September 2017 News

Above – Kat Werry celebrates her World Cup win at Lucerne in July – second from left


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:

  • Time trials this weekend
  • World Championship Day 3
  • Road Closures
  • World Championships Day 2 Results
  • World Championships Day 1 Results
  • Men’s and women’s fours preview for World Championships
  • Our Captain wins at Bled
  • New Member Profiles
  • From the Archives – Club Emblem
  • RA underage Event Requirements
  • World Championships are on in Florida
  • Updates on Word Championships in Florida
  • Results from Saltwater Classic
  • News about World Championships and Hurricane Irma
  • Regatta entries for Saltwater Challenge
  • Arthur Atkins celebrates his 100th at Government House
  • Photos from Trans Tasman Under 21 series – one bombed
  • JDS at Sarah’s Super Saturday
  • River works
  • Sarah’s Super Saturday – JDS in world record attempt
  • Reminder – AGM 22nd October 2017
  • First Thursday of the month row goes gourmet
  • Tuesday night ergos
  • New Mercs tie
  • Member Profiles

Time trials this weekend

Published 27th September 2017


The following club members have been entered in the time trials this weekend.

Event Crew Athletes
MO1X Mercantile Carl Tomczak
MO1X Mercantile Michael McNamara
MO1X Mercantile Alexander Kinsella
FO1X Mercantile Meghan Hester
FO1X Mercantile Madeleine Thomas



World Championships Day 3

Published 27th September 2017


Club member Red Matthews raced through to the semi-finals today whilst James Rook coxed the eight through to the rep.

However it was the day for our one adaptive rower today, Eric Horrie who dominated his heat.


Above: Eric Horrie – photo World Rowing

Rowing Australia reported as follows:


Hot and humid conditions once again greeted the Australian crews competing on day 3 of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota.  The action for Australian crews today saw defending World Para-rowing Champion, Erik Horrie, and the Men’s Eight commence their campaigns with the heats of their boat classes and the Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull racing in the repechage.

On a cloudless day in Sarasota, Horrie, the three-time World Champion and 2016 Rio Paralympic silver medallist, showed the PR1 Men’s Single Sculls field that he has comfortably stepped up from 1000m to 2000m racing. The 37-year-old took off from the starting blocks with Jaroslaw Kailing of Poland in hot pursuit but it was the Australian in the lead as they crossed the 500m marker.

Horrie continued to lead and then moved away from the rest of the field and was well out in front by the halfway point of the heat. Looking effortless on the water, Horrie crossed through to the red buoys rating a low 27-stroke rate and then dropped down to 24 strokes per minute. Despite the relaxed finish, Horrie comfortably progressed to the semi-finals, record the fastest qualifying time of the three heats, 10 min 01 seconds.

“It was good, although I don’t think you can really look at the times compared to all the different heats. This is only the first lot of racing so nobody is really showing their true hand and I expect, as we move through the program, it’s going to get faster and faster.

“Conditions were fine, everyone has to deal with the same situation with the heat and everyone seems to be dealing with the heat quite well, it certainly didn’t really affect me. I think all the training I’ve been doing back home is paying off. Between now and the semi-finals it is about continuing training. One box is ticked and there are two more to go,” said the 37-year-old Horrie.


Above: Lightweight quad start – photo World Rowing

The Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull of Cameron Fowler, Redmond Matthews, James Kerr and Hamish Parry needed a top three finish in their repechage to ensure a place in Thursday’s semi-finals. The young crew took to the water in the midday sun and by the halfway point of the race, they had muscled into second place with Japan in the lead and Brazil in third place.

As they approached the final 500m, the Swiss crew passed both Australia and Japan to take the top spot, leading to the other two crews to sprint to the line and book themselves a place in the semi-finals ahead of Brazil and Norway.

“Today’s repechage was a step up from our heat performance. We tackled the race with a little less nerves and a much larger focus on holding onto the front-runners out of the blocks,” admitted James Kerr.

“We trust that Ian’s [Wright] program has given us enough steam to hold it on the limiter, to the line, even if we spend a bit more fuel in the initial phase of the race. Semi-finals are the next step for us, with our goal being to race the A final. If we can take the same approach [as we did for this race] to another level, I am confident we can get the job done,” admitted the West Australian.

The young Men’s Eight crew of Hamish Playfair, Nathan Bowden, Ben Coombs, Tim Masters, Angus Moore, Simon Keenan, Campbell Watts, Alexander Purnell and coxswain James Rook faced more experienced crews from Italy, Great Britain, Russia, the Netherlands and China in what was to be a hotly contested heat.

Needing a first place finish to automatically qualify for the A-Final, Italy took the lead early on and held off any challengers. As the race progressed, reigning Olympic champions Great Britain attempted to chase down the Italians to no avail, while Australia battled it out with Russia and the Netherlands for third place.

The excitement came as Great Britain approached the final 200 metres and Australia’s crew began to charge. James Rook gave the call and the Australians dug deep, however they had left it a little too late with the British clinging on to take second with Australia in a close third. Australia’s Men’s Eight will now contest Thursday’s repechage, with only Italy qualifying for the A-final from this heat, as the winner.


Above: Australian eight – photo World Rowing




Road Closures

Published 26th September 2017


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


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


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


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



World Championships Day 2 Results

Published 26th September 2017


The Women’s four had their chance to shine on day 2 and did not disappoint us winning their heat and progressing straight through to the final. This crew contains Club member Kat Werry. Go Mercs.


Above: the women’s four off the start with Kat in the two seat – photo World Rowing


Rowing Australia reported as follows:


The Women’s Four of Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Molly Goodman proved once again how powerful they are at the finish of a race. With the USA having led for the first half of the heat, Stephan called to Goodman to up the rate as the crew crossed the halfway mark and that she did, with the Australians surging into the lead.

As the crews approached the final 250 metres, the USA attempted to make a move on the Australians but the advantage set up by the crew, coached by Tom Westgarth, was too much for the Americans and Australia crossed the line in a time of 6 mins 33 secs and in turn secured a place in Saturday’s A-Final.

“I felt we really nailed it in the final five hundred, when we really started to move. It’s been a while since we have had an international hit out, since World Cup 3, so it was good to get the nerves out and then be ready to attack the final on Saturday,” said Lucy Stephan.

“Our real strong point is the middle kilometre and it was interesting to have not moved through the pack at that first kilometre, but I put that down to nerves. We have worked on there always being a step up at Worlds and knowing that we are not hunting, we are the hunted [as the winners of the World Cups 2 and 3].

“We do hold speed well and so that final five hundred was about sticking it out and staying in our boat, I think that’s what really happened for us in that last section. I gave the direct call that we were inching back, but we needed to go now. We swung through and held on to take the win, but we’ll need to step it up again on Saturday,” admitted the 25-year-old.


The women’s lightweight quad also progressed through the final but finished second in their heat.


Above: The Light quad off the start – photo World Rowing


Rowing Australia reported as follows:

In picture-perfect conditions, Amy James, Alice Arch, Georgia Miasarow and Georgia Nesbitt, of the Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull, saw China jump out from the start, but it was the tussle between the Australians and Italians that saw Australia take the lead for the middle thousand of the race.

At the halfway point, things were tight between Australia, Italy and the China, with the Italians making the biggest push in the final 500m to nip ahead of the Australians at the line. The Australians fended off a challenge from China to finish in second and secure a place in the A-Finals. Italy and Australia recorded the fastest qualifying times, ahead of Canada and Great Britain who qualified from the other heat.

Making her Senior World Championships debut, Alice Arch, enjoyed her first hit out in Sarasota. “I was really excited, I actually felt more relaxed coming into it than I did with the World Cups earlier this year.

“I felt really confident coming into the race, on the back of the work we’ve been doing at home and here in the USA. A few of us have mentioned that we’ve felt really prepared for this regatta having both arrived early and also having raced in Penrith over the summer. The heat in Penrith is probably hotter than it is here right now,” admitted Arch.

“It was fun to have a really competitive field as we had only raced three boats in Lucerne. We knew Italy was going to be competitive, they had a good race at U23 Worlds. We were happy with our first kilometre and we’ve identified a few things we want to work on between now and the final on Friday,” added the 23-year-old.


The women’s double raced next and also finished second. They go straight through to the semi-finals.


Above: The double off the start – photo World Rowing


Rowing Australia reported as follows:


There were three heats for the Women’s Double Scull, meaning a top three finish was needed for a direct path for the semifinals. As the crews passed the 500-metre marker, Madeleine Edmunds and Olympia Aldersey muscled past Germany who had had the fastest start to come into the lead stroking 35 as they took the lead.

Edmunds and Aldersey pushed away from the field, leaving Germany, Czech Republic and Lithuania to battle it out behind them. However, as the crew crossed the 1500m marker, Lithuania made their move and powered past the Australians to take the win, with Australia finishing second and Czech Republic third. All three crews progressed to the semi-finals.


Also competing were the men’s lightweight quad with Club member Red Matthews. They finished out of the automatic qualifiers and will race in the repechage tomorrow. This crew was the subject of a last minute, performance based change with Cameron Fowler replacing Sean Murphy.

Above: The quad off the start – photo World Rowing


Rowing Australia reported as follows:


With temperatures approaching 30 degrees once again, the Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull were the first Australian crew on the water today. Cameron Fowler, Redmond Matthews, James Kerr and Hamish Parry racing at their first Senior World Rowing Championships took on an inform Italy as well as crews from China, Hungary and the USA.

Despite a good middle thousand, which saw the crew move through the field to third place and be within touching distance of race leaders Italy and China, the Australians were overtaken in the final 500 metres by a sprinting Hungary. The crew finished fourth in the heat and will now contest the repechage in a bid to make the semi-finals.


Finally the men’s double raced and qualified for the semi-finals.


Rowing Australia reported as follows:


The Men’s Double Scull of David Watts and Luke Letcher needed a top two finish in their heat to qualify directly to the semi-finals and avoid the repechage. It was not to be the young Australians day, drawn in a heat with an inform Italy and Great Britain.

Ultimately, Great Britain and Italy automatically qualified, while Australia finished in fifth place and will now contest the repechage on Wednesday in Sarasota.



World Championship Day 1 Results

Published 26th September 2017


A great start for Australian crews at the World Championships. One of the top Australian crews, the men’s fours, did not disappoint and neither did the coxed pair.


First up was the men’s coxed pair with two Mercs representatives, Gus Widdicombe and cox James Rook. Rowing Australia reported as follows:

Above: Men’s coxed pair in the heat – photo from World Rowing

In hot and humid conditions, Angus Widdicombe, Darcy Wruck and coxswain James Rook were the first Australians to race at the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The young trio took on Germany and Hungary in their Men’s Coxed Pair heat and needed a top place finish to progress straight to the A-Final.

The Australians came out fast alongside the Germans who took the lead early on. As the crews crossed the halfway mark, Rook called for a significant push and Widdicombe and Wruck responded with gusto to nip ahead of the German crew.

As they continued through the second half of the race, the Australians took almost a canvas lead over their German counterparts, before the Germans began to sprint for the line. However, the Australians had powered ahead enough to cross the line 0.47 of a second ahead of Germany to book a spot in Friday’s A-Final.

Post-race, Angus Widdicombe said: “It was a good race, we went through the process and we executed our race plan really well. James called really well and Darcy and I stuck together through the race so it was good all round.”

The crew qualified automatically to the A-Final with Great Britain who won the other heat, with Widdicombe expecting the British to be their strongest challenger in the final: “The Brits will no doubt be the strongest challengers in the finals, they’ve won the last two World Championships in the boat class, but that said, there was only 0.25 of a second between our finish times.”


Next up was the men’s four who also won their heat and went straight through to the semi-finals.

Above: The men’s four – photo from World Rowing

Rowing Australia reported as follows:


The Men’s Four took to the water as the sun began to break through the clouds. Sitting in the stroke seat, Alex Hill, 2016 Olympic silver medallist in this boat class, set the pace early for the crew ensuring they took an early lead over their closest rival, Spain. As the crew of Hill, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves and Joshua Hicks crossed the halfway mark they were some five seconds ahead of the Spanish, while New Zealand were back in third place.


As they approached the final 500 metres, the Australians reduced their stroke rate to conserve energy, while Spain attempted to catch them at the line. The Australians, in the distinctive green and yellow Empacher boat, crossed the line first in a time of 6 mins 6 seconds and ensured a place in Thursday’s semi-final.


Next up was the women’s quad who also qualified straight through to the finals.


Above: The women’s quad – photo from World Rowing

Rowing Australia reported:


The Women’s Quadruple Scull of Leah Saunders, Genevieve Horton, Rowena Meredith and Caitlin Cronin finished second in their heat after a battle back and forth with the Dutch crew.  Leading at the start, the Australians held off a Dutch challenge for the majority of the race in temperatures that were topping 31 degrees.

The Australians still had the lead coming into the final sprint, with the Netherlands, who medalled at the Rio Olympic Games, challenging hard. As the crews crossed the line, it was the Dutch who took the win, with Australia in second, with both crews progressing to the A-Finals.


Women’s Head Coach, John Keogh said: “There’s a little bit of an unknown in racing some of these crews but we knew the Dutch would be good, based upon what they’ve done in the past and how they were in Lucerne. I think to qualify for the A-Final, which was our targets today, is pretty exciting. For the girls it’s their first senior World Championships A-Final.

“They raced really well and had a good profile for the second five hundred which is something we’d been keen to rectify through the year. Between now and the final, we’ll be out there trying to get a little bit better each day.”



Preview of men’s and women’s fours at 2017 WC

Published 22nd September 2017


The great American website Row2K has previewed the men’s and women’s fours at the forthcoming World Championships and the following extracts come from their story. Kat Werry is our Mercantile contender.


Women’s Four – 12 entries

The favourite – Australia are the favourites after their wins in World Cups II and World Cup III. The crew of Molly Goodman, Kat Werry, Sarah Hawe and Lucy Stephan will have their work cut out for them in the first year of the women’s four being classified as an Olympic event following FISA’s program change earlier this year.


Medal contenders – Canada should prove up to the task, with three of four athletes that won the bronze in Lucerne. The crew are doubling up out of the eight, so should have a busy week of racing. The Russian and Dutch crews arrive in Sarasota with their lineups intact from Lucerne. The Russians won the silver and the Dutch finished fourth. Both crews should challenge for a medal.


Above: Our four at World Cup III


Men’s Four – 16 entries

The favourite – The Australian four is the favourite by virtue of their win over Great Britain at World Cup II in Poznan. The four then plugged into the eight for World Cup III and nearly knocked off the German eight before settling for silver.


Medal contenders – The British four are basically the co-favourites for gold as they are incredibly difficult to beat in this event at the World Championships. They have only one holdover from their Olympic champion crew in Mohamed Sbihi. They held off a tough field at World Cup III to win and now have their sights set on defeating Australia in Sarasota.

Another challenger for a spot on the podium is Italy, the European champions and silver medallists in Lucerne. South Africa brings a retooled and experienced lineup for 2017 that includes former lightweight Olympic champion John Smith from the lightweight four, and Lawrence Brittain who won Rio silver in the men’s pair last year.


Above: The Australian four racing in the men’s eight at Lucerne in World Cup III




Our Captain wins at Bled

Published 22nd September 2017


Our Captain Bill Webster will go a long way to get a bit of bling. He coxed several winning crews at the FISA Masters in Bled last week. Well done Bill.


Above: Bill with one of his winning crews


Member Profiles

Published 17th September 2017


Members who regularly use the ergometres and want someone to blame for their pain, two new member profiles provide this outlet. The first is of the Late Dr Lloyd Williams who developed a variety of selection and talent identification techniques as a coach. He then went onto develop the wind resistance ergometre we all love to hate whilst he was in a senior position at Repco.


The next person is Jeff Lawrence, the current purveyor of ergometres from Concept II. Jeff is a life member of the Club.


Also significant updates have been made to the profiles of the Late Graeme McCall and the Late Norm Cairnes.




From the Archives – Club Emblem

Published 17th September 2017


An article from an earlier Mercantilian magazine.


Mercantile is extremely proud of its badge. Every member is entitled to wear a blazer and  tie bearing the design of Dolphins and King Neptune’s trident which has become world famous since it was adopted in 1931.

Everything has a history and the Club badge is no exception.


From the time the Club was founded in 1880 a monogram was all that was used by members on their Blazers and by the Club on all official printed matter.

In 1930 it was decided that a better form of identification was needed than the monogram. Immediately it was decided that a competition would be held and that the best design submitted would henceforth become the Club’s badge. The Competition was held amonst art students at The Working Mans College now known as the R.M.I.T. or the Melbourne Technical College. The designs submitted, which were many and varied were judged by the Captain of the Club and the Art Master of the time. The present Badge now in use won the Competition and was eventually recommended to the Committee for adoption.

The Dolphin is a mammal, swims in schools and is fond of sport. The Dolphin is used in all kinds of decorative work. In symbolic representation it is the companion of Nymphs, Nereids, Tritons and Neptune with whose trident he is often combined in ornament.

The sea or water is represented by the highly conventionalised chevron pattern at the top of the badge and was used by the Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and many other races to represent water.

The present arrangement of the chevron is designed to suggest unity and strength.

The external shield form is so designed to suggest the prow of’a boat.

The picture shown above is a reproduction of the original design submitted by the Committee of the Club. Todays version does not have Mercantile included and is on a plain background.


RA Event Requirements

Published  17th September 2017


Message from Rowing Australia:


As per the Rowing Australia Event Requirement preamble for Under 23, Under 21 and Junior teams, the current Event Requirements are being updated. Until such time as the amended documents are released, those that appear on the Rowing Australia website at and activities contained within, continue to be valid.



World Championships are on in Florida

Updated 13th September 2917


Statement from the local organizing committee on Hurricane Irma September 12, 2017

The Sarasota/Bradenton area did not come under the direct impact of the hurricane as predicted thus, luckily, damage is limited. First and foremost, sincere thanks go to the Sarasota County Emergency Management Department and all of the local and state officials for their preparation, communication, and mobilization efforts in keeping the community safe from Hurricane Irma.


Tampa and Sarasota airports are now open and operational, the official hotels, caterers and transport partners are confirmed and, effective today, Tuesday, September 12, county officials have granted the Local Organizing Committee access to continue operations at Nathan Benderson Park.  As a result of months of planning and forecasting for potential storm delays, venue buildout is on schedule and the OC will be ready to host the world’s greatest rowers in Sarasota-Bradenton next week.  The Manager of Athlete Services is in communication with Team Managers from each team and confirming arrival schedules.


The full schedule of the 2017 World Rowing Championships will begin with the Opening Ceremony, on Saturday 23 September with racing starting on Sunday 24 September through to the final day of competition, Sunday 1 October 2017.



Update on World Championships in Florida

Updated 11th September 2017















Update 11th September 2017

11/9/2017 From FISA


The Hurricane Irma has now passed Sarasota/Bradenton and we hope later today to be able to properly assess the situation on the ground.


Please make no changes in your plans over the next 24 to 36 hours until we have more information.


We will keep you informed as we are informed from Florida.



9/9/17 Statement from the local organizing committee on Hurricane Irma:

First, we’d like to thank everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of support. Your sentiments are truly appreciated.

As of now (Saturday morning), the Sarasota-Bradenton area is under a Hurricane Warning. Through our discussions with Sarasota County Emergency Management, conditions are expected to deteriorate on Sunday afternoon. Our community will experience strong winds and rain, which will last through Monday afternoon.

As mentioned in a previous statement, buildout has been delayed to allow the weather system to pass through. Our Operations Team has worked countless hours, ensuring that all buildout material is secure. Moreover, our Manager of Athlete Services remains in touch with Team Managers from the 71 participating countries. Due to airport closures around the state of Florida, some delegates will not arrive on schedule for team training. We are doing everything possible to assist with their travel arrangements.

Thank you again for your support. We will update you again once Irma has moved out of Florida.

Contingency plans will be communicated following the assessment of the storm.



Update 10th September 2017

The latest reports of Hurricane Irma show it passing up the west coast of Florida, almost exactly through Sarasota. This is a worrying change.


Your correspondent has grave fears for the regatta. As one Florida rower stated, at a Cat 4 or 5, there will not be much left that can be fixed in two weeks It will take a week to get electricity back and all construction crews will be clearing trees from roads, feeding people and fixing emergency services.


Your correspondent’s view is that even if the hurricane misses the area of the regatta, it is hard to imagine that it would be wise holding the regatta when the rest of the region has been destroyed.


We may be competing in Europe before we know it! We should offer Penrith.

Results from Saltwater Classic

Published 10th September 2017


The women’s open quad was won easily their category in this 4.5 km time trial for quad sculls but the men’s open quad were defeated by Corio Bay.


News about World Championships and Hurricane Irma

Published 9th September 2017







Statement from the Organising Committee on Hurricane Irma

The Sarasota-Bradenton organizing committee is in constant contact with the Sarasota County Emergency Management Department for information about Hurricane “Irma”. Our focus at this time is on the staff, community and all those potentially impacted by Hurricane Irma.

From the current reports, the more severe weather associated with Hurricane Irma appears NOT to be headed toward the Sarasota-Bradenton area, but there may still be strong winds and rain until Tuesday, September 12.

The venue buildout schedule has been adjusted to reflect the weather forecasts and all planning for the World Rowing Championships is on schedule. The Manager of Athlete Services is in constant contact with Team Managers from each team, providing weather updates and any possible changes in their arrival schedules.

The local organizing committee and the 2017 World Rowing Championships staff will be working diligently toward putting on a world-class event at Nathan Benderson Park and welcoming the world to Sarasota- Bradenton.



Regatta entries for Saltwater Challenge

Published 9th September 2017


The first regatta of the season starts this weekend with Mercs represented with two crews:


MO4X+/- Mercantile 1 William Legge, James Hoban, Alexander Kinsella, Michael McNamara
FO4X+/- Mercantile 1 Meghan Hester, Kate Duggan, Olivia Sibillin, Madeleine Thomas

Go Mercs.


Arthur Atkins celebrates his 100th at Government House

Published 6th September 2017


Arthur Atkins continued his 100th birthday celebrations at Government House yesterday as guest of the Governor. Much fun was made of his purchase of a new car at the age of 99 years. He was interviewed by all three commercial networks and appeared briefly on all their news shows.


Above: Arthur and the Governor Hon. Linda Dessau AC


Photos from the Trans Tasman Under 21 Series – one bombed

Published 3rd September 2017


Some pictures have arrived for our representatives on the Australian Under 21 team. One has been bombed by a life member, Noel Donaldson.

Above: Our representatives – Ben Canham, Alexis Hancock, Brigette Carlisle and Alex Clarke


Above: Our representatives being photo bombed by life member Noel Donaldson


Above: Our men’s pair of Ben and Alex


Above: the men’s eight in silhouette coxed by Alexis and coached by Brigette



JDS at Sarah’s Super Saturday

Published 2nd September 2017


Just imagine being able to do 1:25 per 500 metres for 2km. Keep dreaming but at least you can say you have rubbed shoulders with someone who has, Josh Dunkley-Smith.


Before a large and encouraging crowd, JDS made his attempt at a world record for the 2km. Not bad for a person whose nick name is “sloth”.

Above: The result – Wow


Josh is having a year off from elite rowing so what does one do on that time off, attempt a world record – as you would I suppose. Josh missed the world record today by under 2 seconds in a blistering display of power and form. It was awesome.


Josh claimed he hit a brick wall in the final stages but it was an inspiring display.


So what a person taking a year off do next, probably try again in another month. As you would I suppose.


Above: Josh in action – notice the bare feet


Above: Josh in action – the crowd sensing a record and look at the screen


Above: JDS and ADS in the warm down

Great work Josh and Go Mercs.



River works

Published 2nd September 2017


For those members not able to make it down to the sheds recently, will have heard about the Swan Street and underground railway works but not seen them. A few photos are provided below to show you some of the disruption. Fortunately they are keeping two arches open to river traffic at all times.

Above: Swan Street Bridge


Above: the disruption on the bank. Coaches have to cross Alexandra Parade at the lights before Swan Street and the cross back over after the Bridge. God help any novice crews during that several hundred metre strip without support.


Above: Some works for the new underground west of the finish line


Sarah’s Super Saturday – JDS in world record attempt

Published 1st September 2017


On Saturday 2nd September, several ergo world records attempts will be made in the following categories:

Details of the event are as follows:

When: Saturday September 2, 2017, from 10am
Where: Melbourne University Boatclub, 1 Boathouse Drive, Melbourne
Join the Facebook livestream @ 

The line up
10am (to approx 3:30pm): 100km tandem: Matt Ryan (Silver, Men’s Four, 2008 Beijing Olympics) and Nick Purnell (Men’s Eight, 2012 London Olympics)
2:30pm: 60min: Karsten Forsterling (Silver, Men’s Quad, 2016 Rio Olympics; Bronze, Men’s Quad 2012 London Olympics)
3:45pm: 1km: Josh Booth (Silver, Men’s Four, 2016 Rio Olympics)
3:50pm: 2km: Josh Dunkley-Smith (2x Silver, Men’s Four, 2012/2016 Olympics)


JDS is currently holding the second best ergo score on record and if he breaks it with this attempt, it will be reverberate throughout the rowing world.


But there is another important side to these world record attempts. As the website go fund me states:

Through Super Saturday we would like to bring awareness and much needed financial support to the Caritas Christie Hospice where Sarah was until her passing. 

Above: Sarah Tait at London in 2012 with her daughter testing her Olympic silver medal for authenticity


We have been wanting to put together an event like this for some time to remember Sarah, but have felt no challenge we came up with has done her name and legacy as one of the toughest international oarswomen justice.  


“Modern medical developments are improving outcomes for patients everyday. But some patients still face poor outcomes, and they and their support network of family and friends face significant challenges. Caritas Christie Hospice provides support for patients and their loved ones during this difficult time, aspiring to provide the best care and environment at such a precious time. 

Sarah’s last few months in Caritas were filed with warmth, music and most importantly, family. Initiatives such as the art and music program helped create an open and caring environment, which means our memories of that time are much more positive and we were better able to support Sarah.

Supporting an athlete in this challenge means supporting families as well as patients, at a time when they need it the most”.
Bill Tait

If you would like to donate, please go to


Go JDS and Go Mercs


Reminder – AGM Sunday 22nd October

Republished 1st September 2017


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


Above: President Mal Batten 



Tuesday night ergos

Republished 1st September2017


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 September 2017

Reminder that all masters rowers are welcome for a row on Thursday nights followed by a sausage sizzle and refreshments. Row at 6pm and sausage sizzle at 7.30pm. All welcome. Please call Andrew Guerin on 0417 554799 to get put on the weekly email.



Thursday nights after the row

Past news can be found through this link.