Head-of-the-Hunter – 16 September 2023
The Head-of-the-Hunter mini-marathon over 12.5 km from Raymond Terrace to Berry Park was reintroduced this season in place of the Pre-IV regatta of previous years. This event had been run in the early 1990s and in more recent years had been a shorter alternative offered as part of the 44km marathon from Newcastle Harbour to Berry Park that was last conducted in 2019.
Race organisation suffered from inexperience (all were new to marathon planning) but the 47 starters eventually got underway although their start times were spread across 55 minutes rather than the 24 minutes originally scheduled.
Ten Endeavour rowers made their way up-river. The pace was comfortable with them arriving in times between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes. They enjoyed the trip, saving themselves for the more frenzied racing on Sunday.
Completing the 12.5km were:
Henley-on-Hunter –17 September 2023
The last 3 Henley-on-Hunter regattas had to be cancelled for
Although we finally got our beach back, the Sydney clubs that previously entered regularly had broken their habit of attendance and the only entries were from local clubs. With the schools deciding not to attend, the number of entries was small. Only 13 of the 41 events received enough starters to form a race. The events conducted were grouped into 4 brackets, each containing four masters races with 30 minutes between brackets. Masters from Endeavour, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and NUBC had some fine racing in wonderful Spring weather although the wind did get up for the last few events.
Endeavour rowers performed particularly well, gaining 7 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds from 14 starts in regular events. Also, each of the winning crews in the 3 mixed club Endeavour events contained at least one Endeavour rower. Alex, Brueton, Dave Percival and Di McShane each took home 3 medals – a very successful day of racing!
Mens Masters Single Scull: Alex Brueton.
Womens Masters Single Scull: Chris Brennan.
Womens Masters Double Scull: Myff Lawrie, Rosie Furness.
Womens Masters Double Scull: Chris Brennan, Di McShane.
Mens Masters Quad Scull: Tony Chadwick, Chris Bonomini, Dave Percival, Alex Brueton.
Womens Masters Quad Scull: Katrina Whiteley, Diana Trescott, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Mens Open Quad Scull: Reg Vaughan, Dave Henderson, Dave Percival, Alex Brueton.
Mens Endeavour Quad Scull: Dave Percival + composite.
Womens Endeavour Quad Scull: Myff Lawrie + composite.
Mixed Endeavour Eight: Tony Chadwick, Peter Bowman, Di McShane + composite.
A full squad of 22 Endeavour rowers attended the NSW Masters Championships at SIRC. Although the weather was clear, the wind played havoc, resulting in the abandonment of the held starts on Sunday afternoon and the cancellation of small boat races. Rosie Furness went to the start of her single sculls event just as the wind was building. One of the scullers failed to arrive, 3 were blown over in the marshalling area and only 2 stayed upright. Rosie nearly took a swim but recovered to stay dry. With the race cancelled, she was grateful to the BRO who escorted her back down the course in case she needed assistance.
From 25 starts our squad recorded 1 win, 3 seconds and 3 thirds - earning 5 state medals. Chris Brennan excelled with a gold and 2 silver medals while 8 of our women came home with hardware. Six of our crews lost races due to the cancellations with at least one near-certain medal lost and maybe more.
Di McShane had been entered in 7 events but with her mother very ill, she decided to race in only 2 which allowed her some time with her mother before driving to Penrith on Saturday. Di’s mother passed away on Saturday night and she resolved to take her mother’s spirit with her when she raced the Womens G Quad on Sunday morning with Lindy Nisbett and Chris Brennan plus Anne Campbell from Lake Macquarie. Peter Bond asked the girls to also take the spirit of his father who had passed a month before. The Lake Macquarie/Endeavour girls and their 2 passengers led all the way, holding off a late challenge.
Our F quad of Lindy, Chris, Rosie and Di raced against younger crews in the Womens E Quad for second place, beaten by a composite crew hand-picked from 4 clubs. All crews started on “go” but if the standard handicaps had been applied, our girls would have won by 1.10 seconds.
Another notable performance came in the Womens E Double where Diana Trescott had substituted in place of Di. Diana and Rosie had never rowed together in a double and they struggled to make the final, just scraping into 4th place in their heat. But what a difference in the final! Coming into the last 100 metres, 3 crews were fighting for 2nd place and they all hit the line together. The margins were 0.28 and 0.38 – our crew missed a silver medal by just 0.66 second – and they were the fastest non-composite crew in the event.
Endeavour had 5 quads competing at the regatta which also re-grouped into smaller boats and mixed crews. Although some of the smaller boats were off the pace, all 5 of our crews competed well and they are all psyched up and raring to go for the Australian Championships in a fortnight’s time.
Gold – WMG Qx: Di McShane, Chris Brennan, Lindy Nisbett + composite.
Silver – WME Qx: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Silver – WMG 1x: Chris Brennan.
Silver – WMG 8+: Katrina Whiteley + composite.
Bronze – WMB Qx: Natalie Williamson, Sarah Barnes, Rosie Furness, Diana Trescott.
CDRA Championships – 29 & 30th April 2023
The CDRA Championship regatta at Taree included the highest Endeavour participation of the season, with entries submitted for 26 members including 5 new rowers having their first ever race.
Although rain had been predicted the weather was fine, even if the tide was running at a million miles an hour.
We were anticipating early success with our Womens Masters F Quad due to start in the fourth race. Having won at every regatta they have started in this season, their chances were good. But it was not to be. The crew had gone out early for a warm-up and was returning towards the marshalling area when a crew doing a practice start in the wrong direction hit them at full speed. Lindy and Chris in the bow took the full brunt of the impact. A rigger and 2 blades of the Manning boat broke on impact and our boat was rolled over depositing the Endeavour girls in the water. With no official boats in the vicinity, the girls were in the cold water for a lengthy time. When help eventually arrived, Chris was in shock and shivering convulsively with no-one sure of her injuries. She was strapped to a spinal board and taken by ambulance to hospital where she recovered with no significant damage done. Lindy and Chris came out of the incident with cuts, abrasions and some bad bruising but thankfully both will live to race another day.
After the collision, the rest of the regatta was an anti-climax. Endeavour had 44 starts over the two days for 2 wins, 12 seconds and 14 thirds. Medals were scarce with Di McShane being our only winner, recording 2 firsts in Womens Masters Sculls and as a member of a Womens Masters Eight.
Di also participated in the most exciting race of the regatta, although it was for second place. The mixed quad of Rosie, Di, Chris and Prentice had a ding-dong battle against a composite NUBC/Endeavour crew with Tony Chadwick in the bow. Neither crew would give in and the tempo grew as the line got closer. In an out-and-out sprint, Endeavour got the upper hand by just 0.3 second. Prentice had to be carried from the boat.
Womens Masters F Single Scull: Di McShane.
Womens Masters Eight: Di McShane + composite.
15 -16th April, 2023
This regatta report chronicles the highs and lows of the Endeavour race squad at the Edward Trickett Regatta.
Our eight men successfully loaded the boats, hitched them to the Mattmobile and headed south to the Sydney International Rowing Centre for a pre Masters Championships site recce and chance to gather some objective race times.
Saturday opened to a beautiful sunny day, barely a whiff of breeze in the morning and a slight breeze in the afternoon. The Rhythm Doctors’ first run in the D grade quad heat yielded a 4th place, a berth in the final and PB time of 3.43. The final in the afternoon was predictably fast and the Rhythm Doctors came in at the back of the field but clocked an improved SIRC PB of 3.38. Smiles and burning legs all round.
The day finished at Nepean Rowers, which catered to every form of entertainment, everywhere, everything, all at once.
Sunday was ominously overcast and still. The Rhythm Doctors were the first race of the day in the C Grade quad heat. This race is best described as the ‘Banzai Pipeline’ courtesy of the BRO wash that accompanied the crew for the last 500m of the race, which ensured plenty of opportunities for cut backs, re entries and a trip to the tower for a constructive chat with officialdom.
In the following C Grade quad heat Dave, Owen, Alex and Chris blasted out of the blocks at 36 to record a sizzling time of 3.38. The D grade doubles in the afternoon were a little more measured with 3 of the crews coming home within 9 seconds of each other and the fourth suffering an asthma attack. Best result in the D grade doubles was Chris and Alex (Brueton & Bonomini & Berry Park) coming in with a tidy time of 4.04 and 5th place in their heat.
With the boys’ crews so close there should be some exciting training runs on Thursdays with short odds being offered by Sportsbet and Ladbrokes.
The trailer was packed before the storm hit and the regatta was called off.
March 12, 2023
The boat trailer was loaded and the Bond-mobile set out down the M1 only to have the temperature gauge rise to 95%. The car was nursed home and a replacement vehicle was called in – thanks Di.
When we arrived at Leichhardt, all the parking spots were occupied but we sweet talked Glebe and squeezed in to a site that was much closer to the launching ramp than our last visit.
Entries had been lodged for 12 Endeavour members but before any of them got on the water, there was an Endeavour zootie in the bow seat of the leading boat of the Mens Masters F-M Eight. He’d kept it a secret, but Al Atkins held on to win in a J crew with an average age between 80 and 83 – who says old blokes can’t perform?
Iron Cove is not the calmest body of water and as the regatta progressed the water got more lumpy and the wind and tide played havoc with the start until officials called the regatta off after 41 of the 57 scheduled races.
From 12 starts, Endeavour had 2 wins, 4 seconds and 5 thirds with 4 crews having their races cancelled. Wins went to Al and to Lindy Nisbett in Womens Masters F-M Single Sculls.
In the WMD-E 4-, our crew carried a coxn but were taken out by two North Shore coxless crews that converged on them from either side, forcing Endeavour to stop. The BRO did nothing and let North Shore go their merry mis-guided way. In the WME Qx, the same thing happened but our girls put in a sprint and got just enough ahead to escape the squeeze, leaving the two converging crews to take each other out. The BROs on Iron Cove need some Central Districts training.
25 & 26th February, 2023
Although the first regattas of the season had been scheduled for Berry Park, both double-regatta weekends before Christmas had to be cancelled. Henley-on-Hunter and Pre-IV in September could not go ahead due to the damage caused by the big flood in July and the HVGS and NUBC regattas in October were cancelled because further heavy rain raised the height and flow of the river.
Five and a half months later than scheduled, we finally got to race at Berry Park. However, because of the damage to the Endeavour beach, entry was limited to CDRA clubs with all visitors restricted to the HVGS boat ramp only. The restrictions enabled the regattas to proceed successfully with two days of wonderful weather and smooth water. The only hiccup was the loss of 5 buoys marking the transit lane that gained the displeasure of the Maritime man. Prentice went out and did a patch-up job but we don’t know where those buoys disappeared to.
Endeavour had 40 starts over the two days for 6 wins, 11 seconds and 12 thirds. Rosie Furness, Di McShane and Chris Brennan took home 4 medals each and Lindy Nisbett won 3.
Winning crews Saturday:
Womens Masters Single Scull: Chris Brennan.
Womens Masters Double Scull: Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Womens Masters Quad Scull: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Winning crews Sunday:
Womens Masters Double Scull: Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Womens Masters Double Scull: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
Womens Masters Quad Scull: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
After being cancelled due to Covid in 2021 and being deferred and restricted to 2 days in Autumn 2022, the Taree Summer Regatta returned to 3 days of Summer in 2023. Racing conditions were reasonably good during the mornings despite some intermittent rain, but the wind came up before lunch and all 3 afternoons were rowed on rough water.
Endeavour’s complete racing squad of 24 rowers attended with 2 trailers needed to transport the boats. A feature of the weekend was the club’s return to eight sweep oared racing with 5 eights entered including the Mixed Eight for the big money (we didn’t win any cash), our first entry in this event for 6 years.
Endeavour crews featured in 39 starts for 2 wins, 7 seconds and 8 thirds. Lindy Nisbett and Di McShane showed out with a win, 3 seconds and 2 thirds each, although Lindy also took a second as a coxn. Chris Brennan was close on their heels with a win, 3 seconds and one third. Racing with Rosie Furness, these girls took first place in the Womens D Grade Quad Scull, the crew’s 4th win in 4 regattas.
Katrina Whiteley, Kim Stedman, Matt Patton and Tim Blomfield had a convincing 10.6 second win in their division of Mixed Quad Sculls, while it was great to see Dave Percival and Tony Chadwick racing with their daughters for 3rd place in their division of the same event.
A very pleasing aspect of the regatta was the performance of both our mens and womens D grade eights, each of which rowed well for 2nd place in their events – not bad for rowers who only started sweep rowing a month ago.
WD Qx: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Mixed Qx: Katrina Whiteley, Kim Stedman, Matt Patton, Tim Blomfield.
WD 8+: Fiona Webb, Marg Churton, Natalie Williamson, Sarah Barnes, Gillian Weatherall, Kim Stedman, Katrina Whiteley, Di McShane, coxn Lindy Nisbett.
MD 8+: Peter Bowman, Ged Coran, Matt Patton, Tim Blomfield, Andrew Halley, Owen Redhead, Dave Percival, Prentice Bond, coxn Katrina Whiteley.
WM Qx: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
WM 8+: Lindy Nisbett, Di McShane + composite.
MD 2x: Matt Patton, Tim Blomfield.
WM 2x: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
WM 1x: Chris Brennan.
Eighteen Endeavour rowers raced in the Reindeer and State Sprint regattas at SIRC recording 2 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds including 3 state medals from 25 starts. We had some good performances in the morning’s non-championship reindeer events but the best was left till last. What else can be said than WOW! (wonderful women). What great rowing!
Endeavour has won medals at the State Sprint Championships before but never more than a single gold. In 2 tight finishes where our crews had to throw everything at their opponents to survive, our women fought magnificently to cross the line first.
Eight crews, ranging in age categories from A to E, started in the Womens Masters Quad Sculls. Our crew of Lindy Nisbett, Natalie Williamson, Rosie Furness and Di McShane, being in the oldest category, started off ‘Go’. Endeavour and the Drummoyne crew in the lane next to them battled for the lead all the way down the course. With 50 metres to go, their bowballs were in line but Endeavour squeezed out enough to cross first by only 0.51 second.
In the D/E division of the Womens Masters Double Sculls, 3 crews could have won at the 100 metre mark. Rosie Furness and Di McShane were too strong in the closing stages to draw ahead for a 1.58 second win ahead of Corowa and North Shore.
Lindy Nisbett also had a tight finish in the F-H division of Womens Masters Single Sculls coming third, only 0.33 seconds behind second place.
Gold - Champion Womens Masters [A-E] Quad Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Natalie Williamson, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Gold - Champion Womens Masters [D,E] Double Sculls: Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Bronze - Champion Womens Masters [F-H] Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett.
Reindeer place getters:
2nd - Womens Masters [D,E] Double Sculls: Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
2nd - Womens Masters [F-H] Double Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
3rd - Womens Masters [F-H] Single Sculls: Chris Brennan.
The 2022 CDRA Sprint regatta was conducted on the highest tide the event has ever experienced. For the middle bracket of racing, there was no beach in front of the Endeavour tent with the water half way up the new stone wall. In the BRO tent at the finish line, the water came around the stone wall and nearly reached the feet of the officials. The depth of water prompted some novel methods of presenting medals (see picture). The weather was mild and the wind stayed away giving perfect racing conditions.
Eighteen Endeavour members attended (9 men and 9 women) with 2 of them having their first ever race - and their first ever win. From 21 starts, our squad had 5 firsts, 10 seconds and 4 thirds. Lindy Nisbett won all 3 of her events, all being in championships. Chris Brennan also had 3 wins including 2 championships while Rosie Furness and Natalie Williamson each won 2 races.
Champion Womens Masters [G] Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett.
Champion Womens Masters [G] Double Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
Champion Womens Masters [E] Quad Sculls: Chris Brennan, Natalie Williamson, Rosie Furness, Lindy Nisbett.
Womens Seeded Quad Sculls: Sarah Barnes, Natalie Williamson, Rosie Furness, Chris Brennan.
Mens Seeded Quad Sculls: Tony Chadwick, Chris Bonomini, Andrew Halley, Dave Percival.
Head of the Lake - 29 October 2022
Since their first regatta in 2013, Newcastle Grammar had always scheduled their events to be run at Berry Park, although the last 2 were cancelled due to Covid. For 2022, the school decided to trial something new, a 10 kilometre event over 2 laps of a 5k course on Lake Macquarie titled ‘Head of the Lake’.
The single Endeavour crew of Peter Bowman, Ged Coran, Matt Patton and Tim Blomfield decided to gamble with the weather and entered the marathon. Unfortunately, the conditions lived up to the expectations of those who remembered past regattas on the lake. When the first boats started the waves were moderate but conditions worsened and the waves overcame many of the junior crews, who were blown into Warners Bay with several boats sinking.
Endeavour was one of two Mens Masters Quads to start. Our boat, the ‘King’ handled the conditions well, taking only a small amount of water but our opponents, Lake Macquarie, shipped a lot of water and had to pull in to the bank to empty out. Endeavour won the Mens Masters Quad category.
Lake Macquarie Derby - 30 October 2022
Two Endeavour crews participated in the Derby, a series of three boat races for mixed quads. Each crew got to race four times against different opponents with final placings determined by a pointscore of 3 points for a win, 2 for second and 1 for third. All crews started on a zero handicap with 4 seconds added for each win and 2 seconds added for a second place. Although they finished on a handicap of 12 seconds, NUBC won all 4 of their races to take home the $400 winner’s cheque.
The Endeavour crews did well, both getting up for a win. The crew of Katrina Whiteley, Kim Stedman, Owen Redhead and Tony Chadwick scored 9 points from a win and 3 seconds to be equal 5th out of the 13 crews. Fiona Webb, Marg Churton, Gillian Weatherall and Peter Bowman scored a win, a second and 2 thirds for 7 points and 9th place. A great day was had by all!
We hadn’t been able to row on the Hunter for at least 3 weeks due to the constant high water and continuous rain. We sent Owen Redhead down to test the waters but he went bottoms up before he could get near the edge. Finally, on the Thursday before the regatta, the water was so high that it rose above the slippery mud that had been Owen's downfall. Despite the rapid flow we decided to get in at least one training session.
The Manning River was far better behaved than the Hunter and the weather was beautiful for most of Saturday's regatta, although the rain for the last half hour did put a dampener on proceedings.
Endeavour finished up with 3 wins, 2 seconds and 5 thirds – not bad considering our dearth of on-water training.
Womens Masters Single Scull: Chris Brennan.
Womens Masters Double Scull: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
IWomens Masters Quad Scull: Lindy Nisbett, Di McShane, Chris Brennan + composite.
Head of the Manning - November 6 2022
Sunday morning for the row around Dumaresq was perfect with calm water, a mild breeze and clear skies (and no rain). Endeavour had only one starter, Peter Bowman in Mens Masters Single Sculls. Peter was placed 4th out of 7 starters in his event - a commendable result - but for Peter it was more about the journey than the competition. As Peter said, with 16 kilometres to row compared to the usual one kilometre race, the Head was the best value per kilometre for the standard entry fee.
Three Endeavour members travelled south to Victoria for the National Masters on Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree. With the reputation of being one of the coldest rowing courses in Australia, the lake lived up to its reputation. A cross breeze for the first two days did not help, blowing crews off the starting platforms and delaying starts for up to ten minutes while boats were brought under control.
Endeavour had 12 starts for 1 win, 3 seconds and 2 thirds earning 2 silver and 2 bronze medals in championship events as well as a first and a second in divisions of mixed events. Lindy Nisbett led the medal count with 2 silver and a bronze as well as both mixed medals while both Di McShane and Chris Brennan each earned a silver and a bronze.
Endeavour’s most exciting race was the Womens G Quad with Endeavour leading for most of the race only to be caught just short of the line by a composite Victorian crew. In the Womens G Single and Womens G Lightweight Single, Chris Brennan and Lindy Nisbett both had tight struggles as they approached the finish, both battling for second place. Chris missed out by only 0.27 second to came third while Lindy held on by the even smaller margin of 0.15 second for second place.
Endeavour is proud of the achievements of these three representatives who did so well despite the inability to row at our site for 2 months due to mud on our ramp from the flood while their opponents continued to train.
Silver – WMG Qx: Di McShane, Chris Brennan, Lindy Nisbett + composite.
Silver – WMGLw 1x: Lindy Nisbett.
Bronze – WMG 8+: Di McShane, Lindy Nisbett + composite.
Bronze – WMG 1x: Chris Brennan.
First – Mixed H-M 2x: Lindy Nisbett + composite.
Second – Mixed H-M 8+: Lindy Nisbett coxn.
The Taree Summer Regatta had been postponed from January until March so that it was actually conducted in Autumn. The east coast low weather system in early March that caused severe flooding up and down the coast from Brisbane to Sydney, let Taree off relatively lightly. The Manning River rose to the base of the club house walls causing the cancellation of the CDRA Championships on 5/6th March and then receded to normal height before the Summer Regatta. However, as the lawn around the shed was saturated no trailers were allowed in the boating area. We took our trailer up a day early and parked in the best spot on the road above.
From when the first list of proposed entries was put together, 9 Endeavour members progressively pulled out, 2 because of Covid, 4 for other health reasons and 3 whose competition had been reduced to one race and decided that the trip was not worthwhile. On the plus side, we only needed to take 2 quads instead of 4 which gave room on the trailer for all of the boats required.
Over the two days, Endeavour had 30 starts for 3 wins, 6 seconds and 7 thirds. Chris Brennan and Lindy Nisbett led the way with two wins each followed by Di McShane with one. The Mens D Grade Double Scull of Peter Bowman and Tony Chadwick came oh-so-close to a fourth win, leading for 980 metres only to be caught by a younger crew and beaten by just 0.43 of a second.
Womens Masters Quad Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Di McShane + composite.
Womens Masters Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett
Womens Masters Single Sculls: Chris Brennan
The Newcastle regatta was originally scheduled to be conducted on 7th November but that date fell foul of covid restrictions and the regatta was deferred for 5 weeks. At least we got to race, eventually.
The temperature was pleasant and the rain kept away, despite showers being predicted, but the wind was not as cooperative. The regatta was divided into 3 sessions with the southerly blowing in for the second and third sessions, the strong head wind creating disturbed water.
At this point I have recycled a comment from the 2018 Newcastle regatta report
“The only hiccup was the BRO imported from Sydney who didn’t know how to use his red flag.”
The same bloke did it again to the same crew in the same event. In 2018, the Endeavour mens masters four carrying a coxn was rammed by an out-of-control Lake Macquarie four without a coxn within the first one hundred metres. Instead of raising the red flag to stop the race, the BRO did nothing, allowing the third crew in the race to continue to the finish unopposed. In 2021, exactly the same thing happened. The Endeavour mens masters coxed four was rammed by an out-of-control coxless four, although this time the culprits were from Newcastle. Again, the BRO did nothing, allowing the third crew in the race to continue to the finish unopposed.
After only ten Endeavour members attended the first regatta of the 2021/22 season at Taree and nine competed in the State Sprints at SIRC, a full racing squad of twenty four entered the CDRA Sprint Championships at Carrington. In 25 starts our squad had 4 wins, 14 seconds and 3 thirds. Lindy Nibett won all 3 of her starts with Rosie Furness winning 2 and Digby Rayward, Di McShane and Kerry Blatchley winning one each. Fourteen second placings showed that we were in with a chance in many events, but suffered from a lack of on-water training due to extended flooding on the Hunter, a problem not experienced by most of our opponents.
Champion Womens Masters [G-H] Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett.
Champion Mens Masters [G-I] Single Sculls: Digby Rayward.
Champion Womens Masters [E] Double Sculls: Rosie Furness, Lindy Nisbett.
Champion Womens Masters [E-H] Quad Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Kerry Blatchley, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
After 6 cancellations, the regular regatta season finally got underway, 2 months later than scheduled, with the Manning River regatta at Taree. It had been raining state-wide for over a week and the Hunter River was rising rapidly. There was speculation that the Manning River would also be overfull, but we were guaranteed that the run in the river was no more than an outgoing high tide at Berry Park. The river proved to be well behaved with the water contained within the regular limits, unlike the Hunter which rose to just short of topping the levee bank while we were away for the weekend.
Saturday’s regatta had a reduced program to ensure completion before the speedboat races scheduled to begin at mid-day. The car park was fenced off and full of boats on trailers that offended the ear when their motors were warmed up prior to the last rowing race. The raucous staccato of straight-through exhausts have boosted their self-esteem but did little to impress anyone else.
The regatta was conducted on a 1000 metre course starting at the bridge, running in the opposite direction to standard Manning regattas. Rather than the usual tent on the river side, the BROs occupied a new location in a room on the first floor of the club’s fancy new premises that gave a weatherproof elevated view of the finish line. The regatta gave the hosts the opportunity to trial regatta procedures in the new facility before the Taree Summer Regatta in January.
Twelve Endeavour crews started for 2 wins, a second and 2 thirds. Lindy Nisbett and Chris Brennan were double winners with Rosie Furness and Di McShane also being successful.
Womens Masters Double Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan.
Womens Masters Quad Sculls: Lindy Nisbett, Chris Brennan, Rosie Furness, Di McShane.
Head of the Manning – 28th November 2021
After the 25 kilometres of the 3 Rivers Marathon, the 16 kilometres around Dumaresq Island was a stroll in the park. Three Endeavour crews started and all 3 finished in style, 2 with medals.
The Womens Masters Quad Scull of Teressa Chadwick, Kim Stedman, Rosie Furness and Di McShane were the first crew to start and the first crew home, opening up their 30 second starting margin to 11 minutes at the finish, completing the course in 1 hour 22 minutes 53 seconds. Although the masters handicap factor reduced their margin, the crew were still 7 minutes ahead of their nearest rival.
Lindy Nisbett battled against 7 other competitors in the Masters Womens Single Sculls to finish in a time of 1 hour 36 minutes 54 seconds. After the handicap factors were applied, Lindy won by 33 seconds.
Tony Chadwick was one of 12 Masters Mens Single Sculls, finishing the course in 1 hour, 39 minutes 30 seconds, although he was unplaced. After a government-enforced extended off-season in which no rowing was possible, Tony has done well to complete 2 marathons as his first 2 races in a single scull with such little time in the boat.
Port Macquarie’s Three Rivers Marathon was set to provide an entrée to the 2021/22 racing season in August. However, it was postponed until September when the government shut down all activity in the state due to the increase in covid infections. The regular regatta season was programmed to begin in September but was progressively deferred by the cancellation of 6 regattas (Henley-on-Hunter and Pre-IV in September, Lake Macquarie Derby, HVGS and NUBC in October and Newcastle Grammar in November). The Three Rivers was postponed for a second time until November and the CDRA Sprint Championships, set down for November, were deferred to December.
The Endeavour Racing Squad finally made a belated start to competition in the middle of November with the Three Rivers Marathon starting the proceedings.
Those who arrived in Port Macquarie on Saturday were met by gale force winds, but Sunday’s conditions were calmer with only a slight breeze. The marathon followed a 25 km course from Telegraph Point down the Wilson, Maria and Hastings Rivers to finish at Port Macquarie Rowing Club. The wind speed increased as the marathon progressed, but all 4 Endeavour crews completed the course.
First home in the quad scull division was Newcastle Rowing Club with Endeavour filling the next 3 places – 2nd: Endeavour’s ‘Mixed Quad’ (Katrina Whitely, Owen Redhead, Dave Percival, Diana Trescott) with an elapsed time of 2 hrs 1 min 50 secs (less than 3 minutes behind) – 3rd: ‘Mums With Guns’ (Kerry Blatchley, Ilona Hudson, Jules Bosco, Teressa Chadwick) 2 hrs 9 mins 21 secs – 4th: ‘Seas the Day’ (Gillian Weatherall, Kim Stedman, Rosie Furness, Di McShane, coxn Samantha Chadwick) 2 hrs 13 mins 27 secs.
Our fourth crew was Tony Chadwick who tackled the elements in a single scull for a time of 2 hrs 27 mins 15 secs. This was an amazing feat by all these rowers and, notably, there was a Chadwick in 3 of our 4 crews.
Due to the relentless and pervasive effects of COVID it was decided to hold the ERC AGM electronically. After some discussion, planning with subsequent delay it was eventually held and proved to be success, with quite possibly a record number of attendees!
The following reports were submitted to members, one being from the President and another from the Club Captain.
AGM Endeavour Rowing Club
Presidents Report for 2020 - 2021
The past twelve months have been anything but normal in the history of Endeavour or indeed rowing in general. You could say 4 letter words pale into insignificance compared to the new 5 letter one “COVID”
A recap on events as they unfolded
Rowing recommenced at Hunter Valley and Uni, as well as learn to row for us without Huntley and University Regattas to spur people on.
Saw increased patronage without any and all regattas. New members eager to learn the art of rowing. Thank goodness for the Grammar mums and dads who wanted to give rowing a go.
A ray of sunshine!
CDRA manned up and hosted a regatta working within the many COVID limitations …Perfect weather made the event even more inviting …..most was made of the time by staging an eights race with Uni and to top it off spending time to have Ian and Margaret King christen a new quad in their name. From famine to a real feast.
We as a club focused on trying to repair our social calendar with a Sunday BBQs but as if COVID wasn’t enough of a hurdle Mother Nature didn’t help. An bacon n’ egg roll in the pouring rain….GREAT!
Everyone and everything took a deep breath and focused on regattas scheduled for February at Berry Park
Four regattas in good weather all at Berry Park all within the constraints of COVID . A month to remember!
We were on a high until yet again weather conditions worsened to the point of cyclonic winds and flooding.
The focus was on mop up and mud removal whilst still supporting Sydney competitions where possible.
Revolved around re grouping from diabolical weather and broken dreams of future regattas.
This is a snap shot of the year that was. But what I would like to leave with you is some insight from my perspective as to how our members reacted.
Without naming names let’s call the first one Peter who went exploring ….how to hold a regatta under such extraordinary circumstances and …SUCCEEDED.
A Roger who took it upon himself to spearhead QR codes and the like so all could continue to enjoy a rowing experience within the letter of the law.
An Allen who never missed a beat in ensuring all was ready boat wise …along with an Owen and Reg keeping our vista at its best …even when rowing was a non event .
I could go on, with many members willingly giving up their time to keep the experience of the Endeavour Rowing Club alive.
It was an extraordinary journey by one and all and it’s not over yet.
So on behalf of the old I wish the new committee the very best.
Roger Young - President
Endeavour Rowing Club
Annual General Meeting – Club Captains Report
6 August 2021
We have had another trying year, last year we had bush fires, drought, water restrictions and COVID-19. This year we started with COVID-19 restrictions, had difficulty accessing the river due to flood and flood debris and finished with COVID-19.
Despite these challenges we have had an increase in both novice and experienced rowers giving the club, I believe an extra boost in both professionalism and enthusiasm.
Around the Club:
- Our social rowers continued to row, with more and more retirees using their retiree hours to best suit them.
- 2021 saw the start of our new rowing strip with newly designed zooties being worn from the first regatta in 2021.
- Our Honour Board was finalised and installed, steps towards our Boathouse showcasing our history.
- We held the Christening of the Ian and Margaret King, by both Ian and Margaret, followed by Champagne and sandwiches and;
- The inaugural Bowman Cup was held between NUBC and ERC.
- Sensor lights were installed at both the front and rear of the Boathouse making use of the Boathouse much easier for both the early morning rowers and late night meetings.
- We were also able to hold a Bunnings BBQ, juggled between Covid outbreaks.
- Planning and fundamental talks were carried out for Boathouse improvements.
- We also hosted the CDRA AGM this year, inviting Committee Members from Central Districts Rowing Association into our Boathouse.
The pandemic has created a lot of confusion including changes to our normal regatta schedule with 6 local regattas cancelled. This left 4 of 5 CDRA Regattas being held at our Hunter River Complex, the Regattas held at our complex were:
* CDRA Spring Regatta - hosted by CDRA as school restrictions meant NGS were unable to hold their regatta, no schools attended
* Lake Macquarie Rowing Club Regatta,
* Endeavour Rowing Club Regatta,
* CDRA Championships Regatta - due to major renovations at Manning River Rowing Club, this regatta was held at our Hunter River Rowing Complex this year.
All these regattas were run with a different slant abiding government regulations.
At this point, we had a squad of 15 members training with the goal to attend both State and Australian Masters Championships, Sean Donza was again chosen to represent NSW at the Australian Championships in the Mens Quad and everything was on track when there were further blows – Edward Trickett Regatta was moved to the Nepean River due to a blue-green algae contamination at SIRC, a small contingent attended this Regatta.
Drummoyne Masters and Iron Cove Masters was also attended with promising results, Sean Donza attended Queensland Masters Championships, then with the blue-green algae still present at SIRC and consequences from the floods NSW Masters was postponed and Australian Masters were moved to Adelaide.
NSW Masters Championships was eventually cancelled.
Unfortunately a lot of our members were unable to travel to Adelaide which was disappointing with the effort that had been put in and meant Endeavour Rowing Club was represented at Australian Masters Championship by 3 members: Chris Brennan, Sean Donza and Lindy Nesbitt.
These members were at the pointy end of every race they entered and the results were proof of their hard work and persistence.
The Championship results are as follows:
Gold: WMLwG 1x - Lindy Nesbitt
Gold: WMG 2x - Chris Breenan, Lindy Nesbitt
Gold: MMC 4x – Sean Donza + Composite
Silver: WMF 2x – Chris Brennan + Composite
Bronze: WMG 1x – Chris Brennan
The NSW MMI 4x (State Quad representing NSW) - Sean Donza ended 5th in a blanket finish
These results were amazing!
I would like to thank CDRA for their proactive attitude and kickstarting our local Regatta season with the new CDRA Spring Regatta, in particular CDRA President Peter Bond and the Clubs that were able to volunteer the smooth running of this Regatta, not withstanding our own club members who, as always, put in 100%.
I would also like to thank the Committee, there is always a lot of hours put in behind the scenes and this is reflected by the achievements of the Club overall.
And of course I would like to thank all the Club Members that make this a Club.
There are always volunteers when it comes to fundraising, lawn mowing, shed cleaning, course layout, sandwich making, slice making, mud moving, beach improvement – this list goes on – Thank You
Diane McShane Club Captain - August 2021
The big wet in March that flooded the Penrith Lakes system carried blue-green algae from the back lakes into the rowing course. This contamination closed the course and resulted in the relocation of the Edward Trickett regatta to the Nepean River. Rowing Australia would not sanction the use of the Nepean course for championship masters racing and the national regatta was transferred to the West Lakes course in Adelaide. This drastic change of venue put an end to the plans of three Endeavour crews that were in training for the nationals leaving only three individuals to travel to South Australia. Only 3 - but they all won Gold!
Endeavour rowers started in 15 events for 3 wins, 3 seconds and a third, earning 3 gold medals, a silver and a bronze in championship races.
Lindy Nesbitt won both the Womens Lightweight G Single Sculls and the Womens G Double Sculls with Chris Brennan for 2 gold medals. Lindy also took a second place in Womens G Pair but unfortunately, with only two starters, a silver medal was not given.
Chris Brennan won with Lindy in Womens G Double Sculls, was second with Tess Fearon of Newcastle RC in Womens F Double Sculls and was third in Womens G Single Sculls for a gold, a silver and a bronze medal. Chris also took second in a mixed event.
Sean Donza represented NSW in the Mens Quad Scull. The interstate race was the closest in living memory with the first 5 crews bunched tightly together, all finishing within a space of less than 3 seconds. The NSW crew was fifth after being in close contention all the way down the course. Previously in the day, Sean had raced with two of his three state team-mates for a win in the Mens C Quad Sculls, his third gold in this event in three successive national championships.
Gold – Mens Masters C Quad Sculls – Sean Donza + composite.
Gold – Womens Masters G Double Sculls – Chris Brennan, Lindy Nesbitt.
Gold – Womens Masters Lightweight G Double Sculls – Lindy Nesbitt.
Silver – Womens Masters F Double Sculls – Chris Brennan + composite.
Bronze – Womens Masters G Single Sculls – Chris Brennan.
Third – Mixed Masters F-G Double Sculls – Chris Brennan + composite.
The Big Wet – March 2021
A week after the CDRA Championships it started to rain – and rain – and rain – and rain. Our last on-the-water session was 16th March before the river rose. Even though the river didn’t break over the levee bank, it did get to the base of the Endeavour flag pole and stayed up for two weeks. The local run-off built up behind the levee and flooded Duckenfield Rd so that we couldn’t get to the shed. When we did gain access, the river had left a heavy deposit of mud on the beach and a thick pile of mud 10 metres up the ramp. On 3rd April, a path was cleared through the mud to the water’s edge but the last 3 metres of mud stayed wet and slippery. Training, limited to ergometers, recommenced on 6th April but on-the-water training was not approved by the committee until 16th April after the final approaches to the river had dried out. A month of on-the-water preparation for the Edward Trickett and Masters championships had been lost.
Edward Trickett regatta - NSW Grade Championships – 17th April 2021
As well as flooding the Hunter River, the big wet flooded through the Penrith Lakes system. Blue-green algae from the back lakes was washed into the rowing course, causing a contamination that closed the course to all activities. The Edward Trickett regatta had to be relocated to the Nepean River. The course angled from the start on the eastern bank to pass under the middle and western arches of the rail bridge and finish on the western bank.
While 9 Endeavour rowers competed in 12 starts none made it to the finals. Our only competitor to progress past the heats was Lindy Nisbett who reached the semi-final of WD1x.
Drummoyne Masters regatta – 24th April 2021
Only 2 Endeavour rowers raced at Drummoyne but what a performance – 3 firsts and 2 seconds from 5 starts!
Al Atkins rowed with the Ancient Mariners for a win in the Mens Masters F-M quad and Lindy Nisbett had two wins composite with Drummoyne in Womens Masters F-M double and Womens Masters F-M pair.
Iron Cove Masters regatta – 2nd May 2021
Endeavour’s sole competitor at Iron Cove was Lindy Nisbett who took a win in Womens Masters F-M double plus 2 seconds and a third placing from 4 starts.
Queensland Masters Championships – 1st, 2nd May 2021
Sean Donza was the only Endeavour member to travel north with a squad of NUBC rowers to compete in the Queensland Masters Championships. Sean earned 4 medals from 5 starts, gaining silvers in each of Mens C Quad, Mens D Quad and Mens E Quad as wells as a bronze in Mens A&B Double.
Last year it was our men’s quad, this year it is our women’s quad.
It has to be said that Endeavour crews Just.Look.Fabulous.
The CDRA pointscore season has traditionally finished with the CDRA Championship regatta at Taree. For 2021, Manning River Rowing Club decided not to host the championships due to the incomplete construction of their clubhouse and fear of COVID (as it eventuated NSW has been virus free for a month and a half). To ensure that the championships would go ahead, the CDRA committee transferred the regatta to Berry Park with Endeavour covering most of the tasks normally carried out by the Manning River club.
What a great weekend of racing! The weather was kind to us on Saturday although the wind made the course a little rough on Saturday afternoon. Sunday was perfect.
Over the two days, 55 Endeavour crews started for 10 firsts, 12 seconds and 11 thirds. Lindy Nisbett was again Endeavour’s most successful competitor with 3 wins including 2 championships. Five of our squad had 2 wins; Kerry Blatchley, Ilona Hudson, Jules Bosco, Teressa Chadwick and Chris Brennan (whose double included a championship). Eleven other Endeavour members won races with 17 of the club’s 28 competitors taking home medals.
Champion Womens Masters F-H Double Sculls: Chris Brennan, Lindy Nisbett.
Champion Womens Masters F-H Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett.
Womens Seeded Quad Sculls: Kerry Blatchley, Ilona Husdon, Jules Bosco, Teressa Chadwick.
Mens C Grade Quad Sculls: Mitchell Scales, Rowan Bray, Robert Weatherall, Prentice Bond.
Womens D Grade Quad Sculls: Kerry Blatchley, Ilona Husdon, Jules Bosco, Teressa Chadwick.
Mixed Masters Quad Sculls: Owen Redhead, Dave Percival, Diana Trescott + composite.
Mens C Grade Double Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens D Grade Double Sculls: Peter Bowman, Tim Blomfield.
Womens D Grade Double Sculls: Chris Brennan, Lindy Nisbett.
Womens D Grade Single Sculls: Di McShane.
Sean Donza has done it again!
Sean was a member of the first placed crew in the NSW Mens Masters Quad State Team Trial, winning by 2.47 seconds ahead of Glebe and a Glebe/St George composite crew.
This is Sean’s fourth selection as a NSW representative to the National Masters Championships.
NSW Representative Quad: Roy Halliday (Manning River), Sean Donza (Endeavour), Rhett Pattison (Manning River), Jason Waddell (Nepean).
In previous times, the new year of racing has started with the Taree Summer Regatta in January but a combination of COVID-19 and the limitations of a construction site resulted in the cancellation of that regatta for 2021. Furthermore, the Endeavour regatta had been conducted on the first weekend of February before the NSW Championships but, to avoid the hot weather experienced over the past few years, it was decided that the 2021 regatta would be pushed back to the end of the month. As a consequence, racing in 2021 began 6 weeks later than in previous years.
Another consequence of COVID-19 was the limitation of regatta entries to CDRA crews only. At least one of the local schools had indicated that if crews from Sydney entered, the school would not allow their rowers to compete. The local association decided in favour of local crews over Sydney crews. As a result, racing in 2021 went from 8.00am to 2.30pm compared to the first draw in 2020 that went until after 6.00pm although the subsequent redraws were shorted after all schools pulled out due to the predicted heat wave.
The weather forecast for the weekend was for rain to be followed by more rain but Saturday was relatively dry and Sunday had scattered showers, which weren’t a problem. The water was calm for most of the weekend although it did get rough when the wind came up after lunch on Sunday. However, after the continuous rain of the past weeks, the flow of the river was rapid with some fast times recorded.
Over the two days, 50 Endeavour crews started for 10 firsts, 14 seconds and 16 thirds. Our new recruit Lindy Nisbett led the way with 4 wins followed by Gillian Weatherall, Rosalie Furness, Chris Brennan and Sean Donza with 3 wins each. Sean raced with the composite crew preparing for the selection race in a fortnight to decide the mens masters quad scull to represent NSW at the Australian Masters Championships in May.
Mixed Masters Quad Sculls: Roger Young, Rosalie Furness, Gillian Weatherall, Al Atkins (both days).
Womens Masters Quad Sculls: Chris Brennan, Rosalie Furness, Gillian Weatherall, Di McShane.
Mens Masters Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens C Grade Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Mens Seeded Quad Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Womens Masters Double Sculls: Chris Brennan, Lindy Nisbett (both days).
Womens Masters Single Sculls: Lindy Nisbett (both days).