Photo: ANDY BERRY

Regatta brings in the New Year

January 9, 2020 BY

THE Anglesea Recreation and Sports Club (AR&SC) held its annual New Year Day Regatta.

The race was first held in 1913, two years after the AR&SC was founded. The race began as a friendly challenge between rowers from Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

It has run every year since, except for a few years during the world wars.

The event is unique in that it uses the same boats that were purpose-built for the first race more than a century ago.

AR&SC president Elly Stewart says the race involved people of vastly differing ages and levels of experience.

“We had a really good turnout. We had lots of kids from the Anglesea and Fairhaven Nippers come.

“It is competitive but is also relaxed. We welcome anyone. We’ve had elite rowers and World Cup rowers as well as people who have never rowed and tried their hand at it on New Year’s Day.”

The event is held in a knockout format with categories for people of different age and gender. The winner of each category was given a trophy that they will keep until next year’s regatta.

The boats used are clinker skiff boats. Ms Stewart says there has been a great deal of effort put into maintaining them.

“We have a terrific committee that does that (maintains the boats), and at various times have some really big restorations when they’re in need.

“But now they’re beautifully maintained and there’s every chance they will go for the next hundred years.”

The boats will be featuring at the Wooden Boats Festival in Geelong in early March.