At the Championships after winning on Saturday, Kate also placed second by 0.8 of a second in the Champion Lightweight sculls and second by 1 second in the Senior A sculls on the Sunday. These days she would collect 1 gold and 2 silver but there was only a medallion for winning back then! For her efforts in the scull Kate Elliott was selected to represent Victoria at the first National Regatta held at Lake Barrington Tasmania-the first woman from Ballarat to represent the state in rowing. In this season too Kate achieved an incredible treble-three wins at one regatta on the Yarra. The wins were in Senior A, Senior B and Elite sculls -an achievement that very few rowers could lay claim too. Roger Wilson reported in the Weekly Times that this was the first time this had happened at a Victorian Regatta!

1.Kate Elliott 2.Colin Angow 3. Sonia Adrians and Alison McKee (Elliott coxless pair)

Work on the shed continued with the regular Tuesday night working bees in winter. The foyer was completely relined with wall-board and painted, the dressing room and showers washed down and painted and work started on partitioning off half of the dressing room for the women in the club. The hall floor was treated and polished and most of the hall interior painted. It certainly was looking the best it had for some years.

Club captain Danny Elliott had “retired” from competition to concentrate on coaching this season and as the annual report put it “he coached, coaxed, cajoled, comforted and supported all the crews across the finish line.” A coach’s job is never easy but his time and effort converted all those second placings from last season into first placings and achieved the unprecedented record of 46 wins in his first year as full time coach.We also undertook to get training advice from Dr.Laurie Prosser of BCAE, who helped devise winter training programs with weights and running which also contributed to members overall fitness. The coxswains really earned their keep this season with Mark Ralph, Virginia Wise, Timothy Moors, Stewart Moors and Michelle Bartholomews braving all weathers, spending hours stuck in a boat going nowhere really and steering straight mostly. With Virginia Wise now a member at the club it made it six out of seven of the Wise clan who rowed at City. While all six were not members at the one time I’m sure it constitutes some kind of record! At the final regatta of the season Mildura/Wentworth our newly retired captain/coach ventured into the world of veterans’ rowing racing in a composite crew with friends from Banks Rowing Club. After the race he was heard to gasp” Never again!” and to my knowledge he never has.

Norm Angow continued to be of great assistance to the club this season devising and building the motorboat hoist that considerably eased the task of launching the motorboat. This hoist was only updated in 2019. Norm was the ultimate handyman. He and his wife Dorothy took over the hall hire and cleaning this year as Alf Quick retired due to ill health. They would come up during the week and polish the hall floor.Anyone who had to use the big heavy polishers and do the entire floor will know what an effort this was. Norm would tackle just about any job and willingly did so much work around the club that in later years we named the Club person award after him.  

The club also took out a loan through the recreation department of Ballarat City Council this year in order to purchase a new tub (training) four. The loan was for $5200 to be paid back over 10 years. The boats being used by novices were old and past their competitive best when we bought them some ten years earlier. There was great excitement when we took delivery of brand, spanking new, fibreglass four built by Jeff Sykes in Geelong. It became the most used and the most successful boat in the shed. Kate and Danny Elliott also purchased a racing coxless pair/double scull that was also used by members and allowed the club to be competitive in Senior A and Junior pairs and double sculls. Until that time the club did not have a suitable boat to do that. The new oars ordered last season arrived at a cost of $1728.

Open Day was a family day with friends and family watching the racing followed by the now traditional barbecue on the jetty. To celebrate such a successful season a social night was held at Colin Angow’s home were a video of the season’s highlights was shown. It was a great evening and the video remains a permanent record of those proud achievements.

It was Wendouree/Ballarat Rowing Club’s centenary year this year and Ballarat City were the most successful club at the Centenary Regatta winning five finals. Subscription once again rose to $35 senior and $20 for junior rowers. Trophies presented by the committee this year were:-Most Improved Novice-Sonia Adrians; Most Successful, Kathy Lloyd and Club Person, Lynn Gibbons. Di Whittle also made and handed out some interesting alternative awards for individual achievements throughout the season! The club also incorporated this season and updated our constitution accordingly.

1.Article Australian Rowing June 84. Women’s Premierships and Alex McLeish-Roger Wilson 2. Di Whittle-Senior B scull 3. Carey Robinson, Lori Mitchell, Sonia Adrians, Alison McKee-Senior B four Championship Regatta, February Lake Wendouree

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