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.
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).
Reindeer Regatta 5/12/2020
A single Endeavour competitor attended with excellent results. Sean Donza raced twice for a win in the mens masters quad sculls (composite) and a second by 0.6 sec in mens masters double sculls.
NSW Sprint Championships 6/12/2020
Eleven Endeavour masters participated in Sunday’s 500 metre sprint regatta for 12 starts and 2 second places. Guess who were the cover boys for the printed program (see below)!
Sean Donza was our stand-out competitor, featuring in both Endeavour placings.
Sean, a D category master, earned a silver medal in mens masters single sculls behind an A category sculler with a time that would have earnt him gold if he had been drawn in the other division containing D competitors.
The Endeavour performance in the mens masters four was worthy of a silver but unfortunately, with only 2 entries, a second medal was not awarded. Competing in the coxless four, our crew were also rudderless but kept a (reasonably) straight course to make time on the more experienced Mosman crew although they could not quite bridge the gap.
Kerry Blatchley travelled all the way to Penrith for only 2 seconds of racing. On the second stroke of her racing start, the plastic bracket securing the rigger broke and Kerry had to crawl along the back deck to retrieve the rigger before it was lost. The rigger was saved but not the race.
Champion Mens Masters A-D Single sculls: silver medal - Sean Donza
Champion Mens Masters Four: 2nd - Ged Coran, Sean Donza, Owen Redhead, Tim Blomfield
CDRA Sprint Championships – 22nd November 2020
With corona virus restrictions casting a gloom over all sporting activities, the conduct of the Newcastle regatta was uncertain. The Manning River CDRA regatta set down for the end of November had been postponed (probably cancelled) and the Taree Summer Regatta was also listed as “postponed”. To keep the sprint championship regatta within limitations set by NSW Health, Newcastle Rowing Club decided to reduce the number of entries by removing all non-championship events from the program which restricted the number of races for all Endeavour competitors.
Despite the limits placed on participation, the regatta was a great success and our rowers performed magnificently. The weather was perfect with sunny skies, moderate temperature and little wind giving ideal racing conditions. Endeavour had 22 starts for 6 wins, 8 seconds and 6 thirds. Nine Endeavour rowers won championships with Sean Donza (3 gold medals) and Rosie Furness (2) being multiple winners.
Our new boat ‘Ian and Margaret King’ saw its first regatta and its first win with Reg Vaughan, Sean Donza and Owen Redhead in the mens masters coxless four.
Champion Mens Masters D Single Sculls: Sean Donza.
Champion Mens Masters C Double Sculls: Sean Donza + composite.
Champion Womens Masters C Double Sculls: Kerry Blatchley, Rosalie Furness.
Champion Mens Masters F Quad Sculls: Digby Rayward + composite.
Champion Womens Masters D,E Quad Sculls: Katrina Whiteley, Rosalie Furness, Gillian Weatherall, June Lacey.
Champion Mens Masters Four: Reg Vaughan, Sean Donza, Owen Redhead + composite.
Corona Virus Restrictions
In the week following the CDRA Championships in March 2020, reaction to the world-wide corona virus hit all sporting activities. In mid-March, Rowing Australia cancelled the Australian Championships and a week later cancelled the Australian Masters regatta. At the same time, Rowing NSW cancelled the rest of the state’s regatta season. All rowing clubs went into lock-down with no activity for two months.
On 21st March the Endeavour boatshed was closed. All squad rowing, general rowing and Learn-to-Row was cancelled although club members with a key were allowed access to the shed to row or use rowing machines.
On 24th March, following “strong advice” from Rowing Australia, the Endeavour boatshed was closed for all rowing activities including the use of ergometers. Members wishing to continue rowing in their own boat were advised to remove it from the shed and operate from home.
In response to the easing of covid restrictions by the NSW Government which took effect on 15th May, Rowing NSW put forward recommendations that were adopted by Endeavour Rowing Club.
On 20th May, rowing re-commenced out of the Endeavour boatshed using club boats restricted to single sculls or doubles sculls for members of the same household. A maximum limit of 10 people was set with no access to upstairs, showers or changerooms. Rowing machines remained out of use.
Coaching for the racing squad recommenced on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Full rowing commenced from the Endeavour boatshed on 15th July using club boats in line with Rowing NSW’s Stage 3 guidelines. The use of all classes of boat was authorised along with rowing machines. The maximum limit was increased to 20 people although restrictions on access to upstairs and changerooms remained. Club rowing recommenced on Sundays from 19th July although Learn-to-Row was not available for another month .
2020/21 Regatta Season
The 2020 CDRA annual general meeting in May set a regatta program that included 8 CDRA pointscore regattas, 2 non-pointscore regattas, 1 marathon and 2 RNSW regattas. Of the 9 events scheduled before Christmas, 5 were cancelled due to corona virus concerns, 2 were postponed and 2 were conducted with reduced programs under corona virus restrictions. In December 2020, the Taree Summer Regatta of January 2021 is listed as “postponed”. The second half of the 2020/21 regatta season remains uncertain.
The regatta season was to open with the double regatta weekend: Endeavour’s Henley-on-Hunter and NUBC’s Pre-IV regatta scheduled for 26th and 27th September. As these regattas fell within a period of restricted competition in which the mixing of participants from different regions was banned, Endeavour and NUBC cancelled the events.
This ban was lifted at the end of September before the next scheduled regatta, the Lake Macquarie Derby on 11th October. Lake Macquarie decided to cancel. Similarly, HVGS and NUBC decided not to host their regattas on 24th and 25th October.
CDRA Spring Regatta 7th November - After Newcastle Grammar School declined to host or compete, the CDRA committee took on the running of the regatta with a reduced program of events. 17 Endeavour crews started for 3 firsts, 3 seconds and 6 thirds.
CDRA Sprint Championship 22nd November – to comply with limitations set by NSW Health, Newcastle Rowing Club removed all non-championship events to reduce the number of entries. Endeavour had 22 starts for 6 wins, 8 seconds and 6 thirds.
The plan, which was a very good plan, was to purchase a brand new coxless quad, a boat that was designed to cater for the larger of the racing crews. The order was placed, monies were exchanged but before delivery this best laid plan went awry - Covid had caused the cessation of all activities - the heavyweights went home, the coccooned vessel was stored away and the shed was locked.
Once restrictions had eased and rowing had tentatively resumed, attention was drawn to the long package residing on the top shelf. It had been determined that the boat be named prior to launching and former President Les Geczy proposed that Ian King was most deserving of this honour. The committee considered the proposal and agreed that it be named "Ian and Margaret King", a suitable launching date was determined and the appropriate signage was ordered and fitted.
With warm and sunny conditions prevailing the 15th of November turned out to be a glorious day. After the Sunday mornings regular row attendees assembled in the shade of the trees for refreshments and to listen to Les Geczy speaking of the enormous contribution made by both Ian and Margaret to the formation of the club. Following Les’s warm words champagne was produced and without further ado, the Ian and Margaret King was launched.
Under the restrictions due to the corona virus, the 2020 CDRA annual general meeting in May was held virtually via ‘Zoom’. The meeting proposed a full season of local regattas consistent with the regatta program of recent years. In light of Covid-19 restrictions, each host club was given the option of deciding whether to proceed with their regatta, postpone or cancel.
The regatta season was to open with the double regatta weekend: Endeavour’s Henley-on-Hunter and NUBC’s Pre-IV regatta scheduled for 26th and 27th September. As these regattas fell within a period of restricted competition in which the mixing of participants from different regions was banned, Endeavour and NUBC decided to cancel the events.
This ban was lifted at the end of September before the next scheduled regatta, the Lake Macquarie Derby on 11th October. Lake Macquarie decided to cancel. Similarly, HVGS and NUBC decided not to host their regattas on 24th and 25th October.
The sixth local event was to be the Newcastle Grammar School regatta on 7th November, however the school indicated that they would neither host nor participate in the regatta. At this point, the CDRA committee stepped in, deciding that the association would take on the running of the regatta to give local rowers the chance to compete. As all 3 local schools had indicated that their students would not participate, a reduced program of events was set including masters, seeded and mixed events with no junior races. The regatta was renamed the CDRA Spring Regatta.
We had dodged several bullets with the first five cancellations. The wind in September had been gale force and neither regatta could have run, while it rained continually on both days at the end of October and racing would have been cold and miserable. In comparison, the day for the season’s first regatta was absolutely perfect – the weather was mild with sunny skies and the water was smooth.
17 Endeavour crews started for 3 firsts, 3 seconds and 6 thirds. The club had three debutants in their first starts and it was pleasing to hear their positive reports on how much they enjoyed the day.
Mens Masters Single Sculls: Sean Donza.
Mens Seeded Double Sculls: Mitchell Scales, Robert Weatherall.
Mixed Double Sculls: Diana Trescott, Dave Percival.
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).