July 2019 News

Above: Henley Royal Regatta scene with our Wyfold crew in the foreground

Provided by your faithful correspondent Trident.

Past news can be found at this link.

News covered this month

  • Vale Martin Owen
  • Vale Libby Douglas
  • WC3 – Australia and Mercs dominate
  • WC3 – All Mercs members through semi finals and reps on Saturday
  • WC3 – time trials replace heats
  • World Cup 3 – Friday heats postponed due to weather
  • Mercs at World Cup 3 – Racing starts Friday
  • Trustees announce more grants
  • Australian Under 23 Men’s eight announced – 2 more Mercs members added to the team
  • Mercantile mourns the loss of Nick Garratt AM
  • Henley Day 5 – Sunday
  • Henley Day 4 – Saturday
  • Henley Day 3 – Friday
  • Henley Day 2 – Thursday
  • Henley Day 1 -Wednesday
  • Henley Royal Regatta preview
  • Yet more Mercs members in the Australian Under 23 team
  • Foundation trustees announce further grants from the Cooper Fund
  • From the Archives – Club fundraising in 1883


Vale Martin Owen

Published 18th July 2019

A great of Australian rowing, Martin Owen, died on Monday night after a long and debilitating illness. He had a formidable intellect and abundant enthusiasm which he used to great effect. He was a leader who had a considerable influence many people.

Martin as Captain

For some 30 years, Martin was a great rower, coach and administrator of the sport.

As a cox, he won National Championships and steered at the interstate championships before turning his hand to lightweight rowing. His rowing achievements included winning four National Lightweight Eight Championships in a row before coaching crews which also won this event. He was a small lightweight, but tenacious. He was unlucky not to be selected into Australian crews for several years in a row. In the year he was most likely to be selected, he was in a serious car accident at the National Championships breaking his back in two places. Despite a determined attempt to return to top level rowing, his severe injuries prevailed.

Martin then devoted his energies to coaching and he produced many Australian oarsmen. He was an Australian under 23 coach for three years and the senior lightweight coach at the 1989 World Championships.

As an administrator, Martin initiated the development of Mercantile Rowing Club into an elite club and served on both the Mercantile and the Victorian Rowing Association Committees for some 15 years. Naturally he was elected a life member of Mercantile.

After his retirement from active rowing, he and Peter Philip, another great of Australian rowing, established a successful insurance agency business. He was an influential and popular person in the insurance industry. He was well respected by both underwriters and brokers alike for his outstanding technical knowledge and his imaginative and sophisticated approach.

After finishing his coaching career, he also turned his sporting attention to yachting and was a natural at this sport.

He will be sadly missed by many rowers over whom he had so much influence. The words of an early American President and Statesman, John Quincy Adams, are apt: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.


Vale Libby Douglas

Published 18th July 2019

It is with deep sorrow that the Club advises the passing of Elizabeth Douglas after a long illness. Libby was the wife of one of our champions, David Douglas, 1968 Olympic silver medallist. She was also the mother of Mercantile members Georgina and Robert, both of whom raced for Australia.

She was a great supporter of the Club and rowing.

Our thoughts are with David, Kyllie, Georgina and Robert.


WC3 – Australia and Mercs dominate

Published 15th July 2019

Australia wins the overall point score at the World Cup. The story in pictures follows.

Ian Robson, CEO of RA receives the points trophy from FISA President
… and then enjoys the moment with James Rook
Jess Morrison on the podium enjoying the moment
The women’s eight finished behind the Kiwis at this WC
The eight was still a superb result and on the podium
The Mercs supporters
Women’s eight on the podium
Now back to the start of the day – Jess Morrison in the bow bending her oar to get past the Kiwis

More pictures and results to follow


WC3 – All Mercs members through semi finals and reps on Saturday

Published 13th July 2019

In far from ideal conditions using seeded lanes, semi-finals and repechages were completed today. All Mercs members are through to the finals.

  • Jess Morrison is doing the double, the pair and eight – both crews are in the final
  • James Rook is steering the eight
  • Kat Werry qualified for the fours final yesterday
  • Liam Donald and Gus Widdicombe qualified the eight for the final tomorrow
  • Amanda Bateman qualified the double for the final yesterday

First up today were Australia’s lightweight scullers who both won their semi-finals.

Georgia Nesbitt in the first part of her race
Sean Murphy off the start
Our own Jess Morrison in the bow wins her semi-final – here at the start. Stroke seat is Annabelle McIntyre
Powerful start fro the pair which won their semi-final, Alex Hill stroking and Spencer Turrin in the bow this regatta. Hardy and Hicks our other boat did not qualify.
The double finished third in the semi and so into the final. Cam Watts in the stroke seat and Hamish Playfair in the bow.
David Bartholot missed the final
Sadly the women lighties missed the final finishing fifth – Sarah Pound and Alice Arch
The men lighties made it through to the final again – Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers
The women’s quad with Katrina Bateman in the two seat nailed their rep and finished first
And again
The men’s quad also nailed their rep finishing first
The men’s eight also qualified for the final with Gus Widdicombe in the stroke seat and Liam Donald in the three seat
And again displaying an awesome amount of power

The first finals will be this afternoon for the lightweight singles.


WC3 – time trials replace heats

Published 13th July 2019

In wet and blustery conditions with a strong cross wind, time trials were the order of the day.

Running through our crews with Mercs members:

  • Men’s eight through to a very tough repechage
  • Women’s eight through to the final
  • Women’s pair through to the final
  • Women’s four through to the final
  • Women’s double through to the final
  • Women’s quad through to the repechage
  • Some pictures follow
Jess Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre in the time trial
Kat Werry hanging off the handle well in the two seat
Men’s eight will have a very tough rep on Saturday
Women’s eight look good

More to follow.


World Cup 3 – Friday heats postponed due to weather

Published 12th July 2019

Due to thunder storms last night and this morning, racing this morning has been postponed. Racing will commence this afternoon with a new schedule. Given that it get dark at about 10pm, the delays can be accommodated.

Racing starts at 2pm Dutch time (10pm Melbourne time) and racing will continue to 8.20pm (4.20am Melbourne time).

12.30pm update – thunder storms continuing and so no racing.

Not promising at lunchtime

More news soon.

Inside the Australian tent


Mercs at WC3 – Racing starts Friday

Published 11th July 2019

Mercs will be well represented at World Cup 3 with the following athletes:

  • Jess Morrison ion the pair and eight
  • Katrina Bateman – W4x
  • Amanda Bateman – W2x
  • Kat Werry – W4
  • Gus Widdicombe – M8
  • Liam Donald – M8
  • James Rook – W8 cox

Some pictures from the warm up training follow.

Katrina in the two seat of the quad doing exercises.
Note the ancient windmill in the background
Kat Werry in the two seat of the four
Gus Widdicombe with the keys and Liam Donald now in the three seat
Team tent

Let the racing begin.


Trustees announce more grants

Published 10th July 2019

With the announcement by Rowing Australia of the additional crew to the under 23 team, the Club Trustees have announced two further grants of $1,000 to each of Jack Robertson and Alexander Wolf.

The Foundation has an account to support members selected into Australian under age crews. Whilst this account is currently quite modest in size, the Trustees plan to dramatically increase this account to $1 million over the coming years and therefore dramatically increase the grants to these members.

Congratulations Jack and Alex.


Australian Under 23 Men’s eight announced – 2 more Mercs members added to the team

Published 10th July 2019

Rowing Australia has announced the inclusion of a men’s eight to the under 23 team. The eight is based out of Princeton and contains many Australian rowers based in the States. Two Mercs members are included:

Jack Roberston and Alex Wolf.

Congratulations. The full crew is:

Elliott ApelToowong Rowing Club/QAS
Harry CrouchSydney Rowing Club
George FinlaysonUniversity of California, Berkeley/UTS Haberfield
Alexander JeremijenkoYale University/Toowong Rowing Club
Jackson KenchSydney Rowing Club/NSW/NSWIS
Angus MorrisonYale University/Toowong Rowing Club
Jack RobertsonUniversity of California, Berkeley/Mercantile
Alexander WolfMercantile Rowing Club
Cox: Alannah GilsmoreAdelaide Rowing Club
Coach: John BowesQLD


Mercantile mourns the loss of Nick Garratt AM

Published 9th July 2019

Mercantile and the rowing community are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of two-time Olympic rowing coach, and current ACT Academy of Sport and U23 Australian Rowing Team coach, Nick Garratt AM. He was a friend and coach to Mercantile members.

Nick was in Penrith with the U23 Australian Rowing Team, as part of his role coaching the U23 Australian Lightweight Women’s Pair and U23 Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, when he collapsed and died whilst loading boats onto racks on Monday 8 July.

Details of funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Rowing Australia President, Rob Scott said, “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by Nick’s sudden and untimely passing today.

“He was a passionate rowing coach who worked tirelessly to develop and support Australian rowers from grassroots to Olympic level. He was a greatly loved and admired member of our rowing family and we are all feeling this profound loss.

“Our thoughts are with Nick’s family, his athletes and colleagues, both current and past, at this difficult time.”

More information can be found on the Rowing Australia website.

Henley Day 5 – Finals Day

Updated 9th July 2019

Finals day saw Mercantile represented in the Britannia Challenge Cup final. The crew comprised bow: Will Achermann, 2: Joel Cain, 3: Alex Clarke, Str: Lukas Matic, Cox: Lachlan Goller.

Sadly our Britannia crew did not win but finished a close second in a gritty and well executed race. They raced their race as planned and they finished their campaign far better developed than when started. It has been a great exercise for them.

The crew departs the boat tents
Final instructions
Captain Bill Webster, Manager Jenny Fraumano and coach Fradge make their way to the start
Awaiting the starter’s call
Off to a good start and early lead
Holding it together well in the first 500m
The early lead is evident
Fighting hard as Moseley push through
Giving it all approaching Stewards’ Enclosure
The margin remains close
The strain shows
Passing the progress board, the race is all but over
The crew makes every stroke last as the finish looms
Last couple of strokes and the form is maintained
The race finishes

Some other images follow to provide reflections of finals day at Henley Royal Regatta.

Spotted in the crowd, Andrew and Susie Phillips
Andrew and Susie joined by Margaret and Roger Wilson, and team manager Jenny Fraumano
Bill Webster and Pip Batten, Margot Foster on their left and Leeanne Ambrose on their right
Sean Colgan, our host for dinner on Saturday night – thank you Sean
Gus Maloney and Jack Kelly in those bright blazers
Phoebe Wolf and James Hoban
The Royal Barge in action
Easy Oar on the Royal Barge
Scotch College on their way to the final
Sadly Scotch were defeated by Eton in the final – the last strokes
The American Navy crew save the day in the re-row of the King’s Cup
Then the cox goes for a swim closely followed by the crew
ADF coaches Jeff Brown and Ian Smith discuss the race
Ethan Seder in the 3 seat of this Harvard crew trained at Mercs for a university break and seems quite pleased with his win in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup
The HRR crowds in the Stewards
And again
The boats come in all shapes and sizes
Yes, all shapes and sizes


Henley Day 4

Updated 9th July 2019

Good and bad news today. The Britannia crew crew won their semi-final against the Ruden, Tennis und Hockey Club Bayer Leverkusen, Germany, but the Wyfold crew was beaten by a crew from Oslo Norway. Details of the final are above.

Some pictures of the events yesterday. Firstly the victorious Britannia crew.

The Britannia crew prepares for their race
Very focussed
Getting onto the water
Two life members, Andrew Guerin and Sean Colgan spotted enjoying the regatta
The ducks of Henley taking a prime position
Awaiting the start
Off the start
Starting to take a margin over the opposition
Half way through, a strong lead has been gained
The crew takes a comfortable lead with the township of Henley-on-Thames as as a backdrop
The finish is in sight
The crew receiving good support from the mercantile supporters

Our Wyfold crew unsuccessfully raced N S R Oslo, Norway this morning. Some pictures follow.

Are the VB socks a rebellion to British ales?
The starters red flag seen top left gets them away
Winding up off the start
Middle stages
Middle stages with the township of Henley-on-Thames
At Remenham, Mercs still in front
But shortly thereafter Oslo is moving through
Passing the Regatta Enclosure
Going past the Enclosure
Into the last 100m
The Mercs supporters look on
The last strokes
Looking at defeat in the eye
The ADF crew
Victorian Parliamentarian and rower Tim Smith with Australia’s High Commissioner George Brandis


Henley Day 3

Published 5th July 2019

A great day for Mercs with both our Wyfold and Britannia crews progressing through to Saturday. A great result. Congratulations to all and we await tomorrow with great anticipation.

Off to the start
Fradge sends off his crew
Pensive in the start
Our Wyfold crew off the start on Friday
First part of the race
Past Temple Island
The Wyfold crew takes an early lead
Mid course
Then extended the lead
Finishing off the race
Our Britannia crew at the start
The first stroke
Our crew takes the lead
The finish
Britannia Four finishing their heat
The support team celebrate
Lukas Matic surrounded by his proud grand parents
Josie and Will Ackermann
The French Military crew defeats the English Military crew
Scenes from Henley
Umpire and drone follow the race
Doing it in style
Interesting boats
Henley scenes
It takes all types
The Australian Defence Force crew cruises through the first round
And again
Scotch Melbourne had to work hard to overcome Shrewsbury School

More to follow


Henley Day 2

Published 4th July 2019

Day 2 was one of mixed fortunes. The Wyfold and Britannia crews went through to the next round but alas Red Matthews was knocked out of the Diamonds by a distinguished Dutch sculler.

The following pictures tell the stories.

Britannia crew start their journey to their race
Pushing off showing the Mercantile name
The Royal Barge
Fradge makes his way to the start on the umpire launch
Passing Temple Island
The TV boat struggles to keep up with Mercs
Our Britannia crew taking an early lead
The lead is extended with the town of Henley-on-Thames in the background
Wyfold crew off the start
Wyfold crew takes an early lead
They then extend the lead
Comfortable lead by the end of Temple Island
The distraction of the rowing can easily be overcome by Pimms and music
Red prepares for the start
Then gets underway
Red in the early stages of the race
He then grabs a slight early lead
Red’s Dutch opponent eventually prevailed in the evening summer light
Approaching the finish
Mercantile supporters HQ
Those blazers stand out
An Edwardian garden party with a rowing distraction
Outside the Stewards Enclosure, the essential are still available
Mercs member David Fleming strokes the Harvard crew which is going very well
David’s Harvard crew with the Henley-on-Thames township in the background


Henley Day 1

Published 4th July 2019

Mercs had one crew racing on Wednesday, our Wyfold crew. They had an easy win over the local Marlow B crew. Today they will be tested by Worcestor at 11.35am London time ( 8.35pm Melbourne time).

Other races today for our crews are:

Britannia Cup v Twickenham 9.45am London time (6.45pm Melbourne time) .

Diamond Sculls – Red Matthews 7.40pm London time (4.40am Melbourne time)

Some images form Henley on Wednesday.

Our Wyfold crew leave for their race
The commemorative program,
The crew departing under the watch of our Captain
Pushing away off Temple Island
Settling in with a comfortable lead
The lead is consolidated
Our crew settled into their race with the Henley-on-Thames in the background


Henley Royal Regatta Preview

Published 2nd July 2019

Mercantile has three crews at the 2019 regatta with a crew in the Wyfold Challenge Cup, the Britannia Challenge Cup and Red Matthews in the Diamonds.

The first crew off is our Wyfold crew who race Marlow Rowing Club at 10.15 UK time (7.15pm Melbourne time) on Wednesday. You can also follow the race on the Henley Royal Regatta YouTube channel. This crew comprises Angus Maloney, James Hoban, Jack Kelly and Carl Tomczak, coached by David Fraumano.

Our crew training on the course on Tuesday

On Thursday we will see Red and our Britannia crew race.

Our Britannia crew training on Tuesday


Possibly more Mercs members in the Australian Under 23 team

Published 1st July 2019

As rumoured in the June news, Jack Robertson and Alex Wolf have been named in the provisional Australian Under 23 men’s eight with the aim to race at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships. This US based crew has not yet been selected as they have not yet made the qualifying time.

Jack is currently studying at the University of California (Berkeley) and Alex was training back here in Melbourne before being called up to the US trials.

Go Mercs


Foundation Trustees announce further grant from the Cooper Account

Published 1st July 2019

The Foundation Trustees, Andrew Guerin, John Harry, Jeff Lawrence, Warwick Hutchins and Tim Frederico, have announced another grant of $1,000 to be made from the Cooper Account of the Foundation to Imogen Purcell who has been selected into the Australian under 23 four.

Imogen training in the US

This grant is in addition of similar grants made to Mitch Hooper and Ben Canham.


From the Archives – Mercs fundraising in 1883

Published 1st July 2019

Ever wondered how our Club forebears raised money? The following images show that they did it in style and can provide our current members with some good ideas. This fundraiser took place only three years after the Club’s formation.

Page 1 of the concert program – not the advertisers who wanted to be associated with the event
Page 2 of the concert program
The obligatory raffle of course
Yet more advertisers on the back cover


Past news can be found through the link.