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19th November 2017

Yesterday the Boat Club held its first Alumni Rowing day at its new boathouse in Burns bay lane Cove.

While only a couple of crews made it onto the water it represented the first opportunity for alumni to retirn to he club and row since our old boatshed was burnt down in 2006.

The next Alumni Day row will be announced soon – likely to a Saturday afternoon in early March 2018.

After the row the club had four new Sykes pairs to be christened.

These were the “Will Townsend” named after former SUBC competitor Will Townsend. Will also did quite a lot of coaching in the women’s squad after his competitive career. It was great to welcome Will back to the club for his first visit to the new boathouse.

The next pair was the “Nick Purnell” named after one of our recent great rowers. Nick rowed in four winning Kings Cup crews to date and was selected in the men’s eight for the 2012 London Olympics. Nick has just completed a year of work and has taken up an invitation to train at the men’s National Training Centre in Canberra. Nick could not be on hand and asked Chris Noel to do the honours and christen the boat but as Chris was back in hospital the task fell to Will Raven, our Vice President – Will read out a short speech by Chris Noel and Nick’s father Rod pouted the champagne.

A short note from that speech:” I want to talk about Nick’s contribution to our club – he has big personality to match his size and through his sheer enjoyment and love of the sport he has been able to contribute so positively to club, state and national crews in which he has rowed.

On and off the water Nick gives everything he has – his great spirit has inspired his crew mates and it has always inspired me. When you have rowers like Nick Purnell in your club it makes the tasks involved in keeping the club running more rewarding and pleasurable.

Loyal, determined, gregarious, fun loving, talented, hardworking, friendship – these are the words that come to the front of my mind when I think of Nick.”

The third pair was named after the long-serving Principal of St Andrew’s College –“Wayne Erickson”. The club wanted to thank Wayne for his assistance to the club in many ways including negotiating long term arrangements for St Andrew’s College men’s and women’s crews to use the club and equipment for training for the Rosebowl. Also for his encouragement of donations through St Andrew’s alumni to fundraising for the new boatshed. Wayne was on hand with his wife Debra to do the honours in naming the new boat.

The final boat christened was the “John Boultbee V”- like all previous boats John was not on hand for the event having to attend the AGM for the sport he is HP Manager for – Volleyball.

In his absence another better coxen – Will Raven stepped in and handles the duties acknowledging John’s huge support of the club over many years including contributing to the Sports Foundation – Boat Division at the Patron level and being one of our 5 Key donors in the fundraising for the new boatshed.



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