Archive for month: July, 2019

The Regatta Sub-Committee will meet on Tuesday August 6 to finalise the regatta calendar and order of events for the 2019/20 Rowing ACT season.

Click here for the agenda and information on what is being proposed. Any comments should go to your club representative in the first instance.

Rowing ACT is holding Talent Identification Testing this weekend. While aimed at non-rowers, anyone aged 13-19 is invited to complete the testing. More information is below, or can be found on the Talent Identification page.

Date & Time:

10am-12pm, Sunday 28th July

The testing will take up the majority of the 2 hour session,
so please arrive promptly at 10 am.  You will then be allocated a group to
complete the various activities.

If you are unavailable to complete testing on Sunday, but
would still like to be considered, please contact me to arrange an alternative


A parent/guardian will need to sign some paperwork before
the testing can be completed, however they do not need to stay for the whole


There will not be any on water component of the testing –
all testing is generic fitness and strength testing. Please wear suitable
sporting gear, including sneakers or similar shoes, as well as suitable warm
clothes for being outdoors in the Canberra winter. You should also bring a
drink bottle.


The Rowing ACT High Performance Shed is located at 14 Alexandrina Drive, Yarralumla, next to the water police. Parking is available along Alexandrina Drive, however please do not park directly in front of the Rowing Shed as this is reserved.

If you have any other questions, please email Katrina at or call 0478 622 342

The Board agreed on 22 July 2019 to some minor amendments to By-Laws around meetings of the Regatta Sub-Committee (para 46), following discussion at the Open Forum. The amended By-Laws may be found here.

The Board decided that the former provisions were too restrictive in the timing of meetings and that there should be a greater emphasis on the circulation of agenda and papers before the meeting. The minimum requirement of three meetings has been retained.

End Season Forum – 8 May 2019

The Board met last night and approved the May minutes which discussed the Open Forum – the Board did not meet in June.

The Board would like to thank all those who attended the end-of-the-season forum and contributed to the discussion.  Set out below are notes capturing the main issues raised and responses made on the night – they are not formal minutes.   Please see the minutes for decisions the Board has taken.


There have been multiple incidents of rowers being arrogant/abusive towards other lake users.


Suggested we should approach the go boaters with a list of suggestions to give to the inexperienced boat drivers.

Pointed to the need to create opportunities for positive interaction with other lake users (possibly including inviting the Water Police to talk to clubs).

Argued that most rowers and coaches were courteous but bad behaviour was more likely to be reported.

Suggested creating flyers and posters to educate rowers about all the different types of lake users and how they work/their limitations (e.g. can’t turn quickly etc). 

Suggested creating a summary guide of watercraft to present to the NCA setting out their limitations/challenges for anyone wanting to use the lake.


Agreed to send out an all (registered) rower note on the issue of tolerance and courtesy.

Agreed to consider how known offenders might be approached. Noted that some approaches have been made already.


Visiting schools & general congestion in January holiday period.


Concern was expressed around the safety issues of visiting rowers not observing Lake rules and protocols.

Suggested that such visiting clubs were important and perhaps local rowers need to provide welcome and guidance while on the Lake – Issue of registration of visiting clubs raised. 

Have an online induction, including tips such as “If you want to do a tech session, a good out of the way place is here”, “if you want to do a time trial, try and arrange it for this time” etc.

Need to be clear about whether RACT is then responsible for visitors not obeying the rules if there is an incident. – Possibly have RACT EO go and speak with all visiting clubs/schools – Possibly restrict rowers to one end of the lake during the balloon festival


Pointed to the guidance under Visitors on the website.  Provides a resource for hosting Clubs.  

Will continue to pursue the visitor club registration concept.


Multiple issues around regatta structuring (dates of regattas and then events on the day) were discussed


Concern expressed that the Regatta sub-committee should meet at least 3 times a year as specified in the By-Laws.

Suggested more frequent meetings would help manage issues throughout the year.  This was important as some requests to the Board were referred to the regatta subcommittee.

The lack of minutes from the last regatta sub-committee was raised.

Suggested that a Regatta Subcommittee meeting be held soon, to review regattas on a whole (not to set dates for the regattas). This meeting would also set dates for a minimum of 3 subcommittee meetings throughout the year, more as required.

Suggested wide circulation of the agenda so that members of clubs could input their position to club executives 

Clearer system for clubs called for calling the regatta subcommittee.

Schools indicated that they generally favoured more short schools regattas, where they believed that parents would help, with separate masters regattas.  Schools also suggested having all quad regattas to shorten the schools’ regattas.

Suggestion was made that because of the criticality of the regatta secretary, and the advantages of having the regatta program finalised on Monday rather than Friday, that a paid regatta secretary position should be put in place.

Concerns were expressed over the impact on BROs of more frequent regattas. 

Question raised as to whether a BRO should sit on the sub-committee.    


Noted that there were no minutes from the last regatta sub-committee as there was no EO at the time and no volunteers to take them.  Regatta subcommittee minutes normally circulated

Noted that clubs could approach the Chair to ask for further meetings.

Expressed concern over the impact of more frequent regattas, even if they were smaller and if there was more help from school volunteers, as experienced BROs would still be required. BRO fatigue was regarded as a serious issue.

Indicated that it was looking at the possibility of moving the closing day from Friday to Sunday.

Noted that it had in the past had a paid an entries secretary position but it did not allow the entry time to be extended, as it still required consultation with the Chief BRO and refinement.

Noted that the sub-committee already provided for a BRO member and at least one participant was a senior BRO.

Emphasised that it was critical that clubs actively engage in the regatta subcommittee to achieve optimal outcomes.


Regatta Grade score system.


Concern that objectively derived scores can be overridden.

Concern at the score implications for school rowers where they aren’t able to race longer distances in Canberra who then face the longer distance in Penrith. 


Noted that where a score is changed it is done for reasons, which are available on request.

Other issues:

Suggestion was made that RACT should arrange a coffee van in the light of the length of coffee queues and the poor coffee quality. 

Clarification was sought over club access to Rowing Manager.

The late timing of the ACT Championships.  Suggested that it gave school students a chance to transition to clubs and race as club members and suggestion that some regatta option after Nationals was maintained.

Suggested that some BROs were very curt with new rowers and coxswains which could dent their confidence. 

Concern that there were not publicly available standards/channels for students to consider trialling for the program.

Rowing South Australia has a number of boats available for purchase. Please see the document below for more information.

Funeral Details for Nick Garratt AM

Rowing Family, Nick’s funeral will be held on Thursday 18 July at 3pm at Norwood Park Crematorium, 65 Sandford Street, Mitchell, Canberra, ACT 2911. Dress code is relaxed.

The wake will be held at Thoroughbred Park – ‘Silks Room’, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham from 4:30pm

In lieu of flowers, Nick’s family have asked for donations to be made to the Heart Foundation, with a link here for people to donate:

AM 1947 – 2019

It is with much sadness to advise that Rowing ACT head coach
Nicholas (Nick) Garratt AM passed away today.

Not only was Nick respected both nationally and
internationally, his work ethic and character were widely valued and admired.  Nick was friendly, calm and collegiate with a
good sense of humour.

As our head coach and a member of the ACT rowing community
for the last few years the loss is personal to many of us including the current
cohort of elite rowers.  He inspired many
youngsters who progressed under his tutelage to be National and World Rowing
Champions.  Nick achieved great results,
initially in Western Australia, then in NSW at Mosman and finally in the ACT.  

His results with the ACT team were exceptional. All four of
ACT interstate crews and scullers won medals in the 2019 interstate regatta,
the ACT’s best-ever results. Nick was personally involved as the principal
coach of the ACT men’s lightweight four and sculler Cara Grzeskowiak, and was
influential with our national para scullers.

He was appointed a Member in the General Division of the
Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Australia Day honours. Nick coached crews
in the Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London Olympics, with a fourth in the men’s
quad scull in Sydney and a sixth in the women’s eights in London.

Australia has lost one of our great rowing coaches and a
great man.