Beautiful weather conditions greeted the 700 competitors for the Murray Rowing Association’s 152nd annual rowing regatta at Lake Moodemere at the weekend.
Crews came from across Victoria and NSW with the furthest competitors coming from Sydney, Shoalhaven, Wentworth, Adelaide and Perth.
President of the Murray Rowing Association and Rutherglen Lake Rowing Club Paul Somerville said to have two days of 27 degrees maximum in January was unheard of, but very welcome.
“Numbers were slightly down on last year but have come a long way since just 33 entries competed in 2002 before a new committee became involved,” he said.
“The last four or five years we have been sitting around 1000 entries.”
Mr Somerville contributed the large turn-out to the friendly nature of the regatta.
“Where people boat from and the spectators are all in one area and that makes for a good atmosphere,” he said.
“The sprint nature of the races, like the 800m on the Saturday and 500m makes for some good close racing and because it is a short distance people can do a number of races in the course of a day.
“There were 340 races for the weekend and to fit that in there is basically a race every three minutes.”
Mr Somerville said the key rowing event attracted many people to the area for the weekend, bringing tourism dollars to the town.
“I know a lot of accommodation places in Corowa get booked and the whole region does well with the regatta,” he said.
Mr Somerville said with the sprint distances for the races over both days, racing was often close and down to the wire.
The feature events on the Sunday of the regatta were the Victorian Sprint Championship for the open events.
In the male categories, Will Day from Corio Bay performed well winning the open single scull and double scull.
Hawthorn Rowing Club won the open pair and four.
In the female events ex Australian representative, Fleur Spriggs, won the single scull, and Richmond rowing club winning the pair.
Overall, the Red Gum shield for the most successful club was won by Melbourne Rowing Club narrowly from Corio Bay.
Corowa Rowing Club won the local MRA shield competition.