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australian rowers profiles and history

Eric A McDougall

Hawthorn Rowing Club and then Yarra Yarra Rowing Club, then Richmond Rowing Club (VIC)

Joined 1924/25 

Committee passed away March 1989 last membership 1951/52

Committee 1924/25, 1939/40 to 1946/47, 

Vice-Captain 1925/26, 

Vice president 1947/48 to 1951/52.

His wins included:-

1924 - VRA maiden regatta, lightweight four (2), 

1925 - Henley regatta, maiden eight (stroke)

1925 - Nagambie regatta, maiden pair (stroke)

1939 - Victorian Rowing Association regatta, scull

1939 - Upper Yarra regatta, scull

1944 - 2000 meter championship regatta, scull

1946 - Colac regatta, maiden eight (coach)

1946 - Upper Yarra regatta, maiden four (coach)

1946 - Albert Park regatta, maiden four (coach)

1946 - Barwon regatta, maiden pair (coach)

1946 - Herald shield

1947 - Colac regatta, junior pair (coach)

1947 - Bairnsdale regatta, junior pair (coach)

1949 - V R A regatta, maiden lightweight pair (coach)

1950 - V R A regatta, maiden four (coach)

From the Yarra Yarra Rowing Club newsletter 'Yarra Yabbie' 031, 1989-6-20

Eric McDougall-Born 1904, passed away in Perth March ’89. Eric joined Hawthorn 1919, transferred to Yarra 1924. He rowed regularly until the war years when the club virtually closed down to four members and made several starts in 1950 to make up crews. Mac coached during the ‘40’s until 1950 when he joined Richmond Rowing Club.

Many older members were coached by Mac who had an uncanny ability to blend unlikely rowers into winning crews and was argument ally, the best coach since the war with material that was available, including yours truly, Mac left a sum of money for a wake, which was duly executed, also a bequest to sculling association, which will be a trophy for fastest time in 5 miler around the island, a handicap race.

From the 1988/89 YYRC annual report:-

Eric McDougal: born 1904, died March 1989

Eric joined the Hawthorn club in 1919 but transferred to Yarra Yarra in 1924 after which he rowed regularly until the outbreak of war.  After the end of hostilities, many crews took up his well-remembered activities as coach.

He made up a number of successful crews and his best thought of by a number of present members as their coach in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  His dedication in this vital function brought about several wins for the club at this time.

Following the 1985 Kings Cup at Lake Barrington, during which he was a member of the VOWA group organised so well by Ted Woolcock, Eric went to live in Perth: he returned to Victoria only once before passing away in Perth. He bequeathed a sum of money for a wake in his honour, which was duly held at the club. Further, he left a sum of money to the Victorian Sculling Association for a trophy to be awarded annually to the sculler having the fastest time around Herring Island in the Herald shield series of events.

Eric was one of the clubs original characters who contributed much. Despite his fiery temperament he was respected by all who knew him.

1925 YYRC Maiden Eight, McDougall in stroke seat

Jim Skidmore
June 2024

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