Interstate Women's Four/Eight Championship
Rowers compete for the Queen Elizabeth II Trophy, formerly known as the ULVA Trophy
The commencement of Interstate Women's competition is unclear but is thought to have started in 1912. However the first recognized championships occurred in 1920 when the Interstate Women's Four Championship was conducted in conjunction with the Interstate Men's Championships.
The Australian Women's Rowing Council was also established at these Championships. It is worth noting that the Australian Amateur Rowing Council was not formed until 1927.
The most prolific winner of this event is Lucy Stephan who won the race for the 10th time in 2023.
The 1920 Interstate Women's Four Championship was won by South Australia represented by a Mannum Rowing Club crew stroked by Dorothy Arnold. The United Licensed Victuallers Association (ULVA) of Queensland presented to the Australian Women's Rowing Council this unique sterling silver trophy. The trophy was crafted by London silversmiths to depict Dorothy Arnold, the petite girl from Mannum who stroked the winning crew. She is holding her oar and dressed in the rowing garb of her time, namely a floppy hat, sailor top and billowing bloomers. The trophy is inscribed with the following words: Interstate Ladies Four-Oared Championship Trophy Presented by Queensland Licensed Victuallers Association E H Ruddle Esq. President 1920.
The trophy is affectionately known to Australian oarswomen as Bertha. (Your author believes that this came from the stroke's middle name, Dorothy Bertha Arnold.) However in 1941, on the motion of NSW, the Australian Womens Rowing Council resolved to drop the name Bertha and that it be officially known as the ULVA Trophy. This change occurred only officially with the name "Bertha" still used by oarswomen.
In 1958, there was a brief discussion at the Australian Womens Rowing Council about the outmoded appearance of the trophy. Fortunately the majority of members disapproved of any alteration to moderise the dress of the model of the trophy.
In 2003, the trophy became officially known as the Queen Elizabeth II Trophy, or the Queens Cup. The original ULVA trophy remains the perpetual trophy.
There was an interesting lead up to the allocation of Queens Cup to the women's eight oared Championship with the Queens Cup originally being destined for an international schoolboy regatta. In 1993, Brisbane Boys' College raced Eton in the final of the Princess Elizabeth Cup at Henley and won. This was the first time that an Australian Schoolboy Crew had won this prestigious event.
In 1997 Simon Newcomb approached Dr Steve Hinchy (President of Rowing Australia) and asked for permission to approach Buckingham Palace and the Queen's Private Secretary Sir Robert Fellowes as to whether Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll would be prepared to provide a trophy to be known as the Queen's Cup for an annual International Schoolboy Race. The first race should take place to coincide with the centenary of Brisbane Boy's College in 2002.
Simon Newcomb of Brisbane continued to correspond with the Queen's Private Secretary Sir Robert Fellowes, Buckingham Palace, Rowing Australia, Government House in Brisbane and also in Canberra. On 26th November 1999, the following response was received from Kevin Davidson, Senior Adviser to the Governor General:
Dear Dr Hinchy [then President of Rowing Australia],
I refer to your letter of 19th April 1999 to the official Secretary requesting Her Majesty The Queen's consent to donate a perpetual trophy for an annual International schoolboy rowing event to be held in Australia. The Official Secretary has recently received formal advice that her majesty has consented to a Royal trophy to be called 'The Queen Elizabeth Cup' to be raced for in Australia by schoolboy crews from all over the world on an annual basis. Her Majesty is content for the first event to be held in Brisbane to coincide with the centenary celebrations of the Brisbane Boys' College in 2002.
Rowing Australia subsequently determined that the trophy would be best allocated to the women's eight event to provide some equity of regal trophies for men's and women's interstate eight oared championships and thus provide synergy with the Kings Cup.
In early 2001 approaches were made by Rowing Australia to the Governor General to have the trophy changed from an International Schoolboy Race to the Women's Interstate Eight Oared Championship. The Queen provided her consent to this change which occurred in 2003.
Summary of Women's Four/Eight (ULVA/Queen Elizabeth II Trophy) Race Results
DNF = Did not finish. DISQ = Disqualified. NTT = No time taken.
|1920||Brisbane River QLD||SA||QLD||NSW||3/4 mile||4:55.2|
|1921||Tamar River TAS||SA||QLD||TAS||3/4 mile||4:56.0|
|1922||Parramatta River NSW||TAS||SA||QLD||NSW||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1923||Swan River WA||SA||TAS||VIC||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1924||Port River SA||SA||VIC||WA||QLD||NSW||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1925||Albert Park Lake VIC||SA||VIC||NSW||WA||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1926||Brisbane River QLD||SA||QLD||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1927||Tamar River TAS||SA||TAS||QLD||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1928||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||SA||QLD||VIC||1/2 mile||3:33.2|
|1929||Swan River WA||VIC||NSW||SA||WA||1/2 mile||NTT|
|1930||Mannum SA||NSW||VIC||SA||1/2 mile||2:59.0|
|1931||Albert Park Lake VIC||NSW||QLD||SA||VIC||1/2 mile||3:42.5|
|1932||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||QLD tied||SA tied||VIC||1/2 mile||2:51.0|
|1933||Derwent River TAS||VIC||NSW||QLD||SA||TAS||1/2 mile||3:35.0|
|1934||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||QLD||SA||VIC||TAS||1/2 mile||3:10.0|
|1935||Port River SA||NSW||QLD||VIC||TAS||SA||1/2 mile||3:16.0|
|1936||Yarra River VIC||VIC||TAS||QLD||SA||NSW||1/2 mile||3:32.2|
|1937||Brisbane River QLD||TAS||QLD||VIC||NSW||SA||1/2 mile||3:13.8|
|1938||Parramatta River NSW||TAS 1||SA||QLD||NSW||VIC||3/4 mile||6:01.0|
|1939||Derwent River TAS||VIC||TAS||QLD||NSW||SA||3/4 mile||5:53.0|
|1940||Port River SA||TAS||QLD||NSW||VIC||SA DNF||3/4 mile||5:52.0|
|1941||Yarra River VIC||VIC||NSW||QLD||3/4 mile||5:48.5|
|1942-48||World War II – no races conducted|
|1949||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||QLS||VIC||3/4 mile||5:13.0|
|1950||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||VIC||QLD||3/4 mile||5:05.0|
|1951||Yarra River VIC||NSW||VIC||QLD||3/4 mile||4:48.6|
|1952||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||QLD||VIC||3/4 mile||4:47.0|
|1953||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||QLD||VIC||3/4 mile||NTT|
|1954||Yarra River VIC||QLD||NSW||VIC||3/4 mile||4:45.4|
|1955||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||VIC||QLD||3/4 mile||4:00.0|
|1956||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||QLD||SA||3/4 mile||3:48.0|
|1957||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||VIC||QLD||3/4 mile||4:35.0|
|1958||Yarra River VIC||NSW||QLD||VIC||3/4 mile||4:52.5|
|1959||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||VIC||QLD||3/4 mile||4:47.4|
|1960||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||QLD||VIC||1000m||4:31.0|
|1961||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||VIC||QLD||1000m||4:15.4|
|1962||Albert Park Lake VIC||NSW||VIC||QLD||1000m||4:08.4|
|1963||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||QLD||VIC||1000m||4:14.0|
|1964||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||QLD||VIC||1000m||4:08.0|
|1965||Albert Park Lake VIC||NSW||VIC||QLD||ACT||SA||1000m||3:26.0|
|1966||Port River SA||VIC 2||NSW||ACT||SA||1000m||3:44.0|
|1967||Parramatta River NSW||NSW||VIC||QLD||1000m||4:18.6|
|1968||Yarra River VIC||NSW||VIC||QLD||1000m||3:50.6|
|1969||Port River SA||VIC||NSW||QLD||1000m||3:35.5|
|1970||Brisbane River QLD||NSW||VIC||QLD||1000m||3:27.5|
|1971||Nepean River NSW||NSW||VIC||QLD||SA||1000m||4:10.2|
|1972||Lake Burley Griffin ACT||VIC||NSW||QLD||SA||ACT||1000m||3:56.1|
|1973||Barwon River VIC||NSW||VIC||NZL||QLD||1000m||3:58.8|
|1974||Port River SA||NSW||VIC||WA||SA||1000m||3:51.2|
|1975||Canning River WA||VIC||NSW||1000m||3:38.1|
|1976||Penrith River NSW||TAS||NSW||WA||VIC 3||1000m||3:37.0|
|1977||Canning River WA||NSW||WA||SA||VIC||TAS||1000m||3:58.4|
|1978||Huon River TAS||VIC||WA||NSW||SA||QLD||1000m||3:31.21|
|1979||West Lakes SA||VIC||NSW||WA||QLD||SA||TAS||1000m||3:28.00|
|1980||Lake Wendouree VIC||VIC||SA||WA||NSW||TAS||QLD||1000m||3:45.75|
|1981||Hinze Dam QLD||VIC||NSW||WA||SA||TAS||1000m||3:38.00|
|1982||Nepean River NSW||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||WA||1000m||3:51.10|
|1983||Canning River WA||VIC||SA||NSW||WA||TAS||1000m||3:24.35|
|1984||Lake Barrington TAS||VIC||SA||WA||TAS||1000m||3:26.3|
|1985||Lake Wendouree VIC||VIC||WA||NSW||2000m||7:30.50|
|1986||West Lakes SA||VIC||NSW||WA||2000m||7:14.64|
|1987||Lake Barrington TAS||VIC||SA||NSW||WA||QLD||2000m||7:32.51|
|1988||Nepean River VIC||VIC||QLD||SA||NSW||WA||2000m||6:45.81|
|1989||Wellington Dam WA – cyclone – no races conducted||2000m|
|1990||Lake Barrington TAS||QLD||VIC||NSW||2000m||9:00.83|
|1991||West Lakes SA||NSW||VIC||QLD||WA||SA||2000m||6:55.80|
|1993||Lake Wivenhoe QLD||VIC||NSW||SA||2000m||6:41.80|
|1994||Lake Barrington TAS||SA||NSW||VIC||WA||2000m||7:48.10|
|1995||Wellington Dam WA||VIC||SA||NSW||WA||2000m||6:50.27|
|1996||Penrith Lakes NSW||SA||VIC||NSW||ACT||QLD||TAS||2000m||7:51.02|
|1997||Lake Barrington TAS||VIC||ACT||SA||NSW||WA||TAS||2000m||7:27.98|
|1998||Nagambie Lakes VIC||VIC||SA||ACT||NSW||TAS||2000m||6:59.06|
|Changed to Eight Oared Championship|
|1999||West Lakes SA||VIC||NSW||SA||ACT||QLD||2000m||6:16.88|
|2000||Penrith Lakes NSW||VIC||SA||NSW||ACT||2000m||6:20.25|
|2001||Lake Wivenhoe QLD||VIC||NSW||ACT||WA||SA||QLD||2000m||6:08.47|
|2002||Nagambie Lakes VIC||NSW||VIC||WA||ACT||SA||2000m||6:17.84|
|2003||Lake Barrington TAS||NSW||VIC||WA||TAS||ACT||2000m||6:17.42|
|2004||Nagambie Lakes VIC||NSW||WA||VIC||ACT||TAS||2000m||6:32.96|
|2005||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||NSW||WA||TAS||ACT||QLD||2000m||6:12.93|
|2006||Lake Barrington TAS||VIC||WA||TAS||NSW||ACT||QLD||2000m||6:03.48|
|2007||Nagambie Lakes VIC||VIC||NSW||WA||QLD||TAS||ACT||2000m||6:43.36|
|2008||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||WA||QLD||NSW||TAS||ACT||SA||2000m||6:09.58|
|2009||Lake Barrington TAS||VIC||QLD||WA||NSW||2000m||6:17.24|
|2010||Nagambie Lakes VIC||VIC||QLD||WA||SA||NSW||ACT||2000m||6:17.61|
|2011||West Lakes SA||VIC||QLD||WA||NSW||2000m||6:10.72|
|2012||Champion Lakes WA||VIC||QLD||WA||NSW||2000m||6:41.56|
|2013||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||QLD||WA||SA||NSW||TAS||ACT||2000m|
|2014||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||SA||QLD||WA||TAS||NSW||2000m||6:18.60|
|2015||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||QLD||SA||NSW||TAS||WA||2000m||6:09.34|
|2016||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||QLD||NSW||SA||WA||2000m||6:07.90|
|2017||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||NSW||QLD||SA||WA||2000m||6:08.40|
|2018||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||VIC||NSW||QLD||WA||SA||2000m||6:15.69|
|2019||Sydney International Regatta Centre NSW||NSW||VIC||WA||QLD||SA||TAS||2000m||6:25.75|
|2020||Regatta cancelled due to pandemic||2000m|
|2021||Lake Barrington, TAS||VIC||NSW||QLD||SA||TAS||WA||2000m||6:28.01|
|2022||Nagambie Lakes, TAS||VIC||NSW||WA||QLD||TAS||2000m||6:26.13|
|2023||Champion Lakes, WA||VIC||NSW||QLD||WA||SA||ACT||2000m||6:14.30|
|State||Number of times won|
|New South Wales|
DNF = Did not finish. DISQ = Disqualified. NTT = No time taken.
1 Great Britain won the 1938 race but was rowing by invitation so the title went to Tasmania.
2 New Zealand won the 1966 race but was rowing by invitation and so the title went to Victoria.
3 The Victorian crew was withdrawn from racing in 1976 by the Victorian Ladies' Rowing Association.
- Other pages on this site
- Images from the Guerin collection
- Simon Newcomb records