Corowa rowers help earn MRA Shield

By Corowa Free Press

The predicted hot afternoon weather greeted the rowers over the two days at the MRA regatta over the weekend. 

Rowing Victoria implemented the heat policy to ensure all the races went ahead safely and on time as planned.

The regatta format is 750m on Saturday and 500m on Sunday, and as the temperature increased Saturday afternoon, the last hours of racing were conducted over the 500m course to allow the regatta to continue.

Corowa’s rowers excelled in the heat, recording 25 wins coming second overall to Cairo Bay Rowing Club who turned up on mass with two full boat trailers.

Corowa also won  the MRA shield for the most successful local club. Some of Corowa’s stand-out winners were Matt Vogel and John Webb winning the C grade and B grade coxless pairs on both days and adding the Open Victorian sprint title on Sunday. 

Julie Underwood has been one of the club’s hardest workers on the water coming away with nine wins in the masters events. 

Mixed quads teaming with Paige Cooper, Amy Underwood, Olivia Hughes, Cox Adelyn and Holland won the open quad Victorian sprint title. 

Paige Cooper showed her experience to take out the Victorian Open sprint title against quality opposition.

Julie also teamed with daughter Amy to take out the open double scull Saturday and rowing with Pat and Jayden took out the mixed quad on both days.

Paige teamed with Jayden Collier winning the mixed double scull both days remaining unbeaten over the last two seasons.

Jayden has stepped up in his single racing; in a great race to the line he fell 20cm short in the Open Sprint single scull but gained great race experience for the rest of the season.

The club’s future was on show with entries in the Under 15 and 17 events over the days. Spencer Holland led the way winning the single scull both days in a tight battle with crew mate Brodie Julian who improves at every regatta.

The boys teamed up to take out the double scull both days. Marcus Maclean and Lachie Hogan finished second improving each rowing looking promising for the boys racing the quad at the State Championships in March. 

Will Julian was in and out of the single scull both days in the Under 17 and D Grade events, making finals and ready to take the next step when the racing is over 1000m.

We had Liam Fitzgerald, Harrison and Jackson Kay and Cameron Budic entered in their first regatta competing in the Under 17 doubles and the D Grade quad sculls. 

The regatta was a great learning curve for the boys and their families as we plan the rest of the season and steady improvement with each training row. 

Our Under 15 girls showed we are heading in the right direction with Bella Heagney, Emily Price and Sommers Hogan competing in singles, doubles and quad scull events. 

Bella and Emily won the double scull on Saturday and in a close race Sunday fell just short. All three raced the single scull with Bella coming 2nd both days and Emily 3rd. 

Both girls will be working hard to improve as we head into the State Championships. Sommers, who is only 10 years old and competing at her third MRA regatta, is showing all the right signs she will be one to watch in the future. 

The girls teamed with Emily Tidd in the D Grade quad scull against bigger opposition and rowed a great race. 

Emily, new to the sport but eager to take on new challenges, came away with two wins for the regatta teaming with Olivia to win the D Grade double on Saturday and coming a close second Sunday, Emily filled in the mixed quad to gain some more race experience on Sunday and the crew Mat, Alex Schultz, Susie Scott Cox and Aleisha Price took out another win. 

Alex and wife Tamasin competed in the mixed double finishing 2nd in the heat both days but taking the win with Mat and Susie on Saturday.

Not to be out done our female masters recorded great wins both days in the quad sculls with Julie teaming with Susie, Liz Sandow, Grietje and Cox Addy.

The club hosted Unley High School rowers James Palmer and Cooper Williams who won the D Grade double on Saturday and rowed composite boats with rowers from Corowa and Essendon allowing the boys to race up and down the course many times. 

A lot of hard work on and off the water was required to achieve the outstanding results. Behind the scenes there is a lot work required.

Stuart Pearsall was the regatta secretary for the two days keeping the regatta running with Rowing Victoria’s Bill Webster.

The three local clubs working together setting and packing up the course is a massive job. Focus Engineering, who support the regatta supplying the site hut and generator, are also thanked.
As the club gets put back together after the weekend’s racing and Saturday night’s catered dinner the focus shifts to the State Championships Sunday, March 3.