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June 2017 News

2017 brings us the 150th running of the Victorian APS Head of the River. Whilst there are older rowing regattas and also older rowing clubs than this regatta, there are no older continuously running school regattas in the world. This is therefore a unique event and a cause for celebration.

There are records of schools racing each other prior to 1868 when this regatta commenced, but these were one off races or discontinued events.

In anticipation of this celebration, your correspondent will continue to add competition details to complete the history of this event.

December 2016 News

Now that the current international events are behind us, it is time top reflect back 50 years ago to Australian's first sweep oared gold medal at a FISA regatta and 30 years ago to our first gold medal at a senior World Championships in an open sweep event.

Fifty years ago in 1967, a Mercantile based crew won the first sweep oared gold medal for Australia in true international competition. To provide some background, the World Championships for rowing commenced in 1962 and were held every four years until 1974 when they were held annually. In the other years, FISA endorsed other events such as the European Championships to provide racing. In 1967, it endorsed the Canadian Centennial Regatta as a FISA event and European crews attended the regatta at the expense of the regatta committee. Australian was represented by several crews including this coxed four from Victoria. The race was therefore against the best in the world, endorsed by FISA and so the first sweep gold medal won by Australia in such company.

The crew comprised:
Bow: Stephen Gillon
2: David Douglas
3: John Harry
Str: Graeme Boykett
Cox: Tom Daffy
Cch: Hubert Frederico

30 years ago Australia won it's first World Championship eight at Nottingham.

It was one of the highlights of Australian rowing history. The crew comprised:

Bow: James Galloway (NSW)
2: Mal Batten (QLD)
3: Andrew Cooper (VIC)
4: Michael McKay (VIC)
5: Mark Doyle (VIC)
6: James Tomkins (VIC)
7: Ion Popa (VIC)
Str: Steve Evans (NSW)
Cox: Dale Caterson (NSW)
Cch: Reinhold Batschi (ACT)

October 2016 News

With all Australian teams settled for the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Under 23 Championships, World Under 19 Championships, preparations are nearing completion for these big events. For the first time the senior, under 23 and under 19 Championships will be combined for a great regatta at Rotterdam.

Racing for Australian teams has commenced with the first leg of racing completed at Penrith from 30th June to 2nd July 2016 for the Youth Cup, an event between Australia and New Zealand for under 21 rowers. Results have been posted on the website.

The next event is the Olympic Games in Rio in early August.

May/ June 2016 News

It has been a big month for rowing history matters. Firstly, the two hour story of the 1924 Olympic Eight, "Paris or the Bush" was launched with great acclaim at Murray Bridge. The film makers Wayne Groom and Carolyn Bilsborow have undertaken this massive task with great skill. The final product is superb. My heartiest congratulations.

The other news was the launch of the City of Warrnambool Rowing Club history by Susan Finnigan. This history will be reproduced on this site shortly.

March/ April 2016

Sad news with the death of 2012 Olympic silver medallist Sarah Tait after a fight with cancer. A moving ceremony was conducted for her at the National Championships. A brief rowing biography of her can be found through this link. It is so sad that such an important person has been take from us so young. Our sympathy goes out to husband Bill and their two young children.

February 2016

It is sad to report the passing of David Boykett OAM, on 10th February 2016, one of the sports legends. David was an exceptional rower, coach and administrator of the sport. Bronze medallist at the Melbourne Games, member of the Australian eight at the 1st and 2nd World Championships and coach of the men's eight at the 3rd World Championships. Six wins from seven starts in the King's Cup and two wins from three starts as coach. Initiator of the youth category in Australia, coaching education and several rowing bodies. He was selfless man who gave generously of his time, energy, leadership and knowledge to others. He was an icon of the sport.

Rowing Victoria Inc commenced as a formal association in 1876. It is probably the oldest rowing association in the world. This year will be the 140th anniversary of its commencement. A 10 year project has begun to have the full history prepared well in time for the 150th anniversary. This history will be a complete record of the 150 years and so is a massive undertaking. The appendices will be the focus in the coming years and will be a useful reference tool for rowers pending completion of the history in 2026.

The initial work undertaken to date is approximately 500 printed pages of materials so the finished work will be the equivalent of a multi volume written history. Like the rest of this website, it is a massive historical resource.

October 2015

Kim Crow 2015 World Champion

2015 World Championships provide Australia with one gold and two silver in Olympic classes and two gold in Paralympic classes. For full results, go to: 2015 World Championships results.

August 2015

Vale Paul Rowe

Sadly Paul passed away after a long debilitating illness. Nick Hunter has provided the following comments on Paul. Paul started with the AIS as a scholarship coach in 1985, before being appointed as the AIS sculling coach from 1990 to 1994. During his time at the AIS Paul coached Australian teams at the 1991, 1993 and 1994 World Championships, and the Australia women’s double scull at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Prior to coaching Paul had a distinguished career as an oarsman, and was the Australian lightweight single sculler at the 1975 World Championships in Nottingham. Outside of his AIS commitments Paul always had an eye to both the grass roots of the sport and the next generation of rowers, and regularly found time to coach a range of club and junior athletes. Several of Paul’s former club athletes have since become respected coaches on Australian teams or senior administrators in Australian sport.

Paul is survived by his wife Lizzie, children Kate, Jane, Maud and Jack, and grandchildren.

Vale Phillip Cayzer

Sadly Phil Cayzer passed away on 15th July 2015 aged 93. Phil provided a lifetime of distinguished service to the sport and was one of the greats of our sport.

A tribute to Phil Cayzer can be found on this link.

June 2015

Margot Foster AM

MUBC member Margot Foster was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her significant service to sports administration and governance at the state and national level, as an elite athlete, and through support for women in sport. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition.

The ideas and format for this history originated from the Olympic Rowing and World Senior Rowing Championship histories written by Margot Foster and the editor of this site, Andrew Guerin in 1991, 1992 & 1993 for the Australian team handbooks.

Margot's superb work for sport continues.

Andrew Cannon AM

Mercantile Rowing Club member Andrew Cannon was also recognised for significant service to the community through fundraising, support roles with a range of organisations and to Indigenous youth education.

March to May 2015

Website changes are planned

The website design is changing. Whilst we are changing the look to a simple and fresh look, there is no significant change to the navigation which has proved to be so good.

Australian Teams Selected

The Australian selectors have announced the first round of selections for Australian teams. As in past years, Australian rowers studying abroad may be added to the teams and of course all selections are subject to fitness and maintenance of form. The selections are recorded in the following pages:

1919 Peace Regatta Photo gallery upgraded

In honour of our WWI service mend and women, additional photographs and materials have been added to the 1919 Peace Regatta section. The Begg family through Steve Pennington have provided some excellent materials for this display.

World Junior Championships updated

The World Junior Championship pages have been updated with results, teams and summaries. There is still more work to do but it is now fully functioning.

February 2015

Congratulations Sir Don Rowlands

  • Don Rowlands has been recognised in New Zealand's 2015 New Year's Honours' List as a Knight Commander of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) for his services to rowing and business.   

  • Sir Donald has only recently been recognised by Australia with the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to rowing which is to be presented to him at a ceremony in Auckland on 29 January 2015.  Both honours are a wonderful recognition of the years of unstinting service that Don has given to our sport.

Don Rowlands in his rowing days


Congratulations Bob Alexander OAM

  • Great volunteer of Queensland and Australian rowing, Bob Alexander, has been recognised in the Australia Day honours list. Bob, a past Australian and Queensland representative, has been one of the sports best volunteers at regattas and with roles with Rowing Queensland.

Vale Roger Leach

  • Phil Manglesdorf reports that SA Scotch College, University of Adelaide and SA King's Cup coach Roger Leach died in February 2015. Roger was an active coach, commentator and administrator. Our condolences to his family.

January 2015

1989 National Championships added

  • The latest addition to the site is the results of the 1989 National Championships which were severely disrupted by Cyclone Ned. In that year, no Interstate Championships were conducted and only a few National Championship finals conducted. An unofficial King's Cup regatta was conducted a few weeks later with Victoria recording a win. The weather at this regatta followed the flooding of the 1988 Australian Championships on the Nepean River. All eyes were focussed on the World Championship course in 1990 for a good regatta.

2014 Interstate Championships added

  • The 2014 Interstate Championship results and photo gallery have been added to the site. This regatta was held between the National Championship finals and the World Cup finals on the Saturday afternoon. With no World Cup in 2015, these Championships will again return to Sunday.

2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games added

  • Results and photo gallery for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games added.

Images from the dim past

  • Image galleries from the 1920-30 period are being added this month.

1925 WA crew in Melbourne

December 2014

1988 National Championships added

  • The latest additions to the site are the results and extensive photo gallery of the last Australian Championships conducted on the Nepean River. The famous course was unkind in 1988 with flooding which not only impacted the racing but also washed the course away on the final day.
  • It would not be until 1996 that the Australian Championships would again be held in NSW.

Winning 1988 Open Four from Mercantile

Bow: Richard Howden, 2: Michael McKay, 3: Sam Patten, Str: James Tomkins, Cox: Graeme Barns

1965 Trans Tasman Test enhanced

  • The 1965 Trans Tasman Test has been enhanced with more results and a photo gallery. The Test was a great series of regattas for NZL.
  • Interestingly the NZL manager Don Croot was to migrate to Australia and become the Australian team manager. His son Stephen Croot continues as a great contributor to Australian rowing through his IT work.

1983 Interstate Championships photo gallery enhanced

  • New photos from the Hebfotos collection have been added to the photo gallery for 1983 Interstate Championships

1923 Interstate Championships - photo gallery

  • A photo gallery has been added to these Championships at which SA won the men's eight and women's four. Arthur Bull from NSW won the scull.

September 2014

2014 World Rowing Masters Regatta at Ballarat

  • The recent regatta at Ballarat was not only the FISA Masters Regatta, but it was also a reunion for members of the 1956 Olympic rowing teams from Australian, Japan, Italy and Germany. Presentations were made to those attending and a row past of those present was conducted. Some of those who raced at Ballarat in 1956 liked it so much that they stayed.
  • In honour of this reunion, 1956 Olympic photo gallery has been updated - see below for the link.

Victorian Minister of Sport Damien Drum with a member of both the Japanese and German 1956 teams.

Michael Eastaughffe retires from International Umpiring

  • Michael Eastaughffe was presented with his retirement medal by FISA at the FISA Masters regatta.

Patrick Rombaut (Chairman of the FISA Umpires Commission) and Michael Eastaughffe at Michael's retirement presentation.

December 2013

  • Congratulations to Peter Antonie, Michael McKay, James Tomkins and Michael Eastaughffe on their election as life members of Rowing Australia. Michael Eastaughffe has provided a lifetime of distinguished service to our sport. Peter Antonie, Michael McKay & James Tomkins have also provided distiguished service to our sport and are also Keller Medallists, the highest honour that can be bestowed on individuals by World Rowing.
  • Vale Brian Dalton, a much loved and esteemed rowing coach who played a large role in the development of women's lightweight rowing in Australia.

Past Additions


November 2017

October 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015


September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

August 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013



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