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rowing victoria state championships

1923-1924 Rowing Victoria State Championships

The Wendouree Rowing Club dominated the men's events taking out the pair, four and eight championships. This was a far cry from the situation twenty years earlier when the club could boast only two minor junior race wins in a year.

One of the most notable events for Victorian rowing was the formation of the Victorian Ladies Rowing Association in May 1924. The founding clubs were Albert Park, St. Paul's (Bendigo), Preston and Essendon. Shortly afterwards Eaglehawk (Bendigo), Warrnambool and Dimboola affiliated.


Champion Men's Scull

(2 1/2 miles)

Time - Not recorded 
Margins: 2 lengths

1st James Barton, Richmond

2nd E H Pettifer, Melbourne

Withdrew Stanley McGorm, Wendouree

Disqualified Arthur H Cambridge, Sandhurst

The sculling championship was held on the same day as the Eight-oared Championship, Saturday, 15th March, 1924. The race was over the 2 1/2 mile course from the swing bridge at Footscray to the Short Road ferry. Unfortunately, the contest was marred by bad steering, and, after two starts, the umpire reluctantly had to disqualify the Sandhurst representative, Mr. A H. Cambridge. Mr. J. Barton, of Richmond, won by two lengths from Mr. E. H. Pettifer, of Melbourne. The holder of the title, Mr. S. McGorm (Wendouree) withdrew from the race after covering half the distance. Mr. Barton is congratulated on securing his fourth victory. The time for the race was not taken. 

Champion Men's Pair

(1 mile)

Time: 6:11.0

1st Wendouree – Bow: Ray W B Todd, 11st 1lb., Str: John R Jopling, 12st., Cox: J Gercovich, Coach: Mr A Hall

2nd Ballarat

3rd Richmond

4th Ballarat City

This event was rowed on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, on Saturday 19th January, 1924. The entry of four crew was the smallest for 19 years. The holders of the championship put up their third successive win, and are heartily congratulated on their fine performance.

Champion Men's Four

(2 1/2 miles)

Time: 18:15.6
Margins: 2 lengths

1st Wendouree – Bow: F Walshe, 10st. 6lb., 2: G Hutchins, 11st. 1lb., 3: R W B Todd, 11st. 1lb., Str: J R Jopling, 12st. 5lb., Cox: J Gercovich, Coach: Mr A Hall

2nd Melbourne

3rd Ballarat

4th Mercantile - Bow: M C Bonniwell, 2: J Harding, 3: H R Rush, Str: J L Mounsey

5th Albert Park

6th Banks

The Four-oared Championship was rowed over the 2 1/2 mile course from Short Road ferry to the swing bridge at Footscray on Saturday, 8th December, 1923. Wendouree secured their second successive win in this event, defeating Melbourne by two lengths. Wendouree are congratulated on their further success.

Champion Men's Eight

(2 1/2 miles)

Time: 13:07.6
Margins: 2 1/2 lengths

1st Wendouree – Bow: F Walshe, 10st. 7lb., 2: R Merriman, 10st. 8lb., 3: R Pierce, 11st. 3lb., 4: A Hall, 11st. 7lb., 5: F Yates, 11st. 3lb., 6: G Hutchins, 11st. 1lb., 7: R W B Todd, 11st. 1lb., Str: J R Jopling, 12st., Cox: D O’Keane, Coach: Mr A Hall

2nd Melbourne

3rd Mercantile - Bow: J Greenshields, 2: W G Pitt, 3: H C Maling, 4: R D Emms, 5: W J Pannell, 6: H R Rush, 7: R V Gregg, Str: J L Mounsey, Cox: E Counihan, Cch: Arch L Dobbie

4th Albert Park

5th Banks

This event was rowed over the 2 1/2 mile course from the Short Road ferry to the swing bridge at Footscray on Saturday, 15th March, 1924. Five crews entered. Wendouree, who won by 2 1/2 lengths, are congratulated on their second victory in this classic event.

The Victorious Wendouree Crew on Lake Wendouree

Cox: Dan O’Keane, Str: John R Jopling, 7: Ray W B Todd, 6: J G ‘Clarrie’ Hutchins, 5: Fred Yates, 4: O Alex Hall, 3: R Pearce, 2: R Merriman, Bow: Fred Walshe, Cch: Alex Hall

Champion Women's Four

(Distance - Not recorded)

Time: No time taken
Margin: One length

1st Bendigo – Bow: J. Weibgon, 2: J. Walker, 3: N. Oldfield, Str: J. Hesse 

2nd Albert Park Ladies - Bow: R. O'Sullivan, 2: G. Nagel, 3: E. Connor, Str: M. Pitman

Other crews competing were:


Essendon Ladies

Albert Park It is not known whether the Women's Four Oared Championship continued at the Henley on Maribyrnong Regatta on 2nd February 1924 but the entry indicates that this was so. The race was referred to just as the Ladies' Race. However the winning crew was selected to represent Victoria at the Interstate Championships which adds weight to this event holding Championship status.

The Age recorded the racing as follows:

Ladies' Race. — First heat: Bendigo (Misses J. Weibgon (bow), J. Walker, N. Oldfield and J. Hesse (stroke), 1; Preston, 2. Preston crabbed half-way over the course. Second Heat: Albert Park No. 1 crew (Misses R. O'Sullivan (bow), G. Nagel, E. Connor and M. Pitman (stroke), 1; Essendon, 2. Won by a length. Final: Bendigo, 1 Albert Park, 2. Won by a length.

The successful Bendigo crew


Victorian Rowing Association, Reports 1903 - 1944.

Mercantile Rowing Club Annual Report

Wendouree photo from Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club

Women's results from The Age Monday, 4th February 1924, page 13, sourced from

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