On 15 July the club captain advised that the committee had decided that "club rowing will recommence this Sunday at 7.00am but not Learn-to-Row. We will re-assess Learn-to Row when Sunday activities have returned to normal."
Endeavour Rowing Club Members
Following a discussion with members and after consideration of the options the Endeavour Rowing Club committee has made the following decision with respect to the corona virus: The shed will be opened at the usual times with any rower allowed to go out in a single. The coach will not allocate crews although crews who organize to row as a crew by mutual consent will be allowed to row in crew boats.
This decision may change in response to anticipated announcements from Rowing Australia and Rowing NSW this week.
After the extreme weather of last year’s championship regatta, this year was a complete contrast with calm water and little wind (although the water at the end of the island always provides some challenge). 174 races were completed in 16 hours of racing with the regatta running to time on both days.
33 Endeavour crews started for 5 wins, 6 seconds and 11 thirds. Ged Coran and Matt Patton opened our account with a win in the MD2x. The four other wins went to Sean Donza, rowing composite with the NSW representative masters crew.
Champion Mens Masters A-E Double Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Champion Mens Masters A-D Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens D Grade Double Sculls: Ged Coran, Matt Patton.
Mens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls Saturday: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls Sunday: Sean Donza + composite.
Endeavour had one starter for one win – and what a win!
Sean Donza stroked the CDRA crew vying for selection as the NSW representative Mens Quad to the National Masters Championships. The CDRA crew led all the way for an 8.75 second win ahead of St George and Mosman. Sean earned his third sky blue state singlet.
NSW Representative Quad: Roy Halliday (Manning River), Gareth Salkield (Newcastle), Rhett Pattison (Manning River), Sean Donza (Endeavour).
A record number of entries for Saturday’s regatta and significant entries for Sunday resulted in first round draws of 123 races and 81 races finishing at 6.15pm on Saturday and 4.00pm on Sunday. With the temperature predicted to be over 40 degrees on both days, Redlands school pulled their 176 crews out on Thursday resulting in second round re-draws with finish times of 3.00pm and 2.00pm. On Friday, Newcastle Grammar, Scone Grammar and Hunter Valley Grammar pulled out, necessitating a third round of draws that gave 36 races on Saturday and 34 races on Sunday with both days scheduled to finish at 12.00 noon. Maybe both programs could be completed before the temperature climbed too high – maybe!
Saturday’s Lake Macquarie regatta started in good conditions, warm but not hot, with perfectly flat water. However, the temperature climbed rapidly, reaching 38º before the lunchbreak at 9.45am. A meeting of all clubs during the break resulted in the decision to cancel the rest of the regatta due to heat. 18 races had been completed.
The first race of Sunday’s Endeavour regatta started in 34º heat which steadily climbed to 37º by 9.30am. After mill pond conditions on Saturday, the wind kicked in on Sunday reaching 20 kph after half an hour. The wind was relatively consistent for an hour then picked up with 37 kph recorded just before a big gust took out the judges’ tent. With the tent in disarray and the computer and timing system removed for preservation, the regatta was cancelled after 17 races due to wind – the temperature hadn’t reached the cut-off point of 38º.
16 Endeavour crews started for 2 wins, 3 seconds and 5 thirds. 17 crews missed races due to regatta cancellations. The all-Endeavour Masters Four event saw the more experienced H crew (average age 70 years) make the most of their 25 second handicap for a comfortable win. Sean Donza’s composite CDRA crew had a strong win in the Seeded Quad, looking good in their campaign for NSW selection to the Australian Masters Championships.
Mens Masters Four: Al Atkins, Roger Young, Les Geczy, Reg Vaughan, coxn Jill Carlstrom.
Mens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
The weather was hot and windy on Friday, cold and windy on Saturday and relatively pleasant on Sunday. A rapid incoming tide combined with a strong head wind on Friday afternoon created a 300 metre stretch of rolling waves just after the start that caused many crews grief. However, that same stretch of water was well behaved on Saturday and Sunday although many crews were caught out by the strong side breeze at the end of the island – but after the mini-cyclone last March, no-one was complaining.
39 Endeavour crews started for 4 wins, 3 seconds and 4 thirds. Peter Bowman and Tim Blomfield mastered their opposition and the rough water on Friday to win the D Grade Double Sculls. Sean Donza made a great start to his campaign for selection in the state masters crew with 3 wins in composite masters crews. Although the rest of our rowers did not get a medal, all of them said how much they enjoyed their races. The Endeavour racing squad is rowing well, we just need more race fitness.
On the Wednesday before the regatta, Katrina Whiteley had damaged a finger on a sliding boat rack that required surgery and excluded her from racing. Lucy Coren stepped into the breach and did a great job, gaining a second place at her first regatta for Endeavour.
Mens D Grade Double Sculls: Peter Bowman, Tim Blomfield.
Mens Masters Double Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens Masters Four: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens Masters Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Womens C Grade Double Sculls: Lucy Coren, Diana Trescott.
Mens Masters Eight: Al Atkins + composite.
Womens Masters Eight: Di McShane + composite.
Endeavour did not attend Saturday’s Reindeer Regatta, which was just as well because it was cancelled after 39 of the scheduled 92 races had been conducted. The smoke from the bushfires became so thick that the first half of the course could not be seen from the finish. Although the air quality was constantly monitored at Sunday’s State Sprint regatta, the pollution did not reach the high levels of the previous day and all races were completed.
Five masters men attended the regatta, four who had done some training and one who wanted to give his home made timber single its maiden run on the Olympic course.
Sean Donza got the show underway with a dominant 2.08 second win in the Mens A-E Masters Single Sculls. Next up was the crew of Matt Patton, Sean Donza, Dave Percival and Tim Blomfield in the Mens Masters Coxless Four. Having never rowed together in a four and with none of them having any sweep training for at least the last month, the crew looked good coming second in a borrowed boat. Our crews did not fire in the doubles but they certainly did in the Mens Masters Quad Sculls. If the borrowed boat had gone straight, they might have made up the margin of the handicap but at least they halved it to take the silver medal and gain the satisfaction of pulling away from St George who had overcome them in the four.
A gold and 2 silvers from 6 starts - not a bad day’s effort!
Gold MMA-E 1x Sean Donza.
Silver MM 4- Matt Patton, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Tim Blomfield.
Silver MM Qx Matt Patton, Tim Blomfield, Dave Percival, Sean Donza.
With 148 starts at 2½ minute intervals, the racing was frenetic but everything ran perfectly.
15 Endeavour crews started for 6 wins, 6 seconds and 3 thirds with 13 of our 16 competitors winning medals. Jill Carlstrom, Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott and Sean Donza each won two championships
Champion Mens Masters [D] Single Sculls: Sean Donza.
Champion Womens Masters [G-H] Single Sculls: Jill Carlstrom.
Champion Womens Masters [E] Double Sculls: Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott.
Champion Mens Masters Four: Reg Vaughan, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Owen Redhead with coxn Prentice Bond.
Champion Womens Masters [F] Quad Sculls: Jill Carlstrom, Gillian Weatherall, Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott.
Mens D Grade Quad Sculls: Peter Bowman, Roger Young, Roger Farquhar, Matt Patton.
As a consequence of the hot, windy, dry conditions, the north coast region of NSW was on fire with 150 homes lost over the weekend. The highway south of Taree was closed and Manning River Rowing Club had to pull out of the regatta as they could not get their boat trailer through. The strong wind threatened to blow out the regatta but, as the wind was perpendicular to the course rather than straight down it like a fortnight ago, the water stayed relatively calm and all races were completed.
The three schools; HVGS, Newcastle Grammar and SCEGS Redlands used this regatta to blood all of their new rowers and the number of entries was so large that the gap between races had to be reduced from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. The 110 races went from 8.00am to 5.00pm and even though it fell to half an hour behind time at one stage, the regatta finished just 10 minutes late. It was a hectic day!
Many Endeavour rowers had other commitments on the weekend and only 9 crews started for 2 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds. The wins both went to our more experienced mens crews with Reg Vaughan and Dave Percival featuring in both successful combinations.
Mens D Grade Quad Sculls: Reg Vaughan, Roger Farquhar, Dave Percival, Sean Donza.
Mens C Grade Quad Sculls: Reg Vaughan, Robert Weatherall, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond.
Lake Macquarie Derby - 13 October 2019
Last season, this event was for mixed squads of eight rowers competing in doubles and quads. This year’s event was limited to mixed teams of four rowers competing in quads only, each crew having four starts against varying opponents in three boat races. None of the Endeavour crews managed to record a win but they had a lot of fun. The smorgasbord put on for lunch after the completion of racing was luxurious.
Manning River Regatta - 19 October 2019
The Manning River club decided to hold this regatta after the association regatta program had been agreed to at the CDRA annual general meeting. Consequently, several clubs and schools had decided on their program of regattas to attend before the Manning date was known. As a result, the entries for this regatta were minimal with only 22 races conducted. Although this was just one third the size of a normal CDRA regatta program, Manning were keen to proceed in order to test their ability to conduct a regatta under the limitations of their storm damaged club house.
After the cyclonic conditions at the last Manning River regatta that took the roof off their boatshed, the weather gods tried to balance the books by providing perfect conditions. The Endeavour crews enjoyed their races although no wins were recorded. From 8 starts, our seven competitors recorded 4 seconds and 3 thirds.
After a leisurely 9am start, it was all over by 1 o’clock and we had a relaxed drive home in time for afternoon tea and a snooze before dinner.
Newcastle Grammar School and Newcastle University Regattas - 26 & 27 October 2019
The weather forecast for Saturday’s regatta was ominous with high temperatures and gale force winds predicted – and that is what we got! The first two races were rowed on a mill pond and then the weather kicked in. Within 20 minutes white caps were rolling down the river and the regatta had to be cancelled after only 8 of the 62 races had been conducted. Sunday’s conditions were more benign with pleasant temperature and a mild breeze that made for enjoyable racing.
The Endeavour entries were fewer that normal with many regular contestants either away or injured. 13 rowers contested 14 starts for 2 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds with 12 Endeavour crews being deprived of races due to Saturday’s cancellation.
Our men’s masters crew of Peter, Ged, Sean and Matt had one win on Sunday but could well have had two for the weekend but for Saturday’s cancellation. Their event was the next to be conducted when racing was stopped. Rowing back from the start, the Endeavour crew handled the rough water better than the other crews and looked as if they could have won under race conditions. The second win went to Prentice racing with the Newcastle University rowers he had competed with at the University Games in September.
Mens Seeded 1000m Quad Sculls: Peter Bowman, Ged Coren, Sean Donza, Matt Patton.
Mens Open Quad Sculls: Prentice Bond (composite with NUBC).
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Rowing conditions for the first regatta of the 2019-20 season were as close to perfect as the club has ever experienced. The water was flat with no debris and the weather was mild. The only negative was the swarm of flying ants that were just too friendly. These conditions continued until lunch time on Sunday when the wind increased for the second half of the Henley regatta – but at least the ants were blown away.
At a social get together in the club house on Saturday evening, Endeavour celebrated the beginning of the club’s twenty second season of competition by commemorating the first twenty one years of club achievements. The food was an artistic cornucopia “grazing table” that tasted as good as it looked, washed down with champagne and Dave Allen’s craft beer.
The Endeavour entries in these two regattas were the lowest for many years with 17 rowers contesting 19 starts for 3 wins, 4 seconds and 7 thirds. Endeavour rowers also picked up two medals in the feature Endeavour events on Sunday.
The most pleasing aspect of the weekend was the performance of our masters men with wins in the quad on Saturday and the eight on Sunday. Where-as the quad has regularly trained together, the eight was very much a scratch crew which had never rowed together before. Tim Blomfield found himself in the stroke seat via a process of elimination, but he did a great job as did the rest of the crew to overcome a 5 second handicap and win by six and a half seconds.
Mens Masters Quad Sculls: Reg Vaughan, Owen Redhead, Sean Donza, Dave Percival.
Mens Masters Eight: Al Atkins, Peter Bowman, Reg Vaughan, Roger Farquhar, Dave Percival, Sean Donza, Duncan Begley, Tim Blomfield (+ non-club coxn).
Mens A/B Grade Four: Prentice Bond (composite with NUBC).
Feature event winners:
Mens Endeavour Plate Quad Sculls: Al Atkins.
Mixed Endeavour Kings Cup Eight: Prentice Bond (coxn).
On 26th July 2019 the Endeavour Rowing Club's Annual General Meeting, where reports on the past year were presented and new office holders were elected, was held. Following on from the AGM awards for the past year were presented at the clubhouse on 28 July 2019.
The following are the President's and the Club Captain's reports together with above photos, which were taken at the Award presentation.
Endeavour Rowing Club
Annual General Meeting
I’d like to start with a thank you to both the Committee and the members of Endeavour Rowing Club (ERC) for working together towards the common goal of making sure ERC is a friendly, supportive/competitive, successful club. The success of our 21st dinner in May can only confirm this.
Through the year we have held 2 Regattas as well as the Marathon (though cancelled at Raymond Terrace due to deteriorating weather conditions), hosted the Central Districts Rowing Association (CDRA) Coaching Camp, established a school rowing partnership with Maitland Christian School, adopted our new Constitution which brings us in line with the Dept of Fair Trade compliance. We have also held a very successful Bunnings BBQ fundraiser as well as celebrated our 21st year of rowing.
We have purchased a new motor for the tinny, a trailer for the flat bottomed tinny, boat lights for our early morning safety, upheld the upkeep of our boats and equipment and as we speak the slippery floor of our Boatshed is being addressed. We have also painted the deck and railings and continued with the kitchen refurbishment.
Socially, we have established a bi monthly family friendly Sunday Brekkie and continue with our learn-to-row/social row on Sunday mornings. We have a group of social rowers on Wednesday that continues to grow.
Competitively we have attended many Regattas both at home and away. We survived the storm at CDRA Championships this year, we also attended the inaugural Lake Macquarie Derby and had representation at Head of the Yarra (Allen Atkins – gold) and state representation at the National Masters Championships – well done Sean Donza.
We have refreshed our representation at away Regattas with new trailer signage, a teardrop flag and a magenta ERC tent.
Endeavour Rowing Club is extremely blessed to have our coaching program which encourages our competitiveness within the region/state/country – this takes a lot of personal time and expense and we are extremely grateful.
A highlight for the year was our 21st Celebrations which have started with a bang and are ongoing – our celebration dinner was very successful and a huge thanks to go to the sub committee for organising this with our thanks to our speakers – Barry Moynahan, Digby Rayward and Les Geczy. We can now look forward to the Cocktail Party in September.
We have started an auditing process for our membership and key holders, are establishing a Club Protocol (handbook to distribute to new members), Regatta Planning and Operation Guide – especially for away Clubs who host their regattas from the Hunter Rowing Complex. We are looking into the future and how to best take advantage of the existing complex and how we can improve it moving forward.
None of these accomplishments and plans for the future would be possible without the full support and hard work from everyone in our Club throughout the year.
Club President 2019
Endeavour Rowing Club - Captains Report 2019.
The Endeavour Rowing Club racing squad attended 18 regattas during the 2018/19 racing season. In 26 days of competition 27 members competed, 7 in their first season of competition, and in 212 starts ERC had 46 wins, 42 seconds and 45 thirds.
Medals in State and National Championship events: 9 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze
Edward Trickett Grade Championships.
Silver MC2x: Sean Donza + composite
Bronze: Robert weatherall, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond, coxn Conrad Bond
NSW Masters Championships.
Gold: MM C Qx; Sean Donza + composite
Gold: MM D Qx; Sean Donza + composite
Gold: MM I-M Qx; Al Atkins + composite
Gold: MM I-M 4-; Al Atkins + composite
Gold: MM I-M 8+; Al Atkins + composite
Bronze: MM EQx; Sean Donza + composite
National Masters Championships.
Gold: MM A 4+; Sean Donza + composite
Gold: MM C Qx; Sean Donza + composite
Gold: MM J-M Qx; Al Atkins + composite
Gold: MM J-M 4-; Al Atkins + composite
Silver: MM B 4+; Sean Donza + composite
Bronze; MM C 2x; Sean Donza + composite
* Sean Donza was selected in the Masters Quad to represent NSW at the National Masters Championships, with the crew placing 4th.
* Al Atkins competed with the Ancient Mariners at the head of the Yarra to win gold in MM I-K 8+.
* Robert Weatherall was awarded a CHS blue
Boat Racing Officers (BROs). Endeavour Rowing Club members provided a significant proportion of the BROs at the 10 regattas hosted by Central Districts Rowing Association (CDRA) clubs viz Peter Bond 10, Les Geczy 9, Matt Patton 9 and Peter Bowman 8. The first 2 were in the name of ERC and the second 2 in the name of Hunter Valley Grammar School (HVGS).
2019 CDRA Pointscore - Endeavour Rowing Club finished seventh. 1st: HVGS (1189 points), 2nd: Newcastle Grammar (471.5), 3rd: Lake Macquarie (341.75), Newcastle (306), Manning River (214.75), NUBC (186), Endeavour (167), Port Macquarie (123), Upper Hunter (731), Brisbane Water (36.5), Central Coast (22.25).
Regattas - Endeavour Rowing Club hosted two regattas during the season: Henley-on-Hunter (30/9/2018) and the Endeavour Regatta (3/2/2019). Henley benefitted from being held late in September with increased entries over previous years. These regattas attracted entries from Sydney clubs: Sydney Womens, MLC, North Shore, Mosman, Glebe, Nepean, plus Black Mountain from the ACT. Both regattas were will co-ordinated thanks to the great efforts of our club members.
School Rowing - During Term 4 2018 and Term 1 2019, Endeavour hosted Maitland Christian School for sport on Friday mornings with 2 sessions per day for Years 7 & 8 and for Years 9 & 10. Ten Endeavour members assisted with the training: Sue Philpot, Marilyn Hyde, Jill Carlstrom, Di McShane, Reg Vaughan, Greg Cook, Roger Farquhar, Les Geczy, Peter Bond. It is anticipated that this will be repeated in Terms 4 and 1 this coming season.
Australian Masters Championships 22nd-25th May 2019
Two Endeavour members travelled to Perth for the National Masters Championships and both came home with a swag full of medals!
Allen (Al) Atkins backed up his 3 state championships with 2 Australian gold medals. Racing in a composite crew with rowers from Victoria, the ACT and North Shore Rowing Club, Al took first place in both the Mens Masters J-M Quad Sculls and Mens Masters J-M Coxless Four. All crews in both events were from the J category aged between 80 and 83.
After 2 gold and a bronze at the NSW Masters, Sean Donza went one better with 2 gold, a silver and a bronze at the Nationals. He backed this up with a first and a third in divisions of mixed events. Sean rowed in different combinations made up from members of his state representative crew and their coach and with Rowan Hislop of NUBC (Newcastle University Boating Club) in the B Four.
In the Interstate Quad race, NSW just missed out on a medal with fourth place.
Age categories - A: 27 - 35, B: 36 - 42, C: 43 - 49, D: 50 -54
Gold – Mens Masters A Coxed Four – Sean Donza + composite.
Gold – Mens Masters C Quad Sculls – Sean Donza + composite.
Gold – Mens Masters J-M Coxless Four – Al Atkins + composite.
Gold – Mens Masters J-M Quad Sculls – Al Atkins + composite.
Silver – Mens Masters B Coxed Four – Sean Donza + composite.
Bronze – Mens Masters C Double Sculls – Sean Donza + composite.
First – Mixed Masters D Quad Sculls – Sean Donza + composite.
Third – Mixed Masters C Double Sculls – Sean Donza + composite.
Fourteen members of Endeavour’s racing squad travelled to Leichhardt Rowing Club for the Iron Cove Masters regatta. This was new water for ten of the squad, the first time they had raced on such an open course. Iron Cove was very well behaved with relatively small ripples that calmed down as the regatta progressed and a minor swell that complicated boat balance but did not interfere with the racing. It could have been a lot worse.
15 Endeavour crews started for 2 wins, 2 seconds and 3 thirds. Our first medals were earned in Mens D Quad by the crew of Reg Vaughan, Dave Percival and Owen Redhead composite with Newcastle’s Japanese rower Osamu Mitarai (Marc). They came in 2.5 seconds ahead of Drummoyne with our second MDQx in third place. Our second win went to Al Atkins rowing with the Ancient Mariners in MF-MQx. Al’s “H” crew was the oldest in the race with an average age between 80 and 83.
Mens Masters D Quad: Reg Vaughan, Osamu Mitarai (Newcastle), Dave Percival, Owen Redhead.
Mens Masters F-M Quad: Al Atkins + Ancient mariners.
Mens Masters C Quad: Peter Bowman, Ben Leacey, Matt Patton, Mick Shepherd.
Mixed Masters Quad: Katrina Whiteley, Owen Redhead, Dave Percival, Diana Trescott.
Endeavour had four entries in the NSW Grade Championships and came away with 2 medals – a worthwhile result!
On Saturday, the four of Robert Weatherall, Sean Donza, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond and coxn Conrad Bond raced in MD4+ and MC4+. Conrad had transferred from NUBC the week before to be able to cox the crew. In their first race of the day, the crew earned progression to the final of the D4+ with a fourth place in their heat. Next up, the C4+ was a straight final, and the crew (and coach) were not expecting a result in the higher grade - this was to be a warm up for the D4+ final. Nepean shot away at the start and were never headed but Endeavour found themselves in a four way battle for the minor medals. Rather than save something for D grade, they fought out the finish of C grade, pulling away from two of their closest contenders to finish in third place for the bronze medal. They didn’t have enough left for the D grade final and finished out of the places.
Immediately after the D grade final, Sean Donza went out again with the NSW representative masters quad. As a composite of different clubs, the state crew’s entry could not be accepted in the grade events, so a special race was put on for them against 3 Pathways Womens Eights which started 10 seconds ahead of the quad. Being a masters crew, the quad was only expected to race the first 1000 metres but they kept going for the full 2000 metres overtaking one eight, reducing one eight’s lead to 2.3 seconds and covering the 2K in a time only 1.5 seconds slower than the fastest eight. Not bad for an exhausted crew of old blokes.
On Sunday, Sean Donza rowed with Rhett Pattison of Manning River in the colours of the Central Ditricts Rowing Association. The CDRA crew won their heat of MC2x then came second in the final for a silver medal. Endeavour’ fourth crew was the WDQx of Katrina Reynolds, Maddie Smith, Sarah Reynolds and Diana Trescott. This was the first race ever for Maddie and Sarah. The crew rowed well although they missed the final.
A regatta with a difference. Teams of eight (4 men and 4 women) with all rowers competing over 400 metres in single sex quad, single sex double, mixed quad and mixed double – four races for each rower – twelve races for the team. Lake Macquarie supplied the boats and blades for all crews. Points were given for each race with the top pointscoring team getting $400, the second team $200 and the third team $100.
Endeavour entered the team of Di McShane, Jill Carlstrom, Diana Trescott, June Lacey, Sean Donza, Owen Redhead, Roger Farquhar and Matt Patton. The Newcastle Grammar team made up of their rowing coaches and the Lake Macquarie No.3 team finished equal first and divided first and second prizes to get $300 each. Endeavour finished in a three way tie for third place with each of the three teams getting $50.
Endeavour had four wins: M2x (Owen, Sean), W2x (Jill, Diana), Mixed 2x (Di, Sean), Mixed Qx (Jill, Matt, Roger, Diana). Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Grammar knew the course, took the inside lane whenever they could and hugged the bank for the best water and shortest course. Crews unfamiliar with the course rowed off at an angle enabling slower crews to cross the line first – this was the situation for several Endeavour crews. Our mens' quad got a big early lead only to have a rigger come loose and the resulting crab and detached rigger put the crew out of the race. One Endeavour double rolled out on the way to the start (silly buggers!). The helpful person who did up their gate after helping them right the boat was not as helpful as they should have been with the gate popping open during the race. Next time we’ll take our own boats.
Despite the advantages to the local rowers, the visitors enjoyed the format and, with a little refining, this regatta will be a good one to come back to next year.
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.