June 2018 News

Above – Amanda Bateman and Ria Thompson on one of their many podium visits at the Nationals


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:

  • Vale Paul Harding
  • New Membership Form on website
  • James Rook first person to compete in both men’s women’s events at World Cups/World Championships
  • World Cup 2 – Addy and Rookie win bronze
  • Winter Sculling Starts
  • Mercs race at Henley Royal Regatta
  • Fundraising for our international competing members
  • Henley Royal Regatta
  • National team members
  • Member Profiles
  • Thursday Night Social Hour

Vale Paul Harding

Published 27th June 2018


20 Dec 1931 – 20 June 2018

It is with deep regret that we advise members of the passing of Paul Harding, one of the Club’s great lightweight champions of the very early 1960s.  He was buried in his Mercs blazer in a beautiful country setting.

Above: Paul Harding as stroke of the 1960 Victorian Lightweight Four

Paul was a a regular club man attending Sunday barrels until later in life.

Rosemary Richardson recalls Paul as one of Ron Richardson’s close friends. Paul addressed Thrasher as “Dad” and so in return he was called “Son”. Paul loved the Club and lightweight rowing. Thrasher and Rosemary Richardson enjoyed happy holidays with Paul and Verna Harding.


Kind tributes have been received from Chris de Guingang, Murray Kellam, Phil Batters and James Harvey.


The Club was represented at the funeral by Phil Batters.


New Membership Form now on website

Published 27th June 2018


Yes it is the new financial year and so the new Club application form is now available on the website. Now is the time to sign up new members to get the most out of the new season.


James Rook first person to compete in both men’s women’s events at World Cups/World Championships

Published 24th June 2018


Recently the rules of international rowing were changed to allow coxswains to be on any gender. James Rook is coxing the women’s eight after having coxed the men’s eight and pair last year.


He is probably the first person to compete in both men’s and women’s events at the senior level in world rowing. Great work Rookie

James in 2017


World Cup 2  – Addy and Rookie win bronze

Published 24th June 2018


Australia had a good start to the international season with wins in the men’s and women’s fours and bronzes in the women’s eights and quad. Addy Dunkley Smith was in the eight along with cox James Rook.


Above: Podium for the Addy and James

Rowing Australia reported as follows:


The Australian Rowing Team today (Sunday) wrapped up its World Rowing Cup 2 campaign with two gold medals and two bronze medals. Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Fours both won gold medals, while the Women’s Quadruple Scull and the Women’s Eight both won bronze medals at the event in Linz, Austria.

In the other A-Finals, the Men’s Quadruple Scull finished fourth, the Men’s Eight fifth and the Women’s Single sculler, Madeleine Edmunds, fifth.

In overcast conditions, the Women’s Four secured Australia its first medal of the day. Coming out of the start, the crew of Lucy Stephan, Rosie Popa, Sarah Hawe and Molly Goodman sat back in second, with Great Britain in the lead. At the halfway mark, the Australians made a push but there was little to call it between the girls in Green and Gold and the British crew.

As the crews crossed into the final 500 metres, Goodman upped the Australian stroke rate to 38 and put the crew comfortably into the lead. The South Australian then upped the rate again, this time to 40, to ensure the Australians secured their first gold medal of the international season.

Victorian Lucy Stephan said, “Our race was alright, but it wasn’t the best. We always say we want our worst to be better than everyone’s best, so we managed to do that today. Next we will be taking an eight to Henley Royal Regatta before heading off to Lucerne for the final World Rowing Cup.”

Australia’s World Champions, the Men’s Four, led their final from start to finish. Josh Hicks, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves and Alex Hill powered out of the start with a 50-stroke rate and were leading the charge at the 500 metre mark.

As the crews reached the middle of the race, just two seconds separated the field, when Australia broke away. An incredible charge gave them a full boat length over Romania, with the rest of the field trailing behind as Australia claiming a second gold medal in a matter of minutes.

Sydney University Boat Club member, Jack Hargreaves, commented post-race, “That wasn’t our greatest race but it’s a really good starting point. We hope to continue our winning streak; we’ve never won at Lucerne (World Rowing Cup 3) so we hope to now turn that around.”

Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull made their A-Final by virtue of finishing second in their repechage and were drawn in Lane 6. The crew of Genevieve Horton, Caitlin Cronin, Rowena Meredith and Olympia Aldersey sat back in sixth for the first half of the race but made their move in the second thousand.

Chasing down pack leaders, and eventual winners, Germany, the Australians pursued China and Ukraine for silver and bronze. With China upping their rate to 45, Aldersey pushed the Australians to 40 in the final sprint to muscle past the Ukrainians and take the bronze medal, with China winning silver behind the Germans.

Queenslander and member of the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre, Caitlin Cronin said post-race, “We were expecting a tight race today after the times in the heats and the reps. It really could have been anyone’s game but we executed our plan. We will be in Lucerne, for World Rowing Cup 3, where we hope to build on what we did today.”

The final crew to win a medal today Austria was the Women’s Eight of Leah Saunders, Hannah Vermeersch, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Georgie Gotch, Georgie Rowe, Ciona Wilson, Jacinta Edmunds, Emma Fessey and coxswain, James Rook.

Coming out firing at 46 strokes per minute, the young Australians took an early leading margin. However, with only a second separating the top five crews, it was the Dutch who made the move into the lead at the halfway point, with Australia and New Zealand in close pursuit.

As the crews approached the line, the Dutch pulled away with New Zealand but Rook called on his charges to stay with the leading crews, which they did, and secured Australia’s Women’s Eight a bronze medal.

In the other A-Finals, the Men’s Quadruple Scull put pressure on the Germans in the final stages of their A-Final but missed a podium finish by 0.78 of a second. The Men’s Eight had a tough A-Final alongside reigning World Champions Germany, Netherlands and Great Britain. The crew, coxed by Kendall Brodie, finished fifth in a spirited first World Cup performance of the season.

Madeleine Edmunds came out firing in her Women’s Single A-Final, and held pace alongside the likes of World Champion Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig. The Commercial Rowing Club member finished in fifth in what was her first senior outing in the single.

Earlier in the day, in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull B-Final, Alice Arch and Amy James finished fifth. The duo conclude the event ranked eleventh overall.


Liam Donald and Gus Widdicombe raced in the men’s eight that finished fifth.


Winter Sculling Starts

Published 24th June2018


Yes it is winter and that means winter sculling.


The handicap series starting yesterday.  Then it’s now every Saturday until
August 18.



Mercantile races at Henley Royal Regatta

Published 24th June 2018

In addition to our members in the Australian men’s and women’s eights, Mercantile has had accepted by the Henley Stewards an entry in the Wyfold Challenge Cup. The crew is:

The crew is:

Angus Maloney
Mitchell Hooper
Ben Canham
Jack Kelly

The crew is coached by David Pincus.

Above: Our crew training through winter at the Club


The Wyfold Challenge Cup was first presented in 1847 and is an event for genuine club crews. Our crew clearly meets that criterion.


The Cup has an interesting past. The old rules for Challenge Cups resulted in all challengers racing off against each other for the right to race the winner of the previous year. Originally this cup was for the winning of the challenge crews for the Grand Challenge Cup. In 1855 it was used for the four oared event.


In 1995, the same rules for the Thames Challenge Cup applied to this race, namely for genuine club crews.


Our crew deserves your support and many Mercantile members will travel to England to see them and our other club members race.


Our Rod Stewart adorns the HRR program this year

Published 24th June 2018


Rod “Banana” Stewart makes the advertising for Henley Royal Regatta this year. They obviously did not know that he was a colonial!


Above: Rod Stewart

And Rod’s retort was “Yeah!!  and don’t I look good!”.


Fundraising for our international competing members

Published 24th June 2018


This year we have Ria Thompson in the U23 team and Sky Froebel and Kirstie Green in the U21 team. Alex Clarke has also been invited to re-trial in June for the U23 team.


We also have a men’s four racing in the Wyfold at HRR.


These rowing experiences are critical for the continued success of our rowers and of the Club.


Tax deductible donations can be made for these crews – please see the Treasurer for details.


Henley Rowing Regatta

Published 24th June 2018


The centenary of the 1919 Henley Peace Regatta is in 2019, but that has not stopped our members racing there.


The Australian men’s and women’s eights will be racing at HRR and so will include the following members:


Australian men’s eight

  • Gus Widdicombe
  • Liam Donald

Australian women’s eight

  • Kat Werry
  • Addy Dunkley Smith
  • James Rook (cox)



Scenes from HRR




The blazers do stand out

But wait there is more. The Club is on the verge of sending a crew for the Wyfold under coach David Pincus. More details will follow once this is confirmed.

And yes there is some rowing


National team members

Published  24th June 2018

Now that most of the selections have finished, we can now see all those Club members in national teams.


Senior team

Women’s eight – Kat Werry, Addy Dunkley Smith and James Rook

Men’s eight – Liam Donald and Angus Widdicombe

Men’s lightweight quad – Michael McNamara


Under 23 team

Mercantile’s Ria Thompson was selected. Ria has had an outstanding year and finished it with good performances at trials.


Under 21 team

Our outstanding under 21 girls had a great season and so it was no surprise that two of them, Skyla Froebel and Kirstie Green, were selected as the women’s pair, and their coach Brigette Carlile, again selected as a coach.


Junior team

Andrew Cleary’s fine work with his support of Geelong school rowing paid off with a junior pair of Hamish Wynn-Pope from GGS and Jack Thornton of GC being selected with Andrew as coach.



Member Profiles

Republished 1st April 2018

Each month more profiles are added.

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. The latest profiles added are that of Roger Wilson, the voice of rowing and Arthur Lingham, a member who died in WWI and who was remembered at this years ANZAC service.



Tuesday night masters ergo night

Republished 1st April 2018


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 February 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.