A Letter from Steve Duff

Dear Members

It has now been 2 weeks since the COVID-19 lock downs began. Everyone still seems to be in shock. The whole thing is hard to believe. As a group we are all used to being quite active. The restriction on our use of the Club and City has put an unprecedented halt to our routines and life style.

I think we all see the benefit now in isolating the virus for the greater good of our community. It’s the unknown future that is hard to comprehend. When will it end? If we go back to normal behaviour will the virus flare up again? How long will it take to come up with an antidote?

In the meantime the priority has been on making sure all those effected through sickness or loss of work, are being supported. The government seems to be addressing multiple issues every day. Things that used to take years to get changed now seem to happen in a day.

For my industry hospitality, the introduction of JobKeeper has been a godsend. I thought I would give you a brief overview of how it has affected me.

I employ up to 100 staff at any time at City Extra Restaurant Circular Quay. On the 23rd March at 12 midnight, we were required to close our doors until further notice from the State Government. Of these 100 about half are short term casuals, overseas students or travellers. Just about all have either returned home or gone fruit picking. I understand this option has been opened up to them to save the crops. The remaining half are mostly permanent. Many have been with us for over 20 years. Many have families and I had to stand them down due to lack of work. My priority is to keep them engaged so that they are able to continue on after this mess is over. Without them I will not be able to reopen.

The latest initiative by the Federal Government to create JobKeeper has been a godsend. Instead of them all lining up at Centrelink for unemployment benefits they remain employed and will receive a fortnightly payment from me which will be reimbursed by the government. It also puts the process back on the employers and not the staff.

I am sure you each have stories to tell and perhaps would be prepared to share them with us over the coming months. We need to keep communicating and work through this once in a life time event. If so please send to our new editor – Catherine Gleeson –

I had a long chat on the phone with Bill Monoghan. He and his wife Dawn, are “trapped” in a retirement village. Bill being such an active person, wants to organise everyone there but can’t. He can only have one family visitor at a time and he has about 40! Let’s all try to talk to each other on the phone as much as possible over the coming months to keep club bonds and friendships as strong as possible.

The finance side of our Committee has developed several paths for us to follow, dependent on the length of restrictions on our sport. The intention is to keep us in a good financial position ready to bounce back, regardless of the time frame. They will be sending this out to all our members shortly.

On the other side this lack of having to be somewhere every second of the day is quite refreshing. Family chat time has increased and the sun is still coming up each morning.

Keep well and I look forward to the Club Party when we all get back together once again.

Steven Duff



An update from Tim Byrne

At this stage, the club will remain shut until we receive direction from Rowing Australia/NSW that it is safe to resume training. There are a limited number of people who can access the club, but they will continue to make sure that it’s kept clean and in good working order, ready to open from Day One.

At this stage, we won’t be renting out equipment during the period so we can make sure we are ready to fully reopen from Day One.

The committee has developed a response plan for three separate scenarios: which are broadly that COVID-19 has a high, medium and low impact on our operations which we will be communicating once it has been finalised. This work has confirmed that the club will be able to navigate a financial path through this crisis, but we may need to defer some planned capital works and equipment purchases depending upon the severity of the outbreak.

In other news, Jeff and I are developing a rowing focussed program that can be done with limited equipment off the water.

See below for the first tip from our community for keeping fit off the water. Thank you Anna Foley!

Pic: Catherine Gleeson


Super Circuit with Anna Foley

This is the Rod Richardson ‘Super Circuit’. He was a coach at the club a long time ago.

2-3 laps around a football field as the warm-up.
Go to the side of the field and set up a yoga mat. Then:

  • 10 x push-ups, run to the other side of the field and do 3 x squat jumps (frog jumps). Run back to the other side.
  • Repeat above with 10 x sit-ups, 10 x burpies (or star jumps), 10 x twisters and 10 x squats. Cross the field at the end of each set.
  • Run to the road and go up and down the hill 3 times. If possible, go up the hill backwards. Could be dangerous in the LRC carpark!
  • Repeat the whole set from sit-ups. Repeat again if you are super fit.

Excellent cardio work-out!

Snoozing Cox Boxes


Snoozing Cox Boxes

“All the cox boxes enjoying a well earned rest. All cleaned and anointed with their preferred unguents, they are taking the opportunity to rest their batteries (recommended by the manufacturers to prolong their life) so they’ll be fit and ready for being booted back to life when we return.” – Nancy Wahlquist


One reason to feel good about not being on the water…

Steve Duff claims that a 50 metre Great White was spotted under Iron Cove bridge (which is amazing because the largest documented Great White is only 20m long). By an incredible coincidence, our intrepid editor Gleeso just happened to be strolling past Iron Cove bridge and took this dramatic shot.

Great White under Iron Cove Bridge!


There’s an endless supply of COVID-19 memes and parodies – please do share

“Hello (from the inside)” An Adele parody by Chris Mann