Another successful Iluka to Grafton Rowathon was held in beautiful conditions on Saturday, June 16.
This is the 11th year of this annual event.
Start time was 7:30 am at Iluka.
83 rowers participated in 16 boats (our second biggest rowathon - last year was bigger). The boats included:
Entrants came from as far a field as Brisbane, Sydney, Orange, and Adelaide. Clubs included:
Unfortunately, entrants from the Hunter Valley clubs of Endeavour and Lake Nagambie had to withdraw due to the impact of last week's weather and flooding in that area.
Most crews alternate their rowers, changing over every 10 to 15 kms, but the following crews and scullers rowed the whole distance without crew changes:
The first four crews mentioned above (marked with an *) are all Masters crews (i.e. veterans) with most of the rowers in their forties and fifties.
The "winning" crew (i.e. the fastest crew on the day) was the Murwillumbah/Port Macquarie quad of Paul Carson, John Newcomb, John Ryan and Rick Kranen - this is a "D" crew, so their average age is over 50.
The Port Macquarie Double Scull mentioned above was rowed all the way by Jim Young (formerly of Grafton) and Liz Levido. Jim has completed all eleven rowathons and has rowed the entire distance in each of them.
The two single scullers mentioned above (Isaac Bolton and Boza Kosarac) are both school boys (Isaac is 15, Boza is 16). Rowing the entire 68 km is a great effort from these two young men.
The results were:
* Rowed the whole course without crew changes
The winning time this year (5 hours 13 minutes) is the fastest to date – over twenty minutes faster than the previous best time.
The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm after a cool morning start from Iluka. A westerly breeze and waves hampered some crews around Harwood, in the stretch from Lawrence to Ulmarra and in “the Ulmarra strait” (Ulmarra to Strontian Park). These waves slowed some crews, but they all persevered through to the finish.
The rowers all enjoyed the day and spoke of plans to return again next year. They then went to rest up, soak in a hot bath and bathe blistered hands before returning to the river for a presentation dinner and drinks at the Grafton Bowling Club.
Thanks to Yamba Surf Club who supported the event through the provision of two rescue/support boats.
Part of the proceeds from the day go to support the Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.