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History of Torrens Rowing Club

Table of Contents



  1. Life Members, Presidents, Captains, Australian & Olympic Representatives
  2. 1903-1914
  3. 1914-1930
  4. 1931-1939
  5. 1939-1956
  6. 1957-1965
  7. 1966-1979
  8. 1980-1990
  9. 1990-2003


In March 1980 tile Supreme Court of SA gave judgment in favor of Torrens Rowing Club for damages as a result of the fire in December 1975.

On the water there was a mixed hag of results with only three State Championships. Another stalwart of the Club, Mr Frank Lodge, passed away during this year. Bill Dankbaar's selection in the Olympic Men's Coxed Eight for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games was a club highlight.

1980-81 was a successful year with the Club winning the Senior Premiership and the Lightweight Premiership, with six State Championship wins. Even better news was to follow with The Kings Cup race held on the Hinze Dam, Queensland being won by South Australia (the first time since 1937). The crew was brilliantly coached by TRC Club member Bill Dankbaar, and managed by another TRC member, Peter Giacchino.

The Club again won the Lightweight Premiership and four State Championships in 1981-82. TRC members were also part of three National Championship winning crews. SA won the Kings Cup race for the second consecutive year. TRC had six members represent Australia that year: Steve Mann (Senior Men's Coxed Four), and Rob Booth, Joel Mayne, Michael Emery, Craig Russell (cox) and Bill Dankbaar (coach) in the Junior Men's Coxed Four.

1982-83 saw a decline in the membership with the brunt of the rowing being placed on the Junior Four that had rowed in Italy the previous winter. We still achieved four State Championships and one Victorian State Championship win.

TRC members were prominent in the great results on the Canning River, W.A, when the SA Youth Men's Eight, in a first ever win for SA, came from behind to beat Victoria by 0.03 Seconds. The TRC members were Rob Booth, Joel Mayne, M. McInerney, Michael Emery and Bob Russell (coach). This great result was followed up by S.A winning the Kings Cup for the third consecutive year, again with Bill Dankbaar as coach and Peter Giacchino as manager.

1983 also saw Australian representation for TRC members Joel Mayne, Bill Dankbaar and Peter Giacchino. In 1983-84 under the Presidency of Michael Eastaughffe, women were admitted into the Club as full active rowing members following a Special General Meeting . In their first year, TRC women won two State Championships and two National Championships.

198182 TRC coxed four

1981-1982 TRC Coxed Four

TRC had four members, Rob Booth, Karen Brancourt, Robyn Grey-Gardiner and Bill Dankbaar, chosen as part of the 1984 Australian Olympic Rowing Team to compete in Los Angeles. Bill Dankbaar coached the Women's Coxed Four that went on to win a bronze medal. Connie Van der Werp and Matthew Draper were selected in the Senior B Australian Team.

In September 1983, Brian Richardson, a former TRC member, Kings Cup and Olympic oarsman was one of the "grinders" on Australia II, the winning yacht in the America's Cup. Brian is the son of former winning Kings Cup rower and TRC member Max Richardson.

In 1983 plans were submitted to the Adelaide City Council for additions to the present boatshed to provide more boat space as well as a female toilet and shower facilities. Work was well underway in 1984 and 1985 on the clubroom extensions but there were not many results on the water. Peter Green won the Championship Second Grade single scull and Craig Russell had a very successful season with 20 race wins including Championship Schoolboy Single Scull. Two more Australian representatives were to come from TRC, in Mark Mclnerney and Joel Mayne. Matthew Draper obtained a coaching scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

1985-86 was a dismal season for TRC, however we managed to win three State Championships and gained second placing in the Men's and Women's Premierships. Mark McInerney again gained Australian Team selection and Robyn Grey-Gardiner rowed for Australia in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, winning Gold in the Women's Eight and Silver in the coxed Four.

Season 1986-87 was one of the best since "The Golden Era" of the sixties, with TRC winning Women's and Men's Premierships and thirteen State Championships-, including Senior Eights, Fours, Pairs and Sculls. Showing particular dominance was Paul Thompson who was a member of each of the Men's State Championship winning crews Two TRC female members were in winning National Championship crews.

In 1987, Matthew Draper started "Learn To Row" classes through the Workers Education Association (WEA).

TRC was saddened by the death of Alf Gregory during this year. Alf was the Stroke of many TRC winning crews, the 1937 SA winning Kings Cup crew and stroke of the Silver Medal Eight at the Empire Games in Sydney 1938.

1987-88 was another successful year, highlighted by winning the Women's Premiership for the second successive year, along with six State Championships and five National Championships. Steve Nesbitt, Gavin Russell and Tim Burns topped off good local seasons with selection in the Australian Team.

1988-89 again saw great success for TRC, winning the State Women's Premiership for the third successive time, ten State Championships, two National Championships and Australian Selection for four of our members: Steve Nesbitt, Gavin Russell, Tim Burns, and Matthew Draper (coach).

In 1989-90 the South Australian Sports Institute was started. The rowing program under the leadership of Simon Gillette proving to be a great asset for South Australia's elite rowers.

TRC continued to he competitive on the water and secured eight State Championships, four Victorian Championships and three National Championships, with Robyn Grey-Gardiner coaching our State's first win in Women's Youth Coxed Four. TRC member Marnie Boylan-Sugg was part of that winning crew.

Gavin Russell, Andrew Pearce, John Keogh and Matthew Draper (coach) were our 1990 Australian Representatives in the Senior Lightweight Four at the World Rowing Championships.

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