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australian rowers profiles and history

Errol Brazenall

Haberfield Rowing Club and Manning River Rowing Club (NSW)

The following obituary was reported on the Rowing NSW website on 13th February 2023.

Rowing NSW is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Errol Brazenall, aged 83 years after a long illness.

Errol had a successful career as an oarsman with Haberfield Rowing Club, being selected into the NSW King's Cup crew from 1965-1967 and winning the event twice.  He also gained selection into the Australian Men's Eight in 1965 for the Trans Tasman Series against New Zealand. The following year he was selected as a reserve for the Australian Coxed Four at the World Championships in Bled. 

Brazenall worked for the NSW Police Force as a Senior Constable and relocated with wife Judy to Taree in 1974.  He revolutionised the coaching at Manning River Rowing Club and by 1977 Taree High School were crowned National Champions in the Schoolboy Coxed Four and Manning River were regulars at the National Championships.  In 1981 he coached Murray Doust to become National Champion in the Under 19 Single Scull and go on to be selected for the Match des Seniors (now the World Under 23 Championships) where Doust and McNaughton went on to win the Men's Double Scull.

He played a significant role in the development of many young and successful athletes, coaching Kyrsten Winkley who went on to represent Australia as a reserve for the 2004 Athens Olympic Eight and her older sister Nikki, who went on to be an AIS Scholarship Holder.  He was also a formative coach of Tess Gerrand who was a member of the 2012 London Olympic Eight.   Brazenall retired to the Gold Coast in 2000 after 32 years service with the Police Force. Some of the last athletes he coached being his son Peter, Luke Joplin and Josh Graham who all obtained rowing scholarships at The Southport School.  

Perhaps Errol's greatest legacy is the Taree Police Citizens Youth Club, a project he envisaged and was heavily involved in the community fundraising for.  This project came to fruition in 1988.  

Errol is survived by wife Judy and sons Richard, Andrew, David and Peter.  

1965 NSW crew with Errol in the seven seat

Extracted by Andrew Guerin
February 2023

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