Hello there!

Joan Didion said, “Something about a situation will bother me, so I will write a piece to find out what it is.” I can relate to that. 

I’m a chronic forager – always on the lookout for any nugget of quality info that will help me row better and faster.

Most of what I find is aimed at high-performance athletes but is also still relevant for ‘old farts’ like myself who are passionate about improving their rowing but have little in the way of support or coaching.

This blog is my way of sharing the little treasures I unearth, and my own learning experiences, with masters rowers like yourself.


I learnt to row (sweep) in Ireland in the 1980s—Lee Rowing Club in Cork and, later, Commercial Rowing Cub in Dublin.

After going cold turkey, I emigrated to Australia and life took me in different directions, though the sight of rowers on water always stirred some suppressed longing deep within me.

30 years later, in 2012, I discovered that Lake Macdonald Rowing Club—a micro-club of masters rowers—was almost on my doorstep. And what a lake!


Once I saw Karen Turnbull sculling in her single, I thought: ‘Wow. How beautiful and graceful and strong. I want to learn to scull like that’. 

So I put my mind to it and sculling has become my passion. I still have so much to learn but that’s the beauty of it, right?

In 2018, the local water authority gave us notice to quit the lake because of construction to rebuild the spillway. So I joined Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club and now row on the Noosa River, which is also beautiful but comes with many more hazards – tides, channel markers, houseboats, pleasure boats, outriggers, a car ferry, jet skis… and bull sharks.

I’m keen to interview masters rowers and coaches from all over the world for my Old farts series, so please dob in anyone who might be willing to share their story.

Thanks for reading. I hope you get something out of it.

Mary O’Callaghan

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi. I’m an old fart and I row. Recently saw a bumper sticker with your slogan on it: Rowing Old Gracefully. How could I get a couple of these??


    1. Hi Lee, good to meet you and glad you like my tagline. Sounds like someone has pinched it or perhaps came up with it all by themselves. I’ve been thinking about making some merchandise so maybe it’s time I got onto it before someone else does! Cheers, Mary
      PS Where do you row?


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