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Perth, WA

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More than sport

Everyone is fighting their own battles

Peta Rule

(Or the effect of a diffusion of responsibility)

By President PBR

The past couple of days, I've been asking WARC club members how ticket sales for the Grand Raffle are going.

Unsurprisingly, the responses I've been getting are a little terse. I get that - it's only just hit January, you're barely back at work.

Everyone has a story, a legitimate reason that makes selling Grand Raffle tickets hard. Harder than it should be, obstacles that seem pretty insurmountable, particularly when there are 250 books and more than 100 other people selling tickets - surely your book isn't so important?

And so I ask: Please, please don't give up just yet.

There are opportunities to sell tickets coming up:

  • Elizabeth Quay opens on January 29 and we'll have a stall on the morning of January 30 at the markets and we're expecting it to be busier than any of our previous ones.
  • On Australia Day, we can put a table outside WARC to sell water and raffle tickets to punters
  • We can look to sell some tickets at the event itself.
  • Ask anyone you have sponsored in the past to pick up a ticket - Movember, Dry July, Ride to Cure Cancer, whatever it is, call in your donation karma.
  • Take your book to barbecues, the cinema, Fringe Fest, whatver you're going and ask around.

Even more than that, I'm asking you to sell your tickets ahead of time.

And here is why:

There is a small team (read: three people) who must collect and audit all the tickets we receive. We need to check cash got to where it was meant to go, all the ticket stubs are correctly filled out and accounted for.

Each 20-ticket book takes about 15 minutes to audit - if there are no issues with it.

In total, that's 62 hours of collecting and auditing, or 20 hours each for us.

Your sales might not feel important but believe me, they are. At the moment we've only just sold enough tickets to clear the original outlay. It's very difficult to track sales (hence the reason I keep asking about it)

Diffusion of responsibility is happily something WARC suffers from less than other like organisations. However in this case, I am starting to be concerned that such an insidious psychological black hole might be present.

I hope not.

Bona Fortuna, Verity

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Long-time friend of WARC Verity Keogh is set to embark on a new career path, after some years as the WA State Talent Pathway Coordinator.

WARC will host a good luck event for Verity on the evening of Thursday, January 21 from 7pm to 8.30pm. There will be a cash bar and light meal provided.

For those not familiar with WARC, our nearest train station is the Esplanade, and there is reliable paid parking at the Perth Concert Hall a few hundred metres away.

Verity has been an inspirational leader for many young athletes, not least at WARC so we do invite any and all who have come into contact with Verity over the years to come along to wish her luck.

RSVP to 

Be the boss (sort of)

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If you're wondering, in the context of RWA governance, clubs are the "owners", just in the way members are the "owner" of the club management committee.

If you're wondering, in the context of RWA governance, clubs are the "owners", just in the way members are the "owner" of the club management committee.

The Rowing WA Annual General Meeting is coming up, and whilst the letters "AGM" probably bore you to tears, this one is worth paying a bit of attention to.

Rowing WA has FIVE positions up for election at the upcoming AGM. As part of the Association, it is in WARC's interest that the State body gets some seriously talented people to help guide them, and it just happens we reckon the talent pool at WARC runs pretty deep.

The positions up for election include: 

  • Finance
  • Sport and industry development
  • Marketing
  • Asset Management

If you are interested in starting a "board" career, or believe you can contribute to the smooth running of our beloved sport in WA, please contact Rowing WA President David Rose on 0411 439 044 or to discuss standing for a position.

From WARC's perspective, we support our members wishing to stand on the State board and believe this is a great opportunity for individuals looking to branch into the not-for-profit board environment.

At this point, I'd like to acknowledge the nine years of service sentenced-to-life-at-WARCer  Catriona Walker served on the RWA Board, most recently as Director of Club Development. Triona has a capacity for work difficult to replicate and achieved much during her tenure. 

Pedal to the medal

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Big news out of RWA: The glasses are gone! If you haven't won your collective 10 glasses to make a full set, the jig might be up. (personally I'm hopeful they will become collectors items...)

RWA will this year be trialling medals at presentations rather than the glasses that have been handed out for decades as mementos of races won.

For those of us who have rowed for a while, this is possibly good news as it may alleviate a little bit of pantry space. For the newbies, you are a new generation of athletes whose accolates will more appropriately be recognised by something that is not a vessel for transporting alcohol.

Stay tuned for more news: RWA has a job going as a development officer, the 2016 Regatta fixtures are out (more on that later) and there are five positions on the Association Board up for grabs at the upcoming AGM. 

In the meantime, row well.

Q: What do snowmen wear on their heads?

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Bella has been enjoying a puntastic Christmas this year with some spectacular groan-worthy jokes, and we could argue grown-worthy clothing - check out the jumper to the left. The good news is, it was all part of the new, rebranded and revamped Reindeer Regatta (formerly the Chook Cup, we've changed to a more festive form of fauna).

Reports from the front was the weather didn't play nicely with the occasional white caps thanks to a fair 20-knot breeze which adding a level of complexity to the scratch racing that was possibly not desirable. Of course, the Grumpies and Originals are perfect for such conditions so there was no swamping-related dramas.

Winners are in the picture above, if you are wondering at the order, the great D-Train (you may recall him from such blog posts as the recent boat naming) playing stringy for the team and was thus no doubt primarily responsible for the victory. The editor has dismissed rumours of a fair racing after learning of the line-up.

Meanwhile, bacon and eggs were order of the day on fluffy buns - clearly the best kind, but even the bacon was overshadowed by the unexpected arrival of Denika Kelsall, most recently seen galavanting around North America.

Congrats to the newbies who participated. We will teach you more thoroughly in the coming year the art of Reindeer racing, which by and large means starting well before the official call (this racing technique is known in broader rowing circles as "cheating.")

And thanks to Bella - firstly for the puns and the jumper, but mostly for organising - and Janet for sorting a pretty epic silver sparkly antler head for our perpetual Reindeer Regatta trophy. Well played.


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  • Half an Australian para-rowing squad from the West Australian Rowing Club
  • Three WARC athletes will head to Sydney from January 26 to 31 for an elite training camp
  • Will be joined by another three WARC members for national selection trials ahead of Rio2016

Three of the six athletes set to compete for a spot in the coveted Leg, Trunk and Arms crew for the Rio 2016 Paralympics are from Western Australia.

Athletes Davinia Lefroy, Brock Ingram and Kevin Wall have been training at the West Australian Rowing Club in Perth under the guidance of coach Catriona Walker to prepare for selections.

“This is the first time the WA Rowing Club has had an adaptive rowing squad, and to have all our athletes make it to this part of the selection process is testament to their work and determination,” Walker said.

The three athletes have another round of individual rowing machine testing next month, and will then compete in New South Wales State Championships, then National Team Trials in February, ahead of the September 7 Games.

Club captain Nick Wakeford said the team from the club would be rounded out three by senior athletes who will be looking to secure a berth in an Olympic crew: Men’s scullers Matthew Cochran and Rhys Grant, and Olympic veteran Hannah Vermeersch in the women’s sweep boats.

Veermeersch was bowman in the high-profile “Motley Crew” women’s eight which qualified against the odds to make the start line for London2012.

She was the youngest rower in the team at the time.

“Many Western Australian rowers face additional logistical challenges to get to selection camps and trials, which are all held in Sydney,” Wakeford said.

“As a club, we support them in every way we can to lessen the financial and emotional burden of training in WA and then having to perform quite often after long flights in equipment they are perhaps not familiar with.”


  • There is one Olympic event for “LTA” – or Leg, Trunk and Arms athletes at Rio2016: A coxed four with two female and two male rowers.
  • For the full list of athletes to compete in the next round of selections, visit
  • The West Australian Rowing Club is on Riverside Drive, about 150m east of Barrack Square and is housed in a heritage-listed building. For more, visit

 Media contact: Peta Rule, 0428 923 661 or

Red goes faster

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6am, this Sunday

RSVP here: 

The story goes there was once a man named Chook. He was a good man - nay, a great man.

Chook hadn't rowed a race one season and to celebrate this remarkable achievement of having trained all season without taking a stroke in anger, a great tradition was born.

One sunny Sunday morning, shortly before Christmas, the inaugural Chook Cup was held, and crews got together for a ridiculous round of scratch racing. The first event was won by the formidable Dutch tank Jorien Leidekker in stroke seat, who possibly just terrified everyone into submission.

Subsequent years resulted in young Matt Cochran winning the event - but only from the cox seat. Jellyfish wars became the norm. Sometimes there's firefighters. Sometimes there's inappropriate commentary.

There is always hilarity.

So please come down and prepare to participate in the fourth... fifth? maybe sixth? Third? Who knows, I'm not counting... recently RENAMED AND REBRANDED Reindeer Cup. Although we liked Sally's suggestion of renaming the Chook Cup to another nomenclature for male chickens, we've decided to go with something altogether more PC in deference to the great man himself.

For newbies, if you didn't know Chook, or Jorien, or anyone else, this is the time to force scripture of your name in the historic annals of WARC. This is the day to create your legend.

For everyone else, there will be bacon.

No one was hurt in the killing of this carbon

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WARNING: The following images may be disturbing to some viewers: 

The hull of the Big All

The hull of the Big All

WARC is relieved to report no injuries were sustained in this horrific crash that has potentially killed the Big Al. The Alan Salisbury Empacher eight was being rowed by the WA Men's Youth 8 up near Maylands when the boat struck submerged piping.

The Club is now working with Rowing WA to sort this matter with the insurers of the boat, and we have asked Brock to investigate removal of the piping with the Department of Transport's Marine Safety division.

It is worth noting the line the eight was taking has long been considered safe. We have no idea how long the pipes have been submerged at this point, so we cannot tell you if the damage was caused as a result of new hazards or a low tide.

This is the map Rowing WA issued via Facebook warning of the hazard:

It is fair to say river conditions in the warmer months are not as predictable as the winter months and while we view this as an accident that was pretty much unavoidable, it is a reminder to give "foul ground" extra berth when training.

The good news is, with no daylight savings in WA there is sufficient light to see easily so scan the horizon, and report any new hazards to so we can prevent any more carbon damage.

Row safe.