It was New Years Day, and we were towing boats to Anglesea to support the Regatta event, arriving at 8.30am. This was the Centenary year for the regatta which is run by the Anglesea Recreation and Sports Club , formed in 1911 around a sporting challenge between the …. “crème de la crème of the residents of the township of Anglesea River do hereby challenge the like ( if there be any) of the village of Airey’s Inlet “…. extract from the original invitational challenge. The Regatta is a series of rowing races in the Club’s boats, Thames Skiffs built in 1909 in London for the Club, consisting of 2 pairs and 2 fours, very well maintained and used regularly, culminating in the Grand Challenge Cup.
WBA was represented by Andrew Cohen with Lindsay Symons, Rob and Pat Ripley with Green Pea and Chris Kelly with Will’O…
The boats created a lot of interest as a floating static display and once the races were underway the main section of the river was used for the rowing course.
Being Christmas and New Year “fit”, the “oarsome threesome” entered the 100+ race (combined age of the two rowers) against a pair of local club rowers … Andrew as Cox, Rob as stroke oar and Chris keeping up with stroke. After a short practice we were given the dubious honour of first race for the Regatta over 600 metres. Our opponents had a good start and gained a boat length, but although we held them we couldn’t make up the distance. However, a good time was had by all.
The racing was from novices to serious rowers and family groups - the favourite Club story was of the 1956 Olympic rowing four competing and being thumped by the Anglesea surf boat crew! It was a very community oriented day and the spectators and riverside market made for a great New Years day.