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Australian Rowing History

Significant Events in Australian Rowing


30th Nov 1861

Balmain Regatta. W. Deloitte, Q. Deloitte, E. Chisholm, and J. L. Sempell won Amateur Gig Fours; and same day W. Deloitte and A. Campbell won Amateur Pair Oars.

26th Jan 1862

Anniversary Regatta. Senior Amateur Fours. W. H. Deloitte, Q. Deloitte, H. Bligh, and E. Chisholm beat W, H, F, and Grantly Fitzhardinge (Judge), M A H Fitzhardinge cox. "For all bona fide amateurs who have been members of a club for the past three months."

15th Mar 1862

Jas. Punch (Sydney) beat Ben Oxlade on the Yarra for a wager of ₤200.

31st Jan 1862

First Ballarat Regatta, Lake Burrumbeet, Victoria.

26th May 1862

A definition of "amateur" appears in Brisbane Regatta regulations.

4th Feb 1863

Parramatta River, Inter-colonial Four-oared Race for amateurs. Sydney (won):-W. Mason, Hy. Freeman, J. F. Fitzhardinge, H. B. Fitzhardinge (stroke), M. A. H. Fitzhardinge (cox.). Melbourne crew: H. Woolnough, J. Bennett, J. Irving, J. W. McCutcheon (stroke), W: Williams (cox.). Time, 18 minutes 30 seconds, very fast for string-test boats.

29th Sep 1863

Richmond Rowing Club (Victoria) founded.

21st May 1864

Amateur Sculling Championship, Sydney, New South Wales Cup, valued £50. Q. L. Deloitte won from Al Crook, C. K. Moore, and Hy Fitzhardinge, and two others.

1st Aug 1867

Sydney University Undergraduates Four-oared Race - the first.

16 Jun 1868

First Public Schools Boat Race in Victoria. Scotch College beat Melbourne Grammar School.

11 Apr 1868

Inter-colonial Amateur Sculling Championship at Melbourne. Arthur Nichols (Victoria) beat Hy. Freeman (New South Wales) by six lengths. First race of the kind.


The Victorian amateur rowing season opened with ten clubs and 200 oarsmen staging a procession of boats. By this time three boatbuilders were in business in Melbourne, R S Fuller, James Edwards and W T Greenland.

17 Mar 1869

Regatta on the Murray at Albury.

23 Oct 1869

First eight-oar boat in Australia launched on the River Yarra.

7 Mar 1870

Meeting held at the Oxford Hotel, King Street, Sydney (Mr. Q, L. Deloitte in the chair), when Sydney Amateur Rowing Club was formed.

26 Aug 1870

Sydney Rowing Club opened by Earl Belmore on east side of Circular Quay (Sydney Cove).

9 Nov 1870

Balmain Regatta. Inter-colonial Champion Four oared Gig Race. Two crews from Sydney Rowing Club; one crew from Hobart, and two other New South Wales crews. Won by the representative crew from the Sydney Rowing Club: C. De B. Deloitte .(bow), Grantly H. Fitzhardinge (2), H. Freeman (3), Q. L. Deloitte (str), L. McKay (cox).

24 Dec 1870

First Inter-University Boat Race (string-test fours), 3.5 miles, on Yarra Melbourne:-T. C. Hope, John Grice, T. Colles, D. W. Wilkie won. Time, 31 minutes 4 seconds. Sydney :-E. A. Iceton, E. (Sir Edmund) Barton, R. Teece, Alan Yeomans.

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