July 2015 News

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Mercantile takes Bronze at the U23 World Championships

Published 26th July 2015

Last night Katrina Werry and Addy Dunkley Smith won bronze at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships at Plovdiv Bulgaria.

W2 2

The pair, coached by Head Coach Simon Gadsden, were up against the USA in Lane 4 who as expected started fast to take an early lead and were closely followed by Great Britain in second with France pushing for third. The Australian crew was in fifth by the halfway mark and needed to dig deep to make the podium, and that they did.


The Mercantile rowers pushed hard in the final 500 metres challenging both France and Great Britain for the silver and bronze medal positions, and as the French lost speed the Australians took their chance and surged through to take the bronze as Great Britain held onto silver and the USA took home the gold.


Post-race, Dunkley-Smith said: “It’s such an honor to be on the podium and to represent our country. Thanks to our support crew here and at home in Australia.”


Congratulations Katrina, Addy and Simon.






Vale Phillip Cayzer

Published 16th July 2015

Phillip A Cayzer OAM, 1922-2015. Leader, mentor, Olympic rower and coach. Philip Cayzer passed away peacefully on 15th July 2015.


Phil attended St Joseph’s College Sydney before studying industrial chemistry. He held senior executive roles in industry.


Phil’s senior rowing was all undertaken at Sydney Rowing Club which he joined in 1947. He maintained a lifelong association with that Club and was an honorary life member.


The rowing career of Phil Cayzer was stellar. He was rowing at a time of great strength in NSW and so was not immediately break into the successful NSW King’s Cup crews. However by 1949 he was in the two seat of the winning crew and then stroked the winning 1950 and 1951 crews.


As a result of the 1949 win in the Kings Cup, the crew was selected to represent Australia in the 1950 Empire Games at Lake Karapiro in New Zealand. They won and defeated New Zealand by just a foot.


The 1950 win in the Kings Cup resulted in another opportunity to represent Australia with the NSW crew travelling to the Canterbury Centennial Games and 1951 New Zealand Championships. They defeated the highly acclaimed University of California crew by a canvas in both races. Defeating this renowned Californian crew was critical in persuading the Australian Olympic Federation to select an eight for the 1952 Olympic Games. The full Australian Olympic team in 1952 only comprised 96 people.


The 1951 NSW crew stroked by Phil won the King’s Cup by 1.5 lengths. This was the selection event for the 1952 Olympic eight and NSW were duly selected. However this meant that the crew had to race the 1952 King’s Cup for NSW during its preparation. The crew was comprehensively beaten by Victoria by four lengths with some sections of the media, but not other rowers, claiming that Victoria should be nominated in their stead. The NSW crew were far from their best having suffered severely from adverse reactions from the vaccinations for overseas travel. Phil had lost 20 pounds in three days and he was only one of five affected. It was also mentioned that their substantial fundraising responsibilities, some 7,000 pounds, impacted their preparation. Selector Joe Gould had faith in the crew and stood by his decision. To the credit of the crew and Gould, the eight won a bronze medal.


It is interesting to note that no coaches were selected in 1952. Reports from those involved noted that the crew suffered from this lack of coaching support. The bronze medal won by the men’s eight at Helsinki was the best performance to that date by an Australian sweep-oared crew at an Olympic Games. This crew also raced at Henley Royal Regatta finishing second behind Leander in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup.


After being sidelined for the 1953 season due to a serious car accident which left him in hospital for three months, Phil returned to stroke the Sydney Rowing Club crew to win the 1954 Champion Eights of NSW and stroke the NSW Kings Cup. The crew was placed second to Victoria in almost unrowable conditions in Hobart.


Phil then turned his energies to coaching which he did with distinction. During 1960s, Phil performed excellent coaching and recruiting work at Sydney Rowing Club which led to success for Australia at the international level. He coached the coxed four of Alan Grover, Alf Duval, Mick Allan, John Campbell and Gary Herford who competed at the Tokyo Games in 1964. He recruited a number of national senior rowers to join his squad at Sydney to create the men’s eight for the 1968 Olympics. Unfortunately for Phil, overseas work commitments forced his withdrawal from coaching this crew after the NSW Championships. Fortunately he was still able to assist Alan Callaway with much of the coaching of the crew both in Australia and in Mexico.


During the seventies, Phil moved to Victoria for work reasons and coached Mercantile Rowing Club and Victorian crews. His relationship with Mercantile during this period was recognized in 2000 by the creation of an annual competition between the two clubs known as the Cayzer Cup. This competition continues as a mark of the great friendship and respect held for Phil.


Upon returning to Sydney Rowing Club in the eighties, he continued to coach Club, state and national crews through to recent years, developing many successful athletes. He also assisted the Club in senior administrative roles where his business skills and sage advice were used to great effect. Sydney Rowing Club has named a total of four boats after Phil Cayzer and one after his wife, Melva Cayzer to recognize their significant contribution to the Club.


Phil Cayzer received an Order of Australia Medal in 1992 for his lifetime service to rowing.


Phil’s contribution to the development of a large number of Australian rowers is significant. He continuously coached, mentored, assisted and even employed some rowers from 1955 to recent times. He enjoyed seeing young people succeed. Those who he coached regarded him as a friend.


Great results from Lucerne Finals

Published 14th July 2015

Whilst New Zealand dominated this regatta with the United Kingdom team well placed in second place, the third and fourth placings were almost equally split between Germany and Australia. Australia finished in fourth place with two Gold (W1x and M4-), two silver (W2x and W4x) and a bronze (M2x).

Club member Jen Cleary was a member of the women’s quad which finished second behind the Germans. The Germans took the lead in the second half of the race with  Australia holding off a challenge from the Netherlands to secure a silver medal. It was a good improvement on their fifth place finish in Varese at World Rowing Cup II.


Other club members:

Women’s Eight – Katrina Bateman, Charlotte Sutherland and Sarah Banting. A great start by the crew had them 3rd at 500m. However the opposition brought them back to the field in the second 500m. In the last 500m, the Dutch crew were too strong and our crew finished sixth.

Men’s eight – Josh Dunkley Smith. Unlike their women counterparts, this crew started in a measured way and then brought themselves back into the race in the third 500m. They are track for qualification for the Olympics but need to smarten up the first 1000m of their race.

Men’s quad scull – David Crawshay. At the start of the day’s finals, this crew had a last minute change ahead of its final with David Watts having to be replaced by Max McQueeney due to an injury. The crew now featuring McQueeney in the bow seat and Cameron Girdlestone stroking the boat, but the crew finished out of the medals with a sixth place finish. However they remain a medal prospect.


Gold medallists

The big surprise of the regatta, at least to us back here, was the gold from the men’s four. Post-race, Will Lockwood said: “At World Rowing Cup II in Varese we had just come off the plane and we raced badly. It feels great to have won here in Lucerne, on what feels like the lake of the gods.”

Kim Crow blew away her competition to win the women’s single in a time of 7:21:58 some 7:41 seconds ahead of her closest competitor, 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic and 11 seconds ahead of the USA’s Genevra Stone who finished in third.


A good result for Australia.


Mercantile at World Cup 3 – Lucerne

Published 12th July 2015

The repechages and small finals are out of the way and final A races begin tonight Australian time. So how did our members go?


Women’s Quad – Jennifer Cleary

This crew did not have heats due to only six starters. However they had a preliminary race in which they finished second behind the Olympic Champions Germany. This is a very promising start for this crew and a medal is on the cards. They will race in their A-Final on Sunday in Lane 4. It was a strong race from Jennifer Cleary and crew of Madeleine Edmunds, Kerry Hore and Jessica Hall.


Women’s Eight – Katrina Bateman, Charlotte Sutherland and Sarah Banting

This crew finished third in their repechage to progress to final A ranked fifth. You will recall that the Olympic qualifying cut off is top five. The crew was 2 seconds behind second placed Romania and 0.5 second ahead of fourth placed New Zealand.


Men’s Quad Scull – David Crawshay

This crew progressed straight through to the final from the heat. Their winning tie was the fastest of all crews and so is positioned excellently for the final tonight. They finished their heat comfortably ahead of Estonia whereas in the other heat Germany and New Zealand fought out a good race. Italy and Russia progressed through to the final in the repechage. These crews came third and fourth in the heat which Australia won. On paper, our crew is clearly ranked number one in this event.


Men’s Eight – Josh Dunkley-Smith

Like the women’s eight, this crew finished third in the repechage and progress to the A final ranked fifth. They were 1.7 seconds behind second placed Poland and 2 seconds in front of fourth placed New Zealand. Like the women’s eight, the Olympic qualifying mark is top five so they are also on track for this result.


Other Australian results courtesy of the RA website

Women’s single – Kim Crow continued her good form cruising to victory in her semi-final to set up a tussle tomorrow with 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova.

Women’s double scull – Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey led for the majority of their semi-final but with just 500 metres to go the New Zealand crew moved up to take the lead while France were nipping at the Australians heels. Kehoe and Aldersey kept their cool in the Swiss heat to take second just 2.94 seconds behind New Zealand and securing themselves an A-Final.

Women’s pair – the young pair of Molly Goodman and Genevieve Horton, coached by club member Bill Tait, just missed out on A-Final on the Rotsee after finishing fourth in their semi-final.

Women’s lightweight double scull – Alice McNamara and Ella Flecker lined up with the 2014 World Champions from New Zealand along with the Olympic and World Best Time holders Great Britain. Needing a top three finish, the Australian duo were in the mix from the start and by the halfway mark were in third and looking good to qualify. In the last 250 metres the Danish crew put a late push on the Australians but McNamara and Flecker held out to take third over the Danes by four hundredths of a second and qualify for final A.

Men’s double scull – Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae have set themselves up for another final on the World Cup circuit after finishing in second in their semi-final. The crew, coached by Rhett Ayliffe, will be hoping to chase down Croatia’s Sinkovic brothers in their final tomorrow in a bid to upgrade their Varese silver medals to gold ones.

Men’s pair – Jack Hargreaves and Nick Wheatley were up against in-form Great Britain and The Netherlands in a bid to make Sunday’s A-Final. The Dutch won gold in Varese at World Rowing Cup II while the Great Britain crew had taken gold at the European Championships but that didn’t worry the Sydney University Boat Club crew as the race began. There was little between Great Britain and The Netherlands at the first quarter mark, with Hargreaves and Wheatley level with Spain before Mark Prater’s crew began to make its move up the field. With 500 metres to go, the Australians had taken over from Great Britain who had fallen back into second, while The Netherlands were in third, but the British resisted the Australian challenge and pipped the young crew to the post to take the first qualifying spot while Australia snapped up the second place and a spot in Sunday’s final.

Men’s four –  William Lockwood, Alexander Lloyd, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Hill raced strongly against Serbia and Romania to qualify for their A-Final on Sunday. The crew, coached by Simon Cox, led for parts of the race but it was Romania who clinched the victory but with the top three crews going through to the final Australia secured third place and a spot in the final

Men’s lightweight four – Darryn Purcell, Nick Silcox, Perry Ward and Tim McDonnell finished sixth in their semi-final so will contest the B-Final of that boat class tomorrow.


Mercantile zootie spotted at…

Published 12th July 2015

After American, Tibet and Olympic sightings, clearly this month the prize must go to our Thames eight crew at Henley.


Day 5 Henley Royal Regatta

Published 5th July 2015

The Mercantile rowers did not compete today so they enjoyed the Edwardian garden party which is the Henley Royal Regatta.

The Grand Challenge Cup was won by the English national crew who defeated the German national eight. The Canadian women’s crew won the equivalent women’s event, the Remenham Challenge Cup.

Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand won the Diamond Challenge Sculls for a remarkable fifth time. Mirka Knapkova, from the Czech Republic did the same in the equivalent women’s event.

Sydney Rowing Club won the Britannia Challenge Cup in fine form and was the only successful Australian crew.

The Mercantile team was the most noticeable team in their bright blazers. The Mercantile blazers were a highlight of the regatta and our members were the subject of great comment and photography.

Given that it was 4th July, Sean Colgan provided the crew with Captain America socks to add to the fun of the day. Mercantile will long be remembered for breaking new ground for their attire, even at HRR.

Please see the photo gallery for pictures of our team.


See the racing also on the Official HRR YouTube channel.



Day 4 Henley Royal Regatta

 Published 5th July 2015

The last of the Mercantile members were eliminated from the regatta today. John Linke stroked a crew in the Ladies Challenge Cup and Josh Dunkley Smith was in the seven seat of the Australian eight in the Grand. The Australian eight were defeated by a stronger British national eight who will front the German national eight today in the final.


Please see the photo gallery of the races today.


See the racing also on the Official HRR YouTube channel.


Day 3 Henley Royal Regatta

Published 4th July 2015

Alas Mercantile was defeated in the quarter finals yesterday in a very fast race against the Rennrudergemeinschaft Mulheim/Ruhr crew from Germany. The race was so fast that our crew was not able to settle and row to the form that they achieved in training before coming to Europe. The German crew was very good and we congratulate them on their victory.


Today we see John Linke race in the Ladies Challenge Cup and Josh Dunkley Smith in the Grand.

Jenny photov2


Drowning their sorrows with Sean Colgan

Pictures of the day will be posted in the gallery.

Day 2 Henley Royal Regatta

Published 3rd July 2015

Mercantile has got through the second round with a good win over Cantabrigian Rowing Club from Cambridge. Tomorrow they come up against the Rennrudergemeinschaft Mulheim/Ruhr from Germany. This will be a far harder challenge for our crew in this quarter final. Go Mercs.


Please see the photo gallery of the finish of the race today.


See them on the Official HRR YouTube channel.


Day 1 Henley Royal Regatta

Published 2nd July 2015

Mercantile had a good start at the regatta winning the first round against Bristol University in an easy win. Whilst the row was not fantastic, we got through. In the second round, our crew will race Cantabrigian Rowing Club, a Cambridge based club. Best wishes to our crew.


Please see the photo gallery for some photos of their first race.


Congratulations Jess Morrison and Hannah Lewis

Published 1st July 2015

The international season for Mercantile was started with World Cup 2 (see June News) and was closely followed by the Holland Beker regatta in Amsterdam. Club members Jess Morrison and Hannah Lewis decided recently to race at Holland Beker Regatta and raced very well. They won silver in the women’s pair and partnered with Lotte of the Willem III club and Willeke Vossen of Triton club in the four, which they won. They raced in Triton zooties.  This was a great initiative by them with good results. Well done Jess and Hannah.

Holland Bekerv2

HRR regatta starts Wednesday 1st July

Published 1st July 2015

The Mercantile Thames Cup crew is ready to race today at 9.40am English time. The crew was caught on camera for their final training row on Tuesday.


See them on the Official HRR YouTube channel.


Full listing of Mercantile Members in Australian Teams

Republished 1st July 2015

We have provided updates along the way but now is the time to provide the complete Club listing of members in Australian teams.

Senior Team

Men’s Eight – Josh Dunkley-Smith

Men’s Quad Scull – David Crawshay

Men’s Lightweight Quad Scull – James Wilson

Women’s Eight – Katrina Bateman, Charlotte Sutherland and Sarah Banting

Women’s Quad Scull – Jennifer Cleary

Women Pair coach – Bill Tait

Women’s Sculling reserve – Fiona Albert

Women’s Sweep Reserve – Sophie Sutherland

Under 23 Team

Women’s Under 23 Pair – all Mercantile crew

Katrina Werry, Addy Dunkley-Smith and coached by Simon Gadsden

Under 21 Team

Women’s Lightweight reserve

Meghan Hester


Mercantile at Henley Royal Regatta

Republished 1st July 2015

Mercantile will again be represented at the Henley Royal Regatta in the Thames Cup race with a crew coached this year by David Pincus. The crew is:

Bow: Jonathan Furlong
2: Callum Nott
3: Liam Donald
4: Tom Hunt
5: Alex Kinsella
6: Daniel Brighthope
7: Angus Widdicombe
Stroke: Charlie Dixon
Cox: Annabelle Orr

You will recall that the crew last year was knocked out in the semi final by the eventual winners. This year we hope to finish with the Cup.

See them on YouTube:

DSC00686 v2The 2014 crew

Also at the regatta is likely to be the Australian Men’s Eight containing Club member Josh Dunkley Smith which will race in the Grand Challenge Cup. John Linke will also race in a MUBC crew in the Ladies Challenge Plate.


Previous articles – see past news pages