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History of Begonia City Ladies Rowing Club in Victoria Australia

History of Begonia City Ladies Rowing Club

1976 – Senior B racing and coaching

The Ballarat City Rowing Club this year saw Mr. Graeme Angow continued in the role of President with Rob McGuire as secretary and Alf Quick as treasurer. Captain for the men’s club was Daryl Calvert and Tracey Kriz was Captain of Begonia City while Kate Wise was appointed to  the secretary’s role for 1975-76 season. Tracey, Kate and Andrea Kriz along with the new members who joined the club this year, Margaret Elliott, Leeanne Dyson, Kathy Hayes and Andrea Hegert, formed the regular core of the club. All were still at secondary school therefore the club was essentially all schoolgirls. None of the older women who joined the club continued on with rowing this year.

At the combined Ballarat City and Begonia City Open Day in November the three second-hand regulation fours were christened along with the new coaching Launch. The four oared boats were named the OUR LADIES, the DANNY ELLIOTT and the KEVIN O’BRIEN. The launch was named after one of the main fundraiser, the BILL DAVIES. There were also scratch fours and mixed fours raced for trophies presented by the committee. Alan Dixon, P. Brown, Bill Davies and Daryl Calvert won the scratch fours and the crew of Ron Taylor, Mick Malone, Kathy Hayes and Kate Wise won the mixed fours. 

Begonia City Ladies November 1976 with the new coaching launch

Begonia City Ladies in November 1976 with the new coaching “launch” on Open Day.

The back row from left to right are Kate Wise, Andrea Kriz, Kathy Hayes and in front are Andrea Hegert, the cox, and Marg Elliott. They all have the 100 years of rowing t-shirts on produced by the VRA to celebrate the centenary of the VRA which was also in 1976.

Ballarat City Rowing Club had considerable regatta success this season, with Danny Elliott leading the charge. He won the Lightweight and Junior sculls double at Metropolitan and Banks regattas followed by the Novice pair of Jim Burzacott and Greg Leask, who won the double at Horsham/Dimboola regattas. Begonia City Ladies competed at Dimboola/Horsham Regattas but without scoring a win.

At Ballarat Regatta on March 6th, Danny Elliott won the Junior scull and the Begonia City Ladies crew he coached also took out the only women’s race on the program. The crew of Leanne Dyson, Margaret Elliott, Kathy Hayes and Andrea Kriz, won the Ladies Senior B fours first and final with Essendon in second place and Nestles in third. Although there was a Ladies Elite four on the program, it also was first and final  between Nestles and YWCA. Both these crews scratched and therefore became a non-event. The classes of rowing were changed this year and Maiden races became Senior B. Also of note was the appearance at Ballarat Regatta, of a young Peter Antonie who raced for Melbourne University Boat Club in a lightweight Maiden four, which they won. 

In April, the Australian Championships and National Regatta were held in Perth, Western Australia this year and Danny Elliott competed in his first National Championships with a creditable performance. Ralph Murphy towed the club’s new trailer across the Nullarbor and carried boats of those clubs needing transport and willing to pay. He also sat for and passed his Australian boatrace official’s licence this season becoming Ballarat City’s first accredited boatrace official.

Page from the 1976 Regatta Secretary’s Ballarat Regatta Program

Page from the 1976 Regatta Secretary’s Ballarat Regatta Program

Pages from the Regatta Secretary’s Ballarat Regatta Program 1976 with Begonia City crew placing first and the cancelled Elite fours race. The YWCA crew had several oarswomen listed who would go on to win Australian Championships-Wendy John, Viv Roe and Sally Harding. Peter Philp was coach.

cover of 1976 Ballarat regatta program

timetable from the 1976 Ballarat regatta program

Cover and timetable from Ballarat Regatta, 1976.

photos from the 1976 dimboola regaat

DIMBOOLA REGATTA , 20th November, 1976

(Photographs from Kate (Wise) Elliott collection)
Top right: Begonia City crew of Kate Wise, Andrea Kriz, Tracey Kriz, Marg Elliott and cox Andrea Hegert. Top left: Ballarat City trailer. Bottom left and right: Rigging our boat.

senior B Fours entries

Regatta Program for 92nd Dimboola Regatta cover and Ladies Senior B fours entries. Note the advertisement for the Mod Regatta Girl Contest!

program cover
page from the program

This shows the size of Dimboola Regatta-116 events with a race every 4-5 minutes. As we had to row down the river in brackets between races it was a very tightly run schedule. There was still a “Mod Regatta Girl Contest”!

entries page in the program

Horsham Regatta, 21st November, 1976. Senior B four entries from program. Metropolitan was a South Australian club.

1976 Regattas and Racing

There was only one crew training and racing in the first half of 1976. Several members of the club had started their tertiary education or had started employment and so membership was down. Over winter the club started training more regularly under the guidance of coach Danny Elliott. As he was training and racing himself more often than not he would coach the crew from his single scull. So November and December from the start of the 1976-77 season, the crew was reasonably well prepared and ready to race.

Having won a Senior B four at Ballarat Regatta, all the girls now had to row Senior B. It was not under 23 as it was in later years. Senior B races were still rowed in tub or regulation boats. This year was when Begonia City ladies really began to get into the stride, or stroke, as the case maybe. Training was more regular, crews tended to stay the same from regatta to regatta and they began racing at more regattas. 

1. Ballarat Regatta, March 6th, Lake Wendouree. 

Ladies Senior B four: Marg Elliott, Kathy Hayes, Leanne Dyson and Andrea Kriz-first.

2. Corio Bay Ladies RC Annual Regatta, 13th November, Barwon River, Geelong.

Attended but did not compete.

3.Artemis Ladies Regatta November 76

Senior B four: Kate Wise, Kathy Hayes, Marg Elliott, Andrea Kriz. Cox Andrea Hegert- second (heat).

4. Dimboola Regatta, November 20th, Wimmera River, Dimboola. 

Ladies Senior B four: Kate Wise, Kathy Hayes, Marg Elliott, Andrea Kriz. Cox: Andrea Hegert- first (heat), second in final.

5. Fifth Horsham Regatta, November 21st, Wimmera River, Horsham. 

Ladies Senior B four: Kate Wise, Kathy Hayes, Marg Elliott, Andrea Kriz. Cox: Andrea Hegert-second (heat).

6.VRA Centenary Regatta, December 4th, Yarra River, Melbourne-

7. Nestles Regatta, December 12th, Hopkins River, Warnambool

8. VRA Regatta, December 11th, Lake Wendouree

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