From the Newsroom

Rowers from St Joseph’s College in Sydney return to the riverbank after competing in the 2021 Grafton Rowing Club Regatta. Image: Emma Pritchard

2021 Regatta makes a splash

Emma Pritchard

Despite strong wind gusts and choppy conditions on the Clarence River, the 2021 Grafton Rowing Club Regatta went ahead on December 5 to the delight and relief of organisers and competitors.

And while the rough waves brought the event to an early close, Treasurer of the Grafton Rowing Club Don Noble said he was pleased with the turnout and happy the regatta was able to be held.

“We’re just thankful we got to host the event and welcome competitors, especially considering the whole Covid-19 situation is still making things difficult for a lot of people,” he said.

“The club also had water in the shed on Thursday and Friday last week due to all the recent rainfall and river rises, but we managed to get it cleaned up in time for the weekend.

“All of the competitors enjoyed being involved and the students from St Joseph’s College in Sydney enjoyed themselves as well.”

Mr Noble also confirmed local rowers and junior members of the Grafton Rowing Club tasted plenty of success during the regatta as their friends and families watched from the riverbank.

Local mum Nicole Smith whose son and daughter Nadia and Jackson competed in several races on the program, said she was really proud of how hard they had trained in the lead up to the event and was pleased to see them do well on the river, despite the conditions making it difficult for rowers to manoeuvre their boats.

Rough and choppy conditions made it difficult for competitors in the 2021 Grafton Rowing Club Regatta, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Image: Emma Pritchard

“The local kids did well, and that was great to see,” Mr Noble said.

“They’d been training for the regatta for months and for a while the club thought we might not be able to go ahead with it, but as it turns out we were able to, and that was great.”

Murwillumbah rower Scott O’Reilly was awarded the Greg Thompson Memorial Trophy in honour of the former Grafton Rowing Club life member who passed away five years ago after he recorded the fastest time in the Masters single skull.

The Grafton Rowing Club also wished to acknowledge Clarence Valley Council (CVC) for sponsoring the event and are looking forward to welcoming competitors back to the banks of the Clarence River for more competitions in 2022.

A full list of results from the weekend can be viewed online at