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History of Australian University Championships Rowing

1954 Australian University Championships— Swan River Perth WA

The Sixtieth Championships were conducted over a two mile course on the Swan River on 5th June 1954.

Sydney University won the sculls with Melbourne University winning the Oxford and Cambridge Cup.

A full copy of the programme can be accessed through this link.



Western Australia University Boat Club. President: Dr G Barratt-Hill, Captain: E N Maslen, Hon Secretary: C N Cuthbert


George Mettam - Starter, F W Humphreys - Umpire, H V Reily - Judge, J H Reynolds - Assistant Judge, J Rogers - Marshalling Steward, Dr H H R Nash, R T Gard and R J Williams - Timekeepers

Men's Scull

Time: Unknown
Margins: 5 lengths & 15 lengths

1st Sydney University - B D Adams
2nd University of Western Australia - Eddie N Maslen
3rd Melbourne University - Hugh F Smith

Men's Eight

Time: 11 mins 38 secs
Margins: 1 1/3 length, 1 length & 4 lengths
2 miles

1st Melbourne University - Bow: Mac D G Murray, 2: Ian E Douglas, 3: John R Colville, 4: W Michael Somerville, 5: John A Hunt, 6: Stuart N Johns, 7: Adrian C Monger, Str: Clive J Smith, Cox: Richard G Hyett, Cch: David R Salmon
2nd University of Western Australia - Bow: J Hanrahan, 2: Jerry Collis-Bird, 3: Barry Ninham, 4: Terry Davies, 5: Barry Purser, 6: R Pearse, 7: Mick Carrigg, Str: Richard H Kernot, Cox: R Walters, Cch: Dr Gordon Barrett-Hill
3rd Sydney University - Bow: B Sundstrup, 2: A Davis, 3: B Shepherd, 4: D Wilson, 5: C Lees, 6: J Warden, 7: D Johnston, Str: James Kennaway, Cox: J Wilcox, Cch: Frank Nichols
4th Adelaide University - Bow: Christopher John Cooper, 2: Philip Llewelllyn, Nash, 3: Graeme Sorby Adams, 4: John Francis Maclure Lea, 5: Jonathan Yeatman Hancock, 6: Michael Sydney Talbot Hobbs, 7: Peter James Stedman Burns, Str: John Salisbury Jose, Cox: Robert "Bob" Ley Hodge, Emerg: Geoff Morley, Cch: Jock G Gosse.

The West Australian attributed the win to the weight advantage of the Melbourne University crew. The paper reported that: "The heavier Melbourne crew had enough stamina to hold off a strong challenge from the WA crew in the closing stages of the two mile race." Steering errors 3/4 mile out from the start also hampered the WA crew when they were in the lead.

It was reported that the Adelaide crew's coxswain had lost his voice and so communicated with the crew via a bell.

1954 Melbourne University Crew

Back row: I E Douglas (2), W M Somerville (4), R G Hyett (cox), J R Colville (3), M D G Murray (bow). Front row: S N Johns (6), C J Smith (str), D R Salmon (cch), A C Monger (7), J A Hunt (5)

WA crew as printed in the programme

Sydney crew as printed in the programme

Adelaide crew as printed in the programme


  • 1954 program from the Graham Coldwell collection
  • Results from subsequent regatta programs and newspaper reports
  • Melbourne's Heavy Crew Fights Back (1954, June 7). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 26. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

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