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australian rowers profiles and history

George Orgill

Swan River Rowing Club (WA)


George is one of Western Australia’s finest oarsmen, rowing in 6 Kings Cup crews, winning 2, and also being a state selector and coach of others. 

He learnt his craft as a student of Christian Brother College in Perth and continued on at Swan River Rowing Club.

A dentist by profession, he practised from his Barrack Street surgery. His son Graham recalls many a conversation with him concerning his training on the Swan on cold evenings after work. 

The 1925 WA crew in Melbourne - George fourth from right

Despite an exceptional career both on and off the water, his family remembers George's disappointment over the 1930 crew loss in the Interstate Championship. His son Graham recalled: "He stroked the WA Kings Cup crew that year and told me the race was theirs for the taking until at the most critical moment when surging for the lead a seat went wrong ( broke! ), that freakish disaster ended their winning chance on the spot so the honour eluded him. I guess history is full of disasters at elite level."

George moved to the UK in 1967 where he remained until his death.

Rowing record

1922 - Interstate Championships, WA eight, five seat - Third

1923 - Interstate Championships, WA eight, two seat - Second

1924 - Olympic test race, WA crew, three seat

1925 - Interstate Championships, WA eight, three seat - First

1928 - Interstate Championships, WA eight, six seat - First

1929 - Interstate Championships, WA eight, five seat - Second

1930 - Interstate Championships, WA crew, stroke - Sixth

1947 - Australian Universities Championships, UWA Men's eight, coach - Third

1948 - Interstate Championships, WA crew, coach - Second

1949 - Interstate Championships, WA crew, coach - Second

1950 - Interstate Championships, WA crew, coach - Third


Andrew Guerin
January 2024

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