Rowers, coaches and helpers. Welcome to the 2013 Leichhardt Corporate Challenge. Everything kicks off this Saturday with the Dept of Planning crew at 6am.

Rowing-into-the-sunsetSpring is in the air. The morning temperatures are improving, it’s getting light by 6.00am – bloody luxury!!

Since last year we have added some new VIIIs to the club and refurbished some which are available to you guys. They’ve been painted and have had all their vitals – seats, riggers, slides, foot-chocks tested and in many cases replaced.

As you either learn to row for the first time or re-acquaint yourself with the noble art, you will have many questions.

Please make your coach and your coordinator your first point of contact. In most cases your coach will be able to solve your problems.

Crews, Coaches and Times are as follows:

  • Dept Planning – Peter Gilders. First session 6.00am Saturday 31st Aug
  • Pymble Try-Hards – Marguerite Pain. First session 8.00am Sunday 1st Sept.
  • Oarsomely Nice Lawyers – Steve Roll. First session 5.15am Monday 2nd Sept
  • APRA – Guy Elron. First session: 6.00am Monday 2nd Sept
  • Consep Oareos – Sandy Rourke. First session: 5.15am Tuesday 3rd Sept.
  • TPD Tims – Virginia Van Ewyk. First session: 5.15am Tuesday 3rd Sept.
  • TPD No-ones – Koren Fang. First session: 5.15am Tuesday 3rd Sept.
  • TPD Suzy’s Slaves – Jane Hutchison. First session: 5.15am Tuesday 3rd Sept.
  • Consep Avengers – Erika Addis. First session: 5.15am Wednesday 4th Sept.

We may still have plenty of cold mornings so remember to wear a hat, socks, long-johns or “skins”, tight shorts like bike pants if your wear shorts, two t-shirts and coat to arrive and depart in. You might also consider a light Kathmandu or Colorado style synthetic top to wear in the boat for the first few sessions. During these early sessions you probably won’t be working too hard and may row in fours while the other four set the boat up, so you will have periods of hot and cold. Later you’ll get a chance to work up a real sweat and will need less clothing.

corporate pontoon

Rowing is one of those things that is “easy to learn and hard to master”. You’ll get going fairly quickly but your success on regatta day will depend on how much you can master the correct stroke – together. The winning crew won’t necessarily be the strongest, it will be the crew with the best timing. Another view is that “the crew who has the most fun wins.”


The web is full of brilliant videos and rowing sites for everyone from first timers to Olympians. To get you going here are a few videos.

See how it’s done, by the US Men’s 8:

and women’s 8:

Then watch carefully how not to do it (red crew):

No doubt your coaches will have their favourites. These sites can really help – as can a good off the water session, or three, on the erg with your coach supervising you closely.

Rowing is hugely rewarding, occasionally frustrating but essentially competitive. You’ve all signed up to compete and try to win the LRC Corporate Challenge. Take it seriously, work really hard, immerse yourself in the world of rowing for a few weeks and we are sure you’ll have a fantastic and unforgettable time.