Checking out the oars at the Wide Bay Rowing Club’s open day are (from left) Luke Craig, Damian Donovan, Leadon Slack and Beau Daly.
Checking out the oars at the Wide Bay Rowing Club’s open day are (from left) Luke Craig, Damian Donovan, Leadon Slack and Beau Daly. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

A new era of rowing to launch

ERIC Johns, Peter Rabaa, John Andrews, Bruce Sprake and other past rowers spent a nostalgic few hours beside the Mary River yesterday.

The daughter of well-known cox from 1930s, Stan Tappenden, also took the opportunity to share a few old stories at the Wide Bay Rowing Club’s open day.

In recess for the past six years, the club held an open day at its new clubhouse beside the Mary River to mark the start of a new era.

Spokesman David Brown said Wide Bay Rowing Club, the second-oldest rowing club in Queensland, had a proud history including winning the Queen’s Cup in London in 1924.

The club also enjoyed a huge amount of success in the 1990s, especially with school rowing.

But when the old clubhouse in Wharf Street was demolished in 2005 to make way for the Mary River Parklands, the club had largely been out of action.

The club now has a new clubhouse, the pontoon is ready and soon the club will be competing actively again.

Mr Brown said yesterday’s open day served not only as a reunion for past members but also to generate interest in restarting the club.

“We had a good roll-up with a number of young people in their early 20s and 30s quite keen to get started,” he said.

“They were also impressed with our equipment.

“We’ll break now for Christmas and start the New Year with learn-to-row sessions over two weekends in February.”

Mr Brown said the club also wanted re-establish rowing programs through local schools and would “touch base” with principals soon.

Anyone interested in taking up rowing or coaching is welcome to contact Mr Brown on 4121 2994.



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