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    Dimboola's Maddy Toet, bow and Tara Petschel, stroke, win their heat at Dimboola Rowing Regatta.

Fields swell for Dimboola Regatta

By Colin MacGillivray

Dimboola is preparing for its biggest regatta in 14 years, with entries for the weekend rowing carnival up more than 30 percent from last year.

Dimboola Rowing Club committee member Mick Salter said it was the largest field of entries the regatta had seen since 2005.

“That was pre-drought, and since then we’ve had three years where the river was dry and we missed regattas,” he said.

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“Last year we had 20 crews attending including the Dimboola Rowing Club and this year we’ve got 27 clubs attending.

“The Corio Bay Rowing Club from Geelong is bringing two boat trailers.

“It’s huge for the local community.”

Mr Salter said the regatta would have a huge effect on businesses in the town.

“We as a club can say we own the regatta, but it’s really run by the town,” he said.

“The hotels, the motels, the caravan parks, the host farm, the Guide camp – all the accommodation venues are booked out.

“We do the best we possibly can, because it costs a lot for other clubs to go away and take a lot of boats and people to other locations.”

Racing will be split across two days, with the main regatta on Saturday and the Head of the Wimmera on Sunday.

Racing on Saturday will feature 59 events with 384 rowers registered to take on the 750-metre course.

The 6.2-kilometre Head of the Wimmera has attracted 55 crews – its biggest ever field.

Mr Salter said only 35 crews had entered the head race last year.

“It is by far the biggest we’ve ever had and there are an extra 20 crews coming down the river this year,” he said.

“Some of the larger head races in Victoria work on between 70 and 80 crews – and they are head races that are really established – and we’ve only been doing ours for 10 years.

“For us to have 55 crews after 10 years is pretty exciting stuff.”

Mr Salter encouraged people from Dimboola and the wider region to take advantage of free entry for spectators by attending the regatta.

He said it was bound to be a special weekend.

“Our sprint course on the Saturday is quite unique,” he said.

“Being three lanes wide, you’re very close to the banks, so spectators can yell out from the banks and the rowers will actually hear them.

“It’s very protected from the elements because the banks are quite sharp, so it protects them from being affected by wind.

“On the northern side of the river everyone can walk along the course from start to finish, so everyone can watch the rowing from all points along the course during the day.

“There is a lot of excitement and really positive energy around the club,” he said.

“We have a lot of junior crews at the moment, so we’re trying to keep the momentum going.

“You put a good carnival atmosphere on and the clubs will turn up.”


PHOTOS: 2018 Rowing Regatta at Dimboola

The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!