The club again posted an excellent season with a total of 65 wins. Of these there were a record 8 Victorian Championships and Ballarat City was represented in four Australian Championships wins. Rachel Taylor, a graduate of the clubs’ first Talent Identification Program was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport. She raced in AIS colours but was still listed by her home club, Ballarat City, when she won three Australian Championships in pairs, fours and eights. This was an incredible feat for a young lady who in 1991 aged 16 had never held an oar. Amy Pearce became the clubs’ first female rower to represent Victoria in a sweep-oared boat when she was selected in the Youth eight for the National Championships. The men again finished second on the Champion Club Premiership and the women third on the Senior Women’s Premiership.
The categories of racing again changed this years with Elite, Senior, Intermediate and Novice being the four categories. Our Victorian Championship wins started with Anthony Edwards rowing in a composite crew with Tasmanian, Simon Burgess, winning Champion Elite Double sculls at Ballarat. Tim Wise won the Champion Senior Scull sand then raced with Jamie McDonald with to clinch victory in the Champion Senior Double sculls. Jamie won the Lightweight Senior sculls. Marion Taffe won the Lightweight Elite sculls and Lightweight Senior sculls and teamed with Kate Elliott to win the Champion Senior Double sculls. Matt Taylor won Champion Junior Sculls. At the Country Championships the club also took out 7 Championships the highlight being the boating of a men’s Open eight who were convincing winners from Wendouree/Ballarat.
The National Championships were held at Lake Barrington in Tasmania and again a small band crossed the Tasman to fly the club flag. Anthony Edwards placed 6th in the Lightweight Senior A sculls having stepped up from Senior B this year. Again teaming with Simon Burgess, they placed second in the Lightweight double scull and second in the Lightweight quad rowing composite with Simon, Sam Golding and Stuart Purves. Our newest TIP squad this year had two crews race at the Nationals, both coached by Kate Elliott. Jarrod Roberts and Matt Taylor in their first national Championships finished a creditable 4th in the final of the Men’s Under 17 double sculls as did Lora Steele and Amy Pearce in the Women’s Under 17 double scull. And of course there were the three championships that we took great pleasure in seeing Rachel Taylor win with the AIS. Anthony Edwards was again selected to row for Australia at the World Championships in Indianapolis. Danny Elliott was again offered a position as an Australian coach but could not afford the money or the time to take up the position. Anthony Edwards again represented Australia in the Lightweight quad sculls at Lucerne regatta, winning a bronze medal and placing 5th at the World Championships in Indianapolis.
The ergo room received a new coat of paint and new carpet that was much easier on the eyes than the bright red carpet that we threw out. Danny Elliott donated a large mirror for the ergo room which was of great assistance enabling people to check ergo technique while training. A cork notice board was put up. Unfortunately no action had yet taken place to paint the exterior of the shed due to lack of time and money.
A second-hand timber double scull was purchased for the TI program as well as two sets of sculling blades. It was used at the Nationals in Tasmania by our juniors and was very competitive. The club also purchased a honeycomb coxed four finally giving us a competitive boat at intermediate and senior levels. The cost was $10,000 of which the club paid half and three club members made a no interest loan for the balance. The weights room also had the addition of a rack to store weights, two new benches and an exercise bike. Open Day /Christmas break up was held with the new timber double scull being christened the BELINDA BILNEY. An enjoyable morning’s racing was held followed by a barbecue lunch. The first of the Australia Day barbecues was held at the club with 70 people enjoying the evening. The club catered and guests paid for the meal and a ring side seat at the fireworks as they were fired from View Point. It proved to be a good fundraiser as well as a great social occasion. Several impromptu bike rides were undertaken and the now infamous Games Night at Ballarat University College was held with minimal injuries occurring!
Hall tenant Mr. Graeme Coombes departed this year and the club was once again in the position of having to find another tenant, as the income from the hall had always been the major contribution to our running costs. The club boat trailer built by Bob Angow had been too big and heavy for general use so it was decided to sell it and continue to use Danny Elliott’s smaller trailer, which had been used by the club for the past five years. Danny Elliott, Richard Aaron Block and Colin Angow refurbished the trailer.
We continued our TI Program but without any support from the VRA. The intake was much smaller but on the whole the program was still producing successful novice and junior crews. Michelle Bell and Bernie Purton joined the girls program and Matt Taylor joined the boys. This was our third season of running the TIP’s and the achievements of the program which was now wholly run by the volunteer efforts of coaches Kate and Danny Elliott with equipment funded by the club were:
10 new recruits to the club
Rachel Taylor being awarded a scholarship to the AIS based on her performance in the program
Amy Pearce representing Victoria in the Women’s Youth eight
Matt Taylor winning Victorian Champion Junior Sculls
10 new rowers winning 27 races for the club in their first season
Winning 3 Victorian Country Championships
Increasing profile and access to rowing in local schools who do not have a rowing program
Rachel Taylor winning 3 Australian Championships
Rachel Taylor being selected to row at the World Junior Championships in Munich placing 5th
Several awards came the club’s way this year, the first being a presentation to Kate and Danny Elliott being recognized as Outstanding Volunteers in Sport by the Central Highlands Sports Assembly in conjunction with Sport and Rec Victoria. Anthony Edwards received two awards from the Ballarat Branch of the Sportsmen’s Association and received a VIS scholarship this year. As Anthony didn’t have a full time job and his coach, Danny Elliott provided his scull and oars, and also having to travel so much to selection regattas, it was very welcome and timely financial assistance. Matt Taylor was also selected to attend the AIS Junior Development Camp in Canberra.