Boat Race Dinner
This year’s Boat Race Dinner at Leonda by the Yarra returned to its historic place in the calendar, immediately following the Head of the River Regatta. There was much to celebrate with the historic back-to-back win of the Girls’ First VIII crew just days before, as well as the ability for us to gather in person once again.
The room was thrilled to welcome the current First Crews back from their commitments at the Nationals in Nagambie and the evening flowed under the knowledgeable control of MC, Cam Williams (OW1982). Highlights included the awarding of the OWCA Paul Guest Rowing Medal, as voted by members of the current First Crews. This year’s medal went to Lauren Mayhood, whose inspiring thank-you speech came so effortlessly. It was clear to see that she embodied the medals symbol of Leadership, Inspiration and Humility.
Mark Hibbins (OW1978), Community Liaison OWCA, then interviewed last year’s medal recipient and 2021 First Crew member, Leyla Kenneally (OW2021), her sister Lauren, a member of this year’s winning crew and their father, Andrew “Crackers” Kenneally (OW1989), a legend in both Football and Rowing circles. Andrew was also a member of the First Crews in both 1988 and 1989 and son of former staff member and honorary Life Member of the OWCA, Bryan Kenneally. It was a unique and historic opportunity.
The singing, led by Mark Stevens (OW1965), was as popular as ever and thanks as always must go to the Alan Mitchell Club for their excellent support of this cherished event.