The start of 20 kilometres. Image: Contributed

A row around the islands

Last Saturday, the skies cleared just in time for Grafton Rowing Club’s annual Rowathon in aid of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

A total of 84 rowers and paddlers faced the starter in front of the clubhouse for a distance of either 10 or 20 kilometres around Susan then Elizabeth Island, with most deciding on the 20 k journey.

Rowers this year were from Grafton, Murwillumbah, Maclean, Iluka and Grafton and South Grafton High Schools.

This year we were pleased to have two dragon boat crews participate, the Grafton/Clarence Coast crew, and the Titivators Dragon Boat crew from Urunga.

Both of these crews covered the 20k distance, and were justly proud of their two hours 20 minutes and two hours 26 minutes respectively.

First home was Grafton’s Brenton Ford in a time of one hour 41 minutes. He was closely followed by a Murwillumbah quad in one hour 42 minutes. The Murwillumbah pair oar of Scott O’Reilly and Richard McMillan finished in an impressive one hour 47 minutes.

Eleven rowers from Grafton and South Grafton High Schools took part, under the guidance of Johanna Tarrant and Cameron Kitcher who each rowing a single; Johanna and Cameron completing the course in 1 hour 54 and 1 hour 52 respectively.

Three safety boats from the Grafton club kept watch.

Once again the row was followed by a beautiful barbeque lunch prepared by Daphne Maughan and her helpers.

Marion White