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rowing victoria state championships

1920-1921 Rowing Victoria State Championships

Of note this year was James Barton from Richmond continuing his winning ways in the scull and Mercantile commencing its resurgence taking out the four oared Championship.


Champion Men's Scull

(2 1/2 miles)

Time: 15:28.0

1st James Barton, Richmond

2nd A Dawson, Barwon

3rd J Jorgenson, Yarra Yarra

4th – Not recorded

5th – Not reorded

This event was held on the same day as the Eight-oared Championship, 12th March, 1921, over the 2 ½ mile course from Footscray to the Williamstown Ferry. Five entries were received, Mr J. Barton, of Richmond Club, being the winner. Mr. Barton is congratulated on repeating his success of the previous year.

Champion Men's Pair

(1 mile)

Time: 6:39.0
Margins: 1 foot

1st Footscray – Bow: J A Jonsson, 12st., Str: A W B Fawcett, 12st., Cox: R Norman

2nd Albert Park

3rd Mercantile - Bow: H Smyth, Str: James M Buchanan

4th Civil Service

Other competing crews:




Ballarat City


Corio Bay

This event was rowed on 15th January, 1921, over the straight mile course, finishing at Victoria Dock. Ten entries having been received, it was necessary to row the race in heats, the first and second in each heat starting in the final. After a great race Footscray defeated Albert Park by a foot, with Mercantile third, and Civil Service fourth.

Champion Men's Four 

(2 1/2 miles)

Time: 17:25.2
Margins: 5 lengths and 1 length

1st Mercantile – Bow: H Smyth, 11st. 10lb., 2: J Harding, 13st., 3: R V Gregg, 12st. 12lb., Str: J L Mounsey, 11st. 6lb., Cox: E Counihan, Coach: Mr J McGregor

2nd Banks - Bow: T Keogh, 2: G M Tully, 3: C J McCarthy, Str: E J Stanton, Cox: C Hayton

3rd South Melbourne - Bow B Davids, 2: H Dehn, 3: C Borman, Str: F Mardell, Cox: F McDonough

4th Civil Service - Bow: C Edwards, 2: H Schlichting, 3: R M Erck, Str: J C D'Arcy, Cox: H P Redmond

5th Hawthorn - Bow: W C Day, 2: T A Nelson, 3: D W Barrie, Str: C S Boxall, Cox: R S Brierley

6th Albert Park - Bow: F R Gale, 2: A Spowers, 3: W Steinle, Str: L S Davis, Cox: J McGregor

7th Footscray City - Bow: T Gipton, 2: A William Fawcett, 3: G Smith, Str: Martin Moran, Cox: R Norman 

This event was rowed over the 2 1/2 mile course from Coode Canal on 13th November, 1920, and resulted in a win for Mercantile by five lengths from Banks. This was Mercantile's first win since 1906 when Alex Sloan stroked the crew. This year Sloan's nephew J L Mounsey stroked the winning boat. The Mercantile crew were never in any doubt taking 6 lengths by the mile.  The interest in the race was with second place. The Banks crew had the less favoured station and at times was as far back as fifth. "Outrigger" reported in The Age that their last mile and a half contained some plucky rowing.

Champion Men's Eight

(2 1/4 miles)

Time: 12:01.6
Margins: 3 feet, 1 length

1st Civil Service – Bow: B C Edwards, 10st. 4lb., 2: H Schlichting, 10st. 2lb., 3: T S Flint, 10st. 2lb., 4: E T J Kerby, 11st., 5: E W Burne, 11st. 7lb., 6: A V McLaughlan, 11st. 4lb., 7: R M Erck, 10st. 12lb., Str: J C D’Arcy, 9st. 8lb., Cox: J Hunter, Coach: Mr E Horsburgh

2nd Mercantile - Bow: Cecil N McKay, 2: J L Mounsey, 3: H C Maling, 4: J K Herd, 5: H Smyth, 6: J Harding, 7: R V Gregg, Str: James M Buchanan, Cox: W F Shaw

3rd Corio Bay

Other competing crews:

Albert Park







This event was rowed on 12th March, 1921, the record entry of ten crews being received, the previous record being seven crews, in 1920. Your Committee decided to revert to the lower course from Williamstown Ferry to Footscray, and engaged the s.s. “Rosny” to follow the race. There was a great demand for tickets, many applicants having to be refused. The sight as the ten crews raced off the mark was magnificent. Through faulty steering by some of the coxswains, a foul occurred, and the race was stopped after going a quarter of a mile. After re-starting, faulty steering again caused clashes, practically every crew being affected. This did not prevent a splendid race, in which Civil Service snatched the victory from Mercantile by three feet in the last few strokes, Corio Bay finishing third, a length behind Mercantile. Civil Service are congratulated on their splendid win.

Champion Women's Four

(Distance - Not recorded)

Time: Not known
Margin: One length

1st Dimboola – Bow: N Purcell, 2: H Harboard, 3: P Walsgate, Str: Val Hunter, Cox: L Emery
2nd Albert Park Ladies

The unofficial Women;'s Championship fours continued at the Henley-on-Maribyrnong regatta on 5th February 1921. This year the newspapers referred to this event as the Ladies' Championship Fours of Victoria.

A crew from Dimboola Rowing Club comprising Bow: N Purcell, 2: H Harboard, 3: P Walsgate, Str: Val Hunter, Cox: L Emery, are recorded as winning the 1921 Championship on the Maribyrnong on 5th February 1921 by one length from Albert Park.

Victorious Dimboola Four


Victorian Rowing Association, Reports 1903 - 1944.

Mercantile Rowing Club Annual Report 1920-21

The Age, Monday 15th November 1920

The Age, Monday 7th February 1921, page 5; sourced from

Women's four picture from Mary Purcell, relative of a crew member

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