December 2018 News

Above – Women’s open eight, winners Head of the Yarra

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:

  • Merry Christmas
  • Opportunity to be part of the King’s Cup Centenary
  • Will Legge’s epic row
  • Sean Colgan shows us his HRR flair
  • Mercantile member finalist in Vicsport awards
  • New member profiles
  • Vale Peter Gillon
  • SIRR 2019 Centenary Celebrations Event Package
  • Ever wondered about the benefits of rowing?
  • Henley Royal Regatta 2019
  • Member Profiles
  • From the archives – Morell Bridge
  • New Member Profiles – over 150 published
  • Thursday Night Social Hour

Merry Christmas

Published 24th December 2018

On behalf of the President and members of the Committee, our very best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Fast legs for fast crews in 2019.

Above: A regatta scene on the Yarra

Opportunity to be part of the King’s Cup Centenary

Published 22nd December 2018

From the Rowing Australia website.

Rowing Australia is planning a significant commemoration of the centenary of the winning of the King’s Cup in 2019, both here in Australia and at 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.

The significance of the King’s Cup in Australian rowing cannot be underestimated nor can the importance of the story of how the trophy was won by a group of battle hardened soldiers at the end of WWI. The Interstate Championships continue to be the most loved regatta in Australia and the King’s Cup the most revered trophy.

The AIF No. 1 Crew – Winners of the 1919 King’s Cup at the Henley Royal Peace Regatta

The King’s Cup story is also an important part of Australian history. It highlights the bravery of our soldier rowers who saw action in some of the worst battles of WWI. It demonstrates their ready resumption back to the joy and honour of sport. It describes the successful battle with wartime officials who confiscated the Peace Cup as a ‘war trophy’ for display in a museum. But most importantly it illustrates the winning of The Peace. The unsettling adjustment back to civilian life after the atrocities of war. The rehabilitation through sport of the physical wounds of war, but more so, therole of sport in the recovery from the severe psychological scars of war.

An important part of these celebrations will be the publishing of a book describing this story written by noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe. It will be published in 2019 in time for the 2019 Interstate Championships. An opportunity to directly participate in the publishing of this book has been made available by the 1919 Centenary Committee.

Participate now in these important commemorations by following this link.

Subscriber opportunity

This is your chance to directly participate in the publishing of the story of the King’s Cup. Noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe has written the important story of the King’s Cup. The book will be published in time for the Interstate Championships in 2019.

This is a compelling story of how a group of battle-hardened, soldier rowers emerged from the maelstrom o fthe Great War and, whilst awaiting demobilisation and in a matter of weeks,were formed in to two crack eight-oared crews that competed at the Royal Henley Peace Regatta in July 1919.  At the regatta, one of those eights took on and, in a world-class time prevailed over crews from the other allied armies and soldiers from Oxford and Cambridge universities, winning the King’s Cup.  The story concludes with how that King’s Cup, presented by King George V, became the perpetual trophy for annual competition between interstate eights in Australia.

The 1919 Centenary Committee are offering supporters of the sport the opportunity to be subscribers for the book. The subscription is $100. Subscribers will be acknowledged by name in th ebook and will receive their own copy of it signed by the author. If you wish tobe a subscriber, please send an email or letter stating the below to Jodi Wrenford, or by mail Attention Jodi Wrenford PO Box 7147, Yarralumla, ACT 2600.

I, (name)

of (address)

and (email address)

wish to become a subscriber for the publishing of the King’s Cup story written by Dr Bruce Coe and due to be published in 2019. I enclose my subscription of $100 by

a) cheque made payable to Rowing Australia or

b) please charge my credit card (VISA or Mastercard) _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Exp date _ _ / _ _.

Signature: ………………………………………………………

Unless advised otherwise, you acknowledge that you will be named in the book as a subscriber.

An important part of these celebrations will be the publishing of a book describing this story written by noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe. It will be published in 2019 in time for the 2019 Interstate Championships. An opportunity to directly participate in the publishing of this book has been made available by the 1919 Centenary Committee.

The AIF No. 1 crew at 1919 Henley Royal Peace Regatta

Will Legge’s Epic Row

Published 22nd December 2018

Captain Bill Webster reports that today Will Legge set himself the the challenge of rowing 100km in a day in a single scull.

Setting off just after 06:00 and heading upstream to Studley Park then down through the lower Yarra and up the Maribrynong to Essendon then back into Vic Harbour and upstream to Scotch he completed the task in just under 12 hours. Below is his GPS track of the journey.

Great effort Will, much better than the boring old bike ride everyone else is doing!

Above: GPS track of his endeavours.

Sean Colgan shows us his HRR flair

Published 22nd December 2018

The following report comes from Row360 magazine.

Henley Royal Regatta, with its unique charm. occupies a special place in the hearts of many rowers. Ex-US Olympic rower Sean Colgan describes competing there as “the most unique and memorable rowing experience” of his life. Such has been the effect on Colgan he has, under his wife’s direc­tion, installed an entirely ‘Hen­ley-themed’ bathroom in his home (pictured). Having won the Grand Challenge Cup with the US eight in 1980. Colgan has attended the regatta more than 20 times. His daughter has raced at Henley Women’s Regatta and his father has won at Henley Masters. “Some rowers accumulate memo­rabilia,” says Colgan, “Oars, medals. pictures and mementos from lif e’s rear view mirror: mine is memorialised in the ‘powder room’, probably the best ‘Henley Powder Room’ in the world … ”

Mercantile member finalist in Vicsport awards

Published 22nd December 2018

Rowing Victoria website reports as follows:

The Victorian Sport Awards are presented by the State Government of Victoria and Vicsport.

Held at Marvel Stadium, the Victorian Sport Awards will be attended by all entrants, nominees, family, friends, sporting organisations and clubs to celebrate the successes of community sport in Victoria.

Last year’s Awards attracted 500 attendees including many of Victoria’s premier athletes and grassroots heroes.

The Awards are a night that recognises and celebrates the achievements of our home-grown sporting heroes and legends and all those who helped them get there.

Rowing finalists in all categories of the 2018 Victorian Sport Awards are as follows; for detailed bios on each finalist, click HERE.

Gallagher Victorian Community Coach of the Year

  • Wes Canny (Rowing)

Governor’s Award Victorian Female Athlete of the Year – Kitty McEwan Award

  • Lucy Stephan (Rowing)

State Government of Victoria Service to Victorian Community Sport and Recreation

Andrew Guerin (Rowing)

New Member Profiles

Updated 15th December 2018

Your correspondent was fortunate to visit the National Training Centre at Penrith this month and catch up with Jess Morrison. This great member has excelled in two sports and is a champion athlete and person. A most interesting story of the challenges overcome in following the sporting dream.

Also this month we have updated the member profile of one of our greats from a different era, William Potter. He raced successfully for a very long period – his first senior Championship was won in 1897 and his last Interstate Championships was in 1911.

To add to the new member profiles this month, we are fortunate to have two of our great Captains, Geoff Barden and from a very different era, Jack Mounsey. Both men left an incredible mark of the Club and their stories are most interesting.

Enjoy reading the member profiles and we are always looking for more to publish.

Vale Peter Gillon

Updated 8th December 2018

11 August 1939  –  6 December 2018

It is with great regret that we advise of the passing of Peter Gillon yesterday after a long illness. The Club and rowing is the poorer for this loss and our condolences are extended to his family.

Peter started his rowing at Xavier College where he raced in their first crew in both 1955 and 1956. He continued his rowing outside school at Yarra Yarra and then Mercantile. His career was long and distinguished and included the following representative crews:

1960 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1960 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four three seat – eliminated in repechage
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four stroke – eliminated in repechage
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – Second

Above: 1964 Olympic Four – Bow: Anthony Walker, 2: Richard J Garrard, 3: Simon H Newcombe, Str: Peter L Gillon, Coach Keith A Bilney

Peter was also a good sailor. His son Karl notes: Dad was a life time member of the RBYC & one of the hero’s of the sailing club having won State, National & even a world title in Etchell’s Class.  A funeral service will be at St Joan of Arc at 118 New St, Brighton on Wed 12th Dec at 10:30am followed by a wake to be held at Dads beloved Royal Brighton Yacht Club in the members lounge.

SIRR 2019 Centenary Celebrations Event Package

 Published 7th December 2019

To commemorate 100 years of the Kings Cup, Rowing Australia is looking to run a series of events for the community to come together, around SIRR, to celebrate this important milestone in our sport.

If you would be interested in attending these events, please express your interest by clicking the link below by 17 December. If we receive enough interest to run these events, we will send you purchasing information before Christmas.

The events package would be $150 and include:

  •  Friday 29 March, 6.30pm – 8pm, Centenary Cocktails in Penrith. Provision of a special drink on entry, two drink vouchers and light refreshments, connect and mingle with past King and Queen’s Cup crews and other community members ahead of an exciting weekend of racing
  • Saturday 30 March, 7.30am – 9.30am, Looking back on 100 Years Champagne Breakfast 1x ticket (Likely to be held at the NTC)
  • Sunday 31 March, Interstate Regatta at SIRR – 2x drink vouchers at RowUnion, watch the racing from the most comfortable seat in the house.

Ever wondered about the benefits of rowing?

Published 6th November 2018

Rowing Australia in conjunction with member Marty O’Halloran have produced a superb video which is absolutely worth viewing. This video, created for RA pro bono through the exceptional work of the DDB Group (Marty O’Halloran) and Interbrand.  It also launches RA’s new vision statement, Excellence through Rowing, on and off the water, where we aim to inspire and enable everyone involved with rowing to be the best they can be. You can watch the video here on the Rowing Australia YouTube Channel here.

Henley Royal Regatta 2019

Published 6th November 2018

Next year is the centenary of the 1919 Henley Peace Regatta at which the King’s Cup was won by the AIR No 1 crew. Mercantile is planning to send a crew to this regatta. The celebration will include a luncheon at Australia House on the Tuesday before the regatta and racing between services crews.

We are aware that there are some members who will be attending. We would welcome keeping in touch with those who are interested in attending so that accommodation, ticketing, event and other matters can be arranged. For those interested, please email Jenny Fraumanoat so that you can be kept in the loop on what other members are doing.

Above: Mercs four in 2018 at HRR

Member Profiles – now over 150 published

Published 6th November 2018

Each month more member profiles are added. We now have over 150 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.

From the archives – Morell Bridge

Published 7th December 2018

We pass under the bridge daily but what do you know about it?

We quote from the Victorian Heritage Register:

Morell Bridge over the Yarra River at Anderson Street, South Yarra was constructed in 1899 by the firm of Monash and Anderson using the Monier concrete construction technique. The Monier system of construction was patented in 1867 by Joseph Monier, a French manufacturer of garden ware. He used a grid of small-diameter iron bars embedded in a coarse mortar especially for the construction of planter pots. The technique and patents were gradually extended to cover, amongst other things, arch bridges. Monash and Anderson operated as the Victorian agency of the Sydney based engineering and contracting firm of Carter Gummow & Co, who held the Australian patent for the Monier technique. JTN Anderson from Monash and Anderson supervised the construction of the bridge with the design attributed to WG Baltzer, from Carter Gummow & Co. The bridge was erected on dry land and upon completion the Yarra River was diverted under it. In May 1936 the bridge was named after Sir Stephen Morell, Lord Mayor of Melbourne between 1926 and 1928, as a tribute to his municipal service and enthusiasm for rowing. The bridge, which carries Anderson Street over the Yarra River, was designed as a Monier arch structure which used a grid of iron bars embedded in concrete as reinforcement. The reinforced concrete arches are filled with earth. The 102-metre length bridge is divided into three equal spans, with concrete abutments and piers. The concrete surfaces are finished with cement mortar and painted grey and the ornamental balustrade and handrails are of cast iron. The spandrel panels are ornamented with stucco in a stylised foliation and dragon design. Each pier is mounted by a light standard containing twin lamps. The road over the bridge consists of two concrete footpaths and a carriageway.

And later:

Morell Bridge over the Yarra River is of architectural and aesthetic importance as the first reinforced concrete bridge built in Victoria and the first in Victoria to use the innovative Monier construction technique. The bridge was revolutionary in its design being built only two years after the first reinforced concrete bridge in the world was constructed. The bridge is important for its associations with the engineering firm of Monash and Anderson who went on to design and construct many more important Victorian bridges. The construction of the bridge on dry land and the diversion of the Yarra River beneath it are very unusual and contribute to both the architectural and historical significance of the Morell Bridge.

Above: Construction of the bridge noting that the river was not yet diverted under it.

Above: The Yarra River showing the old course and the river improvement works of 1890s

The Morell Bridge over the Yarra River is of historical importance for its associations with Sir Stephen Morell, who was a prominent Victorian businessman and Lord Mayor between 1926 and 1928. The bridge was named the Morell Bridge in 1936 in recognition of Morell’s contribution to Melbourne.

Sir Stephen Morell was one of the Club’s greatest members, President of the Club and Life Member.

Above: Sir Stephen Morell as a member of the Club’s 1897 Victorian Champion Eight – back row on the left

Thursday Masters Nights

Republished 1st October 2018

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.