Fairfield Canoe Club
2019 Centenary Year

2017 Awards

Awards presentation by Rowan Doyle, Technical Director.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners and custodians of the land and river at Fairfield, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.  We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.  We also recognise the elders of Fairfield Canoe club – those who are no longer with us and those who are with us today.  The members who have coached, raced, paddled, helped each other and made the Fairfield community what it is today.

We’ll be presenting a series of awards which recognize performance, improvement, dedication and club spirit.

Awards have a racing focus but we’ll also be talking about the wider FCC – social, touring, supporting each other. 

Awards are a recognition of individual results – but they are also a celebration of the efforts of all of us behind the results: the coaches, parents, friends and club board. Some highlights:


  • Tony Payne, who has been a great support in organizing coaching this year, particularly organizing and running Zoli sessions
  • All of the FCC coaches who’ve stepped forward this year, Julie, Tony, Joe, Alex for FCC courses, Joe with Hamish, Peter and others supporting Trinity, Brigit and Jen for Canoe Polo, Marg for Strathcona, Rowan, Alex, Trev, Hamish, Pat with the juniors.
  • The emerging coaches who are completing their coaching qualifications including Pat, Alex, Macgregor
  • The coaches who run the Zoli sessions including Kelly, Anna, Tony, Chris, Chris, Rowan, Lofty and particularly Bob who runs our time trials.


  • All of the FCC people who have helped out with running kayaking and canoeing events this year.
  • Volunteers who make FCC what it is: creating the social environment, maintaining and improving our facilities- working bees etc.
  • Particular thanks to the team who have organized and helped out with today’s event: Elena and family, Brendan, Tony,.

Parents, Partners, Children and Families of paddlers.

  • For supporting our paddlers at all levels
  • For Driving…

FCC Board, who have been a fabulous support in building up our fleet, our facilities and in supporting the FCC community in racing and touring.

Now onto the awards.

1)   Winter Series

These awards are to acknowledge the best paddlers in the 2017 Winter Series – Marathon races.

FCC had a very good presence in this year’s winter series – in all races.  We had great participation levels.  We came a close second to INCC on club points and on junior points, with Trinity second to MLC in the school points.  Good results, but we will do better next year.

Separate awards are presented to male, female & junior members and also to recognize the best canoeist or kayaker if not recognized elsewhere.
Members who accumulate the most number of points in the competition are declared winners. 

On individual results, we’ve calculated them using the Canoeing Victoria points for races – basing the total points accumulated over the 5 races which were completed this year.  The winners were very clear and matched well with the traditional FCC points methodology too.  We’ve also awarded a best canoe award.


Women: Marlena competed in all 6 races, Elena 4.  Marlena also competed in just about every marathon race available this year including the summer series and several downriver events, the Victorian championships and the nationals.

Men: Hamish and Tony competed in 6 races, Rowan 5, Pat, Alan, Sabastian and Trevor 4.  Hamish and Tony also both participated in many of the summer series, the Vic champs and the nationals.

Juniors: Alex Brown, Chris Burns, Kevin Dong, Alex Kerr, Jack Harpin, Leo Lazarotto and Wil Toland all competed in 5 races.  Unfortunately this year our junior girls did not paddle in sufficient races to receive an award.


Women's: Marlena Ahrens

Men's: Hamish Young

Junior Boys: Leo Lazarotto

Mens Canoe: Tony Payne.

2)   Coaches Award

This award is based on feedback from the coaches and rewards commitment, consistency and improvement in paddling over the past 12 months.  We’ve had nominees from the Strathcona group, the Trinity group, the junior “paddlepower” group and a number of disparate groups and have awarded across those groups.

A highlight has been the strength in the Trinity squad, which this year kept its numbers up right throughout winter despite the push towards backwards paddling at Trinity.

This year we’ve had a number of strong nominees from the various junior groups:

  • From trinity: Nathan Jones, Robert Burns, Chris Burns, Leo Lazarotto
  • From strathcona: Em Toner, Kate Leydam, Lucy Garnham
  • From canoe polo: Julian Howes, Darshan Giri - note that the only reason we have no canoe polo players here today is that they are all competing at Essendon in the Interclubs match - with 4 Fairfield teams competing!
  • From the FCC juniors: Vangelis Matteou, Emily Campbell, Lachlan and Campbell McConnell
  • From the sprinters: Macgregor Doyle
  • And from the seniors: Stephen Routley and Elena Cementon

Others who we would like to highlight include:

  • Lisa Newton, who has paddled in just about every race possible this year
  • Helen Neil, Wennie Van Lint and Stephen Routley who paddled the Hawkesbury
  • Sabastian and Chau who are revitalizing C paddling

And the winners are:

Chris Burns, Em Toner, Julian Howes, Macgregor Doyle, Vangelis Mattheou.

3)   Szigeti Medal

The Szigeti Medal is awarded for elite paddling in national and international competition and is not always awarded.  Last time it was awarded was to Noah Cameron.

This year, we’ve had a number of paddlers who have competed internationally: Macgregor in the Olympic Hopefuls in Czech Republic, Jen and Brigit in the Aust Womens’ Canoe Polo team, and Marlena and Sabastian in the world marathon championships.  Really exciting to have so many competing at the highest level of our sport.  We’ve also had good representation & results at the sprint and marathon nationals.

Congratulations to all of our elite paddlers.  But there’s only one winner and she is a very clear winner, having competed in more marathon races this year than any other FCC paddler, as well as achieving superb results consistently.  Her dedication and training is legendary.  The winner is Marlena Ahrens.

4)   Under the Yarra Award

This is awarded to a member who personifies the club spirit – often relating to one incident.

We had three nominees.

  • Alan Daley and Alex Boyd, who facilitated a rescue of a cold wet paddler in the tinnie but managed to turn the tinnie into a submarine during the rescue
  • Joe Alia, who, while running a beginners course just after a storm, saved the beginner but lost the boat downstream … the boat eventually being rescued from McAuleys – 2/3 of the way down to Studley Park.

And the winner is: Joe Alia.  While we may have a bit of fun at Joe’s expense over this award, Joe is one of the most deserving winners of the award we could have.  He is tireless in his support of paddling, his building up and developing the Trinity paddlers and his amazing development of marathon paddling in Victoria and Australia over many years.

I'd like to now introduce Simon Boyd, FCC Chair, to present the President's Award.


5)   President’s Award

This award recognises significant contribution to Fairield Canoe Club over the year and is at the Chairperson's discretion.


Tony Payne: has managed the sunday sessions this year, has helped organise coaching (cajoling, persuading) sessions and has also managed to compete in every single winter series race this year.

Brigit Doyle: for getting a junior canoe polo team going, coaching and promoting it including at schools, running the Australian womens canoe polo training camp at FCC, as well as battling injury and playing internationally.

Hamish Ewing: for undertaking the club history project.

Michael Loftus-Hills: for running the FCC website over the years, battling the worst efforst of the hosting provider and helping to keep our communications top notch.

and the winner is ... Hamish Ewing.

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