This year’s annual Tahbilk ‘Bridge to the Vines’ Head of the Goulburn, held on October 28, saw good weather and strong performances from local rowers.
Nagambie Rowing Club’s Julia Finnigan, a Nagambie teenage rower and Euroa Secondary College student, has been rowing with the club for a few years and her progress has been marvellous.
This year was no exception; Julia won the Female Single Scull C (Intermediate) event for the second year in a row, which thrilled fellow club rowers, coaches, family and herself.
Another feat by local rowers was when the Nagambie’s Female Masters Coxed Quad Scull crew, coached by club member Bill Day, also won their event in the gruelling time trial.
The team saw scullers Vicki Dudley, Heather Bradbury, Wendy Cotter and Pauline Day put in a consistent effort over the 7.2km course from Chinaman’s Bridge to Tahbilk Winery to defeat Carrum RC Female Masters crew by three seconds.
Racing for Nagambie was the Female Coxed Quad Scull D (novice) crew of Olivia Thomson, Deb Dudley, Clare Dalton and Shan Jaudzemis, coxed by Avenel’s Sally Littlewood.
The novice crew rowed well in their first ever Head of the Goulburn race.
This year’s elite events were dominated by Mercantile Rowing Club crews which took out the male and female Open Eights, as well as the both Open Quad Sculls, while Melbourne University Boat Club (MUBC) had the fastest Male Four and Corio Bay the fastest Female Four crews.
The fastest boat on the day was the Mercantile Men’s Eight, with a time of 24minutes and three seconds.
Nicholas Stephenson of MUBC and Sarah Sekfy of Essendon were the fastest male and female single scullers.
Beth and husband Mike Walter were watching the race closely and said this year’s Hot Gee attracted 787 competitors from around Victoria, as well as from Canberra and Sydney.
They were cheered on by more than 1000 spectators, coaches and family members, who enjoyed the Spring Rowing Carnival atmosphere at the finish at Tahbilk Winery, where there were food stalls and rock and roll band the Choir Monkeys performed.
— Diane Grant