Cape Byron Management CEO Mark Greenway, Murwillumbah Rowing Club's Michelle Grimes and president Simon Hillman.
Cape Byron Management CEO Mark Greenway, Murwillumbah Rowing Club's Michelle Grimes and president Simon Hillman.

How this power company is preserving a rowing legacy

LOOKING out of his Condong office window each morning, Mark Greenway would watch a steady stream of rowers paddle the Tweed River.

As chief executive officer of Cape Byron Management, Mr Greenway knew first-hand the changes COVID-19 restrictions had brought to the way of life in the Northern Rivers.

One of those changes was cancelling the '2020 Head of The Tweed', a popular rowing regatta that normally brings in about 270 boat crews from all over Australia to the region.

It is the first time in 14 years, the Murwillumbah Rowing Club's event has not taken place.

President Simon Hillway explained not only did the annual competition boost the town's economy from accommodation to food and retail, it was also a staple revenue raising venture for the club.

In the height of the pandemic, MRC could not operate at all but have slowly been able to get back on the water starting with rowing single boats as part of their COVID-19 safe plans.

The local club has been around since the 1970s and currently has about 60 members.

To help the club get back on its feet,

Cape Byron Power has partnered as a sponsor to ensure the iconic Head of the Tweed is held in 2021.


Rowers on the Tweed River on Friday.
Rowers on the Tweed River on Friday.


Mr Greenway said the company, which specialises in renewable energy generation, was proud to support the community their 25 employees came from.

"Our values are aligned, and we see the club's rowers training on the Tweed from our offices next to the water, so we can't wait for the Head of the Tweed regatta in 2021," he said.

Using electricity predominantly produced from sugar cane milling waste, Cape Byron Power supply electricity to the sugar mills as well as outside the crush season putting the equivalent of electricity for 60,000 back into the grid.

Mr Hillway encouraged the community to come along and try the club's four week Learn to Row program run on Saturday.

"The Northern Rivers is a beautiful area and unless you have a boat of some form you would never get to see how peaceful it is in the morning," he said.

"It's a low impact, natural form of exercise that uses all the muscle groups and helps particular older people maintain mobility."

For more information visit the Murwillumbah Rowing Club's website.