October 2017 News

Above – Kat Werry celebrates her World Championship win


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:

  • Rowing Australia Rower of the Year Awards
  • Head of the Goulburn entries
  • AGM news
  • Thursday nights buzz with masters
  • More news from our overseas members
  • James Shipton returns to Melbourne (and Mercs)
  • Annual Report now available
  • Please RSVP to AGM this weekend
  • Rowing Victoria Awards
  • Bits and pieces – more
  • Mercantile at 2017 Royal Flying Doctor Service rowathon
  • Rob Black – FISA Rising Star
  • Bits and pieces
  • Member News
  • Wrap up of World Championships
  • Notice of AGM
  • Road closures
  • Past Captain Robyn Selby Smith delivers a new pair (of babies)
  • Gold for Men’s and Women’s Fours
  • Day 6 was a silver day for Australia
  • Reminder AGM 22nd October
  • Tuesday night ergos
  • Member Profiles


Rower of the Year Awards

Updated 31st October 2017


Rowing Australia held its Rower of the Year Awards on the weekend in Sydney in a gala affair.

Winners at the 2017 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards

2017 Female Crew of the Year: Women’s Four
Molly Goodman (HPWNTC/Adelaide RC/SA), Sarah Hawe (TIS/Huon RC/TAS), Katrina Werry (VIS/Mercantile RC/VIC) and Lucy Stephan (HPWNTC/Melbourne University BC/VIC)


ROWING AUSTRALIA: 2017 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards October 28, 2017. Doltone House, Hyde Park, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher, Rowing Australia

Above: Katrina Werry after winning the main award

2017 Male Crew of the Year: Men’s Four
Alexander Hill (RBNTC/Adelaide RC/SA), Jack Hargreaves (RBNTC/Sydney University BC/NSW), Spencer Turrin (RBNTC/Sydney RC/NSW) and Joshua Hicks (RBNTC/Sydney RC/WA)

2017 Coach of the Year
Tom Westgarth (Senior Women’s Coach, HPWNTC Women’s Four)

2017 Rower’s Rower of the Year
Cameron Fowler (Swan River RC/WA)

2017 Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award
Lucy Stephan (HPWNTC/MUBC/VIC)

2017 Pathways Coach of the Year
Alfie Young (Sydney University BC/NSW)

2017 Pathways Crew of the Year: U23 Men’s Four
Adam Bakker (QAS/University of Queensland BC/QLD), Liam Donald (VIS/Mercantile RC/VIC), Harley Moore (QAS/University of Queensland BC/QLD) and Robert Black (NSWIS/Mercantile RC/NSW)


ROWING AUSTRALIA: 2017 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards October 28, 2017. Doltone House, Hyde Park, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher, Rowing Australia

Above: Rob Black and Liam Donald

2017 Volunteer of the Year
David Schier (Shepparton RC/Tasmania)

2017 Participation Ambassador Award
Ben Flannagan (Torrens RC & St Peters College/ South Australia)

Retirees Recognition
Sarah Tait (VIC) and Kate Hornsey (TAS)


Above Kate Hornsey and Bill Tait

Life Membership
The Honourable Paul Guest OAM QC (Banks RC/VIC)


Head of the Goulburn Entries

Published 26th October 2017

Go Mercs

MO8+ Mercantile Angus Maloney, Trevor Appier, Joel Cain, Alexander Clarke, Alexander Wolf ,Callum Nott, Benjamin Canham, Carl Tomczak, Roy Zhang (cox)
FO8+ Mercantile Kate Duggan, India Mattocks, Ellie Tomanovits, Gemma Sibillin, Sarah Harte, Kirsten Green, Michaella Ballas, Georgie Gleeson, Ally Legge (cox)
MM8+ Mercantile Andrew Phillips, Gregory Hansen, Colin Kimpton, Hugh McVicker, Geoff Barden, John Grant, Hamish Fitzsimmons, Andrew McDonald, Sebastian Jenner (cox)
X8+ Composite Hugh Sarjeant, Peter Dempster, Pernette Wijnen, Kerry Morrison, James Garrett, Brenton Rasheed, Jennifer Williams, Valborg Dowell, Sapphire-Rose Lazenby (cox)
MO4X- Mercantile William Legge, James Hoban, Alexander Kinsella, Jayden Grey
FO4X- Mercantile Meghan Hester, Olivia Sibillin, Skyla Froebel, Madeleine Thomas

AGM News

Published 22nd October 2017


The annual general meeting was preceded by the boat naming of the John Harry. The Captain spoke at length of the great work of John for the Club and John responded with a heart felt thank you for the great times he enjoyed at the Club and the the part it played in his youth. His wife named the boat with great gusto as the following photo attests.


Above: Donna Harry masterfully dispatching the wine over the boat

We were blessed with the attendance of most of our athletes heading off to the trials in the afternoon. Many of them received awards with Kat Werry and Liam Donald winning the oarswoman and oarsman of the year awards.


Above: Kat receiving her award from Josh Dunkley-Smith

Above: Liam Donald with his award.


A secret was held very tightly by the Committee, namely the election of Jenny Fraumano to Life Membership. The election was passed by enthusiastic acclamation. Jenny’s work for the Club as Saturday morning breakfast co-ordinator, Club Secretary and team manager has been superb and this recognition well deserved. This surprise brought an amusing change of expression on Jenny’s face. Her well planned meeting went off script which brought concern. This was quickly changed to pleasant surprise – see below.


Above: Concern when the meeting went off script


Above: Then delight and surprise when it was announced


The full list of award winners and the new committee will follow shortly.



Thursday nights buzz with Masters

Published 21st October 2017


It must be head racing season as Thursday nights are a buzzing with masters rowers. This Thursday three eights and a four went out for a row before adjourning to the bar.


The rumour has it that once the Edgar is fixed, all four masters eights will be hitting the water. It will hard to get a beer at the bar!



More news from our overseas members

Published 21st October 2017


In response to members to get their one piece rowing suits in before the head season, Leah Duret from France responded with the picture below and caption.


Léa Duret Speaking about zootie… I take good care of this one in the northern hemisphere ?. Miss you guys, Yeah Mercs!!


Also responding was Paddy Boomer from Ireland. Paddy is joining us to train downunder  from 4th November.


Above: Paddy in the stroke seat of the Irish pair at the recent World Championships


James Shipton to return to Melbourne (and Mercs)

Published 18th October 2017


The federal government announced this week that James Shipton will be the incoming chair of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission replacing Greg Medcalf.


James was a rower back in the late 1980s winning his fair share of races.


He has already indicated his intention of joining the masters group in the New Year. Your correspondent has already suggested to him the need for a work life balance regulation to enable him to get away to row every Thursday night.


On a serious note, congratulations James on your appointment and welcome back to Australia.


Above: James in the bow seat after winning a Victorian Championship at Ballarat in 1989


Annual Report now available

Published 17th October 2017


The annual report is now available on the documents page or through the following link Mercantile Annual Report 2016-17.



AGM this weekend

Published 15th October 2017


2017 Mercantile Lunch and AGM  Sunday 22 October

Join us for lunch and boat christening prior to the AGM which commences at 2pm

Mercantile Rowing Club

Boathouse 5

Boathouse Drive

Melbourne, Vic 3004

12 noon –  Pre-lunch Drinks and Boat Christening

1 pm – Lunch

2pm – AGM

Lunch $35.00

Athletes $25.00

Drinks at Bar Prices

Book   www.trybooking com

Further Details: Jenny Fraumano



Rowing Victoria Awards

Published 13th October 2017


Mercantile again won the senior premiership last season and Club Captain Bill Webster was presented with the certificate. Go Mercs.


David “Chipper” Colvin was awarded the prestigious William Waterfield Award for outstanding service to Victorian Rowing. David was recognised for a lifetime of service to the sport and he continues to coach and mentor the next generation of Victorian rowers. His contribution to Mercantile is without peer. He has also been a member of a record number of Victorian teams, a record that will never be surpassed.

Above: Chipper receives his award from Rowing Victoria President, and Club Member, Pat McNamara.


Other Mercantile awardees included Victorian coach of the year which was won by two people, one of whom was Tom Abramowski. A 40 year umpire service award was given to Andrew Guerin.



Bits and pieces – again

Published 13th October 2017


The first bits and pieces article created a barrage of comment from both here and overseas.


John Leeming’s perspective on the World Championships results raised amusement in New Zealand where one commentator noted: Is there no end to Australia’s seemingly insatiable appetite to reflect in NZ glory? This commentator did also congratulate Australia on finishing second on the Olympic events medal table, behind New Zealand!


However most comment from here and overseas came from David Pincus shouting beers after his beloved Tigers won the Grand Final. Calls were made for the article to be withdrawn as it must have been “fake news” and the image clearly Photo-shopped. Your correspondent stands by his story and photo.



World Championship silver medal winning cox James Rook returned to the Club on Thursday night and willingly and gladly coxed a masters eight. He enjoyed being back at the Club and on the Yarra. Well done James and thank you for your help.


Above: James Rook receiving his World Cup silver medal for the eight from FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland at Lucerne this year



Also on Thursday night, the masters celebrated Meghan Hester’s birthday at the Club. Meghan coxes and coaches the women masters whilst maintaining her successful lightweight rowing career. Happy birthday Meghan.


Above: Meghan with her birthday cake




John Leeming has once again has provided information for this news section. He noted that the Melbourne University women’s crew in the University Boat Race next weekend “is packed with lifetime Mercantile rowers”. John suggested that we should be given a Melbourne University Sports Union subsidy for our work!




Mercantile at 2017 Royal Flying Doctor Service rowathon

Published 10th October 2017


Mercantile members donned their gear on the Darling River at Wentworth last weekend in support of the Royal Flying Doctor service.


Above: Some of our members looking not too happy or perhaps too exhausted?


Rob Black – FISA Rising Star

Published 7th October 2017


Rob has been named a rising star this month on the World Rowing website. Go onto the World Rowing website and read all about him.


Above: Rob Black


Bits and pieces

Published 7th October 2017


James Harvey has come up with the interesting coincidence that two of our past female Captains have produces twins, Celia Patterson and Robyn Selby Smith. Typical of Mercantile Captains, efficiency in all aspects of their lives!



David Pincus was so excited after his beloved Tigers won the flag, that he even shouted beers – proof below.




John Leeming’s amusing summary of the recent World Championships.


Did notice that a Mercantile influenced New Zealand comes up 2nd on the medal tally with a Mercs subsidiary (Australia) 3rd on the medal tally list. USA comes in at 17th (no Golds) on their home course and country. Should we get Trader Al to ask Trumpy if he needs some guidance from Boathouse 5?




Josh Dunkley Smith has earned himself the nick name Sloth. Not a bad name for the Australian record holding ergo champion and multi Olympic and World Champion medallist rower.


His interview with World Rowing gives some insights into why he might be so known:

WR: If you could have dinner with any three people in the world, who would you invite?
JDS: Probably just my family and girlfriend, I am terrible at planning things like that. I’d decide what I was going to cook half an hour before everyone showed up and have to go to the shop to get it all. So inviting guests would probably be something I forget to do


Above: JDS recently trying to break the world record ergo time.


Well it is international Sloth day on 20th October, or we will call it, international JDS Day.


International Sloth Day was created in 2010 by the AIUNAU Foundation, a non-profit conservation and wildlife organization based in Colombia. The unofficial holiday raises awareness about the life cycle and natural habitat of the Sloth. The day also calls on people to learn more about these native South and Central American animals.



Wrap up of World Championships

Published 6th October 2017


Australia finished well up on the medal table at the 2017 World Championships after Eric Horrie won Gold in the first adaptive single race over 2000 metres and the women’s double won bronze. Eric now holds the worlds best time in his event.


The medals came from:

Gold – W4, M4 and PR1 – all Olympic and Paralympic events

Silver – M2+ and LW4x

Bronze – W2x


Our men’s coxed pair containing club members Gus Widdicombe and James Rook, won silver in the last running of that event. FISA voted to remove that event from the program at the Congress following the regatta.


The final medal tally was:

Place Country G S B Total Medals
1 ItalyItaly 3 3 3 9
2 New ZealandNew Zealand 3 2 2 7
3 AustraliaAustralia 3 2 1 6
4 FranceFrance 2 1 0 3
4 NetherlandsNetherlands 2 1 0 3
6 IrelandIreland 2 0 0 2
6 RomaniaRomania 2 0 0 2
8 Great BritainGreat Britain 1 3 3 7
9 GermanyGermany 1 0 4 5
10 BrazilBrazil 1 0 1 2
10 NorwayNorway 1 0 1 2
12 Czech RepublicCzech Republic 1 0 0 1
12 HungaryHungary 1 0 0 1
12 LithuaniaLithuania 1 0 0 1
12 South AfricaSouth Africa 1 0 0 1
12 SwitzerlandSwitzerland 1 0 0 1


Above: Eric Horrie celebrates his PR1 win.



Notice of AGM

Published 5th October 2017


Notice is hereby given of the Annual General Meeting of the Club to be held on Sunday 22nd October 2017 at the Clubhouse, Clubhouse 5, Boathouse Drive, Melbourne, Vic, 3004 at 2pm.


The ordinary business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

  1. to confirm the Minutes of the last preceding Annual General Meeting and any General Meeting held since that Annual General Meeting;
  2. to receive from the Committee reports upon the transactions of the Club during the preceding financial year;
  3. to elect the Officers of the Club, the Members of the Committee and the Selection Committee; and
  4. to receive and consider the statements submitted by the Club in accordance with Part 7 of the Act.


By order of the Committee

Jenny Fraumano

Honorary Secretary



Road Closures

Republished 2nd October 2017


Bicycle Network has informed us of the traffic management arrangements surrounding our upcoming event – Around the Bay – held on Sunday 8th October. There will be in force altered traffic conditions which includes some partial and full road closures. This will affect Boathouse Drive and Linlithgow Avenue.


From Wednesday 4th Oct there will be limited access to Boathouse Dve.


From Friday 6th there will be no access to Boathouse Dve until 9.00pm on Sunday 8th, except in emergencies.


From 4.00am on Sunday, Linlithgow Ave & Alexandra Ave will be closed from Swan Street Bridge to St. Kilda Rd.


Past Captain Robyn Selby Smith delivers a new pair (of babies)

Published 1st October 2017



Word has snuck through to Club HQ that Robyn Selby Smith delivered twin boys, Otto & Finn on Thursday night. Bit earlier than plan but all doing well, both weighed in at 2.6kgs.


Congratulations Robyn.



Gold for Men’s and Women’s Fours

Published 1st October 2017


In one 20 minute session, Australia’s top two crews won gold – the men’s and women’s fours. Club member Katrina Werry was in the women’s four. Mercantile has now three medallists at these Championships, Katrina Werry, James Rook and Angus Widdicombe.


Above: The Women’s Four on the podium


Rowing Australia reported on their race as follows:


Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Fours were crowned World Champions today at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. The Men’s Four ended a 26-year drought by winning Australia’s first World Championships in the boat class since 1991, while the Women’s Four have claimed the first World Championship title of their boat class since it was added to the Olympic program earlier this year.

The Women’s Four have not lost a race this season and today was to be no different for the crew of Molly Goodman, Sarah Hawe, Katrina Werry and Lucy Stephan. The Netherlands had other plans in mind and were the fastest out of the start in the final, leading over the USA, while Australia sat back in fifth place as the crews crossed the 500-metre marker.

Australia are known for making their move in the second half of their races and began to push on the Dutch and were joined by Poland and Russia who were all challenging for the podium. In the final sprint, Stephan called to Goodman to up the rating and the crew responded, upping to 43, with Australia surging into the lead to claim gold, followed by Poland and Russia.

Sarah Hawe last represented Australia in 2005 in the Junior Australian Rowing Team and the Tasmanian was delighted to walk away with her first Senior World Championship title. “It’s incredible to have won today. You get that sniff of international competition as a junior and then I had a big break away but I always had that urge in the back of my head to keep rowing and sort of knew I had the goods to do it, so now it feels good to show everyone that it can be done,” said the 30-year-old.

The youngest athlete in the crew, Katrina Werry, admitted the crew remained focused on their race alone and not on what was going on around them.

“It was such an amazing race, we stuck to our roles and just stayed internal to the boat, we weren’t panicked at all. We knew we had to do what we do best and while our legs were tired we knew we had enough and we trusted the training, and everything we have done in the last six months, to come through for each other and we did just that,” said Werry.

Lucy Stephan added that today’s win was a great base for Australia’s women sweep rowers to grow on.  “It’s pretty amazing, I’m still in shock. I knew we could do it but it really is an amazing feeling. It now up to us to keep building on the base we’ve created. This win has provided a great opportunity for women’s sweep moving forward and it’s really exciting,” said the Victorian-born athlete.


Above: The men’s four on the podium

Rowing Australia reported as thus.


The Men’s Four started Australia’s golden morning in Sarasota, taking on reigning World and Olympic Champions Great Britain, as well as an in-form Italy in what was to be one of the top races of the day. Australia flew out of the start; rating at 43 strokes per minute with 500 metres gone and put themselves well at the front of the pack as the race progressed.

Taking a clear water advantage over Italy and Great Britain, their closest rivals, the crew stroked by Alexander Hill were the fastest boat on the water. As Hill, with Jack Hargreaves, Spencer Turrin and Joshua Hicks upped the rating to go for the line, the Italians followed suit but they had run out of water, Australia had crossed the line in first to claim gold.

“It means a hell of a lot to be crowned a World Champion. I came pretty close to winning an U23 World Championship and I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet that we have won, it’s amazing,” admitted Jack Hargreaves.

An emotional Spencer Turrin said post-race: ““It means heaps to me, I’ve been trying for a long time to try and win something so this feels really good. To get something back after last year’s disappointing result in the Men’s Pair in Rio, this feels really good.

“It’s been the best year of rowing I have had in terms of the vibe around the place [the National Training Centre]. It has been a really enjoyable year and to have been able to do something that nobody has been able to do since 1991 is really good,” said Turrin who was born the same year that Australia last won a Men’s Four World Championship.

2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist in the Men’s Four, Alexander Hill, admitted the crew’s win would not have happened without the support of Men’s Head Coach, Ian Wright.

“I’ve had a fair few second places so it feels great to have won gold. This group of guys have made it easy for me this year as you know they’ll turn up to training and give it their all, you know what you’re going to expect from them. With that comes consistency and with a new coach in Ian, it has been absolutely unbelievable for us.

“We back him to the hilt and we believe in everything he says, as a crew and team we have full buy in which makes it easy to do what you have to do for the team,” admitted Hill.


Day 6 is a Silver Day for Australia at the Worlds

Published 1st October 2017


Australia won silvers in the women’s lightweight quad and in the men’s coxed pair. The coxed pair contained club members Angus Widdicombe and James Rook.


Above: Men’s Pair racing

Above: Our pair


Rowing Australia reported as follows:


The Australian Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull and the Men’s Coxed Pair have won silver medals at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida.

Angus Widdicombe, Darcy Wruck and coxswain James Rook won their first senior World Championship medals after finishing in second place in their A-Final, while Georgia Nesbitt, Georgia Miansarow, Alice Arch and Amy James claimed silver in their A-Final at Nathan Bederson Park.

Earlier in the day, Erik Horrie progressed to the A-Final of the PR1 Men’s Single Scull after winning his semi-final, while Madeleine Edmunds and Olympia Aldersey finished second in their semi-final to book a spot in Sunday’s A-Final.


The Men’s Coxed Pair were the first Australians to take to the water in an A-Final at the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The race favourites were no doubt Great Britain who have won this event for the last two years; however, Wruck, Widdicombe and Rook had other plans in mind.

The young crew, competing in their first senior World Rowing Championships, shot out of the start to take an early lead that by the halfway mark was a clear water advantage over their closest rivals. As the crews came into the final 500 metres, the race flipped around with Hungary sprinting up on the outside to overtake both Great Britain and Germany and nipping on the heels of the Australians.

As the crews surged for the line, Hungary pulled ahead of the Australian crew to take gold, with the Australians taking home the team’s first medal of the event, a silver.

Post-race, coxswain James Rook said: “Coming through the race we didn’t know where we were going to sit and coming out of the 500m we found ourselves ahead and we went for it right to the line but credit to Hungary, they did a great job.

“I think this was a big effort for the guys. They’ve done a lot of hard training and it’s paid off, silver at a World Championships isn’t too bad for a group of guys who have never been to a senior World Championships before!”


Above: Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull


Australia’s Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull had won World Rowing Cup 3 in a blistering pace and in today’s A-Final Amy James, Alice Arch, Georgia Miansarow and Georgia Nesbitt went all out again in a bid to claim the World Championship title. The Italians, who are also the U23 World Champions in this boat class, were the crew Australia needed to keep an eye out for, alongside an in form China.

As the crews approached the halfway mark, China and Italy were battling it out for first and second, while Australia, stroked by Nesbitt, began to make their move on the tightly packed group, with only two seconds separating the top five boats. As Italy pulled ahead in the final quarter, Australia began to charge, overtaking China and going after Italy but it was the Italians who claimed gold, with Australia taking silver and China bronze.

Alice Arch, making her senior team debut said: “I’m stoked. We are obviously disappointed that we didn’t get gold as that was our goal, but we’re really happy as a crew to have won silver today.”

Georgia Miansarow said she had enjoyed racing with the crew this year: “We’ve had a great time training in the quad this season. While we’re pretty disappointed to come away with a silver and not gold, we will keep on fighting for the next year, it’s been a great campaign.”

Miansarow’s words were echoed by senior team debutant Amy James, who added: “We’ve come a long way, had some great sessions, and racing, as well as having had a lot of fun along the way. It has shown us how hard we can work and what we can do together as a crew, we’ve loved racing together this season.”




Reminder – AGM Sunday 22nd October

Republished 1st October 2017


The 137th Annual General meeting of Mercantile Rowing Club on Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 2pm. The meeting will follow a President’s Luncheon at noon.


Above: President Mal Batten 



Tuesday night ergos

Republished 1st October 2017


With the masters now doing ergos on Tuesday nights, the gym is getting crowded after 6pm. Every ergo was used on 1st August and there was not even a need for an ambulance.


Tuesday night is ergo night


Thursday Masters Nights

Republished 1st October 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.