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history of australian rowing at world championships

1980 Lightweight World Championships- Hazewinkel Belgium

men's lightweight coxless four

Men's Lightweight Coxless Four

Str Simon Gillett, 3 Clyde Hefer, 2 Charles Bartlett, bow Graham Gardiner and insert Coach Rusty Robertson


This was the first year of selection by small boat racing under the revised selection regime of Reinhold Batschi. The two fastest pairs were the standout crews taking it in turns coming in first or second well ahead of the other crews. Selection of the four was therefore clear.

Michael Smith was also the fastest sculler at that time. This was the one World Chamionship where Peter Antonie failed to gain selection. The missed selection pushed Peter into sculling where he excelled and became both a World and Olympic Champion.


The lightweight four became instant proof that the new selection policy was successful with a gold medal with no lead up regattas. All this occurred despite an accident on the water days before the heats which resulted in its new Empacher boat being damaged beyond repair.

A boat was quickly borrowed from a local rowing club and it too was damaged when the crew promptly used the bow ball to spear an East German junior pair in half. With two days to go before the heats both the Australian and German boats were repaired and both crews went on to win gold.

The highlight of course of these Championships was the gold medal win of the coxless four which won easily by more than five seconds in the final. This followed a win in the heat against the eventual silver medallists. As a result of a clash, second and third positions were re-rowed with Denmark taking silver over the original second placegetters Great Britain.

Michael Smith in the single scull regrettably had a poor row in his semi-final thus relegating him to the small final where he finished eleventh.

The women's lightweight squad was again selected for the North American Championships where they won the pair and four.

Australian Team

Men's Lightweight Single Scull—Eleventh
Michael Smith (NSW)
Cch: Rusty Robertson (NSW)

Men's Lightweight Coxless Four—Gold
Bow: Graham Gardiner (NSW)
2: Charles Bartlett (VIC)
3: Clyde Hefer (NSW)
Str: Simon Gillett (VIC)
Cch: Rusty Robertson (NSW)
Res: Phil Gardiner (VIC)

Manager: Chris Dalton (TAS)
Selectors: Jim Howden (VIC Chairman), Roger Moore (SA), Bruce Evans (NSW)


Men's Lightweight Single Scull

Final B: 7th AUT, 8th FRA, 9th ITA, 10th NED, 11th AUS, 12th GBR
Final: 1st FRG, 2nd USA, 3rd ESP, 4th NOR, 5th SUI, 6th DEN

Men's Lightweight Double Scull

Final B: 7th DEN, 8th NED, 9th SWE, 10th CHN, 11th BEL, 12th IRL
Final: 1st ITA 6.29.18; 2nd USA; 3rd SUI, 4th GBR (included Stuart Wilson who later represented AUS), 5th BEL, 6th FRG

Men's Lightweight Four

Final B: 7th CAN, 8th FRG, 9th ITA, 10th SUI, 11th AUT, 12th BEL
Final: 1st AUS, 2nd GBR, 3rd DEN, 4th ESP, 5th USA, 6th NED

Men's Lightweight Eight

Final B: 7th FRG, 8th JPN, 8th CAN
Final: 1st GBR 5.42.76; 2nd FRA; 3rd ESP, 4th USA, 5th ITA, 6th NED

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