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history of corowa rowing club

History of Corowa Rowing Club: 1863-2013

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Chapter 5: 2000-2013

Chapter 5 page 1 2 3 4 5


The club ordered a new single racing scull off Swift Australia for a price of $5200, this was christened ‘James Webb’. We found a 2nd hand tub four from Tom Prime for the sum of $8000 that the club named ‘Len Johnstone’. The club also brought another cox box $1300.

January 2008 saw the club take out the MRA Red Gum Shield for a second time in its 142 year history. The same young rowers were dominant in Chloe Williams, Phoebe Ward and Rhylee Deas but a first time rower did very well in Kirsty Thomson winning the D grade single scull. Robert Eyers was successful in the master events. After this success Rhylee and Chloe travelled to Ballarat to row over 2000 metres for the first time in the U17 events, with 15 year Rhylee coming 4th and 13 year old Chloe astounded all by winning over much older competitors.

In March 2008 the club purchased an oartech rowing machine – this machine is different to ergo’s as it is more of a rowing simulator – this cost the club $5000 which we were allowed to pay in instalments.

Corowa this time travelled to Geelong in Febraury to compete in the 2008 State Championships with another 4 gold medals brought home.

The winners were:
Saturday Junior Championships –
Rhylee Deas (Year 10 single),
Chloe Willams (Year 9) other crews made the A finals but the regatta was cancelled due to windy conditions.
Sunday held the club championships –
Chloe Williams, Peta Johnstone, Kristy Thompson, Bernie Rogers, Allison Naish, Sally Casey, Felicity Williams, Nicole Grigg and cox Sara Williams won the D Grade 8.
Nicole and her sister Fiona Grigg coxed by Chloe Williams won the D grade coxed pair.
Kirsty Thompson won the C grade single by many lengths.
Doug Shelley, Rhylee Deas, Ryan Person, Angus Smith coxed by Demi Whitechurch won the D grade coxed quad scull.

Both Allison & Angus are first year rowers which is impressive.

The club through school rowing competed at the Victorian Schools rowing competition with Chloe Williams winning Year 9 single and James Bridges finished 3rd in Male Yr 10 divison.

In June 2008 the club decided to purchase a new racing scull with quick release riggers for $6020 which was christened ‘Ross Maclean’.

In March 2008 Rhylee Deas represented the club at the Nationals that was held at the Penrith Olympic Centre. Robert Eyers (coach) and Wes travelled with Rhylee. He competed in the U17 single scull and combined with Nagambie and Richmond rowers in composite crews for doubles and a quad. (Tim Day, Aaron Bunton, Alex Tattersall (cox) from Nagambie and Nick Schouten from Richmond). Rhylee finished 14th overall in his single finishing his run at the semi finals. The quad made it to the final where they finished 5th.

On Australia Day in 2009, Rhylee won the Emma George Junior Sporting Scholarship from Indigo Shire that awarded him $8000 to go towards his rowing costs.

Interesting to note that even though Phoebe Ward had left Corowa due to a family relocation to Queensland, she kept her rowing up and at the 2008 Queensland State Championships she won 4 gold and 1 silver.

Robert Eyers competed in the National Masters in May 2008 where he finished 7 in his age division.

During winter 2008, more concreting was done on the landing.


The subs for this season were set at $100 senior and $50 junior.

This year the club held a major raffle in conjunction with other sporting clubs in town, the Lions club offered the main prize and all clubs got to keep the $ value of whatever tickets they sold. We raised $2120 profit.

October 2008 Rowing Victoria provided 2 ergos four our students members to use to raise the profile of indoor rowing. We purchased these machines once trial ran out.

A new single scull was ordered in January 2009, it was a heavy weight and this came about because of an anonymous donation of $5000 to the club leaving us to pay the $1300 balance. This was christened ‘Ryan Person’.

The season started with Rhylee and Chloe showing their National hopes by racing at the Ballarat Regatta held at Nagambie where Chloe finished 3rd in B Grade single scull and 1st in the U17 single scull. Rhylee finished 2nd in the U17 single. This lead to a regatta in February that was part of the Victorian U17 development squad selection. Corowa sent 3 rowers – Rhylee, Chloe and Angus Smith. Rhylee won the single and Angus got 4th and then racing was cancelled due to the weather. The following morning saw selection trials and Rhylee was selected to row U17 single, double and quad with Nagambie, Footscray & Richmond crew members. Chloe was also selected in U17 single, double and quad with Nagambie & Barwon members. Angus finished 4th just missing out.

Angus & Rhylee teamed up to win the U17 double at the Senior School State Championship, Rhylee then came 2nd in the single. Chloe was leading in her single but didn’t complete the race but she then teamed up with Sarah Cannell in the U17 double to get 2nd.

At the 2009 State Championships we came away with 4 wins.

Saturday saw us compete in the Junior Schoolgirls State Championships but no medals were awarded.

On the Sunday the winners were:
Male D grade 8 – Doug Shelley, Tony Langfield, Jono Vale, Ross Maclean, Damien Pleming, Cedric Melin, Angus Smith, Ryan Person coxed Demi Whitechurch;
Male D Coxed Pair – Cedric & Jono coxed by Lexi;
Male D coxed Quad scull – Doug, Cedric, Luke Prescott, David Langren cox Hannah Cannell;
Male D coxed four – Jono, Ross, Damien, Tony cox Lexi.
Silver medals went to –
Sally Maclean & Emily Bush coxed by Kate Cannell in the Female D grade coxed pair;
Male C Grade coxed quad – Luke, Doug, Ryan, Angus coxed by Demi.

2009 saw Corowa win GOLD at the Nationals for the first ever time in history!!
Chloe Williams won GOLD as part of a composite crew in a U17 coxed quad scull with Addy Dunkley-Smith & Jen Cleary both from Barwon, Renae & Alex (cox) Tattersall from Nagambie. Chloe did not make the final in the single or in the double that she rowed in with Renae.

Rhylee also competed at 2009 Nationals and finished his single in the semi finals, and then teamed up with Nick Schouten in the double that came 5th. The composite quad did not make the finals.

The Nationals this year was held at Lake Barrington in Tasmania with Coach Robert travelling over with the 2 rowers and their families for the week long competition.

In March 2009 Chloe followed up her golden year by winning the Year 10 division 1 single scull at the prestigious Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta in Geelong.

The Junior Schoolboys States held at Nagambie saw John Webb, John Raschke, Lewis McCrum, Jake Kruen coxed by Harrison Borg compete in the Year 9 male coxed quad scull – be sure to keep in mind that these boys were only in Year 8 at the time. They were written off at the start of the final by the coach of the Scotch College crews, so imagine their surprise when our boys came in 2nd place. John Webb & Jake also competed in singles with Jake finishing 2nd and John in 3rd place.

April 2009 saw Peter Gamble receive life membership from the rowing club.

Earlier it was mentioned the building of scull racks & oar racks, once Terry Brian left the club, Robert Eyers started to do these in his spare time not spent on the water!!!

At the 2009 Master State Championships – Robert came 3rd in his division in the single scull.

The club decided in April 2009 that a new eight was required to remain competitive as our old boat was purchased in 1982. James Webb along with Robert Eyers decided to do something totally different and sell advertising along the boat. After approval was granted from Rowing Victoria to do this, the fundraising happened with the following business taking up the offer – Beechworth Honey, Max Maclean Hardware, Rod Stones Automotive, Phil Cannell Fencing, Metal Land, Skylift Rentals, Focus Engineering, Border Bearings and Corowa Shire. July 2009 saw the club order a new eight ($22,500) and a new double scull ($8,500), these were named ‘Corowa Means Business’ and ‘Daryl Martin’

4th October 2009 - Robert Eyers was awarded the inaugural “Kath Bennett Award” to recognise Outstanding Service to Rowing Victoria. This was awarded due to the outstanding work performed in the rowing community. At the 08/09 Rowing Victoria Awards, Corowa was again rewarded with Jonathon Vale winning the Male D Grade Rower of the year, with Cedric Melin coming runners up. The MRA regatta also won the People’s Choice Regatta of the year award.
Later this same month Corowa rowers travelled to Sydney to compete in the World Masters Games.

Unfortunately for the crew rowing in the male eight and the mixed eight, the event was called off due to inclement weather conditions. Robert Eyers made it on the water though and competed in a single as well as a composite double with Geoff Lowe from Footscray. We had entries in the woman’s eight with Cherie Collins, Bronwyn Collins, Sally Maclean and Jill McCrum joining forces with Essendon Rowing Club. The Mens eight was to be rowed by Tony Langford, Simon Withers, Robert Eyers, Ross Maclean, Junge Eyers, Wes Canny and Will Day. The four ladies along with Tony, Wes, Ross & Jungle were also planning on rowing in the mixed eight. These eights were to be coxed by Demi Whitechurch.

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