1897 Intercolonial Championships
8 May, Yarra River VIC
21st Men's Intercolonial Eight-Oared Championship
3 mile 100 yds
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths and 12 lengths
1st VIC – Bow: George M McKenzie, 2: B G Connor, 3: T Davies, 4: H J Hughes, 5: Alex Chamley, 6: J R Strong, 7: Harold Irving, Str: Alex B Sloan, Cox: Victor Jones. Average weight 11st 13lb.
2nd WA – Bow: J Harris, 2: Jack Porteous, 3: J B Lockington, 4: J H Hurst, 5: J Middleton, 6: Jack Horsburgh, 7: Paddy Ryan, Str: James Donald, cox: J Counihan. Average weight 11st 4lb.
3rd QLD – Bow: W A Douglas, 2: O Agar, 3: F B Whitman, 4: A Burton, 5: M Foley, 6: W Bryce, 7: S B Bollen, Str; J B Arthur, Cox: R Burton. Average weight 11st 5lb.
This was the first appearance of WA in the Intercolonial Championships. The report of this race in the 1906 Interstate Championship programme (hosted by WA) claimed that but for erratic steering by the Western Australians, they would have won the race. It is interesting to note that the great Victorian stroke Jim Donald stroked the WA crew and many other crew members originated from Victoria but settled in WA.
NSW declined to participate for the first time. It appears that the background to this decision was again the question of the amateur definition. The Victorians decided to row again under the old definition and the NSW Rowing Association did not accept this position. At the intercolonial conference held at these championships, Queensland and WA agreed to abide by any arrangement agreed to between NSW and VIC.
It is difficult to ascertain exactly whether this was a situation where NSWRA could not agree with the other Associations or whether it was intransigence on the part of the VRA to again race under it's old definition. The core of the issue appears to be that some Victorian oarsmen had raced for cash prizes in other sports and so would not fit within the amateur definition of NSW. NSW took the view that anyone who raced against a professional lost their amateur status. However it was clear that there were a number of factors in consideration. The NSW crew, which had already commenced preparations, was disbanded.
Men's Intercolonial Sculling Championship
3 miles 100 yds
No time taken
1st WA – Edward (Teddy) Powell
2nd QLD – Alick Dennis
3rd VIC – Harold Lindgren
In the sculling race, Powell, now racing for WA, led from the start and won easily.
- The Victorian Oarsman by John Lang, published by Massina & Co 1919
- Sydney Rows by Alan May published by Sydney Rowing Club 1970