April 2016 News

Above – National champion open and under 23 eights from Mercantile


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Billets Required

Republished 20th April 2016

As mentioned below the Australian Under 23 Eight will be based out of Mercantile so we will be hosting five interstate rowers:


Oliver Smith – Toowong QLD

Harley Moore – Commercial QLD

Darcy Wruck – Commercial QLD

Nicholas Pettigrew – Toowong QLD

Franc Gourlas – Sydney University NSW



Above: Darcy Wruck and Nicholas Pettigrew in a four with Angus Widdicombe and Liam Donald at the recent selection trials.


We seek members who could host these rowers from Monday 25th April for a period and then from 1st July to 8th August. The athletes will have bikes but unlikely to have a car therefore accommodation within 10km of the Club is preferred. Please call Jenny Fraumano on 0438324307 if can assist.


Olivia Sibillin invited to June Under 23 Selection Trials

Published 20th April 2016

Olivia Sibillin has been invited to the 2016 Under Age Selection Trials #2 at Penrith in June. Olivia was an under 23 pair champion at the National Championships and perhaps unlucky not to already be in the team. The final combination of the women’s four at the first selection trials failed to make the time cut off required. The selectors obviously are still keen to get a four of sufficient speed to be successful.


Above: Olivia, National Champion in the under 23 pair


ANZAC Day Service and President’s Luncheon

Published 20th April 2016

The annual ANZAC Day Service was conducted at the Clubhouse at which the names of the Club members who failed to return were read out to all present and the story of one of them was brought to life by our historian Andrew Guerin. This year Raymond T Brewin was chosen. The member profile for him can be found through this link. His nephew of the same name and his wife were present for the service.


Raymond Thomas BrewinRay Brewin died on 29 November 1941 aged 26 on active service.
Raymond was a Sergeant with 457-Sqdn flying in Spitfires. He failed to return after an operational sortie from the United Kingdom. He was lost at sea and no wreckage nor body was recovered. He is therefore presumed to have died when the plane crashed into the sea or was drowned. By the 14th December that year, his Squadron Leader wrote to Mrs Brewin to advise that there is now no doubt that he had lost his life in the service of the Empire.

His squadron leader described him as follows: Sergeant Brewin was a pilot who always carried out his duties in an efficient and able manner, and was a credit to the Squadron. May I convey to you on behalf of the Squadron and myself that you will find comfort in your sorrow in knowing that your son carried out his duty to the last.


Raymond is memorialised at Runnymede War Memorial in England for those who were lost in sea. At the same memorial is his half brother Patrick Hope who died on service at the age of 21.


Boat Christenings at the President’s Luncheon

Published 20th April 2016

The Club was pleased to name three boats at the President’s Luncheon of 17th April.

The boats named are below.


Above: The naming of the David McGrath

David was an excellent club coach of the Club who provided great service to the Club and superb coaching to many of our athletes.



Above: The naming of the Tom Abramowski

Tom is an another great coach who served the Club as a very successful coach and who has in more recent times focussed on schoolboy rowing. His Melbourne Grammar School crew won the Head of the River this year.



Above: The naming of the Sgt. Cumberland by Arthur Atkins

SGT William Cumberland was one of our WWI members who died on active service.  His member profile can be found through this link. He was a battle hardened and highly experienced soldier, a great leader of men. He was in all respects a distinguished soldier. Three member of his pre war successful junior eight died in WWI. The Club names boats in their honour back in 1923 and the Club is again honouring these members.


Under 23 Australian Team announced

Published 14th April 2016

logo-wrch2016-300x120Following the week long selection trials last week, Rowing Australia has announced a very strong under 23 team to competed at Rotterdam. The men’s eight comprising four Mercantile members will be based out of Mercantile and will be coached by Simon Gadsden. Simon had great success at the 2015 Under 23 World Championships with the Mercantile women’s pair.


It is a fitting conclusion to a great season for the Mercantile under 23 men’s group including:

Champion Eight – NSW and VIC

Champion Four – NSW and VIC

Champion Under 23 Four – National

Champion Under 23 Pair – National and VIC

Champion Pair – VIC

Silver National Under 23 Eight, NSW Under 23 Pair and Four




U23 Australian Rowing Team           

Crew Club or School, SIS/SAS, State
Under 23 Men’s Coxed Eight
Oliver Smith Toowong RC/QLD
Tom Hunt Mercantile RC/VIC
Callum Nott Mercantile RC/VIC
Harley Moore Commercial RC/QAS/QLD
Darcy Wruck Commercial RC/QAS/QLD
Nicholas Pettigrew Toowong RC/QLD
Angus Widdicombe Mercantile RC/VIS/VIC
Liam Donald Mercantile RC/VIC
Franc Gourlas (coxswain) Sydney University BC/NSW
Coach: Simon Gadsden Mercantile RC/VIC
Under 23 Men’s Quadruple Scull
Caleb Antill Australian Nation University BC/ACT
Luke Letcher Black Mountain RC/RBNTC-Canberra/ACT
Thomas Schramko Mosman RC/NSWIS/NSW
Robert Black Mosman RC/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: Antonio Maurogiovanni Swan River RC/WA
Under 23 Men’s Lightweight Quadruple Scull
Mitchell Boros West Australian Rowing Club/WA
Hugo Berry Banks RC/VIC
James Kerr University of Western Australia/WA
James Chuter UTS Rowing Club/NSW
Coach: Jamie Hewlett WAIS/WA
U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull
Bridget Badenoch Adelaide University BC/SASI/SA
Caitlin Cronin University of Queensland BC/QAS/QLD
Tessa Carty Bundaberg RC/QAS/QLD
Rowena Meredith Mosman RC/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: Ben Southwell QAS/QLD
U23 Lightweight Women’s Double Scull
India McKenzie Melbourne University BC/VIC
Alice Arch Melbourne University BC/VIC
Coach: Bert Cocu Melbourne University BC/VIC
U23 Women’s Single Scull
Cara Grzeskowiak Capital Lakes RC/ACTAS/ACT
Coach: Vicky Spencer Adelaide RC/ACT


President’s Lunch Sunday 17th April 2016

Published 11th April 2016


The ANZAC Service and President’s Luncheon will be held on Sunday 17th April at noon at the Clubhouse. This is a must for all members to acknowledge our members who did not return from serving their country and also celebrate the great successes of our members at recent events.


National Under Age Selection Trials Wrap Up

Published 11th April 2016



Congratulations to club members  Angus Widdicombe, Liam Donald, Callum Nott and Tom Hunt who, subject to Rowing Australia Board ratification and the appeal process,  have survived the trials to be named members of the 2016 national under 23 eight. They will be joined by other crew members from Queensland to form a great crew.

We also expect head coach Simon Gadsden to nominated as their coach and the crew based at Mercantile. Please welcome and support this crew.



Above: The under 23 men’s four after winning at the National Championships. Left to right – Liam Donald, Angus Widdicombe, Callum Nott and Tom Hunt.

Despite best endeavours to avoid the selection trials being over onerous on the athletes, it proved to be as strenuous mentally and physically as ever, particularly for the under 23 men, who endured racing in pair, four and eight combinations at full pace for five days.


Other Mercantile members trialled but alas were unsuccessful. The junior pair of Junior Women’s Pair of Ellie Tomanovits (daughter of Peter) & Kirsten Green made it through to the grading race but did not make the cut off time required.




Above: Olivia Sibilin in the bow seat of this combination at the selection trials


Above: St Catherines pathway eight cutting a fine look in Mercantile colours


Above: Loading the trailer after trials supervised by Simon Gadsden and Brigette Carlile, both pictured


A newly formed Victorian men’s pathway eight from schools across Victoria performed well winning the initial race and accordingly invited direct to the speed order trial. This crew comprised: Ned Coleman, Angus Longden, Roland Crantock, Ethan McCoach, James Gorell, Joel Cain, Lachlan O’Shea, Nick Lavery & Lachlan Goller. With little time to gain a good combination, they performed very well finishing in a time of 5:58.79, or 92% of the gold medal time.


Our thanks go to not only the Mercantile rowers who trialled, but also to our coaches who did a superb effort supporting our team. They included Simon Gadsden (all crews but most particularly the under 23 men’s group), Brigette Carlile (junior women), Lachlan Beckett (junior women), David Pincus (under 23 men) and John Saunders (St Caths crew).

Australian senior team update announced

Updated 11th April 2016


The following Australian senior team updates have been announced with the men’s four and eight and women’s eight being settled.

Mercantile members are in the following boats:

Women’s Quad Scull – Jennifer Cleary

Men’s Four – Josh Dunkley-Smith

Women’s Eight – Fiona Albert, Charlotte Sutherland, Jessica Morrison, Sarah Banting

Women’s Pair – Katrina Bateman



National Championships Wrap Up

Updated  11th April 2016


Another great regatta for Mercantile. The Club finished second on the medal tally behind Sydney rowing Club.


The Champion Club Pointscore is as follows:


Place Club/School State Points
1st Sydney Rowing Club NSW 258
2nd Mercantile Rowing Club Vic 222
3rd Toowong Rowing Club QLD 177
4th Uni of QLD Boat Club QLD 155
5th Melbourne Uni Boat Club Vic 146
6th UTS Rowing Club NSW 136.5
7th Swan River Rowing Club WA 124
8th Sydney Uni Boat Club NSW 120.5
9th Mosman Rowing Club NSW 98.75
10th Uni of WA Rowing Club WA 55.75


Member Profiles

Published 11th April 2016


Olympians v3

The number of member profiles has now exceeded 100. The first 100 down the next 1,000 to go. We wish to record profiles of all current and past members so please submit others to Subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author’s name and date.


Updated Events

Updated 11th April 2016

Please go to the Events tab for details on forthcoming events.



Past news can be found through this link.