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History of Endeavour Rowing Club NSW

Endeavour Rowing Club

An Historical Study by Peter Bond

2004-2010 Consolidation

Seventh Racing Season

Endeavour’s regatta activity receded in the 2004/2005 season with only 19 winning crews. The club’s Henley-on-Hunter regatta was reduced from two days to one and run in conjunction with HVGS in a double regatta weekend.  This new format that included the addition of extra junior events resulted in an increase in entries. Marilyn Hyde stood out with 8 firsts across the season including both gold medals won by Endeavour at the NSW Masters Championships, one of which was shared with Jill Carlstrom.

A Significant Loss

On 5th March 2005 Clive Carlstrom passed away. As the inaugural president of Endeavour Rowing Club, he had guided the club through the formative years when they were planning independence from HVGS, obtaining land and building a boat shed of their own. The successful applications for Sport & Rec grants that enabled the shed to be built were written and submitted by Clive. He also instigated the negotiations with Newcastle University that lead to their lease of space in the Endeavour shed and eventually to the construction of the NUSport pavilion. Clive achieved a great deal for the club in a very short time although he was unable to row himself due to injuries sustained years before in a motor vehicle accident. At the March committee meeting, President Les Geczy acknowledged Clive’s significant contribution – “he left a legacy of unselfish commitment which we could all endeavor to follow”.

At the 2005 AGM, the club informally valued their land and buildings at $200,000 with Stuart Derwin of Ausrowtec giving a valuation of $84,500 on the fleet which consisted of 4 single sculls, 4 doubles, 5 quad/fours and an eight. 

3 stalwarts of the club Clive Carlstrom, Digby Rayward, Ian King


In 2004, a Sport & Rec grant of $12,000 had been received for construction of a mezzanine floor in the boatshed although the grant fell $19,000 short of Drayton Construction’s quote of $31,000. A donation of steel from a liquidated company worth $7,000 enabled construction to begin in June 2005. With a further Sport & Rec grant of $10,000 in March 2006, the project was completed, giving the club a 12m x 12m floor space above the boat storage area with a flight of stairs for access. The donation of a kitchen in August enhanced the value of the asset.

Eighth Racing Season

Endeavour’s racing activity picked up in the 2005/06 regatta season with 15 regattas attended for 48 wins. The masters women led the way with seven ladies earning between 5 and 12 wins each, numbers the men did not match. The NSW Masters Championships were the high point of the season with 3 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals. Golds went to the WMC4x of Tracey Wooderson, Di McShane, Jill Patchett and Julie Tilse, as well as Marilyn Hyde and Digby Rayward in composite crews. The increase in the contribution of Maitland Grossmann students to the club’s racing squad was evident with one boy and six girls winning races in the name of Endeavour.

Endeavour’s dominant masters women squad – Jill Carlstrom, Marilyn Hyde, Chris Oliver, Julie Tilse, Jill Patchett, Di McShane, Chris Foster, Tracey Wooderson

Ninth Racing Season – the Club’s First Non-Masters Gold.

The stand-out competitor of the 2006/07 season was Craig Adlam. Craig had learnt to row at HVGS and, although remaining a student at the school, had transferred to compete with Endeavour. Craig had 8 wins, the most significant of which was gold in MU17 1x at the NSW Sprint Championships. The same seven masters women continued to perform well at regattas, all contributing to the one gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals won at the NSW Masters Championships and to the gold and 2 silver at the Australian Masters. Golds went to Marilyn Hyde (NSW) and Jill Carlstrom (Nationals).

At the 2007 AGM, treasurer Ivan Adlam accepted the task of updating the rules of the club with the new constitution being adopted unanimously at a special general meeting in November. 

Tenth Racing Season

Endeavour’s racing success improved in the 2007/08 season with 54 race wins, the highest number of wins in the club’s first ten years. Craig Adlam led the way with 13 wins, a silver at the NSW Sprint Championships in MU17 1x and the greatest achievement in local competition: champion mens single sculler of CDRA. The season’s second most successful competitor was Maitland Grossmann student Steve Carroll with 9 wins who went on to become the school’s first medal winner at the Combined High Schools Championships with a bronze in MU17 1x. The stand-out masters competitor was Chris Brennan who was selected as a NSW state representative to the Australian Masters Championships where her crew gained third place in the Interstate Womens Quad event.

Chris Brennan (far left) with her NSW representative crew wearing their bronze medals

At the CDRA AGM in May, Endeavour Rowing Club applied for and was granted affiliate status, giving the club the right to 2 voting delegates at CDRA meetings (as an associated club they previously had 1 vote).

The 2008 Endeavour AGM was conducted in July as per the new constitution, the first in that month after ten years in May. At the meeting, the boat master’s report valued the club’s 17 boats at $105,800. 

An innovative fund raising activity was conducted in late 2008 - a corporate rowing day. For a fee of $500, local firms were invited to nominate 4 employees who learnt to row over 4 training sessions culminating in a mini-regatta on 7th December.  With 18 crews participating on the day, the corporate regatta was considered to be a “major success”. 

Eleventh Racing Season

The 2008/09 regatta season was not quite as successful as the previous season with 49 wins, a silver medal at the NSW Sprint Championships and 4 bronze medals at the NSW Masters Championships. The silver medal went to Craig Adlam in MU19 1x. Steve Carroll picked up where he had left off with 7 wins before Christmas, but his name went missing from Endeavour entries in the New Year when he joined the Newcastle Grammar School racing squad where his father was the Sports Co-ordinator. The season’s most successful master was Chris Brennan with 10 wins during the season plus 3 bronze medals at the state masters championships.

A Second School - Briefly

During 2008, club captain Julie Tilse had been in discussion with Maitland Christian School concerning the introduction of rowing as a school sport. This program got underway in Term 4 2008 and was continued in Term 1 2009. With two schools rowing from the shed, the club applied for a Sport & Rec grant to purchase an additional safety boat. In April 2009, a $5,000 grant was received enabling the club to obtain a flat bottomed punt and an 8 hp motor. Maitland Christian School did not continue rowing as a school sport.

Twelfth Racing Season

The 2009/10 season was a quiet one for Endeavour Rowing Club with 42 wins. The season’s best performers were 3 masters: Julie Tilse (8 wins), Chris Breannan (8) and Di McShane (7) plus a junior: Chris Maytom (8). Endeavour returned to the gold medal list at the NSW Masters Championships with 2 gold to Jill Carlstrom and Julie Tilse in separate composite crews while Digby Rayward picked up a silver and a bronze. At the Australian Masters Championships, Endeavour earned a silver (Geoff Schumack and  Richard Bennet + composite)and a bronze (Julie Tilse + composite).

Observation Deck

In 2009, the club began preparations for adding an external observation deck with vice president Dave Holcomb taking on the responsibility of project manager. Work began in September 2009 and when construction was completed in mid-2010, it was estimated that the deck had cost the club $25,000. A roof over the deck was to be the next building project.

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