May 2017 News

Above – National Under 23 Lightweight Four Champions

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:

  • Expressions of interest called for Masters in Paradise
  • Masters enjoy National Masters Championships
  • From the archives
  • Fundraising events for our international representatives
  • Advance notice – Arthur Atkins’ 100th birthday party Sun 6th August
  • More Mercs members to race overseas
  • Kayak News
  • Another crew announced to go to HRR
  • Masters win at State Championships
  • Jen Cleary and Josh Dunkley Smith off to HRR
  • Vale Roberto Perillo
  • 150th Head of the River Celebration Dinner
  • Junior, Under 23 and Para National Team members announced
  • Under 21 National Team members announced
  • Overseas crews now being put together
  • New member profile – Edward “Spiv” White
  • New Mercs tie
  • Member Profiles

Expressions of Interest Called for Masters in Paradise

Published 21 May 2017

An attractive opportunity for our masters, which we propose to support, is Masters in Paradise, a highly regarded regatta in Vanuatu. The cost is about $3000 all inclusive and all who have been before, loved the welcoming experience.

For more details, please go to: For those of us who know Greg Pechan from BGS, he is a resident of Vanuatu and a backer of this event.

Please provide your interest in this event to our masters coordinator Andrew Guerin  so that we can get our group together.

Above: 1984 Victoria Champion Lightweight four with Greg in bow seat

Masters Enjoy National Masters Championships

Published 21 May 2017

The Club sent a small contingent of masters to the National Championships to race on Saturday of the four day regatta, hardly a strong representation but one of enthusiasm.

We came away with a bronze in a mixed eight but failed to medal in the women’s four, men’s F eight and men’s G eight. It was a welcomed Saturday excursion to Nagambie.

Above: a mixed eight with Essendon

Congratulations to the organisers on a very well run regatta.

From the Archives

Updated again 19th May 2017 (some interest in this article)

Sean Colgan has sent to us a great article from 1967 from St Catherines Canada where Australia won it’s first sweep gold medal in what is equivalent of a World Cup.

Above: The 1967 article from Sean Colgan

Upon reading this article, Club Captain Bill Webster noticed that on the bottom right of the page is a photo of the USA 4-, and in the 3 seat is Bob Brayton. I have coxed Bob the last 2 years at the FISA Masters. Last year we won the I8+ by 30 seconds, in 2015 we won the G8+. I will be rowing with him again in Bled this year. Small world!

Bill passed on this article to Bob Brayton with the following response:

Thanks for the note. I remember that race, I think. We lost to the German entry and gave ourselves a goal for the European FISA race in Vichy later that year. That was the only time they held that race and the Canadians brought in crews from all over to make it a good regatta. it WAS a big surprise when you guys came. It was a good party after the race as well.

And from the next decade, our President is pretty happy with this win

Above: Winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1986 is fun – Mal Batten in front and James Galloway behind

Fundraising events for our international representatives

Published 17th May 2017

The Club proposes holding two fund raising events for our international representatives as follows:

Thursday June 1 Trivia night

As this is the first Thursday of the month, a compulsory showing by our masters group is required. Bookings can be made through

Saturday June 10 Cocktail Party

This will include a raffle and auction as per last year. Word is sneaking out that some great auction items including Rio Olympic gear, an Olympic flag signed by the women’s eight and numerous photos of your choice. But your correspondent is hoping that Arthur Atkins will again offer an afternoon tea with him.

Details will follow but please keep the dates free. Also, any raffle or auction items would be gratefully received.

Advance notice – Arthur Atkins’ 100th birthday party Sun 6th August, 2pm

Published 14th May 2017

Please keep Sunday 6th August at 2pm free to come down to the Club and celebrate with Arthur Atkins on his achievement this magnificent milestone. Arthur turns 100 on the day before.

Above: Arthur at the boat naming of the David Browne

More Mercs Members to Race Overseas

Published 12th May 2017

David Colvin advises today that our lightweights are also heading overseas. They will race at Holland Beker Regatta in Holland in June and possibly at another event. The crews are not yet finalised so this report is limited.

Five Victorian lightweights are to join up with three lightweights from UTS in Sydney and race this regatta. The Victorians are:

  • Jayden Grey – Mercs
  • Will Legge – Mercs
  • Hugo Berry – Banks
  • Ed Manton – Banks (and grandson of Garth Manton)
  • Sam Bongiorno – Banks

They will race in open and under 23 lightweight events in doubles, quads and an eight with the UTS rowers.

Above: Lightweight four winners at the Nationals – Carl Tomzcak, Ed Manton, Jayden Grey and Will Legge

Kayak News

Published 11th May 2017

Tom Hedditch, President of Mercantile Kayak Club, has posted the following story. Thank you Tom.

Above: Glenn Singleton and Tim Altman

Long time members of Mercantile kayak club and surf life saving have partnered up last season in Surf Life Saving surf ski events. Glenn Singleton and Tim Altman have raced together in a number of local and state surf carnivals with great success.

The pair has medalled in all events throughout the season and went on to win both the state masters and open titles. At the Australian championships the pair was the clear leader in the Masters before a wave brought most of the field up to them and they finished 5th in a hectic blanket finish. The pair were looking forward to and were confident of a very strong performance in the open championship before cyclone Debbie caused havoc to half of the east coast of Australia and the remaining 4 days of the Australian championships were abandoned.

Above: A winning look after this race

Another crew announced to race at Henley Royal Regatta

Published 11th May 2017

The Club has announced that we will also be represented at Henley this year in the Wyfold Challenge Cup by a four comprising Callum Nott, Tom Hunt, Andrew Burke and Angus Maloney, coached by David Pincus.

The supporters team will be headed by our Club Secretary Jenny Fraumano and establish base in a house opposite the sheds. Another Mercs dinner will be arranged at Henley as usual.

Above: From the archives, a winning Mercs crew in 1988 in the Ladies Plate at Henley  – stroked by current masters rower Tony Johnson and if you look closely, current federal politician Cory Bernardi is in the five seat and current masters rower Geoff Barden in the two seat

Masters win at State Championships

Published 7th May 2017

Although our entries were low, we had success at the Victorian Masters Championships. Congratulations to our men’s eight and Jenny Williams and Colin Kimpton who won a mixed master four.

Above: The winning masters eight missing Ray Dawson

Above: Our girls after their race

Thought for reflection

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections every few years, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.

Jen and Josh off to Henley Royal Regatta

Published 4th May 2017

VIS Head Coach Bill Tait has announced today that Jen Cleary and Josh Dunkley-Smith are to race Henley Royal Regatta this year – Jen in the single and Josh in a pair with Josh Booth of MUBC.

All these athlete rate as some of Australia’s finest rowers and are taking a year off the Australian team to catch up with personal matters such as study commitments. They are taking their racing seriously and will be hoping to meet the very best at HRR at the end of June. Bill Tait will be their coach. It would not surprise me if Josh and Josh were the Olympic pair in Tokyo, they are two of our strongest and most experienced oarsmen in Australia. Jen is also at the top of her game and will be there in 2020.

As this is not an Australian team trip, we would welcome hearing from members who can financially assist them attend this regatta. Please contact the President or Andrew Guerin at

Above: Josh and Josh in the pair at the Nationals

Vale Roberto Perillo

Updated 5th May 2017

It with great sadness that we report the death of one of our favourite masters rowers, Roberto Perillo. He died peacefully on Monday night having fought cancer for a number of years. His funeral will be held at 2pm Monday 9th May at Allison Monkhurst Alexander Rd Essendon followed by a wake at 3.30pm at Essendon RC.

Above: Roberto on the left with his winning Mercs Masters Crew at Head of the Yarra

Roberto loved the sport. He raced and coached at Essendon Rowing Club, he was Captain at Richmond Rowing Club and loved racing with Mercantile. And we loved rowing with a great friend who was also such a dependable and strong rower. He readily offered assistance to every Club or rower, fixed boats and was a friend to all.

Roberto took some courageous steps in his life. In 1980, when Argentina was under military rule with tens of thousands of people going missing, Roberto made the big move of migrating to the safer Australia to bring up his family. The dirty war was no place for bringing up his children.

With hard work and bold decision making, Roberto successfully created a new life in Australia. His member profile can be found through this link. When asked why rowing, he responded: Relationships. The community of rowing recognises no borders and is excellent for migrants.”

Roberto will be sadly missed by all those who had the privilege to know him.

150th Head of the River Celebration Dinner

Published 2nd May 2017

Bookings are now open for the 150th Head of the River celebration dinner being conducted by the Scotch and Grammar rowing communities. All are welcome for this great evening.

Above: Details of the dinner

National Junior, Under 23 and Para team members announced

Published 1st May 2017

Rowing Australia today announced the selections for these teams. They include the following Club members to whom we heartily congratulate:

Liam Donald and Rob Black in the men’s four – the dominant under 23 oarsmen in 2017

Tom Abramowski coach of the junior men’s double (and coach of the MGS first crew)

Above: Liam and Rob at the Nationals – Rob sporting his Mosman colours in this race

The announcements was as follows:

Rowing Australia today announced the U23, Junior and Para World Championship crews set to represent Australia in 2017. The Junior Australian Rowing Team will compete at the Junior World Championships in Trakai, Lithuania while the U23 Australian Rowing Team will compete at the U23 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Para World Championships are part of the Senior World Championships held in Sarasota, USA.

Of the crews named today in the U23 team, additional crews may be added in June when the US-based U23 Australian athletes return for trials alongside other U23 athletes invited back for further trialling opportunities. Athletes at the June trials must meet performance standards to have a chance to be selected and join the crews named today.

In the U23 team there are a number of returning athletes, including 2016 U23 Men’s Quadruple Scull World Champions, Rob Black and Caleb Antill. Antill, coached by Rhett Ayliffe, will now contend on his own for the U23 Men’s Single title while Black will combine with Harley Moore, Adam Bakker and Liam Donald in a bid to hold on to a medal in the U23 Men’s Coxless Four, again with coach Antonio Maurogiovanni.

Two of the U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull athletes from last year are back in the crew this year, Caitlin Cronin and Rowena Meredith (both Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre (HPNTC) based). They are this year joined by youngster Harriet Hudson and Rio Olympian Genevieve Horton.

Many of last year’s U21 athletes have made the step up to U23 level including U23 Women’s Coxless Pair Australian Champions, Annabelle McIntyre and Bronwyn Cox, who look to continue their strong form in this race, with coach Rhett Ayliffe.

Also stepping up from U21 last year are the U23 Women’s Lightweight Double Scull Australian Champions, Wallis Russell and Verayna Zlim who will combine with Madeline Williams and Georgina Masters in the U23 Women’s Lightweight Quadruple Scull, coached by Alfie Young of Sydney University Boat Club.

In the Junior Australian Rowing Team a number of strong performers at the recent Sydney International Rowing Regatta feature, including the Schoolboys and U19 Men’s Single Scull Champion, Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, who has made his first junior team. Kennedy-Leverett will partner with Fergus Hamilton – also debuting on the team this year – in the Junior Men’s Double Scull, coached by Melbourne Grammar School’s, Tom Abramowski.

The Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull is made up of returning Junior representative Jackson Kench, and three debut athletes, Daniel Samus, Harry Crouch and Lachlan Stevenson. The crew will be coached by Jason Baker of Sydney Rowing Club.

Alison Crowe is making her national team coaching debut with the Junior Women’s Coxed Eight. Meanwhile, the Junior Women’s Double Scull sees the partnership of U19 Single Scull Australian Champion, Taylor McCarthy-Smith, and runner up, Skyla Froebel, with coach Jonathan Trovas of Brisbane and GPS.

Para rowing

Olympic silver medallist Erik Horrie has been selected to represent Australia in the Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single scull at the Para-Rowing World Championships held in Sarasota USA from 24 September to 1 October.

The 2017 Junior World Championships take place in Trakai, Lithuania from 2-6 August and the 2017 U23 World Championships take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from 19-24 July.

U23 Australian Rowing Team           

Crew Club or School, SIS/SAS, State
U23 Men’s Single
Caleb Antill Australian National University BC/RBNTC/ACT
Coach: Rhett Ayliffe WAIS/WA
U23 Men’s Coxless Four
Harley Moore University of Queensland Boat Club/QAS/QLD
Adam Bakker University of Queensland Boat Club/QAS/QLD
Liam Donald Mercantile Rowing Club/VIS/VIC
Rob Black Mercantile Rowing Club/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: Antonio Maurogiovanni Swan River RC/WA
U23 Women’s Coxless Pair
Annabelle McIntyre Fremantle Rowing Club/WAIS/WA
Bronwyn Cox University of WA Boat Club/WAIS/WA
Coach: Rhett Ayliffe WAIS/WA
U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull
Genevieve Horton Sydney University Boat Club/HPNTC/NSW
Caitlin Cronin University of Queensland Boat Club/ HPNTC/QLD
Rowena Meredith Sydney University Boat Club/HPNTC/NSW
Harriet Hudson Sydney Rowing Club/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: HPNTC
U23 Women’s Lightweight Quadruple Scull  * Subject to Medical Clearance
Wallis Russell Sydney University Boat Club/QAS/QLD
Verayna Zlim Adelaide Rowing Club/SASI/SA
Madeline Williams University of Queensland Boat Club/QLD
Georgina Masters UTS Rowing Club/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: Alfie Young Sydney University Boat Club/NSW

Junior Australian Rowing Team

Crew Club or School, SIS/SAS, State
Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull
Daniel Samus Mosman Rowing Club/NSW
Jackson Kench Sydney Rowing Club/NSW
Harry Crouch Newington College/NSW
Lachlan Stevenson Sydney Rowing Club/NSW
Coach: Jason Baker Sydney Rowing Club/NSW
Junior Men’s Double Scull
Cormac Kennedy-Leverett The Southport School/QLD
Fergus Hamilton Melbourne Grammar School/VIC
Coach: Tom Abramowski Melbourne Grammar School/VIC
Junior Women’s Coxed Eight
Jessica Thompson Gippsland Grammar/VIC
Georgia Thomson Firbank Grammar/VIC
Mimi Tuddenham Loreto Toorak/VIC
Gaby Clarke Genazzano/VIC
Bridget McKeagney-Douglas Genazzano/VIC
Ruby Gioulekas Methodist Ladies College/VIC
Sophie Balson Methodist Ladies College/VIC
Jane Perrignon Geelong Grammar/VIC
Cox: Phoebe Georgakas Methodist Ladies College/VIC
Coach: Alison Crowe MLC Kew/VIC
Junior Women’s Double Scull
Taylor McCarthy-Smith Brisbane & GPS/QLD
Skyla Froebel Melbourne Rowing Club/VIC
Coach: Jonathan Trovas Brisbane & GPS/ St Peters Lutheran College

Para Australian Rowing Team

Crew Club or School, SIS/SAS, State
Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single  
Erik Horrie Sydney Rowing Club/NSWIS/NSW
Coach: Jason Baker Sydney Rowing Club/NSW

National Under 21 team members announced

Published 1st May 2017

Rowing Australia announced the under 21 team which includes the following Club members to who send out heartiest congratulations.

Alexander Clarke and Ben Canham in the men’s pairs, fours and eight

Alexis Hancock cox of the men’s crews

Brigette Carlile as women’s coach

Above: Alexis playing to the camera in 2016

The announcement was as follows:

The Australian U21 Rowing Team will look to retain the Rusty Robertson Trophy as they take on New Zealand in the annual Trans-Tasman Regatta.

The Australian Team sees plenty of new faces with only one athlete, Kane Grant, returning from last year’s team. There are also a handful who have stepped up from previous junior representation including Lily Alton and Alexis Hancock.

The U21 series and team has created a positive development opportunity for our Pathway athletes transitioning between U19 and U23 age categories, many of whom have gone onto U23, Senior and now into the National Training Centres for both Men and Women. We look forward to this continuing with the 2017 Team.

The team features many recent Australian Champions including U21 Single Scull, Double Scull and Quadruple Scull champion Charles Wheatley, plus the duo of U21 Coxless Pair Australian Champions Grace Reid and Lara Wainwright.

The group will be led by Jason Lane as the U21 Head Coach. He will work with Lyall McCarthy in his capacity as the National Pathway Head Coach to ensure the effective delivery of this Team.

It is pleasing to have the experience of Jason to assist in leading this group, particularly as it is a camp based program with athletes being able to train and prepare in their daily training environments before coming together for a pre competition camp and then the racing itself.

Jason will be joined by four appointed coaches, Joe Tamigi, David Gely, Brigette Carlile and one further coach still to be confirmed.

The U21 Trans-Tasman Regatta is split over two competitions, the first in Sydney from 29 June to 1 July, and the second at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, from 24 to 26 August.

U21 Australian Rowing Team

Crew Club or School, SIS/SAS, State
U21 Men’s Coxless Pairs  
Jack Deans Adelaide Rowing Club/SA
Kane Grant Adelaide Rowing Club/SASI/SA
Alexander Clarke Mercantile Rowing Club/VIC
Benjamin Canham Mercantile Rowing Club/VIC
U21 Men’s Single Sculls
Charles Wheatley Sydney University Boat Club/NSW
Devlin Walsh Sydney University Boat Club/NSW
U21 Men’s Lightweight Single Sculls  
Chase Deitner West Australian Rowing Club/WA
Patrick Boere Swan River Rowing Club/WA
Mitchell Reinhard Unley High/SA
U21 Women’s Coxless Pairs  
Grace Reid UTS Rowing Club/NSW
Lara Wainwright UTS Rowing Club/NSW
Gabi Morris West Australian Rowing Club/WA
Giorgia Patten West Australian Rowing Club/WA
U21 Women’s Single Sculls  
Lily Alton University of Queensland Boat Club/QLD
Siena Zamin West Australian Rowing Club/WA
U21 Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls  
Romola Davenport Sydney Rowing Club/NSW
Portia Bennett University of Queensland Boat Club/QLD
Celia Cowan Adelaide University Boat Club/SA
U21 Coxswains  
U21M8+: Alexis Hancock Mercantile Rowing Club/VIC
U21W8+: Caitlin Hockings University of Queensland Boat Club/QLD
Head Coach: Jason Lane SASI/SA
Brigette Carlile Mercantile Rowing Club/VIC
David Gely UTS Rowing Club/NSW
Joseph Tamigi West Australian Rowing Club/WA

Overseas crews now being put together

Published 1st May 2017

With the announcement of the Australian teams, it is now time to see who is available to race overseas. A women’s squad is mooted as is a men’s four and  a lightweight men’s squad.

All will be revealed very soon.

Above: The lighties at Canadian Henley in 2016

Edward “Spiv” White

Published 1st May 2017

A Club can only ever handle one person like Spiv White. Read about this non elite rower who was such a character of the Club through this link. Despite his foibles, Vice-President Warwick Hutchins said, he was one of the strong threads in the fabric of the Club.

Above: Spiv (left) at Henley Royal Regatta in 1980 with Jimpy Shears and Bob Aitken

New Mercantile Ties Available

Republished 1st May 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 May 2017

Olympians v3

The number of member profiles has now reached 117. The aim is now to reach 200 profiles. 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 May 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

Past news can be found through this link.