Dear members – this week finds the spirit of rowing alive and kicking with an indoor rowing championship honouring ANZAC DAY 2020, an announcement that makes us proud to be Leich-heart-ians and a continuing celebration of the life and times of our life members. This week the spotlight is on Lionel Robberds.

Although the 2020 Australian Masters Championships has been cancelled, Rowing NSW still announced the crews selected for the 2020 NSW State Masters Team. A big shout-out to Annalisa Armitage, Daniela Borget and Jen Zongor for their selection into the Women’s Masters 8+. A bitter sweet triumph.

Please keep sending your stories, tips, recipes, memes, photos, videos and all other goodness in, and if you’d like to be part of the member gallery, please send a copy of your mugshot to me, your one-month-in editor Catherine Gleeson (Gleeso) –

I’ve got to jet now to be up in time for our street’s “Light up the Dawn” driveway service where our next door neighbour Red will be playing the Last Post for the first time in his driveway.

I hope you will join us in honoring and remembering.

Take care everyone.
Captain Tim, President Duff and Ed. (aka Gleeso)


Celebrating the life and times of our life members


Awarded Life Membership in 1984.  Patron of Leichhardt Rowing Club 2008

Lionel at age nine, was identified as having coxswain potential (i.e. giving tactical instructions and steering) and after an intensive training regime, steered the Leichhardt Lightweight Four oared 1949 crew to a NSW Championship win. Lionel, realised many state and national championship wins from 1951 in both Lightweight and heavyweight events.

Leichhardt was the first Men’s Rowing Club to admit women with full voting rights. Barely eleven years of age, Lionel was the coxswain of the NSW Ladies four oared crew, winning the Interstate Championship from 1951 to 1953, second place in 1954 and winning from 1955 to 1957. Up to that time, Australian Rowing at International level had focussed on “heavyweight” men’s events. 

 By 1950, Professor Frank Cotton of Sydney University, had developed a strong interest in support of athletic physiology and muscle power output as well as a Rowing Machine referred to as an “ergometer”.  His close association with Leichhardt Rowing Club, its coaches and of course, Lionel Robberds, introduced young “heavyweight guinea pigs” to the sport.  An era of well documented State, National and International success followed with Lionel as a national representative coxswain, adding to his other frequent NSW State and Interstate Championship wins.

 At the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada, he was coxswain of the gold medal coxed Australian Four, ahead of New Zealand and England.

Since 1920, the eight oar championship of Australia (The Kings Cup) has been the premier national rowing event, a competition between all states. Lionel, as coxswain of the NSW State Championship Men’s heavyweight eight from 1953 to 1955 was heavily involved in the Australian representative selections for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Although beaten by the Victorian Eight and with members of his crew assigned to coxless events in the selection process, he was not discouraged.

The 1957/58 season again with Lionel as coxswain and with the majority of his crew from Leichhardt they achieved Australian representation at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff winning a bronze medal behind England and Canada in the coxed fours and a silver medal in the eight oared crew behind Canada.

To the surprise of many in the 1958/59 Rowing Season, Lionel with the Australian single scull champion Steve Roll, actually rowed in the double scull and won the State Championship in that class of boat.

1959 was the last occasion where the Kings Cup was run over three miles. Lionel, as NSW coxswain of the State Champion Eight took the New South Wales crew to a National win for the first time since 1951.  Following Olympic trials, held both in Penrith NSW and Ballarat Victoria for the 1960 Olympic Australian rowing team, Lionel was the coxswain of the only Australian crew to make a final in Rome – The Coxed Fours.

It was not until 1962 that a full open Australian championship Regatta was first held, involving many more boat classes and rowing classifications. Lionel’s range of Championship wins and national representation as a coxswain over the period 1951 -1964 will always be considered exceptional and possibly unique.

Lionel continued competition in State Championship events and was chosen to be the coxswain for the State Eight in 1964, achieving a second in the Kings Cup. His continuing international ambition at age 24 then turned to squash both as player and coach.

Out of the boat Lionel had been part of a pro-bono legal scheme for Olympians at the 2000 Games and was at times involved in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. From his position as Captain of the Leichhardt Rowing Club in 1963 to his appointment as Patron of the Club in 2008, and his Australian Honours Award in 2015, Lionel has given and continues to give much support to the sport. – Steven Duff

If you’d like to re-live the 1959 King’s Cup – you can watch it right here


Paris or the Bush

The story of The Cods

The inspiring, true story of a rowing eight from Murray Bridge, South Australia who overcame prejudice, age, injury and poverty to represent Australia at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Screening this Sunday 26 April at 12pm on Channel Nine or you can catch it on Vimeo any time



2020 Anzac Day

Indoor Rowing Challenge launched

Rowing Australia, Rowing NZ and two-time Olympic gold medallist, Eric Murray, have announced the 2020 Anzac Day Indoor Rowing Challenge. The event to take place from dawn to dusk on Saturday 25 April will see Australians and New Zealanders unite to record 2504 metres, as many times as possible, at home, on their indoor rowing machines. The number, 2504, signifies the date of Anzac Day, 25.04.2020.


Feel good about not being

on the water edition #4

The inspiring, true story of a lonely crocodile doing a terrific job of looking after an abandoned pontoon in troubled times…

Still. No one has offered so much as a whispered “Hello Eric”. Feel free to drop him a line here.

I’ll pass your good wishes on – we’re good mates now.



New light weight slings

New light weight collapsible slings have arrived to use at away regattas. They all have LRC labels and are ready to go. They will be stored up high on the racks Pete Gilder installed a few years ago (where the crappy cloth ones used to be). They are not meant for use on our pontoon.


New Cleaners!

Some of you will be pleased to hear that we are in the process
of hiring new cleaners for the club after some time of unsatisfactory work by the previous crew.

We will also no longer be using the yellow recycling bin. As we have been unable to keep the contents from being contaminated by non-recyclables (soft plastics, food contaminated waste, coffee cups, UHT containers etc) it ended up being an expensive way to dispose of rubbish. The cardboard recycling bin will now be kept inside the club except when out for collection to prevent bay runners from filling it up with disposable cups (which are mostly not recyclable).  – Nancy



Sydney Theatre Co Virtual releasing a series of short, personal videos made by some of your favourite actors, directors and writers — a bit of a chat, and a reading from a play, novel or poem.


Sydney Opera House

Music and Conversation

Meet Mozart, hear Sarah Blasko, catch up on Missie Higgins and listen to Beethoven’s Glorious Ninth! Also interviews with Ottolenghi and one of the youngest astrophysicists on the plant Jo Dunkley and much more.



Group Therapy Radio

Who doesn’t love a bit of British Electronica? Probably a lot of people. But I love it and I’m editing this page. So throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care and embrace the beautiful shout-outs from people all over the world to help get us through. Perfect for people who secretly love clubbing but don’t like crowds. And good for a dance workout too.


Woman performing contact tracing to find who the hell lent her boyfriend a guitar

When cats work from home.

Parents now limiting screen time to one hour per hour