In light of the Federal Government’s announcement on Friday regarding a roadmap back to normal activities, we will be notifying all members of our return to rowing in a special email out as soon as the Committee has agreed on the process.

This information should be before next weekend. We just need to confirm the NSW Government’s timing and we will be underway.

Stay tuned. Not long now. – Steven Duff LRC President

Belated congratulations to Laura Torrible

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the selection of the 2020 NSW State Masters Team. Even though the 2020 Australian Masters Championships has been cancelled, Rowing NSW still announced the following crews who had been selected as part of the 2020 NSW State Masters Team. But we forgot to mention that Laura Torrible was announced as the coxwain!

So congratulations again to Annalisa Armitage, Daniela Borget, Jen Zongor and Laura Torrible with Steve Sherry as coach. And thank you to Daniela for picking up the omission. – Gleeso (Ed)

Message from the Treasurer COVID19 Financial Impact

Since the decision was made to close the club to members, the committee have been reviewing options to manage the financial impact of COVID19 on the club. A crisis management working group comprising Eric Moore, Tim Byrne, Christiaan Fitzsimon, and myself has been formed to consider potential scenarios relating to the length of the club closure and the impact on the 2020/21 season. The ultimate aim of this group is to ensure the club remains financially secure as we emerge from the COVID19 crisis and into the future. There are a number of high risk areas including membership numbers and fees, corporate regatta disruption, and PLC support that have been considered.  The full impact is uncertain as we are unsure when the club will be able to reopen and the impact will be more severe the longer this lasts. There are a number of mitigating actions that will be taken, mainly relating to deferring capital spend and reducing discretionary expenses. We are confident that with a combination of strong member loyalty and engagement, along with implementing the required mitigating actions, we will remain strong financially.

Further updates will be shared as we gain greater certainty on when LRC can reopen to members. In the meantime I hope you are all staying well and keeping your fitness levels up ready for the next time we can all get on the water. – Greg Norman LRC Treasurer


Steve Jaques Master 1981

Left: Steve Jaques Right: A record of the very first National Championships of the newly formed Masters Rowing (then called Veterans) 1981 on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra


Celebrating the life and times of our life members 

Steve Jaques

My earliest days at LRC began in 1966 after I had left school at Ibrox Park BHS (now Leichhardt HS ) – I remember that some of my mates mostly Rugby League players and two rowers decided to get together at the Rowing shed to get fit – they had heard that some old guy would be good to get them fit and I went along as well.  It turned out that the gym in the old shed was a room at the side of the old wood shed about 5 x 8 metres, with concrete floor no clear windows and a double door opening to an enclosed waterfront private grassed garden. The door lock was the weights bar.  The gym equipment consisted of two old original ergometers (bow and stroke side) and a few old rusty weights, a bar and a chin-up bar. All other equipment was a few old wooden rowing shells – eights, coxed fours, and a couple of coxed tub pairs. Possibly one scull. A far cry from the state of the club’s enormous fleet of today.  After about two years rowing the rest of the boys had quit and I remained and have been an active member for about 51 years.

In 1968 under coach Len MacPherson (since club President & Life member) I competed In the State lightweight eight championships on Nepean River, Penrith and a few weeks later in the National Championships in Murray Bridge, South Australia, in a new $2000 scaled down Italian ‘Donoratico’ mould eight, financed by us ‘the crew’ (unheard of in rowing circles) – as the club was battling to remain solvent & couldn’t afford to replace the worn-out outmoded wooden shell which creaked with every dip of the oars. (Crew – Bow B. Swift, 2 N. Freney, 3 R. Harwood, 4 S. Jaques, 5 T.Howe, 6 L. News, 7 L. Hannon, 8 B. Brown, – Cox R. Jenkins).  After fasting to make weight, the mostly novice crew put up strong performances in both championships, and considering on the way to Murray Bridge, at Hay NSW, one of our cars ran off the road, flipped, rolled & hit a tree. Three crew inside luckily escaped serious injury only sustaining a lot of bruising and the Mini was badly damaged.    However, after the Nationals we sold the boat on to a college in South Australia and only returned with the oars and a lot of experence.

In 1969 in one of the club’s most unusual and desperate recruitment drives, my crew rowed a coxed four to Manly and back. Stopping at Manly harbour beach to empty out and push off for the long and rough row back to the club. Another club Coxed Four and Tub Pair (with Barry Moynahan & Steve Roll) were escorted by coach Len MacPherson in our old wood speed boat, The epic journey was filmed by two TV stations and Cine-Sound for the Newsreel that preceded Movies at the Hoyts theatres in NSW & elsewhere. Unfortunately all copies of that spectacular event have been lost.

Another rowing highlight for me was in 1971, I was in 4 seat of the club’s champion Maiden eight – It was a motley crew, all shapes sizes, ability and ages and we rowed a bit on the rough side, but with our master coach, Len MacPherson, we had a ton of heart, commitment and camaraderie and we won every race we entered that season. (Bow T. Potter, 2 D. Bodell, 3 A. Flint, 4 S. Jaques, 5 J. Kalady, 6 N. Freney, 7 R. Harwood, 8 R. Ullo, – Cox G. Tancred –  Res. K. Berry)

In the 60’s & 70’s the club’s small membership supported by the ‘Old Boys’ (now LUOR) struggled to remain financial and I recall we were always trying to raise funds to pay association levies, other administrative costs, repair the deck & pontoon and to keep the old wooden building upright.  Delivering telephone books off the back of trucks of all sizes for many years, holding gambling nights and other social functions just to get enough money to keep our heads above water was a constant effort for the small number of the members in those years. New or 2nd hand boats were a rarity. Taking our boats to regattas meant lifting a metal boat rack frame onto the back of a flatbed truck & bolting it down and later building our own boat trailers always with the help of the club patron Ted Curtain and other skilled members. This seemed to be the fate of the club in those years.

Other interesting places I rowed in those years were the ‘country’ regattas. Of note was the amazing 3 day Lismore, Grafton & McLean regattas each rowed on a consecutive day which was a lot of hard work rowing, rigging, de-rigging boats, loading, un-loading trailers, driving everywhere and making it home safely on the Monday. Taree has always been another favourite regatta starting back in the day (60’s) it was celebrating the Aquatic Festival in January long weekend (speed boats, sailing, skiers & rowing) – that town really rocked. It has grown since those days into the huge 3 day rowing ‘carnival’ regatta – we all love.

In 1981 my crew -Tony Potter (B), Dave Bodell (2), Peter Trives (3) & cox A. Shorrock – entered the first National Championships of the newly formed Masters Rowing (then called Veterans) on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra and won the initial B Division (35 yrs) Coxed Fours. Since then Grade rowing mixed with masters rowing has filled my life. Over the earlier years Rowing with LRC and competing at the highest level I could make saw me traveling to many National championships in country NSW, Victoria, Qld, SA, and WA  and later competing in Masters Nationals for LRC.

I have also been a long time & strong supporter of Leichhardt Union of Old Rowers (LUOR) – The LUOR is a supporter group of the Club which holds regular functions and events aimed at creating opportunities for rowers of all ages to get together socially for fun and fund raising. LUOR now only meet annually to raise funds and supply a variety equipment for the club.

In my life time at LRC, I was on the club general committee from my earliest days and then Hon. Secretary for 7 years during the years 1971 to 1982 & interrupted with a few years overseas travel and later in the modern club for another 5 years from 2003 to 2007. I remember many cold nights were spent in our old clubroom upstairs sitting around our trestle table on benches (now on the balcony of the new shed) at committee meetings, for many years, Chaired by Stan Jones (OAM) working out how to build the membership, developing & selecting crews, keeping the building upright, maintaining our meagre assets & forever raising finances. We were so poor one year that we were forced to purchase & award ‘Tea-Spoons’ as prizes for our club regatta events.  However, another year finances were a little better off and we awarding sets of 4 whisky glasses with gold rimmed and embossed club logo.  How different was that.

Coaching has been a great passion of mine from the 1990,s to present day – I held a Level 2 Coaching Cert. and started coaching with novices, Juniors and intermediate level men & women later moving to masters & recreational crews. Always a volunteer coach I have coached /guided many of the club’s junior girls to the podium representing their schools in many of the SG Heads of The River at SIRC. I also had several years assisting coaches at Sydney GHS where my daughter Elise attended & rowed successfully – as well as rowing for LRC. Many of my Junior boys and girls crews and the intermediate crews won plenty of medals over the years of my coaching them. I was Manager of the club’s Junior representatives at several National Championships in Victoria, Qld and Sydney. The Club coaches I remember that had the greatest impact on me were Len MacPherson, Mick Lowrey, Barry Moynahan and Frank & Kerry Thorn.

For the last 4-5 years I spend my weekend days coaching recreational/social rowers as I”m unable to commit to early week day sessions for competing groups. I find that age has caught up with me along with various medical issues that restrict my competing regularly but I do regular training on Tuesday evenings on the ergs followed by meetings with my fellow Balcony Boyz.  So if you see me on the pontoon or about the shed say hello if you need any help – I won’t bite but have been known to be a little grumpy!!




Steve Roll’s story last week

Steve said we got a couple of things wrong in his-story last week, so here’s an effort to correct them.

Go here for the corrected story…


Feel good about not being on the water edition #6

Since Eric the Watch-Croc’s loneliness has been eased by engaging in edifying conversation with his new friend Penelope the possum, he’s been a bit quiet on the comms front, which might explain why this happened…



Surviving lockdown: MSF field workers share their tips

Many Médecins Sans Frontières field workers have already experienced various forms of confinement as they provide medical humanitarian aid in places affected by insecurity, war or outbreaks of disease. Be inspired by field workers tips for surviving lockdown.


Quarantine Cooking

Well my call-out for your quarantine recipe/baking goodness didn’t get many responses – if you count Zero as a number... Luckily I’ve got you covered. Here are a couple of sauces – sorry – sources of inspiration right from your humble ol’ cupboard. The New York Times and Food 52 has a wondrous selection of recipes you can whip up using really simple ingredients.


End of Days Bolognese

A Brilliant New Iso Cooking Show by an Aussie Comedian With a Vendetta Against “Jar Sauces” (WARNING: if you don’t like swearz – don’t go therez) Nat’s What I Reckon is making hilarious – and actually very useful – cooking videos for “Quarantine Sauce” and “End of Days Bolognese” with a metal edge. Even Dave Grohl is a fan. For more Dave Grohl approved goodness go here…



Missing Sydney Writer’s Festival

and your favourite cocktail?

A book and a cocktail delivered to your door along with a ticket to Virtual Book Club on 11th June hosted by Archie Rose and Sydney Writers’ Festival. Go here for more



In the middle of balancing the books Correne Wilkie, manager of The Cat Empire had an idea about how she could help musicians struggling through the coronavirus crisis. Her solution Lockdown Get Down. The concept asks music lovers to stream more of their favourite tunes, upgrade to a paid streaming subscription if they can afford it and create their own playlists hashtagged #lockdowngetdown to share with friends and on social media.