Archive for month: April, 2013

Dear Rowers and Rowing Supporters,

Rowing ACT hosted the very successful 2013 Australian Masters Rowing Championship (AMRC) regatta on Lake Burley Griffin’s Yarramundi Reach as part of Canberra’s Centenary Celebrations from 25 to 28th April.

This Regatta was unique for a number of important reasons.

The strong connection between rowing and the armed forces was reflected in events linked to Anzac Day, which coincided with the opening day of the regatta. An impressive ANZAC commemorative ceremony included the Australian Federation Guard mounting a Catafalque Party at a temporary cenotaph and a short commemorative service, playing of the Last Post and laying of wreaths. Vice Admiral Peter Jones spoke of the history of the King’s Cup, and its presentation to the Australian Imperial Forces crew at the Royal Henley Peace regatta. At the conclusion of this ceremony the regatta commenced.

The AMRC was one of the largest regattas ever held in Australia. Although original planning for 750 competitors, organizers had the challenge of timetabling a very full program for 1100 individuals in 1600 crews. Thus the AMRC was significantly larger than the recent national championships in Sydney, although it was run over half the number of days of competition. Despite its size, the organization and running of the regatta involved an Organising Committee, Rowing ACT’s one employee, Executive Officer James Hammond, and an army of volunteers drawn from all the ACT’s clubs and schools. Virtually all of the ACT rowing community cheerfully participated in AMRC as volunteers and/or competitors. The enthusiasm of the volunteers contributed significantly to the regatta’s success. James Hammond was impressive both as an administrator and as regatta field of play ‘Mr Fix-It’.

The regatta consistently ran on time – an incredible achievement given the very large number of events many of which were only three minutes apart. The volunteer officials, and their management of crews at the start contributed to this clockwork precision, one competitor commenting that in 12 years of racing she has never experienced such graciousness on the start pontoon. Also contributing to the lack of delays or cancellations was that the Yarramundi Reach site is the most sheltered section of Lake Burley Griffin. Among recent National Masters regatta events cancellations are not uncommon, and the success of the 2013 AMRC further reinforces the view that LBG is not just a great training venue, it is also a great regatta venue.

This AMRC venue is unique among Australian National Championship venues in that it is not a dedicated Rowing course. It has not hosted Olympic or International events. The regatta village is a green fields site for rowing events and the Organising Committee jumped many administrative hurdles to facilitate the transition from civic park to regatta venue. This bureaucratic achievement establishes an administrative framework for future regattas at this site, and locks in this venue in the rotation of AMRC locations around Australia. The temporary rowing facilities that were built, bought or borrowed for this event included a 90m wide start platform, multiple aligners’ platforms, four boat launching platforms and a finish tower. All of these were erected, then dismantled within a 10 day timeframe, again reflecting the enthusiasm of those involved. The support of the Centenary Fund and a grant from ACT Sport and Recreation Services enabled RACT to purchase and hire some of these facilities and promote the event widely.

The AMRC was part of the Celebration of Canberra’s Centenary. The 2013 Australian Masters Rowing Championships is one of 51 community-based projects funded through the Centenary Community Initiatives fund. Although the ACT is hosting six Masters sporting events in 2013, the AMRC will be the largest of these. We were fortunate to have a number of local Members of the Legislative Assembly and the Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy, attend the event either to present medals or just experience the regatta and talk to competitors and spectators. Jeremy Lasek, Executive Director of the Centenary of Canberra, was impressed by the regatta and its organization when he dropped in on Sunday.

Interstate rowers went out of their way to tell the Organising Committee how much they enjoyed the regatta. We will seek further feedback from all competitors in the coming weeks but have appreciated comments like: “This is a good regatta. The culture of the officials at the start is very good”; and “This is the best ever Masters Regatta of the many that I have attended in Australia and overseas.”

The 2013 AMRC has seen changes introduced that might well be adopted elsewhere.
The success of this regatta involved innovations such as: moving the regatta into April away from wintery conditions in June; running presentations independently of the race calls; and boating arrivals near the spectators such that the various crews were applauded as they returned.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee we would like to thank our Principal Corporate Sponsor Wintech and Rowing Australia whose ongoing support for these Masters events is greatly appreciated.

David Bagnall (President Rowing ACT)
Ann Landrigan (Chair AMRC Organising Committee

The National Capital Authority advises Yarralumla Bay is now open to all users.
The area was temporarily closed on 25 March 2013 following a sewage leak at Yarralumla Bay in Yarralumla.


Melanie Skinner
Director, National Engagement
National Capital Authority

The Rowing ACT Committee is pleased to announce the following crews have been selected to represent the ACT at the upcoming Australian National Masters Championships.

The Committee would again like to thank the selectors for their tireless work in particular Donna Martin.

Congratulations to all who have been selected and we wish you the best of luck.

Men’s Eight
Anthony Wilkes (CRC)
Damien Pantony (CRC)
Geoffrey Brown (CRC)
Martin Little (CRC)
Michael Clifford (CRC)
Scott Pagen (CRC)
Scott Waller (CRC)
Sebastian Lang (CRC)
Rebecca McCallum (Coxswain) (CRC)

Women’s Eight
Emy Ayliffe (CRC)
Kerry Knowler (CRC)
Deborah Cook (CRC)
Cindy Watt (LTRC)
Amanda Brian (CRC)
Elaine Bissaker (CRC)
Sue Donoghoe (CRC)
Adair Ferguson (CRC)
TBC (Coxswain)
Anne Charlton (CRC) Reserve
Janet Farnan (CRC) Reserve

The water police are patrolling the lake during rowing hours, riding their blue and white jetskis.

Rowing boat coaches in tinnies were pulled over and given spot checks this morning.

It is important that all the required equipment is present (torch, life jackets, bailer, anchor, paddle and fire extinguishers ).

The police reminded us that powered boat drivers’ licences are not only required for any motorised craft capable of travelling at more than 5 knots but must also BE CARRIED WITH YOU WHEN ON THE WATER.

This is a timely reminder to check that, if you are driving a tinny, you have all the necessary gear and that you are carrying your boat driver’s licence with you.

The Rowing ACT Committee is pleased to announce the following crews have been selected to represent the ACT at the upcoming Australian National Masters Championships.

Both the mens and womens eight selections are ongoing. It is expected an announcement will be made early next week.

The Committee would like to thank the selectors for their tireless work in particular Donna Martin.

Congratulations to all who have been selected and we wish you the best of luck.

Men’s Quadruple Scull
Andy Horsburgh (CRC/ADRA)
Kym Fisher (CRC/ADRA)
Nicholas Williams (CRC/ADRA)
Stephen Trowell (BMRC)

Women’s Quadruple Scull
Jeanette Gasson (BMRC)
Mary Quilty (BMRC)
Pamela Hubert (CRC)
Pamela Nash (BMRC)
Yvonne Poels (BMRC) – Reserve

The 2013 AMRC Organising Committee has decided to cancel the ACT Masters Trial Regatta. The weekend prior to the commencement of the National Masters regatta will now be reserved for set up and planning for the regatta.

If you had planned to be available for the regatta and would now consider lending a hand with any of the many setting up tasks please email to register your interest.