Early in 2017, Peter Bowman and Owen Redhead were sitting in the stands at the Sydney International Rowing Centre at Penrith, watching their children row, when Peter turned to Owen and said that he had found some plans for a single scull and wanted to build it. There began a journey that has taken just over 12 months, countless hours in the workshop and the enjoyment of building a unique piece of kit. Making the project all the more enjoyable, was how Peter, the boat expert and Owen the practical tinkerer, complimented each other, both learning as they went along and not having a cross word despite working in each other’s pockets for such a long time.
Peter approached Dudley Dix, purchased the plans that he had discovered and settled on Polonia as a suitable light weight timber he had sourced from a farm up near Wauchope.
After making a small version of a straight back, attaching the forms at 734mm centres, the two tentatively stapled the first boards in place through packing straps. After a lot of experimentation, they were ready to attempt the real thing.
By early August 2017 the two started on hull number 1. Much to their surprise, the hull came together quickly and with little fuss. The Bow and Stern decks were made, sanded and glassed, ready to go on. These were then glued in place, bow first, with this in place they then constructed the cockpit, using the templates created earlier. Then the bow deck was installed, using the same method as before, including the foot bulkhead as well. The sneak was then constructed, as they wanted this to be removable to show off the inside to any interested people.
Now their attention turned to the rigger and the foot plate. As the budget was truly drained by this stage, buying a rigger was out of the question, so they put their heads together and with lots of sketching and guessing, a plan was hatched to make one. After a few trips to the hardware store they had purchased a 3mm ply, foam and some Oregon. The rigger was finished with carbon tape and resin and then finished with brass tube from a local hobby shop. Stainless fittings from a hardware store and all the runners and gates, a second-hand seat, and a set of sandals from Rivers put the finishing touches on the project. The final weigh in coming to 19 kilograms.
The boat has been named ‘Redbow’ after the craftsman, Peter Bowman and Owen Redhead and is currently being stored at the Endeavour Rowing Club in Berry Park, NSW.
Following a few practices rows, it was decided that the first race was going to be on the Manning River, Taree during the 2019 CDRA Championships on 9-10 March. Whilst Saturday’s race went off smoothly, Sunday’s race was cancelled due to the same storm that blew the roof off the Manning River Rowing Club.
A blow by blow account of its creation is in Issue 102 of Australasian Amateur boatbuilding magazine.
The most memorable regatta ever!! – for the wrong reasons.
Rowing conditions on the Saturday of the CDRA Championship regatta were perfect for the first 57 races of the 162 race program. Before the lunch break, the weather was ideal for rowing although possible showers had been predicted for the afternoon. The water was as calm as could be with very little wind. After lunch, the sky looked more threatening with dark clouds over the hills on the horizon to the south and a couple of lightning flashes although they were a long way off – no thunder was heard. Around 2.30pm, the sky to the west looked more ominous with grey veils of rain moving towards us. At about 2.45pm, the referee directed that no more crews should boat and, as the competitors from Race 57 were leaving the water, the only rowers on the river were the U19W1x finalists at the 2000m start.
Race 58 progressed under normal conditions until they reached 1300m when all hell broke loose.
The regatta site was hit hard by wind and rain that rapidly escalated in intensity. Rowers ran to tie down boats, supporters struggled to pull down marquees, then everyone ran for cover as a mini-cyclone hit the rowing club, peeling off the roof and scattering it through the boat park. The extreme storm lashed the regatta site for about ten minutes and when it subsided the boat park had been devastated. All competitors from Race 58 were retrieved.
One of the Newcastle Grammar coaches had been struck by flying debris and was taken to hospital with head injuries (now recovering we are told). Newcastle Grammar had significant damage to most of their fleet, many of which are write-offs. All other clubs lost boats but none as drastically as Newcastle Grammar. Endeavour’s damages included the single scull ‘Ibis’ smashed into 3 pieces, 2 fist sized holes in ‘The Hunter’ and a broken handle on a sweep oar. Endeavour’s new “storm proof” marquee might have survived if a “helpful” member of another club had not removed the pegs holding the frame down when our members removed the canopy. With nothing to hold it down, it cartwheeled to destruction. June Lacey’s car, parked facing the boat park in the path of the flying roof, had been battered by roof joists and roofing iron and has multiple panels in need of repair.
The regatta was called off.
Before the storm hit, 15 of Endeavour’s 41 entries raced for 3 wins and 6 third placings.
Mens 1000m Seeded Single Sculls: Sean Donza.
Womens 1000m Seeded Double Sculls: Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott.
Mens D Grade Four: Robert Weatherall, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond, Conrad Bond.
Endeavour Rowing Club set to hold pair of historic events to celebrate 21 years since launch
Max McKinney February 25 2019 - 8:00PM
The club, based at Berry Park on the Hunter River near Morpeth, was started by parents who had children rowing with Hunter Valley Grammar School.
Sitting on the banks of the river spectating might seem like a nice way to spend a lazy morning or afternoon, but for those parents some 21 years ago, it was not enough.
They formed their own rowing club and within two years had secured freehold land and built a boathouse.
"Some of the parents just didn't want to sit by the riverside and decided they'd have a go at rowing," said Lyn Rayward, who had four children attend the school.
"We were one of the first clubs in the central district when it was just finding its feet as well."
Ms Rayward said club, which derived its name from Hunter Valley Grammar's motto 'Success through Endeavour', has about 60 members today and hosts a learn-to-row program every Sunday for new rowers.
It has been associated with Maitland Grossman High over the years and recently started a rowing program with Maitland Christian School.
A pair of events will be held this year to mark the 21st birthday and all ex-members are invited to attend.
"We're having a dinner in May with a couple of guests speakers and we hope to get quite a number of former members coming along who have moved away from the district or just stopped rowing," she said.
"Then we've got a regatta, which is a NSW Rowing Association regatta, called the Henley on Hunter, and that's on the October long weekend. We're going to have a cocktail party then."
Check out the club's website for more details.
It was a big weekend with 8 hours of racing on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday. Significant entries from SCECGS Redlands on Saturday, Nepean on Sunday plus North Shore and Black Mountain (Canberra) on both days gave the local clubs plenty of competition.
The tides ran strongly on both days with misty rain and near 100% humidity on Saturday followed by beautiful sunny skies on Sunday. Blustery wind on Saturday combined with the tides made for some tricky racing on Saturday but the wind calmed on Sunday giving more pleasant racing conditions.
Over the two days of racing, Endeavour had 39 crews start for 5 wins, 9 seconds and 11 thirds. With Lake Macquarie giving second place medals (provided by Lake Macquarie City Council), 20 of Endeavour’s 22 contestants took home medals. The big story of the weekend was the success of our new mens masters crew racing in their first regatta who won two of their three starts. Congratulations to Peter, Ben, Matt and Mick!
Sunday was a particularly big day for the Endeavour rowers as also being hosts of the day’s regatta. Entries were limited to two races each in order to free up bodies for all the tasks necessary to run a regatta. The absence of the SES meant that we needed to provide 6 licensed boat drivers as sentries and BRO boat drivers. We had to withdraw a crew so that the crew members could fulfil that obligation. We need more members to become licensed boat drivers.
However, the effort was worth it. Between the canteen and raffle about $1800 was raised with more money to come when our share of the entry fees is remitted.
Mens D Grade Quad Sculls: Peter Bowman, Ben Leacey, Matt Patton, Michael Shepherd.
Mens D Grade Four: Robert Weatherall, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond with coxn Katrina Whiteley.
Mens C Grade Quad Sculls: Reg Vaughan, Roger Farquhar, Greg Cook, Owen Redhead.
Mens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls: Peter Bowman, Ben Leacey, Matt Patton, Michael Shepherd.
Mens Masters Quad Sculls: Al Atkins + composite.
Saturday’s Second Place Medals:
Womens C Grade Quads: Sue Edwards, Gillian Weatherall, June Lacey, Di McShane.
Womens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls: Jill Carlstrom, Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott + composite.
Mixed Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mixed Masters Quad Sculls: Al Atkins + composite.
After last year’s gale that cancelled most of the races on Sunday, this year’s regatta was relatively benign. The rapid incoming tide and strong tail wind on Friday afternoon made racing difficult but Saturday and Sunday both provided perfect conditions for rowing. We were ready for whatever the weather gods threw at us with our new gale proof marquee, but it didn’t get much of a work out. It will have to wait for windier weather to prove its worth.
28 Endeavour crews started for 4 wins, 6 seconds and 5 thirds. All of our firsts came in composite crews with Sean Donza winning 3 medals and Di McShane and Katrina Whiteley winning one each. The most exciting race for Endeavour spectators was the Mens D Grade Eight which included every one of our male competitors at the regatta from Robert Weatherall aged 18 to Al Atkins aged 77. With 200 metres to go, the Endeavour crew was in third place. As the leading crews cracked on the pace, Endeavour was pulling them both back, overhauling one and just missing the other for second place.
Mens Masters Double Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens Masters Four: Sean Donza + composite.
Mixed Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Womens Masters Eight: Katrina Whiteley, Di McShane + composite.
Mens Masters Pair: Al Atkins + composite.
Mens B Grade Double Sculls: Robert Weatherall, Prentice Bond.
Mens Masters Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens C Grade Four: Owen Redhead, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Robert Weatherall, Reg Vaughan (coxn).
Mens D Grade Eight: Al Atkins, Owen Redhead, Reg Vaughan, Roger Farquhar, Dave Percival, Sean Donza, Robert Weatherall, Prentice Bond, Katrina Whiteley (coxn).
Mens Masters Eight: Sean Donza + composite.
By Peter Bond
Head of the Yarra 24/11/2018
After winning at last year’s Head of the Yarra, Al Atkins went back to have another go and did it again. Al rowed with the Ancient Mariners in Mens Masters I-K Eight, covering the 8.6 km course in 38 minutes and 0.97 of a second. The crew recorded both the fastest time and the fastest adjusted time in their category to bring home the gold medal.
Well done Al! – What about three in a row next year?
Newcastle Grammar Regatta 25/11/2018
Newcastle Grammar School chose a change of date for their regatta this year to co-ordinate with the school’s centenary celebrations. Newcastle Boys Grammar School was established in 1859 with the present school being “officially established” as Girls Grammar School of England in 1918. The school became co-educational in 1978. Rowing started as a single session per week during time-tabled sport in 1994.
Endeavour had 13 starts for 2 wins, 3 seconds and 4 thirds. Our only rower to take home a medal was Sean Donza with wins in MC1x and in the Mixed Quad composite with Lake Macquarie.
After the regatta, Endeavour members gathered in the club house to farewell Luke Budworth. Luke and wife Lianne are moving to Lake Cargelligo in the centre of NSW where Lianne has been posted by the ambulance service. Luke will continue selling tyres as an agent for Tyres4U. He has plans to row on the lake in his recently purchased single scull. Are there any plans for Lake Cargellico Rowing Club and an annual regatta Luke?
CHS Blues Winner – Maitland Grossmann HS Team of the Year
On Friday 30th November the 2018 Combined High Schools (CHS) Blues Presentation was conducted at the Olympic stadium with the awards being presented by Jessica Fox, a silver and bronze medalist at the Olympic Games. Endeavour Rowing Club oarsman Robert Weatherall representing Maitland Grossmann High School was awarded a blue for the sport of rowing. Robert won gold at each of the five CHS championships he attended with wins in: MU15 1x, MU16 2x, MU17 2x, ChM 2x (twice) and ChM Qx+ (three times).
In 2016 and 2017, success in Champion Mens Quad at the CHS Championships had resulted in the crew earning consecutive awards as the Maitland Grossmann High School team of the year.
After losing two Year 12 crew members following the 2017 win, Robert recruited new rowers from the school and was instrumental in their training. His efforts were rewarded when the crew of Mitchell Scales, Cameron McConville, Jack Davey, Robert Weatherall and coxn Michael Eveleigh won the school’s third CHS title to be Maitland Grossmann’s team of the year for the third year in a row.
By Peter Bond.
What a beautiful day! What great results!!
The weather for the CDRA Sprint Championships regatta was perfect – the sun shone, the rain and wind stayed away and the tide was benign. The only hiccup was the BRO imported from Sydney who didn’t know how to use his red flag. 126 races were conducted at 2½ minute intervals with the regatta running to time despite two double scull crews (not Endeavour) who went swimming but failed to delay the regatta by more than 5 minutes that were quickly caught up both times.
Fourteen Endeavour rowers attended the regatta with twelve taking home medals. In 15 starts our squad had 8 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds, possibly the first regatta we have ever attended with a better than 50% win rate. Sean Donza had 4 wins from 4 starts including 3 championships while Luke Budworth and Dave Percival each won 3. Luke will be moving to Lake Cargelligo in the centre of NSW next month and the boys wanted to send him out on a high note – they did!
By Peter Bond.
Saturday’s regatta was run in perfect weather with warm sunny skies and no wind while Sunday’s weather was overcast, cold and windy. The tides on both days flowed quickly due to the full moon on Friday night. The effect of the tide was most significant on Saturday afternoon after the tide had turned, with the many novice crews having trouble with the outgoing tide carrying them over the start line and being unable to back their boats to return. One race had to be abandoned with it being impossible to form up the 6 crews on the line.
Eight hours of racing were required on Saturday to cater for the large number of entries. Both Hunter Valley Grammar and Newcastle Grammar Schools used the regatta to introduce their new novices to racing as did visitors SCEGS Redlands. Nepean Rowing Club from Penrith added to the numbers.
Over the two days, 23 Endeavour crews started for 5 wins, 6 seconds and 3 thirds, all wins going to our masters men’s squad. After success at Port Macquarie last week, our masters women had their crews disrupted due to two rowers having to withdraw for medical reasons. Owen Redhead and Greg Cook had a great weekend, each winning 4 medals while Roger Farquhar and Sean Donza each won 3.
Winning Crews Saturday:
Winning Crews Sunday:
By Peter Bond.
In previous years these regatta have been held on the same weekend. This year, Endeavour decided to hold Henley-on-Hunter later in the month and that decision paid off with excellent entries. Henley was well patronised by Sydney clubs with multiple entries from Sydney Womens MLC and North Shore as well participants from Mosman and Glebe.
Over the two regattas, Endeavour had 16 starts for 1 win, 6 second and 3 thirds. Three Endeavour rowers and a coxn also picked up medals in the Endeavour events at Henley. Our numbers are down at the moment with racing squad members restricted to masters rowers only. Over the past few years, our junior numbers have diminished as students reach year 12, leave school and start university study or get a job, leaving them no time for rowing. At the moment, the last members of our junior squad are studying for their HSC exams and our active junior numbers are at zero.
The Endeavour win came at the Pre-IV regatta to the crew of Owen Redhead, Roger Farquhar, Sean Donza and Luke Budworth in Mens Masters Quad Sculls. The winners at Henley were Roger Young in Mens Endeavour Quad, Katrina Whitely in Womens Endeavour Quad and Di McShane with coxn Prentice Bond in Mixed Endeavour Eight.
The Mixed Endeavour Eight was a magnificent race with the three crews neck-and-neck all the way down the course. Although the ages of the competitors ranged in age from 31 to 77, the combined ages of each of the crews were 461 years, 462 years and 462 years. The crews’ performances were as close as their ages with lane 3 winning by a foot from lane 1 with lane 2 half a canvas behind (foot and canvas being terms understood by masters if not by younger rowers).
By Peter Bond.
Drummoyne Masters Regatta 22/4/2018
Luke’s coaching efforts over the past season have inspired our squad of masters men and with extra encouragement from Sean they are building themselves up to tackle the State Masters regatta.
Nine masters attended the Drummoyne regatta on Iron Cove for 4 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds from 9 starts. Al Atkins in his Ancient Mariners crews and Sean Donza both did well with two wins each.
Iron Cove Masters Regatta 6/5/2018
Al Atkins rowing with the Ancient Mariners was the only Endeavour contestant and he did well, winning both the Mens Masters F-K Quad Sculls and Eight. .
Australian Masters Championships 10-13/5/2018
Sean Donza was the sole Endeavour representative to travel to Lake Barrington in Tasmania for the National masters Championships. He had an outstanding regatta, coming home with an Australian Championship plus two silver medals as well as two wins in divisions of mixed events.
By Peter Bond (coach)
A small squad of 8 rowers and a coach attended the NSW grade championships at SIRC. Originally, 8 rowers and a coxn were entered but the coxn had to withdraw at the last minute leaving no-one to steer our sweep crews. Substitute coxns from other clubs were considered but the rowing association would only accept an Endeavour substitute. It had to be the (very) overweight coach or nothing.
Our juniors had two races in the four on Saturday. The crew of Mitchell Scales, Ayden Shepherd, Robert Weatherall and Prentice Bond with coxn Peter Bond could only manage seventh in the C Grade Four, but they were just warming up. In the D Grade Four, the Endeavour crew started fast, to be second after 100 metres. The third and fourth placed crews sat just behind Endeavour waiting for the crew to fade as the extra weight of the coxn took its toll. But the crew did not fade, holding them at bay by half a length then pulling away in the last 100 metres to finish a length ahead for a silver medal. The crew had all been there before but this was the first time the coach had ever stood on the podium at SIRC.
Sunday’s racing saw the juniors joined by 3 masters. The squad could not progress to the finals from the heats of MCQx and MD2x then they all got together in the D Grade Eight with the crew of Mitchell Scales, Ayden Shepherd, Isaac Shepherd, Owen Redhead, Dave Percival, Sean Donza, Robert Weatherall, Prentice Bond and Peter Bond. The row to the start was their first ever training session with practice starts cancelled due to the time it took to adjust foot stretchers and move the slides. Could they row together at a rating higher than 24? - they would have to wait for the race to find out.
Endeavour blasted out of the start at 40 strokes per minute and settled to 36 for the rest of the race. It was their first row together and they didn’t miss a beat. They were fast - but four other crews were faster, although they did beat two crews home. It was a lot of fun!