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History of Endeavour Rowing Club NSW

Endeavour Rowing Club

An Historical Study by Peter Bond

2010-2013 a Step Up in Results

Thirteenth Racing Season – Three Golds to Digby Rayward

After only 19 wins in the 2004/05 regatta season, Endeavour’s list of winners had oscillated between 42 and 54 for the next five years. The 2010/11 season saw a big step up with the club winning 70 races. Chris Brennan became the first club member to win more than 20 races in a season with a total of 22 although she was closely followed by Sean Donza on 18, also higher than the previous best. The stand out rower of the season was Digby Rayward who saved his best for last. During the regular season, Digby did not feature in any winning crews but his gold in MMG2x (composite) at the NSW Masters Championships and double gold at the Australian Masters Championships in MMG4x (composite) and MMG1x made him the club’s most successful championship winner up until that time. Jill Carlstrom also stood out with 2 gold at the NSW Championships and a bronze at the Nationals.

President of Rowing NSW

In November 2010, club treasurer Ivan Adlam was appointed as Director of Finance for Rowing NSW, the first Endeavour member to serve on the state board. At the 2011 AGM, Ivan relinquished his position as club treasurer to concentrate his efforts on the state body. In August 2011, Ivan was elected as President of Rowing NSW, holding that position for nearly five years until he stepped down in May 2016. During his term as president, Ivan also served as the NSW representative on the Australian Rowing Council.

Ivan Adlam (with Craig Adlam in the background)

In November 2011, a sum of $2,000 was approved by the committee for two additional showers to be added to the outer wall of the amenities block. In December, a quote of $3,000 was accepted for steel and sheeting to roof the deck with the installation expected to cost a further $1,400. Club president Brent Tilse took on both of these projects, completing them in time for the Endeavour regatta in February 2012.

Fourteenth Racing Season

Honours for the 2011/12 racing season in which the club had 60 wins were shared by Sean Donza (16 wins), Chris Brennan (15) and Andrew Budworth (11). Endeavour Rowing Club’s performance stood out at the NUBC regatta in October with the club winning 14 of the 49 races [plus 9 seconds and 10 thirds], the first time the club had won such a significant proportion (35%) of the races at a regatta. Sean Donza went on to win his first gold medal at the NSW Masters Championships in MMD4x (composite), alongside 9 bronze medals earned by Endeavour competitors. 

A successful activity conducted in November was the club’s second corporate rowing day which raised $4,200 in sponsorship fees plus $4000 from a silent auction and other money raising activities. 

Fifteenth Racing Season – the Beginning of CHS Prominance

The 2012/13 season was notable for the success of the Budworth family. Sheree had been the first of the family to row in the Maitland Grossmann rowing program. Father Luke had joined the club soon after, with both winning events in the 2007/08 season. Sheree’s brother Andrew began racing 3 years later followed by younger brother Brendan after another 2 years, although by then Sheree had ceased rowing to concentrate on her university studies. During the 2012/13 season, Andrew and Luke were the club’s most prolific winners with 11 and 10 wins respectively. Although only recording 2 wins in the regular season, Brendan became the club’s (and school’s) first winner at the CHS Championships with gold in MU15 1x. Endeavour rowers in the colours of Maitland Grossmann were to have growing success at the CHS Championships over the next five years. Sean Donza and Lindsay Hamilton also performed well with 8 wins each. Sean stood out in composite crews at the Australian Masters Championships with a gold and a bronze. 

Newcastle Grammar Regatta

In February 2013, Newcastle Grammar School conducted their inaugural regatta at Berry Park. Apart from a couple of one-off championships, this was the first regatta hosted on the site by a non-resident club. Endeavour Rowing Club took on the responsibility of organizing the on-water activities for the school, a role that it has since adopted for all regattas run on the site. Endeavour organises the aquatic licence, sets up the buoys for the course, organises chase boats and takes in the course at the end of the regatta. Clubs pay a portion of their seat fees for the use of the site and Endeavour collects and applies those funds to management of the site on behalf of the 3 resident clubs.

School Rowing Terminated

At the end of Term 1 2013, the Maitland Grossmann High School sport sessions were terminated. This activity had been running for over 12 years and the benefits to the club no longer matched the effort expended. Grossmann students had participated positively in Endeavour’s racing squad prior to 2010 but that contribution had faded, the only benefit from the program being provided by the parents of the early students who had joined the club and stayed on after their children had left. Ironically, Maitland Grossmann was to have its greatest CHS success following the termination of school based rowing. Future school success would go to rowers who joined the club before learning to row rather than after learning via the school system. 

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