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history of australian rowing at world championships

1970 World Championships- St Catharines Canada

Equipment and funding remained a problem for these Championships. The eight took with it Australian equipment which, when compared to the available boats used elsewhere, was not of a sufficient standard. The eight ended up using a German Karlisch boat and oars which were imported to Australia after the regatta.

No funds were again available from the AARC and fund raising interfered considerably with training. Even though for much of the tour manager Noel Wilkinson limited team funds to providing one meal per day he was able to return to Australia with a handsome surplus.

The Australians were not the only nation with boat problems. The boats of the East German team, who were the top rowing nation at that time, had not arrived because the ship transporting them had broken down. A solution had to be found.

The officials immediately chartered a cargo plane. An entire spare set of boats arrived in time as did the team's boats sent by sea! The East Germans performed to the expectations of all attending.

The new FISA elimination system, which was stricter, fairer and more elaborate allowed, in most cases, only one crew to qualify for the final from the elimination heats.

A small number of images of this regatta can be found at: 1970 World Championship - St Catherines (


Single Scull

El: 1st SWE, 2nd GBR, 3rd ITA, 4th AUT, 5th CAN
E2: 1st ARG, 2nd FRG, 3rd USA, 4th POL, 5th IRL
E3: 1st URS, 2nd GDR, 3rd NOR, 4th TCH, 5th JPN
R: 1st TCH, 2nd POL, 3rd IRL, 4th AUT, 5th JPN, 6th CAN
SFl: 1st FRG, 2nd URS, 3rd ITA, 4th SWE, 5th POL, 6th NOR
SF2: 1st ARG, 2nd GDR, 3rd TCH, 4th USA, 5th GBR, 6th IRL
Final B: 7th USA, 8th SWE, 9th GBR, 10th POL, 11th NOR, 12th IRL
Final: 1st Alberto Demiddi (Argentina) 7.16.54; 2nd Goetz Draeger (East Germany); 3rd Czechoslovakia. 4th Malishev (URS), 5th Meissner (FRG), 6th ITA

Double scull

E1: 1st GDR, 2nd USA, 3rdFRG, 4th AUT, 5th MEX, 6thCAN
E2: 1st DEN, 2nd URS, 3rd SUI, 4th NED, 5th GBR, 6th JPN
R1: 1st USA, 2nd SUI, 3rd NED, 4th MEX, 5th CAN
R2: 1st URS, 2nd FRG, 3rd GBR, 4th AUT, 5th JPN
Final B: &th GBR, 8th AUT, 9th NED, 10th MEX, 11th CAN, 12th JPN
Final: 1st Denmark (Niels H Secher & Jorgen Engelbrecht) 6.28.68; 2nd East Germany (Schmied & Boehmer); 3rd USA (John von Blom & Thomas McKibbon). 4th NED, 5th SUI, 6th URS

Coxless Pair

El: 1st AUT, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th NZL, 5th GBR, 6th HUN
E2: 1st NED, 2nd AUS, 3rd SUI, 4th ARG, 5th CAN
E3: 1st GDR, 2nd POL, 3rd USA, 4th NOR, 5th MEX
RI: 1st SUI, 2nd FRG, 3rd NOR, 4th HUN
R2: 1st USA, 2nd AUS, 3rd GBR, 4th CAN
R3: 1st POL, 2nd ARG, 3rd AUT, 4th NZL, 5th MEX
SFl: 1st GDR, 2nd FRG, 3rd URS, 4th ARG, 5th GBR,
SF2: 1st POL, 2nd SUI, 3rd NED, 4th AUS, 5th AUT, 6th NOR
Final B: 7th USA, 8th AUS, 9th AUT, 10th ARG, 11th NOR, 12th GBR
Final: 1st East Germany (Werner Klatt & Peter Gorny) 6.57.81; 2nd Poland (Alfons Slusarski & Jerzy Broniec); 3rd West Germany. 4th URS, 5th SUI, 6th NED

The Australian's were very close to being finalists with solid performances in heat, repechage and semi final. The results were consistent.

Coxed Pair

E1: 1st GDR, 2nd AUT, 3rd AUS, 4th YUG, 5th GRE, 6th CAN
E2: 1st URS, 2nd ITA, 3rd TCH, 4th DEN, 5th G+FRG, 6th BEL
E3: 1st ROM, 2nd FIN, 3rd USA, 4th GBR, 5th SWE
R1: 1st ITA, 2nd AUS, 3rd FRG, 4th GBR, 5th CAN
R2: 1st AUT, 2nd DEN, 3rd USA, 4th GRE
E3: 1st TCH, 2nd FIN, 3rd BEL, 4th SWE, 5th YUG
SF1: 1st URS, 2nd GDR, 3rd TCH, 4th DEN, 5th BEL, 6th AUS
SF2: 1st ROM, 2nd ITA, 3rd FRG, 4th FIN, 5th AUT, 6th USA
Final B: 7th AUT, 8th DEN, 9th FIN, 10th USA, 11th BEL 12th AUS
Final: 1st Romania (Tudor & Ceapura) 7.25.30; 2nd East Germany (H Schrieber & M Schmorde); 3rd Soviet Union, 4th ITA, 5th FRG, 6th TCH

The Australians showed some promise in the heat and repechage but were out-gunned in the semi-final and final.


Men's Coxless Pair

Bow George Zouris and str Jeff Watt training on the Barwon River, Geelong VIC


Australian Team

men's eight

Men's Eight

cox Geoff Godkin, str Graeme Boykett, 7 Stephen Gillon, 6 David Douglas, 5 Paul Guest, 4 Michael Morgan, 3 Kerry Jelbart, 2 W R (Jack) Hume, bow Rod Elleway

Men's Coxless Pair—Eighth
Bow: George Xouris (VIC)
Str: Jeff Watt (VIC)

Men's Coxed Pair. Twelfth
Bow: Chris King (TAS)
Str: John Shanasy (VIC)
Cox: David Rattray (TAS)

Men's Coxed Four—Eliminated in repechage
Bow: Victor Gibson (TAS)
2: Reg Free (TAS)
3: Tim McKay (TAS)
Str: Roger Manton (TAS)
Cox: David Rattray (TAS)
Cch: Brian Palmer (TAS)

Men's Eight—Fifth
Bow: Rod Elleway (SA)
2: W R (Jack) Hume (SA)
3: Kerry Jelbart (VIC)
4: Michael Morgan (NSW)
5: Paul Guest (VIC)
6: David Douglas (VIC)
7: Stephen Gillon (VIC)
Str: Graeme Boykett (VIC)
Cox: Geoff Godkin (VIC)
Cch: David Boykett (VIC)
Res: John Shanasy (VIC) & Chris King (TAS)

Manager: Noel Wilkinson (VIC)
Grading Committee: Robert Aitken (VIC), Maurice Grace (NSW) & William Wallace (SA)

More Results

Coxless Four

E1: 1st SUI, 2nd FRG, 3rd URS, 4th ITA, 5th NED, 6th FRA
E2: 1st GDR, 2nd DEN, 3rd GBR, 4th USA, 5th SWE
E3: 1st YUG, 2nd HUN, 3rd FIN, 4th MEX, 5th CAN
R1: 1st FRG, 2nd NED, 3rd GBR, 4th MEX
R2: 1st DEN, 2nd ITA, 3rd SWE, 4th FIN
R3: 1st HUN, 2nd URS, 3rd FRA, 4th USA, 5th CAN
SF1: 1st GDR, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th YUG, 5th GBR, 6th UTA
SF2: 1st GDR, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th YUG, 5th GBR, 6th ITA
Final B: 7th YUG, 8th FRA, 9th ITA, 10th GBR, 11th HUN, 12th SWE
Final: 1st East Germany (Forberger, Ruehle, Grahn, Schubert) 6.23.15, 2nd FRG; 3rd DEN, 4th NED, 5th SUI, 6th URS

Coxed Four

E1: 1st NED, 2nd AUS, 3rd BRA, 4th USA, 5th SWE
E2: 1st FRG, 2nd NZL, 3rd NOR, 4th FRA, 5th DEN
E3: 1st GDR, 2nd URS, 3rd GBR, 4th ITA, 5th JPN
E4: 1st SUI, 2nd ARG, 3rd YUG, 4th CAN
R1: 1st NOR, 2nd ITA, 3rd AUS, 6:18.66
R2: 1st NZL, 2nd GBR, 3rd CAN, 4th SWE, 6:26.35
R3: 1st URS, 2nd USA, 3rd YUG, 4th DEN, 6:31.01
R4: 1st ARG, 2nd FRA, 3rd BRA, 4th JPN, 6:20.57
SF1: 1st ARG, 2nd GDR, 3rd NZL. 4th UA, 5th ITA, 6th NED
SF2: 1st FRG, 2nd NOR, 3rd URS, 4th SUI, 5th FRA, 6th GBR
Final B: 7th SUI, 8th FRA, 9th NED, 10th ITA, 11th USA, 12th GER
Final: 1st West Germany 6.28.55, 2nd GDR, 3rd NOR, 4th NZL, 5th ARG, 6th URS


E1: 1st GDR, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th POL, 5th ITA, 6th FIN, 5:52.29
E2: 1st HUN, 2nd NOR, 3rd USA, 4th GBR, 5th CAN, 5:56.38
E3: 1st NZL, 2nd AUS, 3rd AUT, 4th FRA, 5th SWE, 5:54.68
R1: 1st URS, 2nd USA, 3rd ITA, 4th FRA, 5:50.50
R2: 1st NOR, 2nd POL, 3rd AUT, 4th CAN, 5:43.61
R3: 1st GBR, 2nd FRG, 3rd AUS, 4th FIN, 5:47.70
SF1: 1st GDR, 2nd HUN, 3rd POL, 4th GBR, 5th USA, 5:57.68 —AUS protest
SF2: 1st NZL, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th NOR, 5th ITA, 6th AUT, 5:56.63
Final B: 8th NOR, 9th GBR, 10th USA, 11th ITA, 12th AUT
Final: 1st East Germany; 2nd Soviet Union; 3rd New Zealand, 4th FRG, 5th AUS, 6th POL, 7th HUN, 5.36.1

The Australians had successfully protested in the semi-final that the umpires had ignored their signal that they were not ready to start and were placed in the final in the seventh lane.

Australia protests

Australian eight rows to the starter to protest. Geoff Godkin demonstrates to the starter that he signalled that they were not ready before the start. The starter says that he did not see the signal and the complaint was not allowed. Boykett said it cost them $30,000 to travel there. Subsequently, they were allowed to race in the final.

Men's Eight race start protest

The crew waits as Graeme Boykett and cox Geoff Godkin argue their case.

All crews raced impressively in the final with the young East German crew doing a very fast time for that period. There was only 0.20 second between 2nd and 3rd placed crews and only 0.09 seconds between the West Germans and the Australians. It was a tough final.

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