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Whaleboat team training

Rowers wanted for South West Regatta

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 9 February 2017

If the idea of a fun, active and unique sport holds water with you, then float the idea with your mates and sign up for the 2017 Australian Whale Boat Championships or the Victorian St Ayles Skiff Championships… or tackle both!

The championships will be part of the inaugural South West Regatta to be held on the Hopkins River (near Proudfoots) in March.

The event will incorporate the first ever Victorian St Ayles Skiff Championships and a wooden boat expo on Saturday March 4 followed by the long-running Australian Whale Boat Championships on Sunday March 5.

Whale boat teams consist of six people – five rowers and a sweep.

The team registration fee includes all equipment, race entry and three training sessions, with funds raised contributing to the boats’ upkeep.

The course length is approximately one kilometre, with teams generally recording times of about seven minutes.

Skiffs are smaller and lighter than whale boats and require four rowers and a coxswain.

Teams will be able to familiarise themselves with the skiffs at a come and try day near Proudfoots from 10am on February 25.

Warrnambool City Council Events and Promotions Coordinator Bec Elmes said that not only are the races a fun activity with friends, national and state titles are on the line.

“The sports bring the rich heritage of the region to life and allow people to enjoy the stunning Hopkins River in a unique way.

“The event caters for experienced and novice rowers, with men’s women’s and mixed teams all welcome.

“Imagine becoming either the Australian or Victorian champion beside your friends!

“It's a fun-filled, action-packed weekend and who knows, you might even see a whale or two!”

Activities on both days run from 10am until 4pm.

Registrations for the whale boat race close on Friday February 24.

For registrations and enquiries for the whale boat race, contact Cindy Kelly on 5559 4600 or email ckelly@warrnambool.vic.gov.au.

For enquiries regarding the St Ayles skiffs, contact Patrick Groot on 0400 359 681 or warrnamboolstaylesskiffclub@gmail.com

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