1924 Australian University Championships— Lower Yarra River Melbourne VIC
The race was conducted 31st May 1924 in Melbourne. For the first time five universities were represented with the addition of a Tasmanian crew. The race was described as splendid with only a half length separating the first two crews. The race was conducted over 2 1/2 miles.
Margins: 1/2 length between first and second, 2 lengths back to third, a long way back to Tasmania with Sydney a further 3 lengths back
1st Melbourne University - Bow: Edward Woodall Gault, 2: N J Abernethy, 3: William James Pannell, 4: Robert Henry Hadley, 5: Hugh D M L Murray, 6: Otto A Yuncken, 7: Edwin Watchorn Turner, Str: Russell H Keon-Cohen, Cox: Eric Walter B Kyle, Cch: Charles Donald
2nd University of Queensland - Bow: Leonard Colin Fisher, 2: James Hardie Buzacott, 3: James Reginald Ledingham Cooper, 4: George Woods Harding, 5: John Elvin Collins, 6: Gerald William Barlow, 7: James Walker Grice, Str: Eric B Freeman, Cox: James Eric Gifford Martin, Emerg: Konrad S Hirschfelt, Cch: Arthur A Watson
3rd Adelaide University - Bow: Myles Landseer Formby, 2: Arthur John Sorby Adams, 3: Robert Campbell McKinnon, 4: Philip Andreas Read, 5: Gemmel Tassie, 6: James S Lord, 7: Kenneth H Boykett, Str: Leslie Carrington Maiden, Cox: Ian Ayliffe Hamilton, Cch: Cecil Thomas Madigan
4th University of Tasmania - Bow: Archibald McDougall, 2: Colin Stanfield Gibson, 3: John Joseph Edwards, 4: Charles Edgecombe Adams, 5: Harold Thomas Wright, 6: Donald Macdonald Urquhart, 7: Frederick Forrester Ford, Str: John Douglas Lloyd Hood, Cox: Harold Mackenzie Freeburgh, Cch: Roy Clarke
5th Sydney University - Bow: Donald A Cameron, 2: Robert N McCulloch, 3: Gregan T M McMahon, 4: Francis MacKenzie Matthews, 5: Charles Keith Johnson, 6: Henry L Johnston, 7: Evan Mander-Jones, Str: Sydney Gore O Martin, Cox: Vincent G Cox, Cch: Dr Goodwin Hill
The Examiner of Launceston reported as follows:
Perfect weather prevailed for what may be fairly described as one of the most important races in the annals of the event, for apart front the narrowness of tie finish, the magnificent rowing of the leading crews, and the meritorious performance of the others, the occasion marked the entry of Tasmnania in inter-varsity contests.
The course over the Lower Yarra does not lend itself to the easy witnessing of rowing events, most of it being lined with steamers moored at the wharves, and parts by fairly high coal stacks. For this reason possibly there were few spectators along the course, but a large crowd lined the south bank to witness the great finish.
Only two boats followed the race. A slight breeze barely ruffled the surface of the river, and only once or twice where a passing boat had stirred the placid water, was in any rough. Added to these conditions the sunsetting was just warm enough to suit both rowers and spectators, and made the day a perfect one from all points of view. The picturesque setting of the race was given added colour by the presence of an aero plane hovering and circling about the starting point.
The Adelaide crew rowed the full course down to the starting point prior to the race, but the others were content to allow their boats to be towed down, and travelled themselves in a launch. The tide was running out strongly when the race started, giving it strong advantage to the crews nearest the south bank, from where their respective positions were:--Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, South Australia. The crews on the north side, however, were compensated by the bend off Spencer-street.
It was expected, in spite of their position, that Queensland and Adelaide would fight out the finish. Melbourne were given only a minor chance. From a perfect start Tasmania forged slightly to the front, with Melbourne and Queensland together, and Adelaide, which appeared to be rowing a slow stroke, slightly to the rear. Queensland were rowing with wonderful evenness.
Amid cheers from followers of the race, Queensland forged slightly to the front after a few hundred yards had been covered. Melbourne was close up, and about half a length away. Adelaide and Tasmania were level, with Sydney last. The excitement was intensified when Melbourne again drew level with the Queenslanders. The maroons and the blues, even at this early stage, appeared to have the contest won from the others.
Rowing abreast, they in closed the gap between them, and the Adelaide and the Tasmanian crew to three lengths, with Sydney over a length behind these. Rowing with increaclng speed, Queensland again had a slight advantage nearing the coal stacks; but Melbourne again drew level, and the leaders raced abreast to a point where the lines of shipping narrowed the course.
Entering these lines Melbourne, with a fine burst of speed, got a canvas lead of the maroons, which they gradually increased to a length and a half. Tasmania and Adelaide were still level, about four lengths back, with Sydney rolling some what, still further back. Just before the Spencer-street bend was reached Melbourne had a handsome lead, but in talking the bend Queensland spurted, and crept inch by inch on to the leader. It was a wonderful finish, but Melbourne was able to hold out to win by half a length. Time, 16min. 14sec. Adelaide comfortably defeated Tasmania for third place, and Tasmania as easily defeated Sydney.