Dash from bush to lake keeps afloat 50-year tradition
The Royal Military College – Duntroon’s (RMC-D) rowing team went straight from the field to the water to take part in this year’s Disher Cup Regatta.
The squad came in from the Majura Training Area mid-exercise to take on teams from the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian National University in the 50th running of the regatta, which was held on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra on October 10.
RMC-D’s crews only rowed together for the first time the day before the event.
While RMC-D failed to notch a victory, the squad, coached by Major Gary Bergman, was buoyed by its performance.
“They turned up [the night before the race],” Major Bergman said.
“They were extremely tired, they were wiping off their camouflage cream as they got the boats out, and we put them on the water and went for a row.
“We didn’t row very hard; we just got them used to rowing again because it had been four weeks since they’d been in a boat.
“Many of the skills we use in operations are important in rowing and particularly in racing.
“I talk about some of the things they can expect as junior platoon commanders preparing for combat and how that might apply to preparing for a race like this: keeping calm, keeping composed and having a deliberate race plan rather than a crash action.”
The Disher Challenge Cup is the feature of the regatta.
It is a race for eight-oared boats held over a distance of about 3000m.
It was first run in 1971 between ANU and RMC to provide an outlet for the rivalry between students at the two institutions. Today, it is only open to ANU, RMC and ADFA.
The Disher Cup Regatta includes men’s and women’s single sculls, coxed fours and eights races, all of which were won by ANU in 2020.