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History of Australian University Championships Rowing

1870 Australian University Championships— Lower Yarra VIC

This was the first Championship between the Universities and was conducted on 20th December 1870. 

The background to this event is outlined on the index page. The course was the Championship course on the Lower Yarra River over 3 1/2 miles.

The Melbourne University crew comprised T C Hope who was regarded as the best stroke Melbourne University produced in the early days. John Lang described him as a man of great strength and an untiring worker. He was very successful as a pair oared rower along with Wilkie. They made a pair that was never beaten, and they rowed many first class races.

Also in the Melbourne University crew was D W B Wilkie who was described by John Lang as a man of light build and good reach. Lang added that it was a surprise that he could hold and steer a strong oar like Hope, but Wilkie had a long head, and the dodges of which he was ignorant were not worth learning.

Lower Yarra

A view of the Lower Yarra Championship course pre WWI


Men's Four Oared String-Test Gigs

Time: 31 mins 4 secs
Margin: Easily

1st Melbourne University - Bow: David W B Wilkie, 2: Thomas Colles, 3: John Grice, Str: Thomas C Hope, Cox: John Walter Phillips

1870 Melbourne Crew

Reproduced from "Well Rowed University" by Judith Buckrich

2nd Sydney University - Bow: Edward A Iceton, 2: Edmund Barton (Later Sir Edmund Barton), 3: Richard Teece, Str: Alan Yeomans, Cox: Thomas Iceton

Sir Edmund Barton

Sir Edmund Barton

Later in life as Australia's first Prime Minister

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