September 2015 News

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Follow this link for upcoming events.


50 member profiles have now been added to the website

Published 29th September 2015

The fifty barrier has been breached already with member profiles. This is an important part of the Club’s history and culture to recognise our member base. Please support this great initiative by providing us with new member profiles. James Harvey has added some this week.

We actively seek submissions from all members of profiles to add to the site, particularly of current rowers. Please send to and subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author name and date.

Mercantile AGM Saturday 17th October at 2pm

Republished 26th September 2015

Full details of the meeting and the lunch starting at noon are under the events tab. Bookings for the lunch are required s a large turnout is expected.

Member profiles continue to be added

Republished 26th September 2015

The large task of providing member profiles is well underway will more profiles added daily. There are now over 40 profiles, mainly of older or past members. Go to member profiles to read about our members.  We actively seek submissions from all members of profiles to add to the site. Please send to and subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author name and date.

Website commences publishing member profiles

Published 21st September 2015

A new feature of the website is the creation of member profiles of current and past members. It has started today with just two profiles of the President and Captain, but 50 or more have already been written and will be published over time. As they have been written by one of our older members, it currently has a bias towards older and past members. We actively seek submissions from all members of profiles to add to the site. Please send to and subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author name and date.

This is a superb endeavour which will add much to the culture of our Club.

Mercs masters get head racing crews together

Published 19th September 2015

Calling all masters rowers who want to be part of the Club’s masters crews for the forthcoming head racing season. The usual men’s masters F crew (average age 60) is already training as is the mixed masters eight. Peter Tomanovits is considering getting together a men’s masters C eight so there are plenty of opportunities. Please call or email Colin Kimpton is you want to be involved. His details are 0400 872047 and his email is

Below is our winning F crew at the Head of the Yarra in 2014.

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Mercantile welcomes Chloe Deyermond from Belfast

Published 13th September 2015

Chloe is from the Methodist College Belfast Rowing Club, also the club of Patrick (Paddy) Boomer, see foot of this page, who also spent a season with Mercs and was is the 2014 HRR crew.

Pictured on the Mercs balcony with Chloe (centre), are Rachael, who travelled with her to Australia and Michael Orr, also an Irish born member and father of Annabelle.

Welcome Chloe.

Chloe Deyermond

Distinguished members at Schilling Club dinner

Published 13th September 2015

Not being content catching up at funerals and other like events, a group of our older members meet regularly for dinner to maintain the camaraderie and friendship born of their time rowing at Mercantile. A group of them, smaller than normal, was caught last Thursday in East Melbourne, at perhaps a less distinguished time of the evening.

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Saturday breakfasts at the Club

Published 13th September 2015

The popularity of the breakfasts at Mercantile continues with both St Catherines and Melbourne Grammar rowers also joining in the re-fuelling between rows. The breakfast Mums are now doing shifts of rowers to fit them into the time available! Some scenes from breakfast this weekend including the breakfast Mum’s, the rowers and also Adriana Marullis’ birthday celebrations.


World Championships Wrap Up

Mercantile members take two silver medals

Published 9th September 2015 – photos courtesy of RA website

Australia crews finished the Championships with 3 gold medals and two silver. The Olympic class gold medal was the outstanding performance by Kim Crow in the scull. She is on track to repeat this great performance in Rio even with her great rival New Zealander Emma Twigg returning.


The other two gold medals were in the Paralympic classes of arms and shoulders single scull won superbly by Eric Horrie and the mixed trunk and arms double scull of Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis winning well. Australia is well placed for success at the Paralympics.

Eric Horrie

The two silver medals were in the Olympic classes of the men’s quad scull and four, both with Mercantile representatives. There is no reason why these crews cannot progress further in the Olympic Games.

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Other Australian finalists included Club member Jen Cleary in the women’s quad which finished fifth, the men’s double scull which also finished fifth and the men’s pair which finished sixth. The women’s double also qualified for the Olympics in the B Final. All these crews have great potential to go better next year. Club members Sophie Sutherland and Fiona Albert supported the team as the sweep and sculling reserves respectively.

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With so much good news, what do we have to be concerned about? Well, we have not qualified for the Olympics any women’s sweep crews, no women’s lightweights nor any men’s lightweights. Given the number of women rowing in Australia and the historical strength of Australian lightweights, this is an unprecedented situation. Mercantile has a strong women’s program and will need to step up with more good rowers to strengthen Australia’s ranks to make sure this never happens again. The lack of lightweights is also being heard with Mercs developing a strong under 23 men’s lightweight group.


Go Mercs.

Silver and Silver for Mercantile at World Championships

Published 6th September 2015

Last night both the men’s quad scull containing club member David Crawshay and men’s four containing club member Josh Dunkley Smith both won silver at the World Championships.

The men’s quad scull started slowly being fourth at 500 meters and rowed through the field to finish second. They had the best middle thousand of any of the finalists to be second and close to the Germans with 500 metres to go. However the Germans finished strongly with the Australians finishing with silver.

David stated for the RA website: “Conditions are the start were quite different to how they were at the finish, there was a genuine cross head which meant that no crews could get out really fast.”

Mens Quad medal photo

“As it got through the race we started off a little bit behind but we knew that and then we set about using our rhythm through the middle which we know is good and then really tacked together for a good finish which we probably haven’t done since Varese and the first World Cup we competed in this season.”

“We put ourselves in a good position, but Germany showed their class but we hung on for that second position, and it definitely gives us something to work on should we boat again together next season which I really hope it does happen.”

“The younger two members of our crew in Cam (Girdlestone) and David (Watts) have really taken this whole experience in their stride and not been overawed by it all. It’s a real measure of the two of them that they’re able to do that, Cam has gone from a boat that was in the C-Final last year to one that has won a medal this year and that’s a phenomenal thing for anyone.

“He’s a class act and a great athlete and he deserves and to come from where he was, taking it in his stride and I believe our boat has really benefited from having both the older experience of myself and Karsten as well as the youth and exuberance of Cam and David.”

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The men’s four had a great battle with the Italians swapping the lead with them down the course. The RA website reported: The Italians took a small lead at the start but at the 500 metre mark Australia pushed ahead and held the lead in the middle of the race before Italy upped its stroke rate to surge ahead as they approached the 1500 metre buoys.

With the crowd going wild the Italians edged the Australians out to take the gold with Simon Cox’s crew taking silver and Great Britain bronze.

Speaking post-race, bowman Will Lockwood said: “Our start was the best we’ve had all regatta and we put our all out there. We had a great middle kilometer but we just didn’t have the juice when it come to the final 500 metres to overtake the Italians. We’ve been rowing together for four weeks which is no time at all, the Italians have been together for three years and it showed in the cleanliness of their row. Credit to them, it was an awesome race and we raced well and I’m incredibly proud of the boys for what they did today.”

Jen Cleary in the women’s quad had to be content with a fifth placing. The RA website reported: Germany took the lead early on with the Australians forced to make-up for a disappointing start which saw the other crews in the final take advantage of, as the Australians sat in sixth at the 500 metre mark.

Clawing their way back the crew dug deep in a bid to chase down the pack and showed their true grit to push themselves into fourth before Poland took a surge ahead of them in the final 500 metres to assume fourth. With USA sewing up gold, Germany silver and Netherlands bronze, it was fourth for Poland and fifth place for the Australians, who in turn secured a berth for the Women’s Quadruple Scull at next year’s Rio Olympic Games.

Mercantile wins Cayzer Cup

Published 6th September 2015

Mercantile convincingly won the Cayzer Cup on the weekend in some great racing with Sydney Rowing Club. Some images below, from top to bottom:

  • Scene outside the shed
  • Women’s quad
  • Crews returning to the start for the final 500m race
  • Men’s eights
  • Coaching scene
  • Women’s quad
  • Men’s lightweight four
  • Sydney President Keith Jameson
  • Athlete briefing
  • Regatta scene – eights finish


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James Wilson wins B Final

Published 4th September 2015

Club Member James Wilson raced in the bow seat of the Australian lightweight men’s quad scull which finished first in the B final tonight. This result is creditable given that the crew trained in several locations, getting together only for short spells in training. Further their lack of racing given the short tour showed with their performance improving with each row. The were in front in the B final from start to finish. Well done James.

Cayzer Cup this weekend

Published 4th September 2015

Mercantile plays host to Sydney Rowing Club this weekend with the Cayzer Cup. This will be the first Cayzer Cup after the recent death of Phil Cayzer and so will be special. Come and see the racing on Saturday and Sunday at the Club.

Timetable is under the events tab.

Mercantile crews are:

Men’s eight from the bow: Clarke, Kinsella, Wolf, Nott, Dixon, Hunt, Donald Widdicombe, cox: TBA

Women’s quad from the bow: Thomas, Bateman, Sibillin and Marulli

Men’s lightweight four – Grace, Grey, Legge and Tomzak

Women’s lightweight scull – Gasparini, Maimur, Ward, Duggan

Featured below is a Cayzer Cup from 11 years ago at Mercs with Phil handing the Cayzer Cup to then President Phil Batters.

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Josh and Crawsh join Jen into A finals

Published 4th September 2015

Joining Jen Cleary in the finals are Josh Dunkley Smith and David Crawshay who both made it through incredibly tough and tight semi-finals last night. All three of these crews, the men’s and women’s quad sculls and the men’s four will race on Saturday night. This will be sensational racing. Sunday night will feature the women’s eight in the B final.


Josh is rowing in the two seat of the men four which finished second in the semi-final behind the Dutch crew. The Australians had a great middle thousand being the fastest crew through the second and third 500m. However they did not have sufficient lead to match the Dutch who stormed home over the last 300 metres to finish first. The final margin was 0.58 second.


David Crawshay in the bow of the men’s quad scull had a more interesting race but with the same result, second in the semi-final. The top four crews swapped the lead at various stages of the race. The top three finished within 0.42 second. The winning Lithuanian crew were placed fourth at 1500 meter mark and stormed home with a gruelling 500 metre sprint to take first place.

Thursday nights at Mercantile

Published 4th September 2015

The scene at 8pm at Mercantile at Trader’s Bar on Thursday 3rd September. The masters rowers have returned from their row and enjoy the camaraderie, drinks and food at Trader’s bar.


Annual General Meeting – 17th October 2015

Published 3rd September 2015

The Committee has announced that the Annual General Meeting is to be held at the Clubhouse on Saturday 17th October 2015 at noon commencing with a luncheon. All crews will be training that morning. Come along for the fun of the meeting and also to meet with our very talented crews. If you are a past rower, come down at 11am for a row. Please let the Club know if you are attending for catering purposes and also if you want a row.

Our President Malcolm Batten in full flight below.

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Mercantile at the World Championships

Published 3rd September 2015

Mercantile is again well represented at the World Championships at Aiguebelette France.

Josh Dunkley-Smith is in the two seat of the Australian Four which is well positioned at these Championships for a medal. They won their heat being pushed to the line by the Dutch crew who put in a sensational last 500 to row through Germany and nearly Australia. The four will again meet the Dutch crew as well as the strong American crew in the semi final tonight. Go Josh.


Also heading for the podium is our own Jen Cleary in the two seat of the quad scull. David Colvin reports as follows: they won their heat and went straight through to the final in this very tight field. It will be tough to beat the Germans (this is their lead women’s boat). The Germans are also the current World Champions and set a world best time in Amsterdam last year. The Australian crew were silver medallists about 2 seconds behind Germany at Lucerne so they are right in the mix. The Aussies won their heat and the Germans won the other. Go Jen.


Also in a quad scull but in the men’s boat is David Crawshay. This crew has made it through to the semi-final tonight with a win in the heat. Also, it is a very tough event with the racing tight. Go Crawsh.


By far the biggest representation of Mercantile members is in the women’s eight with stroke Charlotte Sutherland, six Katrina Bateman and cox Sarah Banting. Unfortunately this crew has been relegated to the B final after finishing fourth in the heat and fifth in the repechage. In both their races, they have been well beaten in the middle of the race, and in particular the third 500 metres, by stronger crews. The strength needed for this boat is very high and the depth of girls in this category is probably too low to readily succeed. Mercantile must produce more of the calibre of Charlotte and Katrina for Australia to be successful. As only the top five crews qualify for the Olympic Games, Australia does not have an eight in the Olympics at this stage.

James Wilson is rowing in the Lightweight Quad which finished fourth in the heat and third in the repechage. This unfortunately has left them out of the A final. This crew did everything right to qualify leading in the first 1000 metres of the repechage. They were past by the British crew in the third 500 metres and in a tough fight with the Americans, narrowly were pipped on the line to finish in third place. It is tough training through winter with half the crew in Melbourne and the rest elsewhere and having no lead up racing. It was a great effort by this crew.

The Australians race again tonight with the four at 7:45pm Melbourne time and the quad scull at 8pm.

Mercantile zootie spotted at….

Published 3rd September 2015

The entry this month comes from Patrick Boomer training at Menaggio, Lago di Como, Italy. You will recall that Paddy hails from Ireland and rowed with Mercs in the 2013- 2014 season. He also raced in our Henley crew in 2014. Paddy is now studying and rowing with London University. Go Paddy, a Mercantile member through and through.








Past news can be found through this link.