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FROM THE HEART

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. 

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COACHES CORNER

By Simon Moore | Jeppe Rowing MIC

So 18 weeks down into the program! You should feel stronger and fitter than you did 18  weeks ago. You should have a “ new normal”.

You have now successfully built yourself up to being able to cope with a solid regime and so the programme will not be adjusted from here.

The key now is consistency and keeping to adhere to the program with regularity.

Please note that this program has been designed assuming you have been following it from the beginning ( 24 July 2020).

If you are joining the program now, please refer to the news letter dated 24 July 2020 and you can start the program from there.

Enjoy Simon

YOUNG-BUCK ADVANCED PROGRAME

YOUNG-BUCK BEGINNER PROGRAME

COUCH POTATO

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COACHES CORNER

By Simon Moore – MIC Jeppe Rowing

So 16 weeks down into the program You should feel stronger and fitter than you did 14  weeks ago. You should have a “ new normal”.

You have now successfully built yourself up to being able to cope with a solid regime and so the programme will not be adjusted from here.

The key now is consistency and keeping to adhere to the program with regularity.

Please note that this program has been designed assuming you have been following it from the beginning ( 24 July 2020).

If you are joining the program now, please refer to the news letter dated 24 July 2020 and you can start the program from there.

Enjoy

Simon

Young-Buck Advanced Programme

Young-Buck Beginner Programme

Coach Potato Programme

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Introducing CLEAVER the latest addition to the Jeppe Fleet

Cleaver on route to Jeppe Rowing sheds

The story of Gary ‘Butch’ Hepburn and his faithful John Waugh Racing Scull is one that transcends the boundaries of time and place.  Butch was a successful school coxswain, he coxed both the 1st 4 and 2nd 8 in 1984 and 1985 respectively with a string of wins culminating in a 2nd 8 Win at ’84 and ’85 SA Champs.  Not content with this, the 3rd 8 in which he rowed as bowman also had a successful year.

Like all good stories there were disappointments too and the ’84 1st 4 crew that included Kevin Smith, Sean Du Buisson, Warren Van Rensburg, Christian Roberg (shown in picture below), were unbeaten the whole season, finished 3rd at SA champs to St Stithians (who took delivery of a new Empacher two weeks before champs) and a touring German Squad who took second place.

Butch’s rowing and coaching of junior teams did not end when leaving school and in 1986 he coached the Jeppe under 14’s with Antony Short and in 1987 the under 15’s. Military conscription in 1988 and career opportunities in Kimberley in 1990 interrupted his rowing opportunities. In 1999 he purchased the John Waugh racing scull which accompanied him to Scotland, where he was fond of rowing on the lake at Lochwinnoch located in the west central Lowlands. Ultimately both Butch and boat returned to South Africa a year later and returned to Kimberley where he still resides.

Cleaver waiting to be taken to it’s new home

The scull is once again on a journey, this time from Kimberly to its new home at the Jeppe rowing shed at Victoria Lake. Here it will give a whole new group of oarsmen the chance to appreciate the craftsmanship that John Waugh boats are renowned for as they refine their own skills and hopefully take home some medals. 

In keeping with the tradition of naming boats after blades, it is fitting that the boat will be named Cleaver. This is relevant, as Butch is a well-known restaurateur in both Kimberly and George and this blade is a mark of his profession. 

Jeppe Boats and Blades thanks Butch for both his generous contribution to the new 1st 8 and donating Cleaver to the Jeppe Rowing Club. His continued support is testimony to the value he places on the sport and in equipping current and future oarsmen.

Jeppe “84 1st 4 with Butch as Cox
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SAVE THE DATE

Boat Specs

The boat that is being purchased for the rowing club ( out of the passion and spirit of the Jeppe Old Boys) is a Swift Full Carbon Upgrade (Elite Carbon).

This is a wing rigger eight where all skins will be 100% carbon from end to end. This results in even greater stiffness, especially for longer boats, such 8’s.

Rowing boats need to be stiff so that they support the weight properly, to ensure rigging is predictable and to transfer energy from the blade to the hull effectively.

The carbon fiber, achieves this whilst keeping the weight down.

If the kinetic energy produced by the rower is absorbed by the boat due to a flexible material, there is less energy dedicated to propelling the boat.

This boat will ensure the athletes are given the full opportunity to showcase their talents.

The boat has aptly been named “ Damascus”.

History and context of the name:

Damascus steel was the forged steel of the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from ingots of Wootz steel -imported from Southern India. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water, or in a “ladder” or “teardrop” pattern. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge.

The reputation and history of Damascus steel has given rise to many legends, such as the ability to cut through a rifle barrel or to cut a hair falling across the blade. Although many types of modern steel outperform ancient Damascus alloys, chemical reactions in the production process made the blades extraordinary for their time, as Damascus steel was superplastic and very hard at the same time.

Chris Midlane connects the name with Jeppe in that; “Damascus steel is forged in layers, with various other alloys to make it unique. Just like the Jeppe old boys. A variety of boys pitching together to fund the boat. Each unique in their own way”

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COACHES CORNER

So 14 weeks down into the program You should feel stronger and fitter than you did 14  weeks ago. You should have a “ new normal”.

You have now successfully built yourself up to being able to cope with a solid regime and so the programme will not be adjusted from here.

The key now is consistency and keeping to adhere to the program with regularity.

Please note that this program has been designed assuming you have been following it from the beginning ( 24 July 2020).

If you are joining the program now, please refer to the news letter dated 24 July 2020 and you can start the program from there.

Enjoy

Simon

YoungBuck Advanced Programme

YoungBuck Beginner Programe

Couch Potato Programme

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JEPPE BOATS AND BLADES KIT AUCTION WINNERS

CONGRATULATIONS to the following people who were successful in winning the bids for our Jeppe Boats and Blades Kit auction;

  • Leander Trisuits worn by Pete Lambert ex Jeppe Rower won by Ciaran Oconnell in the UK and Harry Fox in Australia
  • Signed Oxford Trisuit won by Gayle McCourt in SA
  • Signed Kirsten McCann Trisuit won by Claudio Salassa in the US – who very generously has donated the trisuit back to the Jeppe Rowing Club for display in their Ergo room
  • Signed Kirsten McCann Golfshirt won by Mike Dick in SA
  • Team GB Olympic training Trisuit worn by Peter Lambert, ex Jeppe Boy was won by Edwin Olivier in SA

A MASSIVE thank you to all for your generous support of our JBB initiative.

Warm regards

The JBB Founders

Greg, Chris, Simon and Michelle

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COACHES CORNER

So 12 weeks down into the program You should feel stronger and fitter than you did 12 weeks ago. You should have a “new normal”.

You have now successfully built yourself up to being able to cope with a solid regime and so the programme will not be adjusted from here.

The key now is consistency and keeping to adhere to the program with regularity.

Please note that this program has been designed assuming you have been following it from the beginning ( 24 July 2020).

If you are joining the program now, please refer to the news letter dated 24 July 2020 and you can start the program from there.

Enjoy Simon

Young-Buck Advanced Programme

Young-Buck Beginner Programme

Couch-Potato Programme

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CAMP MOM’S LETTER

As planning begins for the next January rowing camp, I sit back and reminisce on my experiences over the years as camp mom.

It’s a hard slog, early mornings, some late nights, but lots of laughter, fun and friendships formed with other parents that will last a lifetime.

This is the time though that you really get to witness how hard these boys work. Their grit, determination, and most of all their passion for the sport.  Over the years you see boys turn into men.  Men that we can all be proud of, men that never give up, men that support each other, push each other, and work together.  One of the highlights for me, is getting to know the boys as individuals, their quirks, their chirps and realise how each boy is different, diverse, and unique, but united in a sport they love.

I am not a morning person, and the typical camp day starts with a group of boys on early morning session. Real early, too early to be civil really. The early morning boys get an early morning cold breakfast of cereal, muffins, and fruit.  Did I mention how early this was? The muffins are lovingly prepared the previous day, except when every other mom forgets to bring their muffin pan and you have one cookie maker to make a million muffins, 8 at a time, then some of the muffins are not so loving prepared and maybe, just maybe, a million is an exaggeration.

After the early morning boys have carried their boats down to the river, and expertly embark on their 26km km trip to the bridge and beyond,  I grip onto my steaming cup of extra strong coffee, and watch them disappear into the distance.  A sight to behold, the rising sun reflecting on the water produces a picturesque landscape, rivalled only by the setting sun and the golden glow it produces. The morning is vibrant and alive, (and me, I am beginning to show signs of life too).  The next task for the day is prepping the hot breakfast for the boys doing late morning session.  Eggs, bacon, toast on the menu.  Fry, grill, toast.  Fry, grill, toast.  Fry, grill, toast.   Then they go off to train and the boys that came off the water need a cooked breakfast.   Fry, grill, toast.  Fry, grill, toast.  Fry, grill, toast.   Every meal, every boy has a “thank you ma’am” and many times, please may I have extra, please may I have seconds, thank you that was yummy.”    It makes it all worth it!

The day progresses with lunch and dinner prep, and ideas for inventive ways to slip vegetables into the meals, splinter and blister treatment, and for some of the U14’s, some TLC.   In between the prep work, there is the much needed downtime with coffee, chats and giggles and the occasional (only once, ever) an erg challenge for moms.

As the last rowing camp looms, I find a little dark cloud hanging over me, there will be no more early mornings, no more fry, grill toast, no more thank you ma’am,  I will miss all the boys as I feel like they are my own. I will miss their banter, laughter, and jokes.  I will not miss the other camp moms, as the strong friendship bonds that are formed during this time will last forever and we will be seeing each other often.  There is even a slight chance, that I might even miss the early mornings.

2nd Year Mom 2020/2021