January 2018

Above – Mercs at camp in 1906 – don’t think much rowing was done!


Follow this link for past news

Follow this link for upcoming events.

All news brought to you by your faithful correspondent Trident.


News covered below:

  • Masters women win at Rutherglen
  • More grief in the boatshed area
  • Mercs in US Rowing Magazine
  • Swan Street Bridge madness
  • Site investigations Metro Tunnel
  • Images from Mercantile Camp
  • Head Coach Sought
  • Mercantile Camp Commences
  • Swan Street Bridge – The Rowers Curse
  • Member Profiles
  • Thursday night is masters big boat night


Masters women win at Rutherglen

Published 15th January 2018

The quintessential bush regatta of the year is undoubtedly Rutherglen. It is run on Lake Moodemere, originally a billabong of the Murray River in a true bush setting with limited permanent facilities. A perfect camping except for the resident black snakes and falling branches of the river red gums!

The traditional Paul and Ann-Marie Somerville hosted Saturday night dinner solved nearly all of the rowing problems in the world over fine food and wine. Participants this year were Paul and Ann-Marie Somerville, your Captain Bill Webster, your Rowing Victorian President (and Club Member) Joe Joyce, Roger Wilson and your correspondent.

The failure to take minutes of the decisions reached has again led to the need to do it all again next year.

Above: Murray Rowing Association President, Rutherglen Lake Rowing Club President and Mercs member Paul Somerville enjoying a race

The Mercs based women’s eight won on both days and defeated their arch rival Powerhouse for the first time.

Above: The women playing to the camera

Above: The brains behind the outfit, cox and coach Meghan Hester

Above: One of the other Mercs crews competing Hugh McVicker and Greg Hansen


More grief in the boatshed area

Published 15th January 2018

Please find a link below regarding a works notification regarding upcoming works for the Metro Tunnel Project outside the boatsheds.


Metro rail notification – Copy of (DOC-18-20187) — MM NOTIFICATION 20180112 CYP Site Investigations Boathouse Drive – FINAL


Mercs in US Rowing Magazine

Published 15th January 2018

The following report on page 26 of the US Rowing magazine this month. Thank you Duncan Mackinnon for the lead.

Above: the article in question



Swan Street Bridge Madness

Updated 15th January 2018

Rowing Victoria reports as follows:

From Parks Vic:

“As per the notice, further works will be undertaken this week and there will be 24 hour closures occurring from 0700 Wednesday 10th January 2018 through to 0700 Sunday 14th January 2018. Spans 1, 3, 4 and 5 will be closed for the entire duration of the closures and span 2 will remain open for river traffic. Parks Victoria vessels will be on site managing the closure and all river traffic.”

Your correspondent is of the view that this continues the tradition of Swan Street Bridge incompetence. No wonder there is little advertising of the contractors and client on this job. It is an embarrassment.

It appears that Club Member Pat McNamara was instrumental in limiting the extent of the closure times. Well done Pat.


Site investigations Metro tunnel

Published 7th January 2018

Site Investigation Works on the Metro Tunnel commence tomorrow.

When • 7am – 6pm, Monday 8 January to  Saturday 27 January 2018 • 7am – 1pm, Saturdays, if required.

The area effected is between Princes Bridge and almost as far as the Eastern end of Richmond RC. This should not directly impact us.

However Swan Street Bridge closure increases later this week -see below.


Images from the Mercantile Camp

Published 6th January 2018


Your Captain, Bill Webster, sends greetings and also images from camp.

Men’s Youth Eight

Women’s Youth girls setting off for a pairs matrix

Chipper gets ready for coaching

Mick McNamara showing his style in the single

Will Legge make the change to sculling

Mercs members showing a good sense of humour on camp a century or more ago – note the Mercs RC sign on the bridge post


Club Head Coach Sought

Published 5th January 2018

Mercantile Rowing Club – one of the pre-eminent rowing clubs in Australia seeks a new Head Coach. Our values are Excellence, Respect, Friendship and Health.


Mercantile is a Rowing Australia funded Pathway Club and the Head Coach will have a key role in the development of Mercantile Pathway Athletes. We are seeking someone with demonstrated success developing high performance athletes and an understanding of the demands of the Club environment.


The Head Coach will lead and manage the coaching team and coordinate the Club’s athletic activities.


This is a full time position based in Melbourne with an attractive and appropriate remuneration package. Applications must consider the position description. Position descriptions can be obtained from the contact details below.


Applications will only be accepted from those with the right to reside and work in Australia.


It is intended that interviews will take place in the week beginning Monday 19 February 2018. Applications close Wednesday 31st January 2018 at 5pm AEST.


Initial inquiries can be addressed to Bill Webster +61 418 390 283.


Applications must be sent to:


Mercantile Camp Commences

Published 5th July 2018


The younger athletes of the Club are all at camp at Johnsonville in Gippsland.


Initial reports indicate a good body of work has already been completed. Further, John Leeming reports that both the quality of our athletes and of the training, is high. Further reports to follow.


Swan Street Bridge – The Rowers Curse

Published 5th January 2018


The following message has been posted on the Rowing Victoria website:

VicRoads recently requested that Swan St Bridge be closed to all waterway access from the 10 January 2018 to the end of March 2018.

Rowing Victoria felt that this was completely unacceptable for the rowing community and have negotiated the best possible solution we can get for rowing.

This will no longer be occurring for the above proposed dates although it may occur for a period of time in February so stay tuned.

The area under the bridge will be down to one arch from the 10th to the 13th of January. Parks Vic will be monitoring the site at this time and trafficking all boats.

Although any closure is not ideal, we have avoided a major disaster, please contact Rowing Victoria if you have any question.


The Bridge has been a nightmare for rowing throughout its life. Its construction went on for far too long and was accused by many people of causing the demise of the great Henley on Yarra regatta. This is reminiscent of the problems we face today.

Above: The bridge during early construction with a Mercantile Masters crew heading upstream sharing a single lane with downstream crews


The bridge was designed and was proposed to be built in the 1930s, hence the Art Deco appearance. The Depression prevented construction from occurring.


Then the intervention of WWII caused further delays.


Post war, further delays arose from manpower and material shortages. The bridge finally was finished in 1952. You will find the newspaper clipping from 1950 expressing disbelief in the time taken to construct.

Above: 1950 Newspaper article expressing frustration with delays a further two would pass before completion.

Above: Nearing completion in 1952


Member Profiles

Published 5th January 2018

We wish to record profiles of all current and past members so please submit others to Subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author’s name and date.



Tuesday night masters ergo night

Republished 5th January 2018


With the masters now doing ergos on Tuesday nights, the gym is getting crowded after 6pm. Every ergo was used on 1st August and there was not even a need for an ambulance.


Tuesday night is ergo night


Thursday Masters Nights

Republished 5th January 2018

Reminder that all masters rowers are welcome for a row on Thursday nights followed by a sausage sizzle and refreshments. Row at 6pm and sausage sizzle at 7.30pm. All welcome. Please call Andrew Guerin on 0417 554799 to get put on the weekly email.



Thursday nights after the row

Past news can be found through this link.