Rowing: Singapore's Easter Rowing Club launches first inter-club 3-Way Regatta

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (in black) pipping Singapore’s Easter Rowing Club to first place during the Open Men’s Eight of the 3-Way Regatta at Pandan Reservoir, on Jan 26, 2019.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (in black) pipping Singapore’s Easter Rowing Club to first place during the Open Men’s Eight of the 3-Way Regatta at Pandan Reservoir, on Jan 26, 2019.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Local rowing club Easter Rowing Club (ERC) launched its first inter-club event, the two-day 3-Way Regatta, at Pandan Reservoir on Jan 26.

The event, comprising 68 athletes from five clubs, was held in collaboration with the Shanghai Rowing Club and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

The other two participating clubs were the Kuala Lumpur Rowing Club and the Swan River Rowing Club from Perth.

Olympian Saiyidah Aisyah was among the 68 athletes and raced in the masters single sculls and open quadruple sculls events. It was her first time racing since 2016.

"This event is good to raise awareness of the sport. We hardly have any rowing events in Singapore so it's a good initiative by the club to encourage rowing," said the 30-year-old, who is an ERC member.

"It's good to have friendly competition and bring people together."

Despite the windy conditions and choppy waters, Aisyah stayed calm and won both her races.

"It was super windy today so it was challenging. But I know that in windy conditions, the more tense you are, the worse it gets. I just told myself to remain calm and it felt really good once I got the rhythm right."

ERC president Steve Davies said he hopes the event raises awareness of rowing in Singapore while fostering good relations with rowers in the region.

"Rowing is a minority sport in Singapore at the moment, so we would like to get it more recognised as a sport here," he said.

"When you get together with people from all over the world in regattas like this, it helps foster a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie.

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club coach Ben Rowa said the event also benefits young rowers.

"We brought quite a few youth rowers here to let them see rowers of their age and ability. I think this will help them stay in the sport longer because they get to learn from other people," said the 30-year-old.

The ERC is also aiming to encourage more youth in Singapore to start rowing.

Said Davies: "We want to grow more youth rowing with the Singapore Rowing Association (SRA) and really start getting more Singaporeans into rowing.

"We plan to use outreach programmes through the SRA and reach out to students in ITEs (Institute of Technical Education), polytechnics and universities and make rowing more mainstream."