By Jeppe Boats and Blades Founders

Subject to shipping cost fluctuations, we have now paid the boat off.  This is a remarkable achievement made possible by the support and contribution of many. It would not have been possible without the buy-in from the current Rowing Club parents, the school and so many old boys who were keen to be part of the initiative.

In bringing this all together, there was a hive of activity behind the scenes.  Here the 4 trustees of Jeppe Boats and Blades share something of their experience over the last 8 months

Simon Moore – current Jeppe rowing coach: It has been a privilege to join such passionate parents and old boys on this journey in the quest to get the club a new eight.

Whilst not an easy task, the energy, dedication and commitment from all has been so consistent and powerful that the boat was managed to be purchased ahead of schedule.

This is a true testament to the Jeppe Spirit which underpins the philosophy of the Jeppe Rowing Club.

We know that the same passion and dedication will be put in by the boys who will take every opportunity to ensure the boat sings and slices through the water as fast as possible.

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Michelle Kirby current rowing parent:  When Greg and Chris asked me to be a part of JBB I was humbled that they held so much faith in me to deliver on this momentous task.  My sons started rowing in 2017 and from the moment I set foot on the water’s edge it was my dream to get Jeppe an 8. 

I joined the fund raising committee and along with incredible rowing parents worked endless hours year in and year out to raise funds and purchase new equipment for the club, but our efforts were never enough to buy a much needed 8.  So in April when I saw an opportunity to realise our dream – I leapt at the chance. 

True to Jeppe form “Nothing was too difficult for the Brave”.  Eight months later and we stand on the precipice of building new hopes and dreams for our Club and the 1st 8.  Words fail me as I finally say we did it!  May our Jeppe Rowing Boys enjoy many incredible moments of Glory and Success in Damascus, forever Reaching for Gold.  All my love Michelle Kirby

Chris Midlane  1st 4 ’87: Eight months ago, four of us embarked on an initiative to raise funds for Jeppe High School Rowing Club. We had one unique aim; to give Jeppe Rowing a competitive edge and restock the fleet though fund raising, auctions, raffles, and an online shop (watch this space!!).

Without the buy- in from you, our reader, we would not have achieved the target of our first point of business – purchasing a First Eight Boat for the Club. I personally would like to thank every one of you, for reading our newsletters, watching and sharing the video interviews, and contributing in any way in growing Jeppe Rowing. Without the “Old Crew’s” involvement, we would still be sitting on the Jetty getting our feet wet.  

To my co-creators- Greg Le Roux, Michelle Kirby and Simon Moore; the Jeppe Heads- Dale Jackson and Brendan Gittins, and Rowing Patrons Chairman Volkert Clausen, as well as numerous behind the scenes supporters (too numerous to mention!) – Thank you for the support and belief in Jeppe Boats and Blades. I look forward to seeing each of you at the Boat Launch on Twenty Eight January Twenty Twenty-one.

Greg Le Roux – Club Captain ’83It’s in our DNA as Jeppe boys to face challenges head-on and to overcome them. My journey with Jeppe Boats and Blades started as a result of seeing this spirit displayed by the 1st 8 crew of 2020, when they climbed into a borrowed boat at the SA School Championships, won their heat and went on to come 4th in the final.

This was a crew living up to a proud Jeppe tradition of not allowing anything to get in the way of them fulfilling the dream of competing at the premier event of their season.  I felt that their tenacity and strength of character should be recognised. 

Eight months later, with a high-end boat on-route, I can see that there are many others who feel the same.  Each one remembering their own experiences, the rich deposit rowing has made in their lives and wanting to be part of getting our boys into a boat of their own.

The story of Jeppe Boats and Blades does not end here. We now have the task of upgrading the rest of the fleet and will continue to support the Rowing Club. We will be announcing the next project in early December once the club has done a review of the equipment. 


  1. This is such a momentous achievement! Really appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

  2. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! In a year where it would have been so easy to make excuses – you have pulled off something incredible. Well done! The club and greater family owe you a debt of gratitude for driving this and cant wait to see the guys in their new boat.

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