The first half of the calendar year built on the momentum from the end of 2011 and saw a noticeable part of the section focused on races across all boat categories.
The Outrigger Section once again competed at Hamilton Island as part of a HK team, and next year hope to enter an exclusive RHKYC team.
As with Shatin, early morning sessions are now part of the regular training calendar and are building our base for the busy competition calendar over the next few months.
The Royal X-Team – under Charlie Nixon’s final year of leading the squad – again finished the season on a high note at the Stanley Dragon Boat Championships, with all three crews (men, women, mixed) making their respective finals.
We were happy to also be able to continue our support of the “Room to Read” charity and received another contribution on the back of various fund raising efforts, including the epic end-of-season pool party.
Also on the dragon boat front, select members’ participation – either as a coach or a competitor – in the 8th Club Crew World Championships recently held in Hong Kong harbour, saw members in the finals competing against some of the best crews in the world.
As Man NG took over coordinating activity at Middle Island for Philippe Gresinki, we continue to see a consistent group of rowers, both in the coastal and ‘regular’ boats, at Middle Island. Crews participated in a number of local races, including the Club led Stanley to Middle Island race. Lunchtime and moonlight rows to outlying islands have remained a regular part our monthly schedule and we’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to hold several joint sessions with our friends at the Lantau Island Rowing Club.
The past six months have also seen us go from strength to strength with our Youth Development program. Novice and school training at Middle Island - and joint training and competition sessions with the Shek Mun Student Rowing Club in Shatin – now see us supporting over 40 young rowers. We are ramping up for a busy fall once the school year starts and have begun planning an inaugural “Schoolboys Regatta” later this year to firmly establish U18 rowing on the Island again.
Fine rowing in Shatin saw our continued dominance, with both the women and men securing first place finishes in the sweep and sculling head races as well as winning almost all of the sprint races entered in the spring.
Off the water, we had a large showing at the HK Indoor Championships, with the results pretty much being a clean sweep in all the events we entered, across most age categories.
After a 6+ month training campaign, we sent an Eight and a Coxless Four to Henley this summer, the largest group ever sent by the Royal Hong Kong. Both crews qualified and had strong races, highlighting the need for more regular participation. A special thanks to Sean Hall, the finishing coach who helped the crews get ready for this high standard of racing.
The Annual Wanchai Head saw another strong finish by core members of the Section, with a highlight video available to those with access to the password…
On the membership front, year-to-date we’ve seen over 15 new members added to the Section and look to be on track to have another strong year of quality additions to the various squads.
Looking ahead, the Club will be sending a men’s OC6 to Kona to participate in the Annual Queen Lili'uokalani Race as well as having several women from the Club supporting the HK entry in the “NA WAHINE O KE KAI” race in Molokai, Hawaii, also next month.
Closer to home, all teams are preparing for the ATIR while the Shatin squad has begun it’s training for the Hong Kong Rowing Championships in November.
Thank you again to Jonny and Toby for their continued support and coaching and we look forward to a strong finish to 2012 under their guidance.
See you on the water!
Mark T Welles