2001 A rowing Odyssey

The committee this year was Danny Elliott, President; Kate Elliott and Belinda Bilney were co-secretaries; Norm Young ,Treasurer and Tim Wise ,Captain. Racing was strong this year particularly in Master’s events. This year our International Master’s Champions attended the FISA World Master’s Regatta in Montreal, Canada. Having conquered Europe they now headed to the Canadian province and repeated the performance winning a total of 8 gold medals between them. Tim Wise won for an unprecedented sixth year in succession the Men’s A and B sculls. Tim and Belinda also won back the Mixed A double scull crown and added the Mixed B double scull gold medal to that. Then Tim teamed with Henry Hamilton from Cambridge Boat Club, USA to win the Men’s C double scull and Belinda combined with Maryann McCormick from the same club to win the Women’s C double. Tim had two more gold medals in the men’s C quad and Men’s D quad!! At the Victorian Championships Tim Wise was our only winner in the Men’s Senior scull Championship. Tim was also selected to row in the Penrith Cup four at the Interstate Championship, only the second male rower from the club to represent Victoria. At the Australian Championships in April he won silver in the Men’s Elite lightweight sculls behind and also won silver in the Men’s elite double scull with Al Isherwood. At the Interstate regatta the Penrith Cup crew placed a very creditable third. Josh Frichot of Wendouree/Ballarat was also in the crew and interestingly he is Tim’s second cousin. Rowing really was a family affair for the Wise family.

The numbers of members racing was small but Justin Bell and Andrea Dixon did well with Justin winning 4 Novice sculls early in the season and then going on to win intermediate sculls. He was the quiet achiever of the season training and racing mainly on his own as there were no other men to row with. Andrea also won 4 intermediate sculls. Tim Wise also raced and won Men’s Elite sculls at Universities Regatta winning the Field Rickard Trophy. At Ballarat Regatta, Kate’s girls, Sadie Callahan, Penny Sullivan, Amy Porter and Gillian Callahan raced in under 16 fours winning their heat and leading from start to finish. In the final they put up another strong performance against much bigger crews. At their next regatta Footscray they recorded their first win to the delight of coach Kate Elliott and her little assistant coach, Rory! The only other four we boated this season was a Master’s four of Janine Roberts, Sharon Petrie, Michelle Menz and  Kim Oliver. The male Master’s capably led by Norm and Ron Young started regular Sunday morning training. Their enthusiasm was refreshing and it reinvigorated some of the more jaded Master’s.

Kate and Rory and the winning Under 16 four Footscray Regatta 2001 Anneke Cuscadden (cox) Sadie Callahan, Amy Porter, Gill Callahan and Penny Sullivan.

This season we were able to purchase a new Model C Concept ergo, two sets of sculling oars and a shelter to take to regattas such as Nagambie where shade and shelter are non-existent. The ergo has already done several thousand kilometres and has certainly eased the winter training congestion. We also had both older ergometers refurbished and although this was a reasonably expensive exercise it was long overdue. As stated before for winter training in Ballarat and ergo is essential equipment so we now have three club ergometers able to cope with the demand. The rest of the fleet is in reasonable order with Captain of Boats, Tim, attending quickly to minor repairs and replacements as required.

Two major achievements in this area were the replacement of the old and leaking one water tank flush system for the toilets to individual cisterns-no more leaking or constantly flushing toilets! Secondly and much more slowly the jetty was finally being re-decked. The new section (approximately 4mx4m) looked and felt decidedly safer. We had a meeting with Council officers including the Heritage Consultant, Lorraine Huddle, to outline our building program and obtain feedback as to what Council expected in terms of exterior renovations. Our next big task was to paint the concrete on the west side of the shed when the weather fined up. We also replaced the doors into the rowing shed and these were fitted with a digital lock to improve security and access for members.A submission was made to Sport and Recreation, Victoria for a minor facilities grant that would allow us to upgrade toilet and change room facilities. This was not successful.

Norm Angow passed away this year; his cheery, kindly and ever helpful presence was sadly missed by all who knew him. Norm was a tireless worker for the club-despite the fact that he never rowed and wasn’t a financial member .He became involved when his son Colin (past president of the club) started coxing and immediately lent a hand transporting boats to regattas with the boats on a frame on top of an old bus and rowers inside. He also was club handyman for many years and he and wife Dorothy took on hiring and cleaning the hall to help maintain the club’s only income. Though both retired at this stage both Norm and Dorothy did all the strenuous cleaning and polishing of the hall floor. They were also always on hand to assist when we had to cater at regatta days. Norm was the epitome of the volunteering tradition. The club would miss him! In a fitting tribute that the Club Person of the Year trophy was named in his honour. It keeps alive the memory of a great volunteer and a fine human being.

In February Rachel Taylor and pairs partner Kate Slatter became the first women to be awarded the Zurich Rower of the Year Award which was presented at the annual Rowing Australia Awrads Dinner in Sydney.

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