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australian rowers profiles and history

Reg Libbis

Albert Park Rowing Club (VIC)

1956 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxed Four three seat – Fourth

Bob Duncan in his book Small boat rowers of the fifties, self published in 2015, he wrote of Reg as follows: At 23, Reg Libbis had by contrast, done his five year rowing "apprenticeship" the small club way from a raw beginner to a very successful junior. Also, as a bonus for our club he introduced his younger and much smaller brother John, who became a great coxswain. Reg was a solid 6'1" and 13 stone and worked as a master bricklayer. This physical work was reflected in the strength he showed whenever pulling an oar. He made steady progress, with regular regatta wins and he played a major role in the 1955 Junior Premiership. For the previous two seasons he won Championship Junior Pairs and had been promoted to our Senior Eight. That eight did not record a senior win so Reg was technically still a Junior oarsman when Mick recognised his ability and offered him the 3 seat. 

1956 Olympic coxed four with Reg back row third from the left

Reg kept rowing at Albert Park for a couple of years after the Games but transferred with Ian Allen to Yarra Yarra in 1986. He rowed there briefly before retiring from rowing. He moved to Canberra where he was involved with club rowing and had a boat named after him.  Reg died about 2003.

The following further information has been supplied by Jim Skidmore in June 2024.

Joined Yarra 1957/58 season to 1960/61 season 

Wins recorded at Yarra:-

1957 - Nagambie regatta, senior pair (bow)

1958 - Colac regatta, senior pair (bow)

1958 - Victorian championships regatta, senior pair (bow)

1958 - Bendigo regatta, senior pair (bow) and Open four (3)

1958 - Dimboola regatta, senior pair (bow)

1958 - Upper Yarra regatta, senior pair (bow)

1959 - Bairnsdale regatta, senior pair (bow), Senior four (3) and Senior pair (bow)

1959 - Scotch Mercantile regatta, senior four (3)

Andrew Guerin
May 2020 (updated June 2024 with Yarra Yarra RC information from Jim Skidmore)

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