March 2017 News

Above – Winners are grinners at Australian Henley

Follow this link for past news

Follow this link for upcoming events.

All news brought to you by your faithful correspondent, Trident.

News covered below:

  • Day 5 National Championships
  • Day 4 National Championships
  • Day 3 National Championships
  • Day 2 National Championships
  • National Championships Commence
  • 1962 Victorian Lightweight Four reunite at Henley
  • Winter School Pathway Program in 2017
  • Great Scotch Mercantile Regatta
  • Australia senior team announced
  • Victoria crews announced
  • National Entries
  • Living history
  • National Senior Selection Trials begin
  • Hannah Lewis off to Sydney in preparation for trials
  • Victorian team squads announced
  • From the archives – Scotch Mercantile Regatta History
  • Scotch Mercantile Regatta Live Streaming
  • Most successful Club at Victorian Championships
  • Victorian Championships Review
  • Boat trailer driver required for return trip from the Nationals
  • Victorian Championships Entries
  • Robyn Selby Smith named as Para Rowing and Underage Australian Selector
  • Wanting photos?
  • 150th APS Head of the River celebrations
  • New Mercs tie
  • Member Profiles

Day 5 National Championships

Published 31st March 2017

Mercs started the day with a golden start in the men’s under 19 coxed four in composite crew of Ben Keller, Max Hanna, Roland Crantock (Haileybury) and Ethan McCoach (MUBC).

Above: The final stages of the race

Above: On the podium

Next up was the under 23 double scull in which Mercs was represented in two crews. Amanda Bateman combined with Melbourne’s Ria Thompson to win silver and Kate Duggan teamed up with Peta Terrell of AUBC to finish sixth.

Above: Approaching the finish

Above: The podium

We were represented well in the under 23 double scull by Alex Kinsella and James Hoban who finished in fourth place.

Above: Alex and James approaching the finish

Regrettably, we finished fourth again in the Under 21 double scull in which Michaella Ballas and Gemma Sibillin competed.

Above: Michaella and Gemma

We were represented with two composite crews in under 21 fours. India Dempsey was in the silver medal winning crew and Georgia Stewart in the crew that finished fourth.

Above: The silver medal winning under 21 four approaching the finish

Above: Under 21 podium 

The under 21 four produced a silver for the full Mercs crew of Lenny Schiesswohl, Joel Cain, Jack Robertson, Alex Maycock and coxed by James Rook

Above: Approaching the finish

Above: Collecting medals

Above: Katrina Bateman and Jenny Fraumano enjoying the Mercs success

The next crew down the course for Mercantile was the open four in which Olivia Sibillin, Maddy Thomas, Kat Werry and Hannah Lewis raced. They finished third.

Above: Our four approaching the finish

Above: Podium

Next up was the men’s four in which we were represented by Tom Hunt, Gus Widdicombe, Josh Booth (MUBC) and Josh Dunkley Smith. This crew finished third.

Above: Our crew approaching the finish. Unfortunately no podium shot as yet, yopur photographer was on other duties.

Next up was Meghan Hester who teamed up with Amy Underwood of Corowa who raced in the under 23 lightweight double scull. Unfortunately they finished out of the medals in fifth.

Above: Approaching the finish

Next up was our under 23 lightweight four in which got back onto the podium and gold. The crew comprised Carl Tomczak, Edward Manton (Banks and Garth Manton’s grand son), William Legge and Jayden Grey.

Above: Approaching the line

Above: The well deserved gold medals

Next up was the open lightweight double in which Red Matthews teamed up with Tim Day of Corio Bay to finish second.

Above: Approaching the line fighting for the minor medals

Above: Podium

In the race for lanes Mercs cruised across the line without attempting to race the event. We are represented by: Hannah Lewis, Olivia Sibillin, Maddy Thomas, Amanda Bateman, Jess Morrison, Jen Cleary, Kat Werry, Addy Dunkley Smith and coxed by Roy Zhang.

Above: Our open eight

The next Mercs race was the first repechage of the Under 21 quad scull in which we qualified for the final in third place. The crew was Clare Ward, Gemma Sibillin, Kathleen Hanson and Michaella Ballas.

Above: The quad approaching the finish

The next race for lanes was the under 23 eights in which it turned out to be one of the least raced races to date with Mercs finishing third and all crews rating low twenties. Our crew was Ellie Tomanovits, Annie Anezakis, Kate Duggan, Georgia Stewart, Emma Fessey (UTS), Kirstie Green, Georgie Gleeson, India Dempsey and coxed by Adelaide Cester.

Above: Our crew

The next race of interest of the day was the race for lanes in the men’s under 23 eights. We were represented by two crews. The crew of Jack Robertson, Lenny Schiesswohl, Max Hanna, Lachie May, Ales Wolf, Alex Clarke, Ben Canham, Alex Maycock and coxed by Alexis Hancock finished second.

Above: the second placed crew

The other crew of Hugo Van der Graaf, Angus Moloney, Andrew Burke, James McCann, Jack Lawrence, Henry Youl, Robert Black, Liam Donald and coxed by James Rook finished fourth.

Above: The fourth placed crew

The final race of interest today was the lightweights eights. A field of six eights fronted the starter with Mercantile boating a largely young composite crew of: Carl Tomczak, Conor Grace (MUBC), Sam Bongiorno (Banks), Edward Manton (Banks), Michael McNamara, Red Matthews, Jayden Grey, Will Legge, and coxed by James Rook.

The crew took the fight to the other crews finishing third, only narrowly behind second.

Above: Our crew

Above: The happy lightweights

More to follow tomorrow

Day 4 National Championships

Published 31st March 2017

Above: John and Lenny preparing boats

The fourth day of the Championships began for Mercantile with Kathleen Hanson in the B final of the under 19 single. Kathleen finished in sixth place.

Above: Kathleen in the final stages of the race

Benjamin Keller and Max Hanna did not start in the B final of the under 19 pair.

Kate Duggan then raced in the B final of the under 23 scull where she finished in last place. Amanda Bateman then raced in the final of the same event finishing sixth.

Above Kate Duggan

Above: Amanda Bateman

James Hoban was next up in the B Final of the under 23 scull which he duly won.

Above James Hoban in the final stages of the race

Alex Kinsella the raced in the A final of the under 23 single in which he tried a new start. Unfortunately this did not work and he finished last.

Above: Alex Kinsella

Gemma Sibillin and Michaella Ballas both raced in the final of the under 21 scull, but alas without success.

Above: Michaella Ballas

Above: Gemma Sibillin

Mercantile hit the podium for the first time in the day in the under 23 pair in which India Dempsey won silver with Elise Franetic of MUBC. Georgia Stewart finished sixth place in the same event.

Above: India on the podium

The next race for Mercantile was the final of the under 23 pair which was won by the combination of Robert Black and Liam Donald. Jack Lawrence and James McCann finished in sixth place. Regrettably Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney scratched to illness of Angus. At the time of writing we dom not have an update on his state after spending the night in hospital.

Above: Robert and Liam congratulate each other after the race

Above: Podium with a Mercs gold

Next up were Annie Anezakis and Georgia Gleeson in the under 21 pair and they made the podium in third place. Also racing in that race and finishing fifth were Kirstie Green and Ellie Tomanovits.

Above: Annie and Georgia celebrate after the race

Above: Annie and Georgia collecting their medals

Above: Ellie and Kirstie

Although Mercs had three entrants in this final, we left without a medal. The best of the crews were Alexander Clarke and Ben Canham who finished fourth. Lenny Schiesswohl and Jack Robertson finished sixth and Lachie May and Alex Wolf in seventh place.

Above: Alex and Ben

Above: Lenny and Jack

Above: Lachie and Alex

The next Mercs race was the open pair which turned out to be the best race of the day with all finalists finishing within a second, alas Mercs second by only 0.39 second. The crew of Addy Dunkley-Smith and Katrina Werry raced well although naturally disappointed with the result.

Above: The final stages of the race 

Above: Receiving the medals

The men’s pair produced a good result with Josh Dunkley Smith and Josh Booth (MUBC) combining well despite a lack of full training and getting a bronze. Tom Hunt and Angus Widdicombe finished last in the final.

Above: The final stages of the race There is no podium photo as your photographer was presenting medals.

Meghan Hester finished sixth in her final of the lightweight scull. Unfortunately your photographer was presenting medals and so no photo.

Jayden Grey was a favoured sculler in the lightweight under 23 scull but was out-done by the medallists and finished fourth.

Above: Jayden in the final stages of his race.

After having been minor medallists in this event for two years, Carl Tomczak and Will Legge finally won the lightweight under 23 pair. Congratulations.

Above: Winning in the rain

Above: Gold medallists Carl and Will

Next up was Red Matthews in the lightweight scull and he finished in this tough race in third place. Well done Red.

Above: Red battling the elements and competitors

Above: Red on the podium

In the race for lanes for the women’s four, Mercs won well. The crew was Sibillin, Thomas, Werry and Lewis.

Above: Our women’s four

Our men’s open four won their race for lanes also. This crew was Hunt, Widdicombe, Booth (MUBC) and Dunkley Smith.

Above: Our winning four

The race for lanes in the lightweight four was also a win for Mercs. The crew was Tomczak, Manton (Banks), Legge and Grey.

Above: Our lightweight four

In the race for lanes in the under 23 four, Mercs composite finished second. Our crew was Hart, Franetic, Dempsey and Hoffman.

Above: Our crew

In the race for lanes for the under 23 four, the Mercs composite crews finished second and third. The second placed crew comprised Donald, Black, Bakker and Moore. The third placed crew comprised Van der Graaf, Lawrence, Burke and McCann.

Above: Our second placed crew

Above: Our third placed crew

In the race for lanes in the lightweight eights, the Mercs composite crew finished second. The crew comprised Tomczak, Grace, Bongiorno, Manton, McNamara, Matthews, Grey, Legge and coxed by Rook.

Above: Our crew

Day 3 National Championships

Published 29th March 2017

It was a big day for Mercantile crews with most racing today.

It all started with the preliminary heat of the women’s pair with the Mercs pair of Addy Dunkley-Smith and Katrina Werry winning their race by 2.45 seconds to the Buckingham/Huon crew with the rest of the field well behind. They look on track for gold in this very important race.

Above: Addy and Kat in their race today

Next up was the preliminary race for the men’s pair in which Josh Dunkley Smith teamed up with Josh Booth of MUBC top finish sixth and Tom Hunt and Angus Widdicombe finished eighth. Josh Dunkley Smith and Josh Booth showed their lack of preparation after taking this season off.

Above: The two Joshs at work

Above: Tom and Angus

The girls were then up in the under 23 women’s single with the first four progressing to the final. Amanda Bateman had a good race to finish third and gaining a place in the final with Kate Duggan finishing seventh. Amanda can dom better and we look forward to her finals race.

Above: Amanda Bateman in her semi final at half way point

Alex Kinsella and James Hoban created a problem for coach Chipper Colvin when they fought out for the final place in the final finishing fourth and fifth in their semi-final of the under 23 scull. Chipper just watched the last stages of the race to allow them to fight it out. Alex proved to be better on the day.

Above: Alex trailing James at the 1000 metre mark. Alex came through later to finish fourth.

Michaella Ballas raced in the under 21 first semi-final and finished fourth making it through to the final. She led through the first 1000 metres but could not keep up that intensity during the third 500 metres.

Above: Michaela through the middle of the race.

Gemma Sibilin raced in the next semi-final of the same event with the same result, fourth.

Above: Gemma also during the middle stages of the race

In the under 23 coxless pair repechage, Georgia Stewart combined with Emma Fessey of UTS to win their repechage. The race was tight across the first three crews.

Above: Georgia in her pair mid way through her repechage

The repechage of the under 23 men’s pair saw both the Club’s pairs go the through to the final with Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney finishing third and Jack Lawrence combining with MUBC James McCann finishing fourth.

Above: Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney

Above: Jack Lawrence and James McCann

Annie Anezakis and Georgie Gleeson combined in the under 21 coxless pair to finish second in their repechage and progressed to the final.

Above: Annie and Georgie through the 1000 metres

The next race was the repechage of the boys under 21 pairs in which Lachlan May and Alex Wolf raced a very determined race to ensure that they were going into the final and finished second. Lenny Schiesswohl and Jack Robertson also made it through to the final finishing third.

Above: Lachie and Alex through the 1000 metres

Above: Lenny and Jack

Unfortunately Kathleen Hanson failed to make it through to her semi-final.

Above: Kathleen mid race

Unfortunately Ben Keller and Max Hanna failed to make it through to the final finishing third in their repechage.

Above: Ben and Max

Next was Meghan Hester who finished second in her repechage to make it through to the final.

Above: Meghan mid way through her race

Jayden Grey won his semi-final comfortably but was probably the better of the two semis.

Above: Jayden mid race

Carl Tomczak and Will Legge easily won the under 23 lightweight pair race for lanes.

Above: Carl and Will mid way through the race

The race for lanes for the under 23 women’s double included two composite Mercs crews. Amanda Bateman combined with Ria Thompson of Melbourne to finish third and Kate Duggan combined with Peta Terrell of Adelaide University to finish fifth.

Above: Amanda and Ria

Above: Kate and Peta

Michaela Ballas combined with Gemma Sibillin in the under 21 double scull and finished second in their heat.

Above: Michaela and Gemma

Above: Keen spectators of the under 21 races

The under 21 girls comprising Anezakis, Tomanovits, Green, Gleeson and coxed by Cester easily won their race for lanes.

Above: Under 21 four approach the finish

The under 21 boys could not match the girls finishing fourth in the under 21 men’s coxed four. The four comprised Schiesswohl, Cain, Robertson, Maycock and coxed by Rook.

Above: Under 21 four approaching the finish

The composite crew comprising Joel Cain and Keller combined with an MUBC and Haileybury rowers to race in the under 19 coxless four and finished seventh in the race for lanes.

Above: The second stroke off the start

Red Matthews joined with Tim Day to race in the lightweight double scull and finished second in the race for lanes.

Above: Red and Tim off the start

Faith Gasparini and Clare Wood combined in the under 23 lightweight scull but finished last in their heat. They took on the buoys in the first 100 metres and lost.

Above: Faith and Clare off the start 

Above: The buoys won the fight with their sculling blades

Our under 21 quad scull were our last starters in the heat of the day and finished third in their heat which meant they need to race through the repechage. The crew comprised Clare Ward, Gemma Sibillin, Kathleen and Michaela Ballas.

Above: The crew off the start

Day 2 National Championships

Published 12th March 2017


Above: The boatsheds at dawn on day 2 – artificial light still winning over sunlight as crews depart

The first competitor for the Club on day 2 was Kate Duggan who just made it through the repechage to the semi final in the under 23 single scull. She joins Amanda Bateman in the semis.

Next cab off the rank was Joel Cain in the under 21 single repechage. Although Joel finished mid field in this cut throat event, this was not enough to get through to the semi finals.

Above: Joel preparing for his race

The next crews to race were our under 23 women’s pairs. Mercantile was represented in two composite crews. India Dempsey combined with Elise Franetic of MUBC to win their heat whilst Georgia Stewart combined with Emma Fessey of UTS to finish 4th in their heat. Georgia will race the repechage to progress.

Above: Georgia Stewart and Emma Fessey preparing for their race

Above: India Dempsey and Elise Franetic in the training lake

The men’s under 23 pair heats followed with Mercs represented in the first heat by Liam Donald and Robert Black who finished second in their heat and progressed through to the final and Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney who finished fourth, will progress through the repechage. In the second heat, Mercs was represented by Jack Lawrence who combined with James McCann of MUBC. They finished fourth and will progress through the repechage.

Above: Liam and Robert prepare for their heat

And again

Above: Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney also preparing for their heat

Next to start were the women’s under 21 pairs with Mercantile boating two crews. Kirstie Green and Ellie Tomanovits won their heat and Annie Anezakis and Georgie Gleeson finished fourth and will progress through to the repechage.

Above: Kirstie and Ellie preparing for their heat on the warm up lake

Next up were the men’s under 21 pairs with Mercantile having three entries, Alexander Clarke and Benjamin Canham who finished second and progress through to the final, and Lennart Schiesswohl and Jack Robertson, and also Lachlan May and Alexander Wolf. The final two crews finished third in their heats and progress through to the repechage.

Above: Lenny and Jack in the warm up lake

Above: Lachie and Alex

Kathleen Hanson finished first in her repechage of the under 19 single and now progresses through to the semi finals.

Above: Kathleen Hanson preparing for her repechage

Benjamin Keller and Max Hanna finished fifth in their heat so off to the repechage in the under 19 pair.

Above: Ben and Max prepare for their race

Red Matthews was beaten off the start in his heat of the lightweight single but rowed himself back into the race to finish second and gain a place in the final. A well rowed race by Red or perhaps his bright socks scared the opposition!

Above: Red Matthews preparing for his heat.

Meghan Hester finished her heat of under 23 single in third place so progresses to the repechage.

Above: Meghan on the warm up lake

Clare Ward was the final Mercs competitor today in the under 21 single scull repechage. Unfortunately she finished fifth in her race which means she will not progress to the semi final.

Above: Clare warming up for her race.

National Championships commence

Published 27th March 2017

Team Mercantile commenced its National Championships campaign today with our scullers taking to the field.

Best performed today was Jayden Grey who won his heat in the under 23 lightweight scull. He did it the had way being 3rd at the 500m mark, 2nd at the half way point and finally taking the lead in the third 500 metres. Jayden’s race was superb and he was not perturbed by the second placed sculler blasting off the start. The second placed sculler paid dearly for his start later in the race.

Above: Jayden working through the field at about the half way mark.

Amanda Bateman finished second in her heat of the under 23 single giving away 3.5 seconds to the winner Harriet Hudson in the first 500 metres. Amanda worked her way back into the race well finishing a strong second. Kate Duggan found the going tough in her heat finishing last.

James Hoban finished in a very respectable third place in a good time in his tough heat of the under 23 scull. He finished 2.74 seconds behind an NTC sculler. Alex Kinsella finished fourth in his heat. They combined later in the day in the under 23 double scull. They will need to do more to get on the podium in the double.

Above: James and Alex in the double

In the under 21 women’s single, Michaella Ballas raced superbly to finish second in her heat. Gemma Sibilin finished fourth in her heat in the same event.

Also finishing second was Amy Underwood, Meghan Hester who combined with Amy Underwood of Corowa in the heat of the under 23 lightweight double scull.

Above: Meghan and Amy.

Unfortunately Faith Gasparini and Clare Ward did not do so well in their heat of the same race finishing fourth.

Above: Faith and Clare of the start

More of our athletes will race tomorrow and further reports will follow.

1962 Victorian Lightweight Four reunite at Henley

Published 24th March 2017

The winning 1962 Victorian (and Mercantile) lightweight four got together recently and the proof is below.

The crew in 1962 with Palf coxing, Ken stroking, Tony in the three seat and George in the two seat.

Above: David Palfreyman, Ken Hume, Tony Walker and George Xouris today – of course not looking a day older other than the grey hair, a bit of weight……


Winter School Pathway Program in 2017

Published 22nd March 2017

The following important announcement has been made by our youth coaches, John Saunders and Brigette Carlile.

Mercantile Rowing Club is running the Winter School Pathway Program in 2017 during Term 2. The program provides coaching to athletes in Australia’s premier rowing club, as an opportunity to improve their technique, fitness and strength over the winter. The Winter Program includes two ergo sessions, where athletes will complete specifically designed workouts to improve their fitness; and two rowing sessions, where athletes will get the opportunity to refine their technique in the eight.

Athletes will receive coaching from Mercantile’s two Youth Coaches, both of whom are national championship winning coaches, with experience at both school and club level. Coaches will be present at every session, and will guide each athlete at their own level throughout the Winter Program.


The Winter Program commences in the week of the 17th April 2017; and concludes in the week of the 23rd June 2017.

Athletes will need to commit to the four sessions per week, which are:
Monday: 5:30am – 7:30am (Big boat row)
Tuesday: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (Ergo conditioning & technique)
Thursday: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (Ergo conditioning & technique)
Friday: 5:30am – 7:30am (Big boat row)


The Winter Program will cost $300 per athlete, which will cover all costs for the duration of the 10 weeks. This must be paid to the club treasurer prior to the program commencing.


To apply, please fill out the form at:

Please note, that as the Winter Program does have limited spaces, applications do not guarantee a position. Athletes will be notified by Friday, 7th of April of the success of their application, and payment will need to be made by Friday, 14th of April.

For more information, please feel free to contact either of the Youth Coaches below:

John Saunders and Brigette Carlile who are the Club’s Men’s Youth Coach and Women’s Youth Coach


Another Great Scotch Mercantile Regatta

Published 19th March 2017

Congratulations to the organising committee of the Scotch Mercantile regatta led by Stephen Webster on a superb regatta. The live broadcasting of the regatta was enjoyed by thousands and is likely to be packaged and put on YouTube shortly.  The broadcasting included drone photography.

Above: The pilots of the drones used for the live streaming – hopefully soon to be common place at regattas

The Committee comprised:

  • Regatta secretary: Richard Wraith, assisted by Faith Gasparini
  • Regatta adjuvant: David Pincus

Committee members:

  • Bill Webster (who watched the regatta from Germany)
  • Andrew Murchie
  • Andrew Dickson
  • Russell Kilroe-Smith
  • Mark Nothnagal

Regatta referee was Andrew Guerin and Starter in the morning session was our Treasurer Duncan MacKinnon.

Above: Scotch dominated again – their winning first crew

Australian senior team announced

Updated 19th March 2017

Rowing Australia today confirmed the Australian Rowing Team that will compete at World Rowing Cups 2 and 3 in 2017. The team will be reviewed post-World Cups, with a further announcement later in the year on the crews that will compete at the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

Katrina Werry, Angus Widdicombe and Red Matthews were selected into these Australian senior teams. Congratulations.

Above: Katrina with her new crew mates at Penrith

Katrina Werry has been selected into the Australian women’s four along with Lucy Stephan, Molly Goodman and Sarah Hawe. This is the first time that Katrina has been selected into a senior team and she will be based in Penrith.

Gus Widdicombe has been selected into the men’s eight squad and will continue to be based in Canberra. Gus is also a first timer into the national senior team.

Above: Red Matthews second from left at 2017 State Championships

Finally Red Matthews has successfully completed his come back to the national teams by being selected into the men’s lightweight quad scull. It is also his first time on the senior team. As coach David Colvin commented, this has been one of the best examples of a personally driven comeback with limited reliance on support of others.

Victorian Crews Announced

Published 17th March 2017

The Victorian crews were announced yesterday with the close of entries. Mercantile has dominated these crews with 29 members selected plus most of our coaches. Congratulations to all.

King’s Cup Crew – five Mercs members

Angus Widdicombe (Mercs), Liam Donald (Mercs), Tom Hunt (Mercs) , Simon Keenan, Tim Masters, Ben Coombs, Josh Dunkley-Smith (Mercs), Joshua Booth, Cox: James Rook (Mercs), Coach: Christian Ryan

Queens Cup – five Mercs members plus coach

Hedda Cooper, Addy Dunkley-Smith (Mercs), Hannah Lewis (Mercs), Katherine Michelmore, Jennifer Cleary (Mercs), Jess Morrison (Mercs), Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry (Mercs), Cox: Sarah Ben-David, Coach: Simon Gadsden (Mercs)

Nell Slatter Trophy – Mercantile

Amanda Bateman (Mercs), Coach: Simon Gadsden (Mercs)

President’s Cup – Three Mercs members plus coach

Jayden Grey (Mercs), Conor Grace, Michael McNamara (Mercs), Red Matthews (Mercs), Coach: David Colvin (Mercs), Nicholas Mitchell

Victoria Cup – One Mercs Member

Alice Arch, Meghan Hester (Mercs), Alice McNamara, India McKenzie, Coach: Bert Cocu

Wilkinson Trophy – All Mercs crew

Jack Robertson, Lennart Schiesswohl, Maximilian Hanna, Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf, Alexander Clarke, Benjamin Canham, Alexander Maycock, Cox: Alexis Hancock, Coach: John Saunders, Simon Gadsden

Bicentennial Trophy – five Mercs members plus coach

Sky Froebel, Kirstie Green (Mercs), Ellie Tomanovits (Mercs), Jacqueline Hart, Georgie Gleeson (Mercs), India Dempsey (Mercs), Annika Hoffmann, Ria Thompson, Cox: Adelaide Cester (Mercs), Coach: Brigette Carlile (Mercs), David Ochert

National Championships Entries

Published 17th March 2017

Another massive National Championships for the Club. I would hate to see the Club’s bank balance after paying for these entries!

Event Crew Athletes
OW8+ Mercantile Hannah Lewis ,Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas, Amanda Bateman, Jessica Morrison, Jennifer Cleary, Katrina Werry, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Alexis Louise Hancock(c)
OLM1x Mercantile Redmond Matthews
OLM1x Mercantile Michael McNamara
OLM2x Mercantile Michael McNamara, Redmond Matthews
OLM8+ Mercantile Composite Carl Tomczak, Conor Grace, Samuel Bongiorno, Edward Manton, Michael McNamara, Redmond Matthews, Jayden Grey, William Legge, James Rook(c)
U23W1x Mercantile Amanda Bateman
U23W1x Mercantile Kate Duggan
U23W2x Mercantile/Melbourne RC Amanda Bateman, Ria Thompson
U23W2- Melbourne University/Mercantile Elise Franetic, India Lissa Dempsey
U23M1x Mercantile James Hoban
U23M1x Mercantile Alexander Kinsella
U23M2x Mercantile Alexander Kinsella, James Hoban
U23M2- Mercantile Jack Lawrence, Angus Maloney
U23M2- Mercantile/Melbourne University Andrew Burke, James McCann
U23M4- Mercantile/Melbourne University Angus Maloney, Jack Lawrence, Andrew Burke, James McCann
U23M8+ Mercantile James Robertson, Lennart Schiesswohl, Maximilian Hanna, Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf, Alexander Clarke, Benjamin Canham, Alexander Maycock, Alexis Louise Hancock(c)
U23LW1x Mercantile Meghan Hester
U23LW2x Corowa/Mercantile Amy Underwood, Meghan Hester
U23LW2x Mercantile Faith Gasparini, Clare Ward
U23LM1x Mercantile Jayden Grey
U23LM2- Mercantile Carl Tomczak, William Legge
U23LM4- Mercantile/Banks Carl Tomczak, Edward Manton, William Legge, Jayden Grey
U21W1x Mercantile Gemma Sibillin
U21W1x Mercantile Michaella Ballas
U21W2x Mercantile Michaella Ballas, Gemma Sibillin
U21W2- Mercantile Kirsten Green, Ellie Tomanovits
U21W2- Mercantile Annie Anezakis, Georgie Gleeson
U21W4+ Mercantile Annie Anezakis, Ellie Tomanovits, Kirsten Green, Georgie Gleeson, Adelaide Cester(c)
U21M1x Mercantile Joel Cain
U21M2- Mercantile Alexander Clarke, Benjamin Canham
U21M2- Mercantile Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf
U21M4+ Mercantile Lennart Schiesswohl, Joel Cain, James Robertson, Alexander Maycock, James Rook(c)
U21LW1x Mercantile Clare Ward
U19W1x Mercantile Kathleen Hanson
U19M2- Mercantile Benjamin Keller, Maximilian Hanna

Living history

Published 13th March 2017

We are so fortunate to still have strong links with the past with members like Arthur Atkins, our oldest and longest serving member. He maintains good health and a strong connection with the Club despite his advancing years. We are looking forward to helping him celebrate his 100th birthday this year.  Your correspondent cherishes his conversations with Arthur as they bring to life first-hand accounts of our past.
Arthur’s recent purchase of a new eight for the Club and naming it after one of his mates who did not return, is not only a great gesture, but it has brought to life a story of WWII in a tangible way for the young people who race in this boat and whose parents (and perhaps grand-parents) were born after WWII.

Further the boat has yet to lose a race since it was built.

It is also living history that one of our under 21 rowers who rows in this boat, Lenny Schiesswohl, is German. He sits together with Australians in a boat produced in Germany, which is named after an Australian Lancaster pilot who died in WWII during a bombing raid over Germany. It’s quite a fascinating turn of events and further brings history to life.

National Senior Selection Trials Begin

Published 12th March 2017

The National Senior Selection trials will be conducted 12-17th March 2017. These trials will be the primary selection event for the national senior team. With many of the experienced athletes taking a year off, there will no doubt be many new names in the team, hopefully Mercantile names. The selection standards for this year will be lower as the selectors try to find talent who will win medals in 2020 in Tokyo, rather than medals in the World Championships in 2017. With so many younger athletes competing, there will be some interesting decisions on under 23 athletes – row the Senior Championships, the Under 23 Championships or both??

All will be revealed this time next week.

Hannah Lewis off to Sydney in preparation for trials

Published 12th March 2017

Vice-Captain Hannah Lewis has joined the other senior athletes at the Hancock Women’s National Centre in the lead up to National Selection Trials. She, along with Tasmanians Sarah Hawe and Ciona Wilson, have moved to the centre. They will partner other similarly minded athletes in combinations for the trials.

Women’s Head Coach, John Keogh said: “It was a great fit having the three girls come up and join us as they were in need of pair partners ahead of trials and we needed some extra bow-side rowers to join us to help our current NTC athletes prepare.

“I reached out to the girls and their coaches post- NSW State Championships explaining we needed some bowside rowers, and they in turn were needing pair partners. I then spoke with Brett Crow (at the TIS) along with Bill Tait (VIS) and Simon Gadsden (Mercantile RC) about how we could help the group and in turn they could help us in the lead up to trials.

Scotch Mercantile Regatta

Published 11th March 2017

This will be a great regatta and if you want to volunteer to assist, please email Jenny Fraumano, our Secretary


Victorian team squads announced

Published 9th March 2017

The Victorian team squads have been announced with many Mercantile members included. In fact 32 are from Mercantile. Congratulations to these 32 members.

King’s Club Squad – 6 Mercs rowers and 4 of them new to the KC

Josh Booth

Josh Dunkley-Smith (Mercs)

Ben Coombs

Liam Donald (Mercs)

Thomas Hunt (Mercs)

Simon Keenan

Tim Masters

Callum Nott (Mercs)

Angus Widdicombe (Mercs)

Cox: James Rook (Mercs)

Coach – Christian Ryan

Queen’s Cup Squad – 6 Mercs rowers and 4 of them new to QC

Jen Cleary (Mercs)

Hedda Cooper

Addy Dunkley-Smith (Mercs)

Elise Franetic

Hannah Lewis (Mercs)

Katherine Michelmore

Jess Morrison (Mercs)

Olivia Sibillin (Mercs)

Lucy Stephan

Katrina Werry (Mercs)

Cox: Sarah Ben-David

Coach – Simon Gadsden (Mercs)

Victoria Cup – Meghan Hester in for the first time

Alice Arch

Meghan Hester (Mercs)

Alice McNamara

India McKenzie

Coach – Bert Cocu

Penrith Cup Squad – 5 of 6 rowers from Mercs and 4 of them new to the Penrith Cup

Jayden Grey (Mercs)

Conor Grace

Will Legge (Mercs)

Red Matthews (Mercs)

Michael McNamara (Mercs)

Carl Tomczak (Mercs)

Coach – David Colvin (Mercs)

President’s Cup

Jordan Smith

Coach: Rick van Hooydonk

Nell Slatter Trophy

Not yet announced

Wilkinson Cup – an all Mercs crew

Jack Robertson (Mercs)

Lennart Schiesswohl (Mercs)

Max Hanna (Mercs)

Lachlan May (Mercs)

Alex Wolf (Mercs)

Alex Clarke (Mercs)

Ben Canham (Mercs)

Alex Maycock (Mercs)

Cox – Alexis Hancock (Mercs)

Coaches – John Saunders (Mercs) and Simon Gadsden (Mercs)

Bicentennial Cup – 5 Mercs rowers

Ellie Tomanovits (Mercs)

Jackie Hart

Georgie Gleeson (Mercs)

Kirsti Green (Mercs)

Skyla Froebel

India Dempsey (Mercs)

Anika Hoffman

Ria Thompson

Cox – Adelaide Cester (Mercs)

Coaches – David Ochert & Brigette Carlile (Mercs)

Men’s Para Single

Aaron Skinner

Coach – Tom Bertrand

Women’s Para Single

Kate Lapthorne

Coach – Andrew O’Brien

From the archives – Scotch Mercantile Regatta History

Updated 11th March 2017 – Trident and Martin Owen

On April 4, 1959, Mercantile Rowing Club and Scotch College joined to establish the Scotch-Mercantile Regatta. The objective was to provide Associated Public Schools crews with more opportunity for racing in open competition in the important last 14 days prior to their Head of the River competition and to give club crews and the newly formed state crews an additional qualifying regatta during the latter part of the season.

Bob Aitken and Ewan Davidson from Scotch College initiated the Regatta and continued on the organizing committee well into 1980s.

An important adjunct as to why the timing was right and also why it was so large, was that it filled a need. It was usually held one week before the APS Junior Regatta and two weeks prior to the Head of the River. The APS Junior regatta was held on the Henley on the Yarra course over 800 metres for beginner crews as well as the non-Head of the River crews – the 6th eights up to usually the 10th eights (or greater in Scotch’s case). Hence the timing provided the only chance to race for both the APS senior and junior crews.

David Boykett was fundamental in maintaining the level of Scotch’s participation (at all levels) in the 1970, so well accommodated by Bill Bradshaw, who was immensely proud of his own logistical talents in organising such a large event.  The Mercs Captain and Secretary were obligatory members of the Scotch Mercs committee, and Martin Owen and your correspondent remember well the endless laps of Bill Bradshaw’s dining room table assembling the Scotch Mercs programme, ably assisted by Peter Watkin; John Burford Alan Blaxland and Bill Ruttledge.

Crockett’s contribution in the 1970’s was fundamental.

The Regatta was held on the Yarra River for most of it’s life and grew enormously on that venue. It commenced before 8am in the morning and finished at 6pm at night with races every 3 minutes off the 1600 metre start and often at 2 minute intervals off the 800 metre start. It was a great rowing festival with well over 1,000 competitors where all school crews, at both junior and senior levels, would compete. One may question the Mercantile President Jim Sprigg’s confident and sweeping annual assertion during the 1970s and 1980s that it was “the largest regatta in the southern hemisphere”, (one day in a burst of enthusiasm, he even claimed global supremacy), but there is no doubt of its success in those days. This was, in no small measure, been due to the competence and efficiency of Bill Bradshaw, the organizing secretary, for some 30 years from inception.

Above: The always calm and well prepared Bill Bradshaw
The move to Nagambie came after river closures could not be negotiated and the volume of other river traffic became an impediment to safety. Given the timing of the regatta, it also became difficult to attract elite club rowers to compete.
The regatta has evolved into a superb schools regatta and remained true to its school objective. It has always been innovative and in recent times has introduced commentary from the start and live streaming of the regatta. Bill Bradshaw would be proud of these changes.

Scotch Mercs Regatta leads the way

Published 8th March 2017

The 59th annual Scotch Mercantile Regatta will take place on 18th March 2017 at Nagambie. The reputation as the innovative regatta will continue this year with commentary from the start, big screen at the course and also live streaming from three cameras.

Proimage Broadcast will be providing live video streaming of this regatta. Access the Live Stream Here.

This regatta is jointly run by Mercantile and Scotch College with most of the Scotch representatives being Mercs rowers. It has always been innovative and continues to lead the way.

Mercs win President’s Trophy at State Champs

Published 8th March 2017

Despite the Club not competing on Sunday, Mercs won the President’s Trophy for the best performing Club at the State Championships. Go Mercs.

In 2016, we raced both days and it was embarrassingly dominant. The result this year it was far closer giving the other Clubs a full day of additional races to catch up.

State Championships Review

Updated 8th March 2017

A splendid State Championships was conducted at Nagambie on the weekend with great results for the Club in good conditions on Saturday.

Above: Men’s Champion Eight off the start

Above: Men’s Champion Eight winners with Josh Dunkley Smith playing to the camera
William Legge, Carl Tomczak, Angus Maloney, Callum Nott, Tom Hunt, Josh Dunkley-Smith, Liam Donald, Robert Black, Cox: James Rook

Above: Women’s Champion eight off the start

Above: Women’s Champion Eight winners
Meghan Hester, Kate Duggan, Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas, Amanda Bateman, Jess Morrison, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Katrina Werry, Cox: Alexis Hancock

Men’s Open Quad Scull

2nd Mercantile, Alexander Kinsella, James Hoban, Ethan Seder, Hugo Van De Graaf, Coaches: John Saunders, David Colvin

Above: Presentations

Men’s Open Pair

1st Mercantile/MUBC, Josh Dunkley-Smith [MERC] and Joshua Booth [MUBC]- probably the two strongest male rowers in the land

2nd Mercantile, Robert Black, Liam Donald

3rd Mercantile, Callum Nott, Tom Hunt

Men’s Open Four

1st Mercantile/MUBC, James McCann [MUBC], Andrew Burke [MERC], Jack Lawrence [MERC], Angus Maloney [MERC], Coach: David Pincus

Above: The winning open four

Women’s Open Pair

1st Mercantile, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Katrina Werry

2nd Mercantile, Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas

Above: Addy and Karina with coach Simon Gadsden

Men’s Lightweight Scull

1st Mercantile, Red Matthews, Coach: David Colvin

2nd Mercantile, Jayden Grey, Coach: David Colvin

Above: Red Matthews in the start


Men’s Lightweight Double Scull

1st Mercantile, Michael McNamara, Red Matthews, Coach: David Colvin

Men’s Lightweight Pair

1st Mercantile, William Legge, Carl Tomczak, Coach: David Colvin

Men’s Lightweight Four

1st Mercantile, Michael McNamara, Red Matthews, William Legge, Jayden Grey, Coach: David Colvin

Above: Lightweight four presentation

Women’s Lightweight Scull

2nd Mercantile, Meghan Hester

Above: Meghan Hester in the start

Men’s Under 23 Scull

1st Mercantile, James Hoban, Coaches: David Colvin, David Pincus

2nd Mercantile, Alexander Kinsella, Coaches: David Colvin, David Pincus

Above: James off the start

Men’s Under 23 Double Scull

1st Mercantile, Alexander Kinsella, James Hoban, Coaches: David Colvin, David Pincus

Men’s Under 23 Pair

1st Mercantile, Jack Lawrence, Angus Maloney, Coach: David Pincus

Women’s Under 23 Scull

2nd Mercantile, Amanda Bateman

Above: Amanda Bateman

Women’s Under 23 Double Scull

1st Mercantile/Melbourne, Amanda Bateman [MERC], Ria Thompson [MELB]

2nd Mercantile, Kate Duggan, Meghan Hester

Above: Meghan and Kate

Women’s Under 23 pair

1st Mercantile/MUBC, Elise Franetic [MUBC], India Dempsey [MERC]

Above: Elise and India off the start

Men’s Under 21 Double Scull

1st Mercantile, Hugo Van De Graaf, Ethan Seder, Coach: John Saunders

Men’s Under 21 Pair

1st Mercantile, Lennart Schiesswohl, Benjamin Canham, Coach: John Saunders

2nd Mercantile, Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf, Coach: John Saunders

Above: Ben and Lenny in the start

Men’s Under 21 Four

1st Mercantile, Samuel Lovejoy-Hall, Benjamin Keller, Joel Cain, Charles Perkins, Cox: Adelaide Cester, Coach: John Saunders

Above: This four in the boat park loading boats

Men’s Under 21 Eight

1st Mercantile, Jack Robertson, Lennart Schiesswohl, Maximilian Hanna, Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf, Alexander Clarke, Benjamin Canham, Alexander Maycock, Cox: James Rook, Coach: John Saunders

Above: Presentation of Under 21 eight trophy

Women’s Under 21 Pair

2nd Mercantile, Kirstie Green, Georgie Gleeson, Coach: Brigette Carlile

Women’s Under 21 eight

1st Mercantile, Annie Anezakis, Kathleen Hanson, Jessica Brommeyer, Michaella Ballas, India Dempsey, Ellie Tomanovits, Kirstie Green, Georgie Gleeson, Cox: Adelaide Cester, Coach: Brigette Carlile

Above: Victorious Mercs under 21 eight

Boat trailer driver required for the return journey from the Nationals

Published 1st March 2017

The Club is seeking a volunteer to drive one of our boat trailers back from the Nationals. Please call respond to our Club Secretary Jenny Fraumano on 0438324307 if you think that you may be able to assist.

Victorian Championship Entries

Published 1st March 2017

Above: the State Championship Trophies on display in 2016

The Club has a massive entry at this weekends State Championships – see below.

Event Crew Athletes
MO2- Mercantile/Melbourne University Andrew Burke, James McCann
MO2- Mercantile 1 Robert Black, Liam Donald
MO2- Mercantile 2 Callum Nott, Tom Hunt
MO2- Mercantile/Melbourne University Josh Dunkley-Smith, Joshua Booth
MU232- Mercantile 1 Jack Lawrence, Angus Maloney
MU212- Mercantile 1 Lennart Schiesswohl, Benjamin Canham
MU212- Mercantile 2 Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf
MU212- Mercantile 3 James Robertson, Alexander Clarke
MU212- Mercantile 4 Maximilian Hanna, Alexander Maycock
MU212- Mercantile 5 Benjamin Keller, Joel Cain
MU212- Mercantile 6 Samuel Lovejoy-Hall, Charles Perkins
MU212- Mercantile 7 Ethan Seder, Hugo Van De Graaf
MLW2- Mercantile William Legge, Carl Tomczak
MLW1X Mercantile 1 Michael McNamara
MLW1X Mercantile 2 Redmond Matthews
MLW1X Mercantile 3 Jayden Grey
MU231X Mercantile 1 James Hoban
MU231X Mercantile 2 Alexander Kinsella
FO2- Mercantile 1 Addy Dunkley-Smith, Katrina Werry
FO2- Mercantile 2 Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas
FO2- Melbourne University/Mercantile Elise Franetic, India Lissa Dempsey
FU212- Mercantile 1 Kirsten Green, Georgie Gleeson
FU212- Mercantile 2 Annie Anezakis, Ellie Tomanovits
FU212- Mercantile 3 Jessica Brommeyer, Michaella Ballas
FO1X Mercantile Jessica Morrison
FU231X Mercantile 2 Kate Duggan
FU231X Mercantile 1 Amanda Bateman
FU211X Mercantile 1 Gemma Sibillin
FU211X Mercantile 2 Kathleen Hanson
FLW1X Mercantile 1 Meghan Hester
MU214+ Mercantile Samuel Lovejoy-Hall, Benjamin Keller, Joel Cain, Charles Perkins, James Rook(c)
MO8+ Mercantile William Legge, Carl Tomczak, Angus Maloney, Callum Nott, Tom Hunt, Josh Dunkley-Smith, Liam Donald, Robert Black, James Rook(c)
FO8+ Mercantile Meghan Hester, Kate Duggan, Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas, Amanda Bateman, Jessica Morrison, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Katrina Werry, Alexis Louise Hancock(c)
MU232X Mercantile Alexander Kinsella, James Hoban
MLW2X Mercantile Michael McNamara, Redmond Matthews
MU212X Mercantile Hugo Van De Graaf, Ethan Seder
FU232X Mercantile Kate Duggan, Meghan Hester
MU218+ Mercantile James Robertson, Lennart Schiesswohl, Maximilian Hanna, Lachlan May, Alexander Wolf, Alexander Clarke, Benjamin Canham, Alexander Maycock, James Rook(c)
FU218+ Mercantile Annie Anezakis, Gemma Sibillin, Jessica Brommeyer, Michaella Ballas, India Lissa Dempsey, Ellie Tomanovits, Kirsten Green, Georgie Gleeson, Adelaide Cester(c)
MO4- Melbourne University/Mercantile James McCann, Andrew Burke, Jack Lawrence, Angus Maloney
MLW4- Mercantile Michael McNamara, Redmond Matthews, William Legge, Jayden Grey
MO4X- Mercantile Alexander Kinsella, James Hoban, Ethan Seder, Hugo Van De Graaf


Robyn Selby Smith


Wanting photos?

Republished 1st March 2017

Your correspondent has attended most regattas this year with camera and so has a stock of photos of this season. Please advise if you need any:

Robyn Selby Smith named as Chair of the Para Rowing and Underage Australian Selection Panels

Published 1st March 2017

Immediate past Captain Robyn Selby Smith has been named Chair of both the Para Rowing and Underage Australian Selection Panels. This is a challenging role so best wishes to Robyn.

Above: Robyn at the Night of Excellence interviewing some of our Olympians

The Rowing Australia reported this story as follows:

The Chair of Selectors for the Para and Underage Selection Panels will be Robyn Selby-Smith. She will join Simon Burgess as the second Non-Executive member and the respective Head Coach.

Robyn was part of the Australian Women’s Eight at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Prior to that, Robyn won gold medals at both the 2005 and 2006 World Championships in the Women’s Coxless Four, along with a second gold medal in the Women’s Eight in 2005. She has also proudly rowed 11 times for Victoria in the Queen’s Cup. During her time in rowing she successfully completed a BSc/LLB(Hons) – law science degree. Robyn currently works for VicForests as Corporate Counsel. During the recent Rio cycle Robyn was a Selector for the Australian Underage Teams.

Simon, who hails from Tasmania, is a dual Olympic Silver medallist in the Lightweight Men’s Coxless Four – from the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. He is a five-time World Championship medallist with highlights being gold in the Lightweight Men’s Quad Scull in 1991 and the Lightweight Men’s Eight in 1997. Since retirement from the sport, he has kept involved through coaching at school camps, coaching over winter at the local club (Huon Rowing Club) and assisting at the TIS when coaches have been on Australian Rowing Team duties. Outside of rowing, Simon has both farmed and worked in the cray-fishing industry. He also helped to establish the local Community Bank through Bendigo/Adelaide Bank, which won ‘Community Bank of the Year’ during his seven year term as Chairman. He had also been on their Board for 13 years.

We look forward to working with both Robyn and Simon during 2017 in the capacity as Underage and Para selectors for Rowing Australia.

Underage Selection Panel
Chair: Robyn Selby-Smith
Simon Burgess
Lyall McCarthy (Pathways Head Coach)

Para Selection Panel
Chair: Robyn Selby-Smith
Simon Burgess
Gordon Marcks (Para-Rowing Head Coach)

150th APS Head of the River

Republished 1st March 2017

As part of the Henley regatta and also as part of the 150th APS Head of the River celebrations, was a re-enactment of the first race using turn of last century equipment care of the Anglesea Sports and Recreation Society. The voluntary boatman of that club is former Mercs rower Peter Doyle. These boats have been superbly restored.

The 150th APS Head of the River celebrations are being led by a former Mercs rower Stephen Webster who amongst other things introduced to the Henley Regatta various Alumni events with great success.

A celebration dinner for the 150th Head of the River will be held on 16th June 2017 at the MCG and further details will follow.


Above: The Brighton Grammar Alumni crew at Henley containing Club Members Peter DeGaris 1973,  Simon Quirk 1985, Geoff Barden 1984,  Richard Howden 1982 and David Strong (Cox)

New Mercantile Ties Available

Republished 1st March 2017

Jenny Fraumano has arranged for the creation of new Mercs ties – see below. The ties are silk and are only $35 each. A perfect Christmas present for any Mercs member who wears a tie. Jenny is only too please to sell you one –


Above: The new Mercs tie


Member Profiles

Updated 1st March 2017

Olympians v3

The number of member profiles has now well 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.


Thursday Masters Nights

Republished 1st March 2017

Reminder that all masters rowers are welcome for a row on Thursday nights followed by a sausage sizzle and refreshments. Row at 6pm and sausage sizzle at 7.30pm. All welcome. Please call Andrew Guerin on 0417 554799 to get put on the weekly email.


Thursday nights after the row

Saturday Morning Breakfasts

Republished 1st March 2017

The breakfast Mums are always looking for new people to assist them on a Saturday. Any volunteers would be most welcome and should call Jenny Fraumano on 0438 324307.


 Mercantile Mums at work


Above: Breakfast on Melbourne Head day

 Past news