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History of Australian University Championships Rowing

1946 Australian University Championships— Murray River Mannum SA

The Championships were reconvened on 8th June 1946 following WWII.



Sir Henry Newland (judge)
Hurtle Morphett (umplre)
Stanley Facy (starter)
Mark P Bonnin and Rupert Magarey (timekeepers)
Peter Cudmore (radio commentator)
D. M. Lavis, A. R. Curry, and H. P. C. Trumble (regatta secretaries)
Mr I. K. Purler (secretary of the Adelaide University Boat Club)

Men's Eight 

Time: 17 mins 59 secs
Margin: 3/4 length, 8 lengths and many lengths

1st Melbourne University - Bow: M J Scriven, 2: M G Whiteside, 3: James M Ferguson, 4: K B Nelson, 5: W L M Armstrong, 6: H Stretton, 7: J A McCallum, Str: Colin D Smith, Cox: A L Bennett, Cch: Gerry J Duane
2nd Adelaide University - Bow: lan King Purler, 2: R K Ashby, 3: John Smith Heitmann, 4: Kevin Barry Magarey, 5: Joseph Chenoweth Whitehouse, 6: Charles Anthony Lempriere Abbott, 7: Philip James Claridge, Str: Ian Harold Hobbs, Cox: Colin Stanley Hocking, Emerg: Ronald Sandison Pearce, Cchs: Lancell S Bonnln and Dr Hone
3rd Sydney University - Bow: M Scriven, 2: M Whiteside, 3: J Ferguson, 4: Peter Holmes a Court, 5: K Nelson, 6: W Armstrong, 7: H Stretton, Str: Alistair G Robson, Cox: A Bennett
4th Queensland University - Bow: Graham Hebden Flint, 2:  Graham Brownlie Wilson, 3: Derek Harry Meyers, 4: Frank Kenneth Miles, 5:  Guy Seccombe Ethell, 6: John Harley, 7: J Brookless, Str: Donald McLeod Clouston, Cox; Barry John Whelan, Cchs: Duncan Robertson &  Alexander David Clouston

The Adelaide Advertiser reported the race as follows:

In an exciting finish, Melbourne defeated Adelaide by three-quarters of a length in the Australian Universities boat race over three miles at Mannum on Saturday.

Sydney, eight lengths behind Adelaide, was third and Queensland was last, many lengths farther back. Melbourne rowed the course in 17 min. 59 sec. For practically two miles it was a race between Melbourne and Adelaide, with the former crew always in front. Half-way through the race only half a length separated them. At 10 a.m. it was not known how many crews would race because some of the oarsmen were still down with colds that had affected three of the crews during the week. Sydney's stroke (A.G.G.Robson) came out of hospital during the morning, still feeling the effects of a severe cold but he took his place in the crew. It was not until lunch time that it was decided to let Adelaide's No. 7 P. J. Claridge row.

At the line-up, Melbourne was in No. 1 position nearest the township side of the river. Adelaide drew No.2 position, with Sydney and Queensland third and fourth. A strong wind blowing across the river caused the Adelaide buoy to break away from it's moorings and it settled in the right-of-way of Sydney's course. This delayed the start for several minutes. The starter (Mr. Stan Facy) finally discarded the buoys, and used a running start, which took place 10 minutes after the scheduled time.

It rained during the whole of the race, and for the first mile the strong wind and choppy river made rowing difficult. Nearer the township the river was much calmer and there was less wind. All crews got away with a good start but Queensland's No 4 (F.K.Miles) lost his slide on the second stroke. This was a severe handicap. It was rough going up to the Mannum Quarries, a quarter mile from the start. Just near the Lone Gum Tree, Melbourne, snatched the lead with Adelaide barely a canvas behind Melbourne reached the half-mile post in 2 mm. and 29 sec., and soon after increased its lead.

At this stage Sydney appeared to be slightly in front of Adelaide, with Queensland two lengths further back. Then Adelaide drew up into second place with Melbourne a length in front. Melbourne reached the mile post in 5 min.22 sec.   Adelaide was then three-quarters of a length in front of Sydney, with Queensland five lengths away from the leaders. Adelaide gained on Melbourne up to the one and a half mile post and it was then two lengths in front of Sydney. Melbourne reached the one and a half mile post in 8 min. 34 sec. Adelaide drew to within half a length of Melbourne. By this time Sydney had dropped back and Queensland was well out of it. Melbourne at this stage was rowing 31 and increased it's lead to a length. It was a great race for the last half mile with Adelaide all out. Adelaide did not let up and continued to row hard to gain on Melbourne which eventually won by three quarters of a length in a grand finish. 

After the race members of the visiting crews gathered at the quarters of the Adelaide crew for the traditional stout and oyster party associated with any Australian Universities boat race. Later in the evening the crews motored to Adelaide where they were entertained by the president (Sir Henry Newland) and members of the Adelaide University Boat Club at a dinner at the Hotel Adelaide. Because of the break-down of the large service bus in which most of the inter-state oarsmen were travelling the dinner did not begin until after 9 p.m. At the dinner Sir Henry Newland paid a tribute to the donors of the Oxford and Cambridge Cup which was presented to Melbourne. The donors did the members of the Universities' crews a great service for rowing in Australia as well as for the standard of rowing in Australia added Sir Henry Newland. Mr Hurtle Murphett, the first Australian to be a president of either an Oxford or Cambridge Boat Club responded to the toast. "The Donors of the Oxford and Cambridge Cup."  

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