August 2019 News

Above: Pretty easy to relax after becoming a World Champion – the World Under 23 World Champion coxed four – Ben Canham centre and Mitch Hooper on the right, coached by Mercs head coach Nick Mitchell – photo copyright RA

Provided by your faithful correspondent Trident.

Past news can be found at this link.

News covered this month

  • Saturday morning at the Club
  • World Championships Day 6
  • Change of pace – masters rowing at Mercs
  • World Championships Day 5
  • World Championships Day 4
  • World Championships Day 3
  • World Championships Day 2
  • World Championships Day 1
  • World Championships Preview
  • Happy Birthday Arthur Atkins
  • Farewell to Marty Owen
  • World Junior Championships Finals
  • World Junior Championships Semis
  • World Junior Championships Reps
  • World Junior Championships heats
  • More pictures from World Under 23 Championships
  • World Rowing video with Kat Werry
  • Coastal Rowing comes to Mercs
  • Patrick Boomer sets himself for World Coastal Championships in Hong Kong in November
  • Next up – World Juniors and Paras in Tokyo
  • World Championships commence Sunday 25th August in Linz
  • Member profiles
  • From the Archives – the Club’s first senior Championship


Saturday morning at the Club

Published 31st August 2019

Despite the excitement of the World Championships, the daily life of the Club must go on with much rowing and the stomachs of hungry rowers filled up. Some images from the breakfast today at the Club.

2, 4 ,6, 8
Plenty of tucker
Breakfast Mums, Monica Hooper out of picture

Thank you Breakfast Mums.


World Championships Day 6

Published 31st August 2019

A day of mixed results today with some semi-finals and B finals for Olympic events, and A finals for non Olympic events and some of the Paralympic events.

The big news for Mercantile was sadly that Amanda Bateman and Gen Horton just missed out on the A final by about 0.5 sec. They raced an even race but allowed their opposition too bit too much in the second 500m and obviously did not count on an outrageous race on lanes 5 and 6 between Roumania and France. The French girls went from 5th at 1500m to finish second. As they say, to win a world championship, you have to take chances. The Americans, who had led throughout the middle 1000m, hung on to lead the Australians home.

Amanda in the bow seat desperately trying to catch the Americans- photo copyright RA

The RA report on the day follows:

Kathryn Ross made a triumphant return to international competition today with the three-time Paralympian winning gold in the PR2 Women’s Single Scull at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

Kathryn Ross fist pump after winning – photo copyright RA

Ross was not the only Australian on the podium today, with Jed Altschwager and William Smith claiming silver in the PR3 Men’s Pair and Sean Murphy winning bronze in the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls.

In addition to today’s World Rowing Championships medals, Australia also booked two more berths for Tokyo 2020. Erik Horrie ensured the Australian Paralympic Team will have a PR1 Men’s Single Scull in Tokyo, while Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy secured a berth for Australia’s Men’s Pair at the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Men’s and Women’s Double Sculls both finished fourth in their respective semi-finals, in tight races, and will contest the B-Finals on Saturday. Both crews will need a top five finish to book Australia boat berths at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Kathryn Ross continued her dominant performance in the PR2 Women’s Single Scull with the Australian taking a commanding lead from the start. The Paralympian, making her return to the Australian Rowing Team after a three-year hiatus post the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games crossed the line in a time 9 minutes 37 seconds.

It wraps up a great return to the World Rowing Championships for Ross, who also set a World’s Best Time in the event earlier in the week.

“I’m ecstatic, all the hard work has paid off. Not once did my coach (Renae Domaschenz) not think it was possible – she believed in me and got me to where I am today. It’s great being in the World Championships environment, it’s amazing how much I’ve missed it, the excitement, the adrenalin and all the wonderful people that run events like this one.

“I love being part of the Australian Rowing Team, we’re one big family and we all support each other – it doesn’t matter what boat class you’re in, everyone’s behind you all the way,” said Ross.

Kathryn Ross on the podium – photo copyright RA

Making his senior Australian Rowing Team debut at these World Rowing Championships, Sean Murphy, was in the leading pack of the A-Final of the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull. It was Italy who took the early lead, leaving Murphy to battle it out with Hungary’s Peter Galambos. At the halfway mark, Murphy edged into the lead, but Galambos surged ahead as the duo crossed the 1500 metre marker.

Murphy, who was the 2017 Under 23 World Rowing Championships bronze medalist in the same boat class, put in a valiant sprint at the line, but it was Martino Goretti of Italy who took gold, Galambos silver and the Australian bronze.

“I’m delighted, I didn’t think after a bronze medal at Under 23s last year that I’d be able to progress that much this season. I’ve been lucky to have good coaches all the way and it was easy because I was having fun and this is just the cherry on the top.

“I was really just trying to get off cleanly and efficiently and by the second and third five hundred I really pushed on and I think Peter and I were in the mix with that final push on the Italian. I burnt a lot trying to get into that bronze medal position so I’m really happy,” said Murphy.

Sean enjoys getting a medal – photo copyright RA
Sean is still pretty happy – photo copyright RA

Jed Altschwager was in Australia’s PR3 Men’s Pair that won silver in 2018. This year the South Australian was joined by Australian Rowing Team debutant, William Smith, and the duo were taking on the reigning World Champions from Canada who sat in the lane next to them.

At the halfway mark it was tight between Canada, Australia and France. The leading group moved away from the pack, Altschwager and Smith edging into the lead, before Canada made a second push. As the crews approached the line, both Australia and Canada went to 35 strokes per minute, but it was Canada who took gold for a second year in a row, with Australia picking up silver and France bronze.

“It’s been an amazing experience for me, it was pretty daunting coming into my first senior team, but with a good support staff and team around me it’s been a really easy transition into this level of competition, I’m really grateful to be here and stoked to have won a medal,” said Smith.

“The goal from here, and big picture, is now about selection next year, with Jed and I both wanting to get into the PR3 Mixed Four for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Coming off the back of this World Championships, we’ll have a little break, reset and have a clear mind and focus on 2020,” he added.

Smith and Altschwager finish second – photo copyright RA
Will and Jed celebrate their silver – photo copyright RA

Five-time World Champion Erik Horrie booked himself a spot in Sunday’s A-Final of the PR1 Men’s Single Sculland in turn booked Australia a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. The Australian led the semi-final for the majority of the race, before crossing the line in second to progress to the weekend’s A-Final.

Erik Horrie finishes second in his semi-final – photo copyright RA

Australia’s Men’s Pair of Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy finished second in the semi-final to secure a spot in the A-Final. The crew had an incredibly tight race with New Zealand and France, crossing the line 0.44 of a second behind New Zealand who claimed the top spot. The Australians in turn booked the Men’s Pair a berth for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Hicks and Hardy finish second in their semi-final – photo copyright RA

The Men’s Double Scull of Caleb Antill and David Bartholot put in a spirited effort in their A/B semi-final, the duo sprinted in the final 500 metres, but crossed the line in fourth place. Meanwhile, their female counterparts of Amanda Bateman and Genevieve Horton (Women’s Double Scull) were just nudged out of third place by the USA by 0.61 of a second, in their semi-final, crossing the line in fourth. Both crews will contest B-Finals on Sunday.

Antill and Bartholot finished fourth and so failed to make final A – photo copyright RA

Alice Arch won her B-Final in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull to finish seventh in the world.

Alice Arch wins the B final – photo copyright RA

Saturday 31 August will see Australia compete in three B-Finals (LM2x, LW2x, W4x) and six A-Finals (W2-, M2-, PR3 Mix 4+, M4-, W4- and M4x) with race times available here.


Change of pace – masters rowing at Mercs

Published 30th August 2019

Far from the heat and fierce competition of the World Championships, our masters still are rowing on a Thursday night with both our women’s and men’s eights hitting the water. It was the coldest night of the year so far, but a superb crisp evening.

Rowing reporter Geoff Barden caught the crew leaving the staging. Thanks Geoff.

Entries for the Head of the Yarra close soon so the Club’s crews will need to get their crews settled immediately.

The sun sets on our masters heading out for their Thursday night row – Cox: Ali Legge, Str: Andrew McDonald, 7: Andrew Guerin, 6: Jeff Thompson, 5: Euan McMinn, 4: Hugh McVicker, 3: Colin Kimpton, 2: Andrew Phillips, Bow: Greg Hansen


World Championships Day 5

Published 30th August 2019

The highlights for us last night were the semi-final win in the pair by Jess Morrison and the semi-final win by Kat Werry in the women’s four. Both these crews are now qualified for the Olympic Games. The women’s eight with both Jess Morrison and James Rook coxing qualified for the A final.

Women’s four showing great form with Kat Werry in the two seat – photo copyright RA
And pretty happy after the race – photo copyright RA
The eight qualifying – photo copyright RA
Women’s eight returns after qualifying – photo copyright RA

The pair won the race again in the second 500 meters and consolidated into the third 500 meters. All the leaders kept something in the tank for the final.

Winning the semi-final – photo copyright RA

Sadly the women’s quad with Katrina Bateman in two seat did not qualify for the A final. The quad will need to finish in the top two places in the B final to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The quad return to shore with Katrina Bateman in the two seat – photo copyright RA

The full race report from RA follows.

Thursday at the 2019 World Rowing Championships saw Australia’s rowers qualify five boats for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

By virtue of making the A-Finals, the Women’s Pair, the Women’s Four, Men’s Four and Men’s Quadruple Scull have qualified boat berths for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, while the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four finished in second in their A/B semi-final to secure Australia a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull, Lightweight Men’s and Women’s Double Sculls will all contest B-Finals on Saturday. The Quad will need to finish top two in the B-Final to qualify the boat for Tokyo, while the Lightweight Double Sculls need to win their respective B-Finals to secure berths for the 2020 Games.

Australia’s Women’s Eight finished second in their repechage to progress to the A-Final, and a step closer to Olympic qualification, while in the non-Olympic boat classes Sean Murphy (Lightweight Men’s Single Scull) progressed to the A-Final and Alice Arch (Lightweight Women’s Single Scull) to the B-Final.

The Women’s Pair were the first Australian crew to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison continuing their strong form in the boat class. The duo, who have not lost a race at this World Championships, won their semi-final in a time of 6 minutes 58 seconds.

The Pair then went on to double up and race the Women’s Eight in their afternoon repechage, with the crew finishing in second and booking a place in Sunday’s A-Final. Morrison, who represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the Women’s Eight, was delighted to see the Pair qualified and the Eight a move step closer.

“It was a really special race, we obviously didn’t qualify the Women’s Pair four years ago, so to kick it off was really nice. The whole sweep program has been doing really well and we’ve taken a lot of confidence from each other and have gained momentum throughout the season with our strong racing.

“It would be a really special for us to qualify the Women’s Eight this weekend. It would be very symbolic of how we’ve developed the sweep program over the last four years and show how far we’ve come – it would be great to qualify all three women’s sweep boats for Tokyo,” said Morrison.

The Women’s Four of Lucy Stephan, Sarah Hawe, Katrina Werry and Olympia Aldersey led their semi-final from the start, to book themselves a third consecutive A-Final in the newest Olympic boat class. The A-Final will see the Australians attempt to regain the World Championships title they won in 2017.

Sarah Hawe said, “We are very happy to have qualified the Women’s Four for Tokyo. I’ve been in the Four for the last three years so it’s the culmination of three years of work that has now paid off. We went out there to execute our race plan to the best of our ability, trusting what we know works for us. Our next task moving forward is to improve on the semi to have our best race yet in the A-Final.”

The PR3 Mixed Coxed Four of James Talbot, Ben Gibson, Alex Vuillermin, Alexandra Viney and coxswain Renae Domaschenz needed a top three finish in their semi-final to progress to the A-Final and secure a spot for Australia at the 2020 Paralympic Games.

Australia were drawn next to reigning World Champions, Great Britain, who came out fastest and took the early lead. Australia sat back in fourth at the 500 metre mark, but at the halfway point, Australia upped their rating and made their move on the race pack, to secure second place, while Israel took third.

Coxswain of the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four, Renae Domaschenz, said, “Today was about qualifying the boat for Tokyo and making sure we were in the A-Final. We knew that Great Britain were going to be the fastest crew out there, so we made sure we were in the mix to qualify and progress.

“We’re delighted the boat is now qualified for Tokyo, it’s now about refocussing for the A-Final on Saturday and getting the best possible result for Australia.”

Australia’s Men’s Four of Alexander Hill, Jack Hargreaves, Nick Purnell and Jack O’Brien, were sat back in third at the 500 metre mark, but the Australians made their move on race leaders Poland and Germany to pass the opposition and cross the line in a time of 5 minutes 44 seconds, the fastest qualifying time of either semi-final. Australia will be looking to win its third consecutive World Championships title in the boat class on Saturday.

Hamish Playfair, Campbell Watts, Cameron Girdlestone and David Watts ensured Australia would have a Men’s Quadruple Scull at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after they finished in third place in their A/B semi-final. Taking on the reigning World Champions, Italy, the Australians along with Poland and Italy broke away from the pack at the halfway mark. As the crews approached the finish line, Italy sprinted to take the win, with Poland in second and Australia rounding off the trio progressing to the A-Final.

The Lightweight Men’s Double Scull fired out of the start in their A/B semi-final and were in the lead for the middle kilometre of their race. However, Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers dropped back to fifth in the final quarter of the race and will now contest the B-Final. Georgia Nesbitt and Sarah Pound were drawn in Lane 6 of their semi-final of the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls. The Australians crossed the line in sixth place, while the reigning World Champions New Zealand took the win followed by Belarus and France.

The Women’s Quadruple Scull were sixth in their A/B Semi-Final, with the reigning World Champions, Poland, along with Great Britain, being the only two to progress from the repechage. Cara Grzeskowiak, Fiona Ewing, Katrina Bateman and Rowena Meredith will require a top two finish in their B-Final to secure Australia a spot in Tokyo.

In the non-Olympic boat classes, Sean Murphy continued his good form in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull. The U23 World Championships bronze medallist, finished second in his semi-final to book a place in his first Senior World Rowing Championships A-Final tomorrow. Meanwhile, Alice Arch, racing the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull, finished fourth in her semi-final, after a sprint for the line with Norway’s Mathilde Persson. The Australian will now contest the B-Final on Friday..

Australia will be racing in the following semi-finals and finals on Friday 30 August:

Semi-Finals A/B
PR1 Men’s Single Scull (Horrie): 11:00 local time (19:00 AEST/17:00 AWST)
Men’s Pair (Hicks and Hardy): 11:30 local time (19:30 AEST/17:30 AWST)
Men’s Double Scull (Antill and Bartholot): 11:40 local time (19:40 AEST/17:40 AWST)
Women’s Double Scull (Horton and A Bateman): 12:10 local time (20:10 AEST/17:10 AWST)

Lightweight Women’s Single Scull (Arch): 10:27 local time (18:27 AEST/16:27 AWST)

PR2 Women’s Single Scull (Ross): 13:05 local time (21:05 AEST/19:05 AWST)
Lightweight Men’s Single Scull (Murphy): 13:55 local time (21:55 AEST/19:55 AWST)
PR3 Men’s Pair (Altschwager and Smith): 14:29 local time (22:29 AEST/20:29 AWST)


World Championships Day 4

Updated 29 August 2019

With only one Club member racing tonight, all our interest was on the women’s pair. The crew comprising Jess Morrison in the bow and Annabelle McIntyre in the stroke seat raced well in the the first 1000m. The first 500m was fast and furious but they made a break in the second 500m to take a good lead. They were the second fastest in the the third 500m and third fastest in the final quarter reserving energy for the eight. They progress now to the semi-finals with confidence.

The women’s pair bending those oars – photo copyright RA

It was a highly professional performance. However the New Zealand and American pairs had similar races with both of them easing in the final 500m.

The pair again – photo copyright RA

Jess will have a race in the final will so many other great crews racing.

In other news, the men’s pair won their quarter final to progress to the semi-finals, and the men’s double also qualified, and Kathryn Ross won her preliminary race in the PR2 1x. Sadly the winner of the lightweight single at Rotterdam, Sean Murphy, did not the A/B semi-finals.

Both lightweight doubles qualified for the semi-finals.

Katrina Bateman prepares for a training row – photo copyright RA

RA reported as follows.

Day Four of the 2019 World Rowing Championships saw Australia’s Kathryn Ross set a new World’s Best Time in the PR2 Women’s Single Scull, while Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Pairs, Lightweight Men’s and Women’s Double Sculls, Men’s Double Scull and Lightweight Men’s Single Scull all progressed to semi-finals.

Three-time Paralympian Kathryn Ross made a strong return to international competition today (Wednesday) with a win and a new World’s Best Time in her preliminary race for the PR2 Women’s Single Scull.

Kathryn Ross off the start – photo copyright RA

The three-time World Champion in the PR2 Mixed Double Scull, led her race from start to finish, winning in a time of 9 minutes 24 seconds and ensuring she got the best possible lane ahead of Friday’s A-Final. Ross took the win over the previous World’s Best Time holder, and her closest competitor, the Netherlands’ Annika Van Der Meer.

“It’s great to be back racing at a World Championships and to have that first hit out. I wasn’t aiming for the World’s Best Time but it’s really exciting to have gotten it with this being only the second year of the event running. I’m sure the competition will step up again on Friday in the A-Final, I’m looking forward to it,” said Ross.

Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers, in the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, put in a solid sprint to the line in their quarter-final to hold off a challenge from Switzerland to finish in third in their quarter-final. The Australians worked their way through the pack, with China taking the win, Belgium second and Australia third.

“I was really happy with how we were going from the 750 to the one kilometre, and I think we were in a good position, while the Chinese were maybe a boat length up on us. We’re a good fit crew, we were just trying to sit in that rhythm like we’d planned, and with 400 metres to go I saw the other crews started to wind, so we did what we needed to do to stay in the top three,” said Parry.

The men’s lightweight double scull – photo copyright RA

The Lightweight Women’s Double Scull of Sarah Pound and Georgia Nesbitt sat back in fourth for the first 1500 metres of their race, with the Netherlands, Belarus and China taking the early lead. However, the Netherlands muscled into the top spot, with Belarus in hot pursuit, leaving the Australian double to take on the Chinese for third.

Pound gave the call for Nesbitt to up the rate and the Australians sprinted to the line and a spot in the A/B semi-final, while the Chinese slipped out of contention.

“We wanted to put ourselves in the race earlier on and I felt like we had an awesome second kilometre, where we got ourselves into the position to finish third and get into the semi-final.

“Now we’re into the A/B semi-final, and it’s pretty cool to know the dream lives on for us to attempt to qualify the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games. If we make the A-Final we know we’ve qualified the boat for Tokyo, so we’re aiming for a top three finish tomorrow. If not, we’ll need to win the B-Final, but we’re going into tomorrow guns blazing for the A-Final,” said Nesbitt.

The women’s lightweight double – photo copyright RA

Australia’s Women’s Pair backed up from their Women’s Eight heat yesterday to race the quarter-final of their other boat class today. Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison fired out of the start with the Australian combination taking a commanding lead early in the race to cross the line in first place.

The Australians will have a big Thursday ahead of them, when they race both the Women’s Pair semi-final and also the Women’s Eight repechage a few hours later.

The women’s eight out for a training row – photo copyright RA

The Men’s Pair of Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy took on Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Serbia and Germany in their quarter-final. It was a gritty race from the Australian duo who were out in front from the start with Serbia and the Czech Republic right on the pace. Serbia edged ahead, but Hicks upped the stroke rate to 42 in the final sprint to overtake Martin Mackovic and Milos Vasic and the Australians surged to the line to take the win, with Serbia in second and Spain in third.

Great image of the men’s [pair – photo copyright RA

David Bartholot and Caleb Antill continued their journey today in the Men’s Double Scull today. The Australians took on an inform Switzerland and Great Britain, along with Canada, Argentina and USA in their quarter-final. The Australians were back in sixth place at the 500 metre marker, but worked their way through the pack to be in third by the halfway mark. Great Britain took the win, with Switzerland in second and Australia in third after a sprint for the line.

The men’s double in action – photo copyright RA

In the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull quarter-final, it was a close race from the start for Sean Murphy, with Gary O’Donovan of Ireland and Canada’s Aaron Lattimer hot on the young Australian’s heels. Coming into the final sprint, Lattimer just pipped Murphy at the line, while O’Donovan took the third semi-final spot.

Sean Murphy finishes second – photo copyright RA


World Championships Day 3

Updated 28 August 2019

Of the three crews racing yesterday two had to win their heats to progress, sadly none of them did. So the men’s eight are through to the final stroked by member Gus Widdicombe, and the women’s eight with members Jess Morrison and James Rook, and women’s quad with member Katrina Bateman will have to qualify through the repechage.

The men’s eight with Gus in the stroke seat – photo copyright RA
Women’s quad with Katrina in the two seat – photo copyright RA

The RA website reported as follows.

The Australia’s Men’s Eight have secured themselves a spot in Sunday’s A-Final at the 2019 World Rowing Championships by virtue of finishing second in their heat today (Tuesday) in Austria.

The third day of racing in Linz-Ottensheim saw Australia’s Alice Arch win her repechage to progress to the semi-final of the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull, while the Women’s Eight and Women’s Quadruple Scull will both contest repechages to progress to their respective A-Finals.

The Men’s Eight, racing in hot conditions, needed a top two finish to progress direct to the A-Finals. The heat saw the Australians joined by Russia, Italy, Canada and reigning World Champions, Germany.

Australia’s crew of Karsten Forsterling, Alexander Purnell, Angus Moore, Simon Keenan, Timothy Masters, Joshua Booth, Spencer Turrin, Angus Widdicombe and coxswain Kendall Brodie were drawn in Lane 2. Unsurprisingly, Germany were the first to show and squeeze out a lead in the heat, but Australia, Italy and Canada were all hot on their heels to secure the second A-Final berth on offer.

As the crews crossed the 1500 metres markers, Australia had pushed ahead of Canada and Italy to be sitting in second place to Germany. With the finish line approaching the Germans were still in front, but the Australians were in touch of the reigning World Champions, and the crews crossed the line in first and second to secure the A-Final spots on offer.

Karsten Forsterling, racing in his first senior event since winning silver at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games said, “It’s my first race since Rio, so I was pretty nervous to be honest. It was the first run down the two kilometre course, and in the Eight, it’s great to be in the best seat in the fastest boat. It was a bit of a blow out for us, which is what we needed, we’re through to the final which is good.

“I’ve been in the boat for a week now, and we’ve got another five days to go in the context of where we’ve come from we can really use this week to go back and do a bit of training, working on some key skills and taking it all one stroke at a time ahead of the A-Final on Sunday.”

The Women’s Eight were drawn in Lane 2 in their heat and needed a win to secure an A-Final berth and avoid the repechage. The crew of Leah Saunders, Jacinta Edmunds, Bronwyn Cox, Georgie Rowe, Rosie Popa, Annabelle Mcintyre, Jessica Morrison, Molly Goodman and coxswain James Rook had a strong heat to contend – being joined by crews from Russia, USA, Romania, Netherlands and Denmark.

The USA, the reigning World Champions, were the fastest out the start, with Australia in close contetion. While the USA took a marginal lead at the halfway, Australia remained in touch throughout. With only one A-Final berth up for grabs, it was the USA that took it, with Australia in second, just 2.36 seconds behind.

“We know that we have what it takes to be up the top. There’s a lot of good crews, but we’ve got to keep focusing on what we can control inside in the gunnel of our boat, and look to execute the best race we can. We can’t really do much more than that, the result will take care of itself after we get the process right,” said coxswain James Rook, looking ahead to the repechage.

Alice Arch was first up for Australia on Day Three in Austria for the 2019 World Rowing Championships. The Lightweight Single sculler was drawn in Lane 4 and needed a top three finish to progress to the semi-finals later this week.

The Australian took on China, Sweden, Ireland and Italy in the race, with the Italian, Paola Piazzolla, coming out fast at the start and Arch going with her. As the crews reached the final 1500 metres, Arch pushed alongside Piazzolla with Ireland’s Lydia Heaphy going with her. As they reached the final 10 metres, it was Arch who surged ahead to take the win in a time of 7 minutes 47 seconds, with Pizzolla in second and Leahy in third.

Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull of Cara Grzeskowiak, Fiona Ewing, Katrina Bateman and Rowena Meredith needed to win their heat to progress straight to the A-Final and avoid the repechage. The Australians were drawn in Lane 3, and took on New Zealand, China, Great Britain, Russia and France.

China took the early lead in the heat to wrap up the only A-Final berth, while Australia battled it out with New Zealand, Russia and Great Britain. In the end, Australia crossed the line in fifth and will contest the repechage on Thursday.

A focussed Jess Morrison in the seven seat – photo copyright RA

We await the start of day 3 where the heats of the women’s quad with Katrina Bateman racing, the men’s eight with Gus Widdicombe in the stroke seat and the women’s eight with both Jess Morrison and James Rook racing, will be raced.

The women’s quad with Katrina standing with oar in hand – photo copyright RA
The women’s eight for a training row – photo copyright RA

Go Mercs.


World Championships Day 2

Updated 27 August 2019

Day 2 of the World Championships saw Club Member Amanda Bateman win her heat in the double scull with Gen Horton. They led all the way holding a 2.07 second lead at 1500m before letting off the pace to finish in a close first place. They were keenly chased by the French who were third at 1500m and were trying to avoid a repechage.

The double off the start with Amanda in the bow seat – Photo copyright RA
A bit further off the start – photo copyright RA

RA reported as follows.

The Women’s Double Scull opened their 2019 World Championships account with a victory today. The crew, who have won medals at this season’s World Rowing Cups, came out fast but were chased by China and France. Australia retained its lead throughout, and despite a sprint from France to pass China, the Australians held on to take the win and the only semi-final berth.

Bateman said the significance of racing at her first Senior World Championships, as well it being an Olympic qualification regatta was not lost on her.

“All season John’s (Keogh) been telling us this season’s World Championships is going to be a step up from any other World Champs because it’s the Olympic qualifiers and sitting on the start line I really felt that Olympic Qualification is on the finish line, so I felt we had to do everything we could to get out bow across the finish line first to get us one step closer to qualifying this boat for the Olympics next year.

“It’s pretty amazing to think I’m now part of the group of Australian Rowing Team athletes who have a McVilly-Pearce Pin Number. It is such a privilege to know I’m going to receive my pin number, it’s like wearing the coat of arms on your chest, it’s an honour that not many people get to experience.”

Bateman added that the opportunity to row with Olympian Genevieve Horton has made her first senior team even more enjoyable, “I am practically speechless getting to row with Genevieve, she’s so experienced and she’s really level headed and taken me under her wing. From the moment I joined the National Training Centre, and now in our double, we’ve grown together in our rowing. She’s always seen me as an equal and we both want this boat to go well together, so we do whatever we can to lift each other and ultimately lift our boat to a new standing.”

Great work Amanda and Gen and Go Mercs.

The women’s eight getting some on water training. James Rook in the foreground – photo FISA
The narrow confines of the course makes training look like the Yarra – photo FISA

Jed Altschwager and William Smith easily accounted for their opposition in the PR3 pair in a time which was 17.5 secs faster than the other heat. They are clear favourites.

William Smith over the boat, Lizzy Chapman back to the camera and Jed Altschwager after the warm up – photo FISA

RA reported as follows.

The PR3 Men’s Pair of Jed Altschwager and debutant William Smith won their heat to progress to Friday’s A-Final, while Genevieve Horton and World Championships debutant Amanda Bateman won their heat to progress to Thursday’s semi-finals.

Altschwager and Smith were the quicker finishers of the two heats, with Canada, the reigning World Champions winning the other heat to progress to the A-Final. The Australians led their heat from the start, with the French partnership of Jerome Hamelin and Laurent Viala hot on the heels. However, Altschwager upped the crews stroke rate and they broke free and crossed the line in a time of 7 minutes 26 seconds.

Post-race, Altschwager, who won silver in this boat class last year, said, “It was just really good to open up the account up today and see what it’s like out there, not bumping around when training. We’re looking forward to Friday now and the final.”

At 19-years-old, Smith made his Senior Australian Rowing Team debut today and loved the experience, “It was a total rush, I can’t actually remember the first 500 metres, it felt really good coming out of the blocks, it’s a huge thing – I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s amazing to be a part of the team.”

Jed and William off the start – photo copyright RA


World Championships Day 1

Published 26th August 2019

A great start to the World Championships last night with 11 of the 12 crews progressing to their respective semi or quarter final.

Of the Mercs members competing, Jess Morrison continued her strong form winning her heat in the pair and progressing to the quarter-final.

The women’s pair with Jess Morrison in the bow at the start – photo copyright RA
This time off the start – photo copyright RA

Also doing well was Kat Werry in the four. They won their heat in the best time of all the heats and are off to the semi-final.

Katrina in the starting bay – photo copyright RA
The first stroke – photo copyright RA

Rowing Australia reported on the day as follows.

Hot conditions on the opening day of the 2019 World Rowing Championships saw 11 out of 12 Australian crews progress to quarter or semi-finals in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

Of those 11 crews, six of them won their heats to make the next stage of the competition. The PR3 Mixed Coxed Four, Women’s Pair, Men’s Four, Women’s Four, Men’s Quadruple Scull and PR1 Men’s Single Scull all won their heats to progress to quarter or semi-finals, while the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, Lightweight Women’s Double Scull, Lightweight Men’s Single Scull, Men’s Double Scull and Men’s Pair all progressed to their respective quarter-finals.

Alice Arch finished fourth in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull and will contest the repechage on Tuesday in a bid to make the semi-finals of her boat class.

With the mercury hitting 31 degrees, the new look Men’s Quadruple Scull of David Watts, Cameron Girdlestone, Campbell Watts and Hamish Playfair came out firing in their heat. Needing a top two finish to secure a semi-final place, the crew, stroked by David Watts, were second at the 500 metre mark to Germany, before muscling into the lead to take the win in a time of 5 minutes 51 seconds.

Post-race David Watts said, “I thought we had quite a good hit out, obviously this is a new crew – with the new bow pair coming across from the double – so we were a little uncertain as to where we stood coming into the competition. We executed the race as well as we possibly could at this point in the competition and we’re thankful to have got a result out of it.

“Conditions were pretty variable but it’s a fair course, so we all got the same conditions. Training in Italy for the last few months has definitely helped for the heat acclimatisation.”

Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison continued their strong form from the World Rowing Cups, with the Women’s Pair winning their heat and progressing to the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

“I think we had the best conditions of the day, very little wind, warm but not too hot [the Pair raced earlier in the day]. We went out do a job, and we’re happy with the outcome of today’s race, it now about refocusing for our Women’s Eight heat, before turning out attention again back to the Pair.

“It was great to hear the Aussie supporters as we’re coming down the course and also as they cheered us over the line,” said McIntyre.

David Bartholot and Caleb Antill needed a top three finish in their heat of the Men’s Double Scull. The duo were the last Australian crew to race on the opening day and they didn’t disappoint. Ireland took the early lead, but then the Australians edged in front for the middle thousand, after upping their stroke rate at the 500 metre mark.

However, as the crews crossed into the final quarter of the race, it was the Irish who edged ahead to take the win, with Australia in second and Belarus in third – all three progress to the quarter-finals.

“I was a bit nervous going into it, I feel like I’ve done everything I could over the last year, so I was also quietly confident in myself and my doubles partner, Caleb, who is both young and experienced having won a silver medal in the Men’s Quad last year.

“We wanted to hit a good rhythm throughout the middle of the race, which we did pretty well, I think for our quarter-final it’s about moving it up again and finding that extra step for the final quarter,” said Bartholot.

The PR3 Mixed Coxed Four opened Australia’s 2019 World Rowing Championships campaign with a win in their heat to progress through to Thursday’s semi-finals. The crew of Alexandra Viney, Alex Vuillermin, Ben Gibson, James Talbot and coxswain Renae Domaschenz, came out strong and held off a late charge from Italy to claim victory.

The Men’s Pair of Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy were drawn in Lane 3 of their heat alongside favourites, the Sinkovic brothers from Croatia. The Australia duo had a good start and maintained second position throughout the heat to book a spot in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

It was an exciting heat for Leon Chambers and Hamish Parry in the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull. At the 1500 metre mark it was a push and pull between Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, with barely a bow ball between the crews. New Zealand muscled their way into the lead, but the Australians went with them, leaving Great Britain trailing in third. Australia crossed the line in second, just over two seconds behind their Trans-Tasman rivals, with both crews, along with Great Britain progressing to the quarter-finals.

The new partnership of Georgia Nesbitt and Sarah Pound, in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull, were fourth in their heat to book a place in the quarter-finals later this week. The Australians were up with the race leaders Italy, Canada and USA, with all four crews progressing.

Australia are the reigning World Champions in the Men’s Four. Alexander Hill and Jack Hargreaves have been retained in the crew from 2018, with the duo joined by Nicholas Purnell and Jack O’Brien. Drawn in Lane 3, the Australians led their race from start to finish to book a place in the semi-finals. The Australians’ cross the line in a time of 6 minutes 4 seconds.

The Women’s Four won their heat in a time of 6 minutes 38 seconds, making them the fastest finishers of their heats. The crew of Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Olympia Aldersey have been dominant in the World Rowing Cup series and today held off competition from reigning World Champions, the USA, to take out the win and progress to the semi-finals.

Australia’s Lightweight Single Scullers were the last Australians to row before the lunchbreak, with Sean Murphy crossing the line in third to book a place in Wednesday’s quarter-finals. Alice Arch, took on Japan, Great Britain, Kazakhstan and Canada in her heat. Needing a top two finish to make the semi-finals, Arch came out strong, but crossed the line in fourth place and will thus contest Tuesday’s repechage in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull.

Reigning World Champion in the PR1 Men’s Single Scull, Erik Horrie, wearing a black armband to acknowledge the passing of fellow competitor Dzmitry Ryshkevich, needed a first place finish to book a spot in the semi-finals.

With today marking one year to go to the Paralympic Games, it seemed fitting that the Paralympic silver medalist took to the course in fine form. The Australian led the heat from start to finish and clocked the fastest finishing time of all the heats, 10 minutes 14 seconds, to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Eris Horrie in the start of the PR1 Men’s Single Scull


World Championships Preview

Published 22 August 2019

The World Championships commence this weekend in Linz, Austria. Australia will be competing in 18 boat classes at the regatta being held on the purpose-built venue adjacent to the Danube. Australia have entries in 12 of the 14 Olympic boat classes and two of the four Paralympic boat classes, with crews not only looking to make podium finishes at the pinnacle rowing event of the year, but also ensure they finish in a required qualifying spot to secure Australia a boat berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic or Paralympic Games.

The women’s team remains untouched from the World Cups and so our team members are:

Women’s double – Amanda Bateman – this crew won Silver in WC3

Women’s quad – Katrina Bateman – this crew won bronze in WC3

Women’s pair – Jess Morrison – this crew won at WC3

Women’s four – Kat Werry – this crew won at WC3

Women’s eight – Jess Morrison and James Rook – this crew won silver at WC3

The women’s crews will face more opposition at the Worlds than at WC3 but are hoping to maintain or better their performances. Some nations have adjusted their crews, such as Canada in the eights. This eights race will be a cracker.

The Australian women’s eight at WC3 – James and Jess on the left

The men’s crews are a very different story. In an attempt to qualify all crews, the Australian team are prepared to sacrifice medals to do this. To understand this, the 2019 World Championships are the main qualifying regatta. Whilst a small number of boats can qualify next year, this is not ideal and probably will not be pursued by the Australian team.

The rankings in 2019 to gain qualification for 2020 Olympic Games are as follows.

Olympic Class (Men’s and Women’s)Required Placing to Qualify
PairsTop 11
FoursTop 8
EightsTop 5
Single ScullsTop 9
Double ScullsTop 11
Quadruple ScullTop 8
Lightweight Double ScullTop 7
Paralympic ClassRequired Placing to Qualify
PR1 Men’s Single ScullsTop 7
PR1 Women’s Single ScullsTop 7
PR2 Mixed Double ScullsTop 8
PR3 Mixed Coxed FoursTop 8

The aim of qualification above performance has meant considerable reshuffling of the men’s crews. Scullers are now sweep, sweep rowers are now scullers and winning combinations thrown out. There has been wholesale change. Sadly the net result of the changes is that Liam Donald is now the men’s sweep reserve.

The Australian team now looks as follows.

Men’s Pair
Joshua HicksSydney RC/ WA/ RBNTC
Sam HardySydney RC/ WA/ RBNTC
Men’s Four 
Alexander HillAdelaide RC/ SA/ RBNTC
Jack HargreavesSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Nicholas PurnellSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Joseph (Jack) O’BrienSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Men’s Eight 
Karsten ForsterlingMelbourne University BC / VIC / VIS
Alexander PurnellSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Angus MooreSydney RC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Simon KeenanMelbourne University BC/ VIC / RBNTC
Joshua BoothMelbourne University BC/ VIC / RBNTC
Timothy MastersUTS RC/ VIC / RBNTC
Spencer TurrinSydney RC / NSW / RBNTC
Angus WiddicombeMercantile RC/ VIC / RBNTC
Coxswain: Kendall BrodieSydney RC / NSW/ RBNTC
Men’s Double Scull 
Caleb AntillANU BC/ ACT / RBNTC
David BartholotSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Men’s Quadruple Scull 
David WattsSydney RC/ WA / RBNTC
Cameron GirdlestoneSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Hamish PlayfairUTS RC/ NSW / RBNTC
Campbell WattsSydney University BC/ NSW/ RBNTC
Lightweight Men’s Double Scull 
Leon ChambersSydney University BC/ NSW/ NSWIS
Hamish ParryToowong RC / QLD / QAS
Lightweight Men’s Single Scull 
Sean MurphyMosman RC / NSW/ NSWIS
Men’s Reserves 
Luke LetcherBlack Mountain RC/ ACT / RBNTC
Liam DonaldMercantile RC / VIC / RBNTC
Lightweight ReserveSean MurphyMosman RC / NSW / NSWIS
Women’s Pair 
Annabelle McIntyreFremantle RC / WA / HPNTC
Jessica MorrisonMercantile RC / VIC / HPNTC
Women’s Four 
Olympia AlderseyAdelaide RC / SA / HPNTC
Katrina WerryMercantile RC / VIC / HPNTC
Sarah HaweHuon RC / VIC / HPNTC
Lucy StephanMelbourne University / VIC / HPNTC
Women’s Eight 
Leah SaundersSydney RC / NSW / HPNTC
Jacinta EdmundsCommercial RC / QLD / HPNTC
Bronwyn CoxUWA Boat Club / WA / HPNTC
Georgina RoweUTS RC / NSW / HPNTC
Rosemary PopaBanks RC / VIC / HPNTC
Annabelle McIntyreFremantle RC / WA / HPNTC
Jessica MorrisonMercantile RC / VIC / HPNTC
Molly GoodmanAdelaide RC / SA / HPNTC
Coxswain: James Rook Mercantile RC / VIC / HPTNC
Women’s Double Scull 
Amanda BatemanMercantile RC / VIC / HPNTC
Genevieve HortonSydney University BC / NSW / HPNTC
Women’s Quadruple Scull 
Rowena MeredithSydney University BC / NSW / NSWIS
Katrina BatemanMercantile RC / VIC
Fiona EwingSydney University BC/ NSW / NSWIS
Cara GrzeskowiakCapital Lakes RC / ACT / ACTAS
Lightweight Women’s Double Scull 
Sarah PoundUTS RC / NSW / HPNTC
Georgia NesbittHuon RC / TAS / HPNTC
Lightweight Women’s Single Scull 
Alice ArchMelbourne University BC / VIC / VIS
Women’s Reserves
Lilly TinappleSwan River RC / WA / HPNTC
Georgina GotchSydney University BC / NSW / HPNTC
Ciona WilsonTamar RC / TAS / HPNTC
Lightweight Reserve: Alice ArchMelbourne University BC / VIC / VIS
PR1 Men’s Single Scull 
Erik HorrieSydney RC / NSW / NSWIS
PR2 Women’s Single Scull 
Kathryn RossANU BC / ACT / ACTAS
PR3 Men’s Pair 
Jed AltschwagerTorrens RC / SA / SASI
William SmithAdelaide University BC / SA / SASI
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four 
Ben GibsonSydney RC / NSW / NSWIS
James TalbotSydney University BC / NSW / NSWIS
Alex VuillerminPower House RC / VIC / VIS
Alexandra VineyBarwon RC / VIC / VIS
CoxswainRenae DomaschenzANU BC / ACT / ACTAS
PR3 Reserve 
Nikki AyersCapital Lakes RC / ACT / ACTAS
John KeoghHead Women’s Coach – W8+ and W2-
Ellen RandellSenior Women’s Coach –LW2x and W2x
Tom WestgarthSenior Women’s Coach – W4- and LW1x
Ian WrightHead Men’s Coach – M4- and M2-
Andrew RandellSenior Men’s Coach – M8+
Mark PraterSenior Men’s Coach – M4x and M2x
Don McLachlanCoach – W4x, LM2x and LM1x
Gordon MarcksHead Para-Rowing Coach
Jason BakerPR1 Men’s Single Scull
Renae DomaschenzPR2 Women’s Single Scull
Lizzi ChapmanPR3 Mixed Coxed Four and PR3 Men’s Pair


Happy Birthday Arthur

Published 22 August 2019

Our longest continuously serving member having joined in 1936, and also our oldest member, Arthur Atkins celebrated his 102nd birthday this month. Happy birthday Arthur.

We are pleased to advise that Arthur is fit and well and looking forward to joining us at the Club at the next Club function.

Arthur Atkins with Mal Batten at the boat naming of the David Browne


Farewell to Marty Owen

Published 22 August 2019

As previously reported, life member Martin Owen died recently and a well attended celebration of life was conducted at Zinc in Federation Square followed by a less formal celebration at the Clubhouse.

Marty was such an influential person in the Club, that his work continues through the work of his proteges. He was a giant of the Club.

Much story telling of Marty at the Club after the formal celebrations


World Junior Championships Finals

Published 22 August 2019

Australia finished the World Junior Championships with a gold medal in the men’s double racing superbly.

Back here at Mercs, we were keeping an eye open for the junior women’s coxed four which trained out of Mercs and coached by our women’s coach Brigette Carlile. They finished sixth in the A final but were outclassed.

In the other A-Finals of the day, the Junior Men’s Coxed Four fifth in their A-Final, while the Junior Women’s Pair wrapped up their 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships ranked sixth in the world.

Rowing Australia reported on the men’s double win as follows.

Australia’s Hamish Henriques and Harrison Fox wrapped up a stellar 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships today by being crowned World Champions in the Junior Men’s Double Sculls.

Australia’s winning double of Hamish Henriques and Harrison Fox

The duo, from Perth and Melbourne respectively, did not lose a race throughout the regatta and today walked away with a gold medal in Tokyo on the final day of the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships.

“We’ve training for the last two years to try and achieve this, so it’s a really special moment,” said West Australian Henriques.

“The dream would now be to represent Australia – both at U23 level and then ultimately at the senior level,” he added.

The Australians, who are coached by West Australian Jamie Hewlett, were first to show with the German partnership of Paul Krueger and Aaron Erfanian holding the pace, while Italy’s Matteo Sartori and Nicolo Carucci were in third.

By the hallway mark, Henriques and Fox were out in front, leaving it to Germany and Italy to duke it out for silver and bronze. As the crews approached the final 250 metres, Australia upped their rating to 39 to hold off a late challenge from Germany who in turn were trying to get ahead of Italy. Australia went to 41 strokes to cross the line and take gold, while Germany took silver and Italy bronze.


World Junior Championships Semi-finals

Published 11th August 2019

Rowing Australia reported as follows.

The Australian Junior Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Henriques and Harrison Fox today (Saturday) won their semi-final at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in Tokyo. The duo will now contest Sunday’s A-Final on the Sea Forest Waterway, joining the Junior Women’s Pair, Junior Women’s Coxed Four and Junior Men’s Coxed Four who are also in A-Finals on Sunday.

Junior men’s double prepare for their race – photo copyright RA

The Junior Men’s Double Scull led their race from start to finish, rating the majority of the semi-final at 33, before upping their rating to 38 in the final 150 metres to hold off any charge coming from fellow A-Final qualifiers, France and Spain. The crew, who had at least a boat length advantage over their closest rivals, finished in a time of 6 minutes 28 seconds.

In their A-Final tomorrow, they will take on France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Zimbabwe. No doubt, Germany will provide some stiff competition for the Australians, with their crew winning their semi-final in 6 minutes 27 seconds.

The Junior Men’s Four finished third in their B-Final and wrapped up their Tokyo campaign ranked ninth in the world.

The women’s four on the water – photo copyright RA

The Junior Women’s Double Scull of Clare Netherway and Sophie Houston won their D-Final, to wrap up their World Rowing Junior Championships ranked 19th in the world.


World Junior Championships Repechages

Published 11th August 2019

Rowing Australia reported as follows.

The Junior Men’s and Women’s Coxed Four and the Junior Women’s Pair were all successful in their repechages today (Friday) in Tokyo, to secure A-Final berths at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships.

Women’s coxed four prepare for the rep – photo copyright RA

The Junior Women’s Coxed Four of Scarlett Hanna, Olivia Moore, Teagan Blythe, Katherine Easton and coxswain Goldie O’Gorman were first up to secure an A-Final berth for Sunday in Tokyo after finishing in fourth place in their repechage.

The crew, drawn in Lane 1, took on France, USA, Germany and South Africa in the first race of Day Three at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships. While Germany took the early lead, Australia held on to fourth place to cross the line in a time of 7 minutes 12 seconds and book a place in the A-Final.

The Australians will take on Italy, China, Germany, France and USA on Sunday in Tokyo.

The women’s coxed four in the rep – photo copyright RA

The Junior Men’s Coxed Four came out quick in their repechage and were in the lead for the middle thousand of their race. The crew of Alex Rossi, Lexi McClean, Johnson Daubney, Nick Rath and coxswain Harry Keenan, were overtaken in the 250 metres after a sprint from South Africa saw them take the win, but with Australia securing second place the crew made the A-Final.

Sunday’s A-Final will see the crew take on China, Ireland, Germany, France and South Africa.

The Junior Women’s Pair of Phoebe Robinson and Laura Chancellor, coached by Ben Southwell, needed a top two finish in their repechage to secure a spot in the A-Final. Drawn in Lane 4, the pair took on Denmark, Lithuania, Greece and Hong Kong, and sat in second for the whole race, fending off a challenge from Lithuania in the final 250 metres.

The pair, alongside Greece, will contest the A-Final on Sunday – joining China, Italy, Czech Republic and Germany.

The Junior Men’s Four of Nik Pender, Torben Ungemach, Riley Rees-Turner and Duke Gordon took on Serbia, India, Romania, Spain and Great Britain in their repechage. With only two A-Final berths up for grabs, it wasn’t to be for the Australians with the crew finishing in fifth place. They will contest Saturday’s B-Final.

The Junior Women’s Double Scull of Clare Netherway and Sophie Houston finished in fourth place in their C/D semi-final and will therefore contest the D -final on Saturday.


World Junior Championships heats

Published 9th August 2019

Our junior team – photo copyright RA

The heats of the World Junior Championships have been run and the Mercantile based women’s junior coxed four, coached by our women’s coach Brigette Carlile, finished fourth in their heat. They will race the repechage today. This is their big race. Based on times, it looks promising.

The crew started well and were consistent across the rest of the race, albeit at a slower pace that the winners.

Women’s coxed four in action in Tokyo – picture FISA

Rowing Australia has reported on the first day of heats as follows:

Hamish Henriques and Harrison Fox opened up Australia’s 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships campaign today with a win in Tokyo. The Junior Men’s Double Scull, coached by Jamie Hewlett, had a strong start to their international campaign, with the duo leading their race from start to finish to qualify for Saturday’s semi-finals.

At the halfway mark, the Australians had a clear water advantage, with their closest competition coming from the crew from Zimbabwe. However, by the 1500 metre mark, the Australians had pulled further into the lead, rating 37, and as the fastest boat on the course crossed the line in a time of 6 minutes 27 seconds. Their victory secured them the only semi-final berth available from their heat, it was also the fastest finishing time of all the Junior Men’s Double Scull heats.

In the Junior Women’s Double Scull, Sophie Houston and Clare Netherway were drawn in Lane 3 and also needed a top place finish to secure the only semi-final berth on offer. The Australians, coached by Stefano Balosso, came out fast and were second to the halfway mark, with China in the lead. The Australians slipped back into third, at the 1500m mark, and ulimtately crossed the line in a time of 7 minutes 18 seconds and third place.

The Australians will contest Thursday’s repechage in a bid to make the semi-finals, with the only semi-final berth secured from the heat by China, who won the heat in a time of 7 minutes 9 seconds.

Rowing Australia has reported on the second day of heats as follows:

The Junior Women’s Coxed Four of Scarlett Hanna, Olivia Moore, Teagan Blythe, Katherine Easton and Goldie O’Gorman opened the racing today in Tokyo. The Australian crew, coached by Brigette Carlile, were drawn in Lane 1 and took on Italy, USA and France.

At the halfway mark, the Australians were in third place, with Italy having taken a comfortable lead early on. The crew crossed the line in fourth place in a time of 7 minutes 12 seconds and will contest the repechage tomorrow in a bid to make the A-Final.

Women’s coxed four in action – photo FISA

The women were followed down the course by Australia’s Junior Men’s Coxed Four of Nicholas Rath, Johnson Daubney, Lexi McClean, Alex Rossi and Harry Keenan. Coached by Judith Ungemach, the Australians needed a top two finish to make the A-Final and avoid the repechage.

The crew crossed the line in fourth place in time of 6 minutes 23 seconds and will contest the repechage on Friday in a bid to make the A-Final.

The Junior Women’s Pair of Phoebe Robinson and Laura Chancellor finished in third place in their heat in a time of 7 minutes 40 seconds. The Queensland-born duo will race in the repechage tomorrow in a bid to make the A-Final.

The Junior Men’s Four of Torben Ungemach, Riley Rees-Turner, Duke Gordon and Nik Pender needed a top two finish in their heat to avoid the repechage and progress straight to the A-Final. The crew, coached by Matthias Ungemach, took on Greece, USA, Great Britain and Spain in their heat.

The Australians crossed the line in fifth place, in a time of 6 minutes 17 seconds, with Greece and USA taking the two available A-Final berths. The Australians will now contest Friday’s repechage.

In the repechage of the Junior Women’s Double Scull, Clare Netherway and Sophie Houston needed a top two finish to book a place in the semi-finals. The duo, drawn in Lane 2, took on Canada, USA and Russia in their race and were in the lead for the first thousand metres of the race.

Russia made a move at the 1200 metre mark, with the USA going with them, to overtake the Australians. Netherway and Houston began to sprint for the line and as the three crews approached the finish line there was little to separate them, but it was the Australians who just missed out on an A/B semi-final berth, by 0.59 of a second. The Australians will race the C/D semi-final on Friday in Tokyo.


More pictures from World Under 23 Championships

Published 1st August 2019

Off to the final- copyright RA
Pushing to the line – copyright RA
Crossing the line – copyright RA
Then the confirmation – we won! – copyright RA
Yep we won – copyright RA
Gold is good – Photo FISA
Heading back with the trappings of victory – copyright RA
The women’s four in full flight with our Imogen Purcell – copyright RA
The women’s four coming in for their medals – copyright RA
Our bronze medallists – copyright RA
.. and playing to the camera – photo FISA
Men’s Eight in action with Mitch Hooper doubling up in the two seat, Alex Wolf in three and Jack Robertson in five.


World Rowing video with Kat Werry

Published 1st August 2019

Find out how well the Australian women’s four with our Kat Werry know each other –

A good fun video from World Rowing


Coastal Rowing Comes to Mercs

Published 1st August 2019

Mercantile is now the proud owner of two coastal quad sculls which will be delivered to Melbourne this month. The next World Coastal Rowing Champs are in Hong Kong and we are keen to send a crew of crews. If you interested, now is the time to start. Call Andrew Guerin for details. It is awesome fun.

Quads off the start – photo Filippi
Enjoying the waves


Patrick Boomer sets himself for World Coastal Championships in Hong Kong in November

Published 1st August 2019

Patrick Boomer raced very well in his first year in Coastal Rowing last year narrowly missing out on a podium finish. Sadly his flat water season is over so I expect him to try again in Hong Kong.

He won the men’s Ulster Coastal Championships in Donegal last weekend – pictures below. Go Paddy. He did not want me to share that he was beaten by his old man in the quads but we must have some fun.

Patrick Boomer winning at Donegal last weekend
Recovering after his win – Great work Patrick


Next up – World Juniors and Paras in Tokyo

Published 1st August 2019

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games rowing regatta venue, the Sea Forest Waterway, will play host to the top junior rowers in the world for the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships. This will take place from 7 to 11 August 2019 and doubles as a test event for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games rowing regattas.

Fifty nations are taking part in the junior championships and it is worth noting the inclusion of the smaller rowing nations of Algeria, Kiribati, Panama and Cyprus. They are part of over 550 competing athletes.

Included in the Australian team is a Melbourne crew coached by our own Brigette Carlile.

The crew comprises:

Scarlett HannaMLC Kew/VIC
Olivia MooreGeelong Grammar School/VIC
Teagan BlytheLoreto College, Ballarat RC/VIC
Katherine EastonMLC Kew, Powerhouse RC/VIC
Coxswain: Goldie O’GormanMLC Kew/VIC
Coach: Brigette CarlileMercantile RC/VIC

We wish this our very best to this crew and the whole Australian team.


World Championships commence Sunday 25th August in Linz

Published 1st August 2019

The World Championships will be exciting this year with the Australian team performing so well in the World Cups.

The team includes many Mercantile members. Although the final crews have not been named, the following Mercs members are in the team:

  • Amanda Bateman
  • Katrina Bateman
  • Kat Werry
  • Jess Morrison
  • James Rook
  • Gus Widdicombe
  • Liam Donald

We will publish the crews once known.


Member Profiles

Published 1st August 2019

Each month more member profiles are added. We now have over 160 published on the website.

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.

To start the month, we have updated the profile of Martin Owen who died last month.


From the Vault – The Club’s First Senior Championship

Published 1st August 2019

1895 Champion Four – Bow: R E (Ernie) Dawson, 2: Alex B Sloan, 3: Harold Lindgren, Str: W H T (Herb) Davis, Cox: Victor Jones (not in picture), Cch: Syd Edwards in cox seat with the Captain Frank Gibbs in the scull

The Club’s first Senior Championship was a two year plan that started in 1893-94 season when a strong group of junior oarsmen tried to break into the senior ranks. The first version of the crew was Dawson, Strelitz, Lindgren,Davis, Jones coxing and Edwards coaching. It was unsuccessful however Davis and Lindgren were selected into the Victorian crew. in the next season, Syd Edwards prevailed upon Alex Sloan and Stephen Morell to join from the failing Electric Telegraph club. The addition of Sloan in particular, lifted our senior crews from competitive to winners with this four being the first example.

This crew is important in the Club’s history as it represents the Club’s move to senior ranks. The Club has been a senior club ever since.


Past news can be found through this link.