The Goolwa Rowing Club (GRC) has been busy making up for lost time, hitting the water in earnest, following last year's COVID-19 affected season.
Regattas have been in full swing, as have training sessions. In late March, GRC held a three day fundraising tour row from Renmark to Moorook and ahead of the construction of new club rooms, the club have held a calendar fundraiser and sausage sizzle, both well supported by the community.
For the Vogalonga on May 16, the club entered an unusual octo-scull in which they were first over the line.
But the biggest highlight of 2021 so far, has been the club's success at the 2021 Australian Masters Rowing Championships, held at West Lakes over May 27 - 30.
Kate Tebneff and Stef Wilden were the first to hit the water in the C2x category. The pair rowed hard, but unfortunately fell just short of reaching the semi finals.
Next up was Cam Wilson in his D1x. Competition in singles races at national events is always gruelling and despite his best efforts, Cam was not able to progress.
The Mixed E quad (Tracey, Teena and Cam, joined by Mick Sweeney of Riverside) then hit the water and performed gallantly, to almost make it onto the podium.
In the final race of the day, Diana Tebneff and Cam Wilson rowed unbelievably in the Mix F2x category. They managed a come-from-behind Bronze medal, after being stuck in fifth place with 200 metres to go.
On day two, the D Quad crew of Tracey, Teena, Stef and Kate came home strongly to claim second place in their heat and a spot in the final, in which they narrowly missed out on a medal.
Mick Sweeney again joined Cam Wilson, and the pair enjoyed some competitive rowing as an F crew in the E2x. They were followed by the E Quad of Tracey, Diana, Stef and Kate, who gave it their all but missed out on a finals appearance.
Cam and Teena also rowed strongly in the Mixed D2x, but could not secure a podium finish.
On day three, Diana and Stef in the F2x didn't make it through the heats, but Cam and Mick breezed through for a finals appearance.
The day got better when Baz Pearce joined three rowers from Mannum and Port Adelaide (average age of 85) to secure a Gold medal in the K4x. Next up were Cam and Tracey, plus Mick and Teena in different Mix E2x races. Both pairs put in strong rows.
State crew racing finished off the day, with GRC's Kate Tebneff earning a spot on the Women's 8+ crew. The SA ladies rowed brilliantly and finished fourth, with a time of 3:38.65.
Day four started with a bit of excitement. GRC's F Quad (Stef, Diana, Caroline and Kate) won their heat and came through in the final for a Bronze medal.
The club's final race of the program saw Diana and Kate take on Tracey and Stef in the WE2x, with the former pair taking out bragging rights.
"Overall it was a fabulous regatta, with some nice surprises, great camaraderie with other clubs and heaps of praise for Goolwa from organisers and commentators," GRC president Fiona Haselgrove said.
"I think we probably had more volunteers there than rowers... thank you to everyone who helped out."
During the 2021 Australian Masters Rowing Championships, GRC had seven racers take part, who were supported by 17 volunteers.
Rowing South Australia CEO Andrew Swift commended the club.
"Goolwa Rowing Club have been an invaluable asset to Rowing South Australia, particularly in the weeks leading up to the 2021 Australian Masters Rowing Championships," he said.
"Their community-minded action has been fantastic and shown just how important clubs like this are to developing strength in health, friendships, purpose, and being active in the wider community.
"This has shown in their results, making finals in competitive divisions and also medalling in several events. We can't wait to see what's next for the Goolwa Rowing Club."
The GRC continues to expand and is looking forward to developing new club facilities in the near future.
Ms Haselgrove said the club wold continue to chase grant opportunities.
"GRC was disappointed not to receive funding in the latest round of the Office of Recreation and Sport, however we are working on our application for the next round opening this month," she said.