Emmanuel College UQ men's crews race on the Brisbane River

Emmanuel Men’s VIII and Old Dogs Men’s VIII competing in The Battle of the Bark rowing race

Emmanuel Rowing Camp: The Battle of the Bark

4 May, 2018

by Connie Short, Emmanuel College Communications Intern and current student

Emmanuel’s 2018 rowing camp launched a new tradition: a rival race between the Emmanuel Men’s VIII, an improvised Emmanuel Women’s VIII (from the EMC Women’s 1st through to 5th crews), and an alumni Old Dogs Men’s VIII.

Called to the challenge via the Emmanuel College Alumni Facebook page, young alums from 2015 to 2017 Alex Tredinnick, Andrew Herrmann, George Pikusa, Alec Bravard, Benji Goodman, Alex Hamilton, Jackson Rees, Chris Roche and cox Harrison Plume made the Old Dogs Men’s VIII.

The three crews raced down the Brisbane River, with Blue Dogs cheering from the riverbank as they passed Martin wing. Abetted by a head start to ensure a fair playing field, the Women’s VIII took victory at the Somerville Jetty.

Men’s rowing convenor Finlay Walton said that the alumni team put up a good fight. “It meant a lot to the new rowers this year, seeing the Old Dogs in their element, and seeing where they could be in a few years.”

Current rowing coach and alum Alex Tredinnick said he enjoys giving back to Emmanuel. “It was great fun getting back in the VIII. Emmanuel rowing was definitely a highlight of the college experience for me. I’m still living with one of the boys from my 2015 crew.” Andrew Herrmann and Jackson Rees both said that being back in the VIII brought back some of their fondest College memories. Alex Hamilton agreed, “It would be great to have some more integration between current Blue Dogs and Old Dogs. It’s such a great chance to catch up with old friends and meet new people.”

Women’s rowing convenor Alida Thistlethwaite was also pleased that alums had been involved in this year’s rowing camp. “It helps keep the Emmanuel legacy alive, having the opportunity to meet with and race Old Dogs.”

Rowing has seen a real resurgence at Emmanuel over the past few years. The generosity of College alumni to help purchase boats and equipment has no doubt contributed to the sport’s appeal among students.

Emmanuel students plan to hold the camp and the race again next year, and hope that more alums — perhaps from the 80s, 90s and 00s — will join them for The Battle of the Bark.

Visit our Facebook page for photos of some great moments from the race.