History of Rowing in Queensland
- Table of Contents
- 1. 1859-1900
- 2. 1901-1945
- 3. 1946-1970
- 4. 1971-1982
- 5. 1983-1995
- 6. Conclusion
- A: Office Bearers
- B: International Representatives
- C: Interstate Representatives
- D: Results of the Men’s Queensland Rowing Championships
- E: Results of the Women’s Queensland Rowing Championships
- F: Results of the Boys Head of the River Races
- G: Results of the Girls Head of the River Races
Chapter 1 1859-1900 From Colony to State
Back to Chapter 1 Part 1 1859-1892
Next to Chapter 2
Part 2 - 1892-1900
In the Breakfast Creek R.C. scrap book, the notes regarding their September 1892 regatta state that there was no Grammar Schools race as Ipswich Grammar School did not come down for the event.
Ipswich Grammar School dropped out of rowing after the boatshed they had rented in Ipswich was swept away in a flood.
Slack, being desirous of recognition as the Amateur Sculling Champion of Australia, entered the Victorian Sculling Championship on November 9, 1892. The other starters were J.C. Fitzgerald of Electric Telegraph Club; J.L. Bannister of Corio Bay Club; E.R. Ainley and F. Galvin of the Yarra Yarra Club. After a few powerful strokes at the start Slack was in front and he stayed there to win by eight lengths. The race was over 3 1/4 miles.
The Champion Fours regatta on December 10, 1892, saw a row-over for the first time since 1880, and was won by the Commercial R.C. crew which had won the championship in January of that year.
An eight-oared race was conducted on the Bulimba Reach on December 17, 1892, on a two mile course from Breakfast Creek upstream to Norris's Point. Commercial R.C. and Breakfast R.C. were the contestants. Commercial quickly went to the lead and despite the efforts of Brisbane, won by four lengths. Although Commercial were evidently favoured for the event, the Breakfast Creek crew were practically disabled by the eccentric steering of their coxswain, the zigzag course pursued by the boat causing repeated loss of ground.
The annual meeting of the Queensland Rowing Association was held on January 10, 1893, there being about forty members present. Mr. J.N. Devoy occupied the chair. The report, which covered the work done by the Rowing Association since its inception, was unanimously adopted. The election of patron and officers resulted as follows:
Patron - His Excellency Sir Henry W. Norman (re-elected)
President - Hon. T.J. Bymes (re-elected)
Vice-Presidents - Messrs. Geo. Baynes, C. Lumley Hill, G.E. Markwell, Captain Sandeman, R. Gailey and J.T. Bell
Hon. Secretary - P. Frankel (re-elected)
Hon. Treasurer - V. Jessup (re-elected)
The committee of the Q.R.A. then met and the Selection Committee to pick the eight-oar crew for the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race was elected as follows; Mr. Devoy - Commercial R.C., Mr. Colclough - Breakfast Creek R.C., V. Jessup - Toowong R.C..
Mr. Frankel received a telegram during the day from the Secretary of the New South Wales Rowing Association, stating that they had waived the point re definition of an amateur, and that manual labourers would be eligible to compete in the eight-oar races. This notification was greeted with applause by those present.
While rowing in Queensland had always been a sport for all classes from professional men to labourers, it was also an accepted fact that the organisation of the clubs and later of the Queensland Rowing Association was in the hands of the upper classes of solicitors, accountants, doctors, graziers, Members of Parliament, etc..
The record of the early crews in the Commercial R.C. reads like a "Who's Who" of the early Queensland social register, and the same applied to the Breakfast Creek R.C. and Toowong R.C.. Particularly in the early Intercolonial contests, it was only a handful of people who could afford the two or three week break from their occupations to compete. M.J. Slack, the very successful sculler, was fortunate in that he worked for Baynes Brothers, a very large butchering firm, and they made time available for him to train, provided his sculling boats and provided support for his trips.
The Commercial R.C. crew which had won the Champion Four of Queensland in January, 1892, and in December, 1892, also set a long distance record. On January 15, 1893, they rowed from the O'Connor boathouse (Commercial R.C. shed) to Ipswich, a distance calculated at 48 miles by water, in a time of four hours and fifty two minutes, beating a previous record of six hours and eight minutes. A light westerly head wind was encountered nearly the whole of the way. The crew was W.B. Carmichael (B), J.H. Williams (2), R. McDowall (3), E. Winter (S) and no cox named.
In A Short Historical Sketch of the Commercial Rowing Club by H. Wetherell, published in 1945, the author states that E. Winter had taken a crew to Ipswich some time prior to June, 1888, but had tied the slides, making it a fixed seat boat. When it was discovered that the distance could be covered using the slides, Winter then took his champion crew in a best and best boat over the distance reducing the previous time. An enquiry to the Harbours and Marine Department by Wetherell elicited the reply that they estimated the distance, after cutting the comers, to be thirty eight statute miles.
On February 22, 1893, the "Great Flood" struck Brisbane, rising to 31 feet at the Port Office gauge and to 18 inches above the second floor of the Regatta Hotel. Toowong R.C. and Commercial R.C. sheds were washed away for the second time in 3 1/2 years, and the Kangaroo Point R.C. shed was also washed away although all boats were saved.
The Toowong committee decided that they could not go to their members again and the club was disbanded, the boats being purchased by Maryborough R.C.. The Commercial club members decided to carry on somehow, but ways and means were very difficult. The overdraft at that time was £287, and other liabilities were £143. Finally, an old barque named "Beatrice" which was moored just above the Victoria Bridge, was purchased for £100 and adapted for use as a boathouse. A square opening was cut in the side and a staging attached for the launching of the boats. All went well for a time, but the Government then began to fear that the barque would endanger the bridge if another flood came, and compelled the club to remove it to a point below the bridge. There she remained until 1896 when members coming down for a row found her sinking at her moorings, the toredo worm no doubt having eaten out her bottom. The boats were then removed to the Brisbane Rowing Club.
Queensland continued to compete in the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race over three and a quarter miles on the Parramatta River in Sydney on May 13, 1893, but were unsuccessful, the race being won by New South Wales from Victoria and Queensland. No doubt the disruption of the flood interfered with their training.
The Champion Four in Brisbane on December 16, 1893, was again a row-over to Commercial R.C., the winning crew of W.B. Carmichael (B), J.H. Williams (2), R. McDowall (3), E. Winter (S) and W. Armstrong (Cox) making it three championships in a row.
At the Q.R.A. regatta held in conjunction with the Champion Four, there was an eights race over one mile, no status mentioned, in which two Commercial R.C. crews were the only entrants.
With the destruction of the Toowong, Commercial and Kangaroo Point rowing sheds and with the Breakfast Creek R.C. in the process of moving to North Quay, there apparently was no rowing competition in Brisbane over the twelve months, with the resultant row-over in the Champion Four.
The next annual general meeting was held on January 23, 1894, with W.A.D. Bell in the chair. His Excellency the Governor Sir Henry Norman was elected as Patron and Hon. T.J. Byrnes as President.
Mr. J.T. Bell was recommended as coach of the Intercolonial Eight-oar crew.
The next ordinary meeting was held on February 2, 1894, with nine members present. Mr. E. Winter was in the chair. A letter was received from the Governor accepting the patronship of the Association and at the same time presenting a cup to be competed for. It was decided that this be called the Governor's Cup and be competed for by juniors (second grade) in a four-oar race over one mile.
The Secretary was instructed to write to the Governor thanking him for his offer, and respectfully suggesting the following conditions :-
1.That the cup be won twice in succession by the same club, or three times in all to definitely decide ownership.
2.That one crew at least of every club affiliated with the association shall be entered for the race, and if no more than two clubs compete the minimum number of boats shall be three, and if at any associated regatta only two boats start the winning boat shall not have scored a win so far as the Governor's Cup is concerned, but only so far as the medals presented by the association are concerned.
3.In the event of only one club competing at any regatta held by the association, notwithstanding that they have three crews, the win shall not be recognised so far as the Governor's Cup is concerned.
The Honorary Secretary, Mr. P. Frankel was re-elected and Mr. J.N. Bannantyne was elected as Honorary Treasurer.
Commercial R.C. had sent in their list of members available for selection in the next Intercolonial Eight-oar Race, but no list had been received from Brisbane R.C. and the matter was held over.
In the same edition of The Queenslander which reported the Q.R.A. meeting was the report of the first annual general meeeting of the Brisbane Rowing Club. This was the old Breakfast Creek R.C. which had moved to North Quay in 1893 and changed their name to Brisbane R.C.. The report showed the membership to be eighty five and the finances to be in an unsatisfactory condition.
Queensland selected an eight to compete on the Yarra on May 12, 1894, in the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race over 3 miles one hundred yards, but finished a bad last.
In The Queenslander newspaper of October 18, 1894, a report reads: The Brisbane Rowing Club have just landed a Clinker racing four, built to their order by the well-known Melbourne firm, Messrs. James Edwards and Sons, under the supervision of Mr. Begg (captain of the Melbourne Rowing Club). The "four" is built on the newest lines, and is fitted throughout with all the latest improvements. The boat is 40 ft. long, the seats being down the centre. The work is on a 24in. slide, coming right up to the back thole-pin. The height of the seats, measured from the bottom boards to the floor of the seats, is Sin. The boat is fitted to row 12ft. oars with 3ft. 6in. buttons. The boat, which is to be called the Sorcerer, will have a chance of showing her qualities at the regatta on the 27th instant.
The club did not start in the Queensland Champion Four, so it was apparently used in the minor events, possibly the Senior Four which was restricted to non-champion crews.
The Champion Four was rowed on the Bulimba Reach in Brisbane over 3 miles on October 27, 1894. A crew from Lakes Creek R.C. in Rockhampton contended with two Commercial R.C. crews. Beirne's Commercial crew finished 250 yards ahead of Colclough's crew with Lakes Creek a half a mile behind. The winning crew was J.C. Spode (B), J.H. Williams (2), W.B. Carmichael (3), B.J. Beirne (S) and W. Armstrong (Cox). On the same regatta programme a maiden eights race was conducted with Commercial R.C. defeating Brisbane R.C..
Steele Rudd, poet and author, and famous for On Our Selection published in 1899, was a member of Brisbane R.C. for a short period. He was author of rowing articles in The Chronicle and the following is part of his commentary on the Commercial maiden four published in The Chronicle on October 6, 1894. When the cox says "go", they do go but - the waddle of an aged Muscovy duck with burnt feet through a heap of hot ashes and jam tins is fast compared to them. Bow crouches on the seat until he looks no higher than tuppence-ha'penny, and lugs the finish like a calf sucking a blind tit. No. 2 lacks length and dash - he's too wooden - while he carries himself with his neck out to the joint and his head back like a fighting-cock swallowing a pill. No. 3 is inclined to "bullock"; he is slow with the hands, and his back seems to give when the weight goes on as though it wanted "tingling". Stroke is a kind of Bathurst's burr tree that might be expected to produce figs. He works hard but loses his slide, and he bobs down when coming forward like an Irish landlord dodging a brick.
The annual meeting was held on January 24, 1895, with about twenty members present. Mr. W.A.D. Bell was voted to the chair. The annual report noted that apart from the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race in May, 1894, and the Association Regatta in October, 1894, no other contests had been arranged. The committee deplored the inactivity generally prevailing in rowing circles. The report stated that the association had been represented in Melbourne in May, 1894, despite the great depression existing and had raised sufficient funds to cover these expenses. The members expressed concern at the lack of interest in forming a crew to represent Queensland in the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race to be held in Brisbane in May, 1895. Mr. F.W. De Little was appointed coach of the eight. No mention was made of election of office bearers.
On May 18, 1895, the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race over three miles was again held in Brisbane on the Hamilton Reach and proved to be the most exciting and evenly contested of all the intercolonial races to that time. Queensland did not hear the starters gun and lost two lengths at the start. Victoria achieved a length lead over New South Wales at the end of a mile; Queensland drew to the New South Wales rudder at 1 1/2 miles. Near the finish Queensland spurted and ran the nose of their boat over the N.S.W. stern (N.S.W. having taken Qld's water) but it was too late and Victoria won by two lengths to New South Wales with Queensland less than a length back in third place.
The Intercolonial Sculling event over three miles was also held in Brisbane at the same time. The competitors were M.J. Slack of Queensland, E. Powell of Victoria and W. Lambert of New South Wales. Powell and Slack led out together with Powell taking the lead after one mile, Slack retired after two miles and Lambert's spurt at the finish failed to overtake Powell.
The fourth annual general meeting was held in early October, 1895. Mr. Devoy occupied the chair, and there was a fair attendance of members. The annual report deplored the fact that no association regatta had been held during their term of office but that arrangements had been made for the regatta on October 26. The holding of club regattas by the clubs was noted with much interest and it was hoped these would be continued. The affiliation of the Graziers Queensport Rowing Club with the association took place during the year. Mr. P. Frankel resigned as secretary and was warmly thanked for his past services. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
Patron -His Excellency the Governor
President - Hon. T.J .Byrnes
Vice-Presidents -Bishop Webber, Messrs. A.J. Callan, J.T. Bell, R.H. Roe, E. Winter, G. Baynes, J. Clark, Perry Okeden, T. Finney and Inspector Lloyd
Hon. Secretary - W.B. Carmichael
Hon. Treasurer - A.J. Westaway
Auditors - The treasurers of Commercial and Brisbane Rowing Clubs
Subscribers Delegates - Ven. Archdeacon David, Messrs. P. Frankel, F.M. Hart and F.S.N. Bousfield
The date of the annual general meeting was altered to the first week in August of each year.
The Champion Four was held in Brisbane on October 26, 1895, over 3 miles from the Dry Dock to the further bend on the Toowong Reach and only Commercial R.C. and Brisbane R.C. (the old Breakfast Creek R.C.) were starters. The Commercial crew of W.B. Carmichael (B), A. Young (2), E. Colclough (3), J. Deevy (S) and cox not known won by six lengths.
On April 11, 1896, the Champion Single Sculls of Queensland was conducted in Brisbane over 3 miles and was won by M.J. Slack of Brisbane R.C. from J.C. Tuesley of Southport who had recently been re-instated as an amateur after a spell in the professional ranks.
Buoyed by their efforts in Brisbane in 1895 a Queensland crew was formed to compete in Sydney on May 16, 1896, but were badly beaten by Victoria and New South Wales over the Championship course of three and a quarter miles on the Parramatta River ..
Stung by his defeat in Brisbane in 1895, Slack was determined to retrieve the Australian title and in the Intercolonial Sculls held over three and a quarter miles on the Parramatta River in Sydney on May 23, 1896, he easily defeated J.L. Bannister (ex Corio Bay) representing New South Wales, W. McCormack of New Zealand and E. Powell of Victoria. The conditions were extremely rough and it was only by endurance and skill that Slack prevailed.
In an article in the Sports Referee of May 20, 1896, headed "MANUAL LABOR AMATEURS AND EIGHT-OAR ROWING", the writer says:-
With one more defeat recorded against them in Intercolonial Eight-oar contests it would be well perhaps if the New South Wales Rowing Association now reconsidered their position with the view of allowing manual labor amateurs to join their ranks. The inclusion of these rowers in the Victorian crews may not be the whole cause of the success of the dark blue colors, but it cannot be questioned that New South Wales, in persisting in giving away this handicap year after year is acting more than generously, and as it was decided at last meeting of the Association committee to concede the manual labour point at the coming conference of Intercolonial representatives, it means that in future the mother colony is to continue to give away whatever advantage there may be in it to Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand, who all approve of manual laborers.
The fifth annual general meeting was held on August 3, 1896. The report made special mention of the success of M.J. Slack in the Intercolonial Sculling Championship in Sydney in May. Regret was expressed at the loss sustained by the Commercial R.C. by the sinking of the Beatrice.
The office bearers elected at this meeting were:-
Patron - His Excellency the Governor, Lord Lamington
President - Hon. T.J. Byrnes
Chairman - F.S.N. Bousfield
Hon. Secretary - A. Burton
Hon. Treasurer - C. Musson
In 1896 there were no nominations for the Champion Four of Queensland at closing of nominations, so the race lapsed for that year.
On February 6, 1897, only six months after the foundering of the Beatrice, Commercial R.C. opened its new shed, a commodious two story building.
On May 8, 1897, for the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race over three miles one hundred yards in Melbourne, New South Wales was unable to agree with the other colonies on the amateur definitions and did not compete. The race was won by Victoria from Western Australia and Queensland. This was the first appearance of a crew from Western Australia and it was composed chiefly of Victorian oarsmen who had lately gone over to settle in that colony.
The Intercolonial Sculls over the same distance held in conjunction with the Intercolonial Eights saw E. Powell representing Western Australia where he had moved, H. Lindgren representing Victoria and A. Dennis representing Queensland. Slack had found it impossible to leave Brisbane for the race and Dennis was selected for Queensland. Powell assumed the lead at the start and won easily from Dennis and Lindgren.
The fifth annual general meeting was held in the first week of August, 1897, the attendance being fully fifty members and Mr. F.S.N. Bousfield occupied the chair.
The chairman in opening the meeting, said that as the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race was to be held in Brisbane in May, 1898, every effort should be made to get the best crew in the colony together. In referring to rowing generally he said more attention should be given to young oarsmen.
In an attempt to clarify the disputed definition of an amateur a conference of delegates from the Queensland Cycling Union, the Amateur Athletics Association and the Queensland Rowing Association had formulated a draft set of rules which would be submitted to the incoming committee.
The formation of the South Brisbane Rowing Club during the past year, and the efforts made to bring about affiliation of the Northern clubs were reported.
The following officers were appointed:
Patron - His Excellency Lord Lamington
President - Sir Horace Tozer
Vice-Presidents - Messrs. T. Finney, J.T. Bell, W. Stephens, A.J. Callan, R.H. Roe, D. Mactaggart, E. Winter, G. Baynes, E. Baynes, F.S.N. Bousfield, F.M. Hart and P. Hardgrave
Subscribers Delegates - The Ven. Archdeacon A.A. David, A. Burton, C. Musson and F. Cameron
Hon. Secretary - J.W. Hamilton
Hon. Treasurer - E.J.W. Reid
Auditors (re-elected) - J.A. McConaghy and R. Wilson
A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to A. Burton and C. Musson, the retiring secretary and treasurer for the manner in which they had fulfilled their duties.
No championship races were rowed during the season.
The Champion Four was rowed in Brisbane on November 6, 1897, and saw the return of a Maryborough RC. crew to challenge Commercial RC. and Brisbane RC.. The race was deprived of interest by an unfortunate foul between the Brisbane and Commercial crews who kept too close together rounding Walmsleys Point and clashed oars badly. The Maryborough crew was in the lead at the time and rowed home easily. The crew from Maryborough was seated Alfred Negus (B), W. Archibald (2), R. Dunlop (3), W. Gordon (S) and Arthur Negus (Cox).
At a committee meeting of the Q.R.A. held in February 1898, a letter was tabled from the Central Queensland Annual Regatta Committee of Rockhampton, stating that a committee meeting would shortly be held in Rockhampton, to finally decide on the affiliation question, and suggesting conditions to be observed, if affiliation took place. As a reply, it was resolved that Rockhampton be informed that any city not represented in a race shall forfeit the right to have the Championship Race rowed on its river when its turn comes, and that any city can send one or more crews to compete in championship races.
The Champion Fours race returned to Maryborough on May 24, 1898, and was graced by three crews - Maryborough RC., Commercial RC. and Rockhampton R.C.. The Maryborough RC. crew of A. Sullivan (B), W. Archibald (2), E. Wearin (3), W. Gordon (S) and W. Pearce (Cox) won by four lengths to Commercial and a further two lengths to Rockhampton. The Champion Single Sculls was also contested on the same day and saw A. Dennis of Commercial RC. defeat A. Sullivan of Maryborough R.C..
The Commercial RC. was undoubtedly a wealthy club and in their Annual Report for the 1897/98 season, their fleet was listed as:- 2 best eights, 1 best four, 2 racing clinker fours, 2 practice fours and 3 tub pairs.
The sixth annual general meeting was held in August, 1898, with some twenty members present and Mr. F.S.N. Bousfield presiding. The committee recorded their appreciation to the Victorian Rowing Association in agreeing to a postponement of the Intercolonial event to November. There had been no progress in settlement of the definition of an amateur, the matter being at a standstill.
Pleasure was felt in announcing the union of all rowing clubs in the colony, the conditions being that the Four-oared Championship of Queensland be rowed for in turn in Brisbane, Maryborough and Rockhampton, with a proviso that any city failing to send a crew forfeit for its next turn its right to have the race rowed on its waters.
No details were given of officers elected at the meeting.
At a committee meeting held on September 12, 1898, the Hon. T.J. Byrnes advised he was unable to accept the position of President and Mr. A.J. Callan was chosen for that office.
The idea of creating an interest in the sport of rowing among the Grammar School Boys of the colony was mentioned and a sub-committee was formed to visit the masters of the Brisbane, Maryborough and Ipswich Grammar Schools with a view of offering suggestions and enlisting their co-operation in the promotion of rowing in their schools.
The association regatta arranged for September 17 was postponed indefinitely and a start was to be made immediately in the preparation of the crew for the Intercolonial event on November 19.
Regret was expressed at the news of the death of a previous Q.R.A. Treasurer in E.J.W. Reid on September 14.
The Intercolonial Eight-oar Race was rowed in Brisbane on November 19, 1898, having been put back from May to suit Queensland, for which favour they were indebted to Victoria. The race was rowed on Bulimba Reach over two and three quarters of a mile after having been transferred from the Hamilton Reach at the last moment after it was declared unrowable. Queensland led at the start to be overhauled by Victoria and in the final result Victoria won by half a length.
The Intercolonial Sculls held in conjunction with the eights and over the same distance saw only two Queenslanders competing. Possibly the change in date to November had made it too inconvenient for southern competitors. A. Dennis and M.J. Slack faced the starter and Dennis got a slight lead at the start which he maintained and he opened out 1/2 mile from the finish to win by six lengths.
Following this defeat by Dennis, Slack challenged Dennis to a match race which was held on March 25, 1899, and Slack won easily.
The Commercial RC. report for 1898/99 states that only one Association regatta was held during the season, but Commercial conducted four regattas and the Brisbane R.C. conducted three. There was no championship race during the season.
The boat race officials at this time were:- D. Mactaggart (Starter), R.H. Roe (Umpire) and E. Colclough (Judge).
The next Champion Four was rowed at Rockhampton on October 14, 1899, with three crews competing - Maryborough RC., Lakes Creek RC. and Commercial R.C.. Lakes Creek led out from the start but Maryborough were in command after a mile and went on to win by six lengths with Lakes Creek holding on to beat Commercial by half a length. The Maryborough crew was E. Wearin (B), E. Sullivan (2), J. Barton (3), N. Barton (S) and J. Court (Cox). The Single Sculls Championship was conducted on the same day at the same venue with M.J. Slack of Brisbane R.C. defeating A. Sullivan of Maryborough R.C. with W.M. Callaghan of Rockhampton RC. in third place.
On November 18, 1899, the Intercolonial Eight-oar Race was conducted in Melbourne over 2 1/2 miles. Four crews started representing Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
The differences with New South Wales over the amateur question had been resolved. Victoria won easily from New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
In the Intercolonial Sculls held in conjunction with the eights there were only two competitors, being M.J. Slack of Queensland and J. Daley of New South Wales. Both men used "stump" outriggers, a new class of boat which had come greatly into favour. Slack had steering troubles and Daley drew away to win by fifteen lengths.
Following on the sub-committee's work to create interest in rowing in the Grammar Schools, the Maryborough RC. opened their shed to the Maryborough Grammar School and a crew from the school won the Under 20 Fours at the Maryborough regatta on May 24. The Q.R.A. then decided that the Grammar Schools' race should be resumed and accordingly a race was held in Maryborough on Wednesday, December 6, 1899.
Brisbane Grammar School travelled to Maryborough and engaged in a cricket match between their school and Maryborough Grammar School and also raced over 3/4 mile for the All Schools Fours. Brisbane Grammar School, rowing in a boat kindly lent to them by Brisbane RC., won by one and a half lengths to Maryborough Grammar School.
The winning crew was: A.T. Dennis (B) R.C. Roe (2) V. McDowall (3) M.M. Callan (S) and L.M. Laurie (Cox).
Commercial RC., being the earliest established club, and the most successful in Brisbane, had some very fine rowers and excellent multi-sports athletes in their ranks:-
Emest Winter, whose rowing career spanned twenty years from 1879, included eight wins in the Champion Fours of Queensland as stroke, wins in open eights, senior fours, senior double sculls, senior pairs, senior sculls and also stroking the four that set the record of four hours and fifty two minutes for the row from Brisbane to Ipswich. He was a man who was trained to stay and the last mile of a three mile race was his best. He also stroked the Intercolonial Eight for Queensland in 1885 and 1893. In other sports he excelled as a crack shot, an amateur horseman and a good performer with the boxing gloves.
Tom Hughes, who was associated with Winter in four of the Champion Fours wins. Considered to be one of the finest athletes Queensland had produced up to 1900, he was of grand physique, rowing at 12 st. 10 lbs. and could stay all day. He also won Under 20, maiden, junior and senior fours, senior double sculls, senior pairs and maiden sculls. He rowed in No. 7 seat in the 1885 Intercolonial Eight behind E. Winter. When the question of sending an Australian eight-oar crew to England in 1889 came up, the Southerners were unanimous (as was Queensland) in selecting Hughes as the Queensland representative. As a footballer (rugby union) he played for Queensland against New South Wales several times and against the Maori and England teams. Played Intercolonial and International cricket for Queensland, and as an amateur boxer, won the heavyweight tournament at the Brisbane Gymnasium.
Another outstanding personality of this era was Thomas Finney, M.L.A., a principal of Finney Isles & Co., Drapers, which now exists as the David Jones Brisbane department store. He was a founding vice-president of Commercial R.C. in 1877 and one of the founding committee of Toowong R.C. in 1889. He was Patron of Commercial R.C. from 1898 until his death in 1903. He was a vice-president of the Queensland Rowing Association. He was either Patron or President of the following:- Brisbane Gun Club, Brisbane Bicycle Club, National Cricket Union, Queensland Amateur Athletic Association, Brisbane Gymnasium and Toowong Harriers besides being a member of the Queensland Turf Club.
For the 1899/1900 season, the Patron was His Excellency Lord Lamington, A.J. Callan was President and E. Colclough was the Honorary Secretary.
The first Championship Eight of Queensland was rowed on March 10, 1900, in Brisbane on the Bulimba Reach over 2 miles. There were only two competitors, both from Brisbane, being Commercial R.C. and Brisbane R.C.. At the first attempt the Commercial eight was swamped by the Government steamer sent to control the spectator craft, and although the umpire was unable to prevent Brisbane R.C. completing the course the race was re-rowed later in that afternoon. In the re-start Commercial led out and won by 2 1 /2 lengths.
The crew was seated - F.H. Cameron (B), R. Fitzgibbon (2), H.R. Radford (3), A.A. Petrie (4), W.H. Bailey (5), O. Agar (6), A. Dennis (7), A. Watson (S), F. Dickson (Cox) and the coach was Rev. C.V.P. Day.
The next Intercolonial Eight-oar Race was held on the Hamilton Reach in Brisbane over three miles on May 12, 1900, and Queensland finished in third place behind Victoria and New South Wales, with South Australia fourth. Victoria led all the way but Queensland fought out a hard battle with New South Wales until the last half mile. Victoria won by 3 lengths, with a further 2 lengths to third.
In the Intercolonial Sculling Race over three miles held at the same time, M.J. Slack representing Queensland easily defeated C. Donald representing Victoria, by about 1/4 mile.
The Champion Four was rowed in Brisbane on October 20, 1900, and three crews presented themselves - Maryborough R.C., Commercial R.C. and the Rockhampton Regatta Association crew. Commercial led out at the start and kept that lead for the first two miles, but then Maryborough moved through and won by about 100 yards from Commercial with Rockhampton third. The winning crew was -
A.C. Anderson (B), J.M. Horsburgh (2), A.E. Forshaw (3), J. Barton (S), and W.J. Pearce (Cox).
The Champion Sculls rowed on the same day was won by J. Lumsden of Brisbane R.C. who led all the way and won by seven lengths. P. Burke of Commercial R.C. was second a half length in front of W.M. Callaghan of Rockhampton R.C.
There were races for Maiden Fours, Under 20 Fours, Junior Fours and Senior Fours on the same programme.
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