Another successful Iluka to Grafton Rowathon was held in beautiful conditions on Saturday, July 1.
This was the tenth year of this popular event and proved to be the biggest so far with 114 rowers from 14 clubs and schools completing the 65km course in 24 boats.
Of interest this year was the inclusion of two eights - this is the first time eights have been used in this event. Of particular interest is that one of the eights was actually an "octa" - that is an eight person sculling boat (two oars each):
Conditions were good, although the crews experienced some tidal influence and a small chop for part of the trip to Harwood. This was offset, however, by the fantastic sight of dolphins playfully porpoising near the boats - crews even had a large turtle surfacing near them early in the event.
The first boat home this year was a single scull shared by John Ryan of Murwillumbah and John Newcomb of Manning River in a time of 5 hours 53 minutes. The two Johns are shown below not long after the finish:
Second boat back and only one minute slower was the "octa" in a time of 5 hours 54 minutes with a crew of Vintage Vikings. The crew included Nerida Bishop, Mal Higgins, Lee Higgins, Ann-Maree Williams, Margaret Dorstein, Frank Dorrstein, Craig Dorrstein, Katie Corkran, Lorraine McPhee, Peter Jell and Annette Jell, who all shared the rowing, with a few crew changes along the way.
Third boat in, again only one minute behind was a Grafton Rowing Club quad in a time of 5 hours 55 minutes. This boat was shared by Michael Collins, Dennis Darke, Rhonda Austin, Lyndall Burchell, Brenda Schafer, Don Noble, Greg Thompson, Betty Bogdanek and Mandy Steel - just as well there were so many to pull Thommo home!
First boat home without any crew changes along the way was a Port Macquarie double scull crewed by Jim Young and Liz Levido in a time of 6 hours 34 minutes. Jim has rowed in all ten rowathons, completing the entire distance each time without any crew changes, including completing the 65 kms in a single scull. Jim and Liz are shown below passing Harwood Sailing Club:
Many thanks to all who attended and made the day such a success, especially those who travelled a long way to be with us - all those people from Toowong, Sunshine Coast, Vintage Vikings, Dragons, Commercial, Sydney Women's, Nepean, Endeavour, Hunter, Manning, Port Macquarie, Murwillumbah, Lower Clarence and Grafton. Hope to see you all (and many more) again next year.