Past Years

Following is a collection of reports from past years of the Flying Doctor Rowathon, also known as
 the RFDS Murray Rowathon. This collection of reports will be added to over time.

2016

The 25th Flying Doctor Rowathon was a great success with 114 rowers participating and approximately 30 supporters following the event. There were 22 boats (6 sculls, 2 double sculls, a four, 12 quads and an octo) and rowers representing 21 clubs from Vic, SA, NSW, ACT, and QLD. Fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) totalled $50248 and represented a wonderful effort by all involved. The money raised was to be used for the RFDS Mobile Dental Health clinic.

The weekend started on the Friday evening with a relaxed and friendly BBQ hosted by Wentworth District Rowing Club (WDRC) on the lawns in front of the Club with the sun setting on the river and lots of pelicans landing on the water as the sun set and eventually stars lighting the sky.

The big event started on Saturday morning with a cooked breakfast at 6.15 provided by WDRC, a briefing at 6.45 and rowing started at approximately 7.00. With the Murray in almost flood conditions the course was changed so first two legs were on the Darling, from WDRC up to the Bob Hill’s property just beyond the 20Km river marker and back to WDRC for lunch then the same for the afternoon legs. The weather was ideal for rowing with some cloud cover and mid 20’s temperature. The greatly appreciated morning and afternoon teas on Bob Hill’s riverside landing were provided by the Wentworth Public School P&C committee.

All participants did very well and enjoyed the day.

The Survivor’s Roast dinner was held in the WDRC rowing shed with approximately 130 participants, supporters and guests enjoyed a delicious meal provided by WDRC volunteers. Trophies were awarded, a successful auction held and presentations made, in particular a special one to John Marr, one of the original instigators and long time supporters of the Murray Rowathon.

We acknowledge the generous support from:

Wentworth Shire Council for their cash grant and free use of portable toilets

The Robinvale/Euston/Mildura communities for cash and produce donations

All participants and their supporters for their fundraising and donations

Wentworth District Rowing Club for hosting the Flying Doctor Rowathon

The complete time sheet and results can be accessed via the “Trophies & Results” page.

2015

The 2015 Flying Doctor Rowathon was another great success with 110 rowers and 38 supporters representing 19 clubs from SA, NSW, ACT & VIC. Total funds raised for the RFDS Vic and their Dental Health Program was $41,160, which was a commendable amount.

The Rowathon weekend started with the Friday evening Wentworth District Rowing Club (WDRC) BBQ on the foreshore of the Darling River and all who attended thoroughly enjoyed the balmy evening, the food and friendships.

Breakfast on Saturday morning started soon after 6.00am with rowers and their supporters enjoying a delicious continental or cooked breakfast provided by the WDRC and while they were finishing, announcements were made and boat numbers were issued. The start commenced at 7.00am with crews rowing down the Darling, through the cutting to the Murray and upstream on the Murray to Coomealla Golf Club, a distance of approximately 22Km. Supporters and non-rowing crew caught the buses, provided by the Wentworth HACC, to the golf club to wait for crews to arrive and enjoy morning tea, including the famous country scones, jam and cream, catered for by the Wentworth Public School P&C committee. Some supporters also rode bikes along the river to lend support for their particular crews. The second leg was back to WDRC for lunch and as the weather forecast was for a top temperature of 35C, there was concern for the afternoon conditions and possibly the need to shorten the course however, clouds came over for the later part of the second leg and the skies opened during lunch cooling the day.

After a healthy lunch provided by the WPS P&C committee, crews set off up the Darling to just past the 20Km river marker to Bob Hills’ property (same as past years) for afternoon tea, crew changes and/or rests and then the return trip to Wentworth to be cheered past the finish by supporters and other rowers. Many rowers and supporters visited our stall, set up in front of the WDRC shed, which sold produce donated by the Robinvale/Euston region community.

At the end of the day all participants and supporters enjoyed a delicious Survivors Roast in the WDRC boat shed which had been wonderfully decorated by the ladies of the Club. Speeches were made; trophies awarded and medals were presented to the successful crews and everyone had a most enjoyable evening.
The complete results can be accessed via the "Trophies & Results" page.
 
2014
The 2014 Flying Doctor Rowathon was hosted by the Wentworth District
Rowing Club (WDRC) at Wentworth, NSW, and was rowed mostly on the Darling River with a short piece, at the start,on the Murray River. There were approximately 90 rowers in 12 boats (1xscull, 1xDouble scull, 2xcoxless quads, 7x quads & 1xeight) from Vic, NSW, SA and the ACT representing 19 rowing clubs.
The weekend started on Friday evening with a bbq provided by the WDRC with all enjoying a beautiful mild evening sitting at tables on the lawns bbetween the rowing shed and the Darling River.
Breakfast on Saturday morning started from 6.30am with briefing at 6.50 and boat launching from 7.10am. The first leg crews were sent down stream, through a cutting to the Murray River, down to the junction with the Darling River then back up the Darling past the WDRC and the official starter to head up to the morning tea stop just past the 20Km river marker. The lunch stop was a further 15Km up stream and due to the high temperature forecast it was decided that crews would proceed directly to the lunch stop rather than row to the 38Km marker and turn back to the lunch stop. This meant that the second and third legs were 15km each. After an enjoyable lunch catered for the the Wentworth Public School P&C committee, and a rest, boats headed back to the afternoon tea stop for a break and some crew changes before rowing back to the WDRC. There were 4 boats that did the total distance including sculler Flo Howard from the WDRC, a great effort.
Rowers, supporters and guests were treated to a special "Survivors Roast" in the WDRC boat shed with long tables which had been beautifully decorated by the club ladies. An auction of three donated items raised $2000 for the RFDS. This was followed by the trophy presentations with Ian Law presenting his trophy for the fastest boat with no crew changes to the "Twisted Puppies" composite crew. Sam Cross, Captain of WDRC presented the Col Rogers Trophy for the fastest crew with changes to the "Water Weavoars" from Hawthorn RC and Bob Symons, President of the Organising Committee presented the Jack Joel Trophy for the greatest contribution/fundraising to the Hawthorn Rowing Club.
With the exceptional fundraising by the participants and their friends and families, the total funds raised for the RFDS  exceeded $51,000.
The Committee wishes to thank all involved in making the 2014 Flying Doctor Rowathon such a wonderful success.
 
2013
The 2013 flying Doctor Rowathon was a great success with 118 rowers in14 boats
rowing on the great Darling River. Rowers represented 18 clubs from 4 States, Victoria,
New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, and the ACT. They participated in 2 double
sculls, 10 quads, an eight and an octo scull. Due to the heat (32C) and the forecast wind, the
course was shortened to 72Km by making the 2nd and 3rd legs 15Km each. This was
appreciated by all rowers, in particular those that did the total distance.
The event finished with a wonderful Survivors Roast (dinner) in the sheds of the Wentworth
District Rowing Club whose members and friends provided a delicious roast dinner. Trophies
were awarded, an auction of 4 special items was held and everyone enjoyed a friendly social
event.
Results can be seen on the "Trophies" page and a selection of photos can be viewed on the
"Photo Gallery" page.
Total amount raised for the Royal Flying Doctor Service was over $27,000, thanks to the
donations of rowers, their supporters, the local Wentworth, Robinvale, Mildura and Euston
communities.
 
2012

The 21st Flying Doctor Rowathon was held on Saturday October 6, 2012 on the Darling River starting at Wentworth District Rowing Club (WDRC), Wentworth, NSW. Crews arrived and rigged boatson the Friday evening with the Rowing Club bar being the focal point for introductions or renewing friendships and collecting name tags and t-shirts. On Saturday morning we were greeted by a thunder and lightening show at 6am followed by a brief shower which then cleared to give ideal rowing conditions for the morning. After a cooked breakfast provided by the WDRC, boats were launched and the first crew started at 7.20am. An "out and back" course of approximately 82Km was used with 4 legs of approximately equal length. Rowers headed upstream stopping for morning tea and crew changes at the property of Graham and Glenda Smith, with lawns flowing down to an ideal river bank siding and food and drinks supplied by the Wentworth Public School P&C Committee. The second leg took crews up to the 38Km river marker where there was a buoy to turn at and row back to the lunch stop on the river bank of the property of Janine and Rod Swadesir, surrounded by river red gums and plenty of room for a rest, lunch provided by the WPS P&C Committee and crew changes. The return to Wentworth was the reverse of the first two legs including a stop for afternoon tea and further crew changes at the Smith's then the final leg to finish the row to the acclaim of supporters and other crew members in front of the WDRC. Boats were de-rigged and drinks were enjoyed at rowing club bar. Unfortunately a head wind made the return legs more challenging and contributed to more blisters and tider bodies than for the first 2 legs but all rowers had looks of great satisfaction having participated in a great rowing event on a beautiful Australian river.

A highlight of the day was the enjoyable Survivors Roast provided by the WDRC in the rowing club room and boat storage area, all decorated with vines, citrus T candles and lanterns hanging from boats. They served a delicious roast and desert to 260 rowers and supporters who had a great time comparing blisters, sore body parts and rowing prowess. Fundraising auctions were held followed by the presentations of trophies to end a great the day. 205 rowers from 20 clubs including 2 schools, from 4 states; NSW, SA, Tasmania and Victoria; in 22 boats competed for the three trophies, with the Jack Joel Trophy being awarded to Yarra Yarra's Mighty Titil8 crew, the Ian Law Trophy to Pembroke Masters and the Col Rogers Trophy to Rick Kranen.

Results have been posted on the "Trophy" page and for photos, go to "Photo Gallery" and click on "Darling 2012"

Fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service:

The aim of this event is to raise funds for the RFDS to help with their wonderful service to the country and "Outback" communities. The 2012 Rowathon raised over $70,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a significant contribution, over $47,000, from rowers and their friends donating through the "EveryDay Hero" web site as well as the very generous donations of money and produce from the Robinvale/Euston community. That amount brings the total funds raised to over $225,000 for the RFDS since the Rowathon started in 1991.

2011

The 2011 Murray River Rowathon was held on Saturday October 8th on the Darling River (yes again) due to the Murray being in flood or at very high flow rates. We used an "out and back" course starting at Wentworth Rowing Club, stopping for morning tea and crew changes at the property of Graham Smith with lawns flowing down to an ideal river bank siding, then on to a lunch stop on the river bank at "Avoca Station" owned by Ian and Barbara Law. The return to Wentworth included a stop for afternoon tea at Graham Smith's. It was a long day with crews finishing the row at around 7pm with some drinks at Wentworth Rowing Club's bar. An enjoyable survivors dinner with presentations of trophies and a silent auction was held at the Crown Hotel in Wentworth.

In total the event raised over $13,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a significant contribution from the Robinvale/Euston community. That amount brings the total funds raised to over $160,000 for the RFDS since the Rowathon started in 1991. The RFDS site contains interesting stories of its work in outback Australia.

In total the event raised over $13,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a significant contribution from the Robinvale/Euston community. That amount brings the total funds raised to over $160,000 for the RFDS since the Rowathon started in 1991. The RFDS site contains interesting stories of its work in outback Australia.

2010

The 2010 Murray River Rowathon was held on Saturday, October 2nd but not on the mighty Murray because it was in flood in the Euston/Robinvale region. It was changed to the Darling River at Wentworth and held over an "out and back" short course starting at Wentworth Rowing Club, rowing up stream with morning tea at the Pomona boat ramp, which was a challenging boat exit/entry point, then continuing to the lunch stop at the 32Km river marker. After a nutricious lunch provided by the Wentworth Public School P&C caterers, we rowed back to Wentworth RC stopping for afternoon tea at the Pomona boat ramp.

The day finished with a Survivor's Supper at The Euston Club where all enjoyed a delicious buffet meal and joined in the raffle and auction. The evening closed with trophies being awarded to the winning crews (see "Trophies" page for winners and photos) .

The total funds raised by supporters, including the local Robinval/Euston businesses, participants and participant sponsors was approximately $18400. Thank you to all involved.

 

2009

The 2009 Murray River Rowathon was a challenging one given that our event competed for rowers with the World Masters Rowing regatta, Penrith, NSW, however, it was successful and raised over $13,000 for the RFDS SE Section. We had 52 rowers, from 7 clubs, including 2 Learn to row crews, junior rowers from Essendon, and our regular single sculler, Ric Towns. There were also 13 or more support people following the rowers, some on bikes. The day was extremely hot, at approx 42°C with a slight breeze to give some cooling. All crews performed well, managed the row safely, and were ably supported by the local SES and volunteers in tinnies. An "out and back" course from Euston was used and the last leg was shortened due to the conditions amking the total distance approximately 72Km.

The local committee lead by Lee Mann and Col Rogers organised excellent morning and afternoon teas, and lunch which rowers, support crew and volunteers appreciated and enjoyed.

Over 100 people then enjoyed the Survivor’s Supper held at Robinvale Golf Club with a delicious buffet, entertaining auction, conducted by Bill McHarg, and successful fund raising raffle.

We thank the Robinvale committee for their hard work, organisation and support. We also thank the local businesses for their support with equipment and donations.

Thanks also go to the rowers and supporters for their donations and for organising sponsorships.

 

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