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Men's Coxless Pair Summary
Ted Bromley Memorial Trophy

The Ted Bromley Memorial Trophy was first presented in 2006 in honour of the Late Ted Bromley. Ted was a 1948 Olympic rower who championed coxless pair oared rowing in Australia from pre WWII until his death in 2005. Through his generous benefaction in creating the Bromley Trust Fund in 1990, he continues to support Australian representative crews and in particular coxless pair oared crews.

At the foot of this page there are some interesting comments from the Late Ted Bromley on the development of pair oared rowing in Australia.

The Bromley trophy is a bronze statue depicting James Tonkins, who is Australia’s most successful pair oared rower. James was of course Olympic Champion in the pair at the Athens Games in 2004. Prior to that, James was a World Champion in the coxless pair in both 1999 and 2003.


The Men's Coxless Pair has always been a major event on the National Championships programme and is one of the few events to have been competed for at every Championship.

There were other coxless pair oared races which were test races for Australian representative crews and so contained much of the nature of a Championship. The winners of these events were:

1950 Richmond, VIC
1952 Leichhardt, NSW
1954 Leichhardt, NSW
1956 North Shore, NSW
1958 Haberfield, NSW
1960 Melbourne University, VIC

Also there were some Interstate Pair Oared Championships conducted prior to commencement of the National Championships.


2006 Men's Champion Pair from MUBC with the Ted Bromley Memorial Trophy


Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Time
1962 Mosman No 2, NSW Mercantile, VIC Nagambie, VIC Mosman No 1, NSW Balmain, NSW   7:46.00
1964 Mosman, NSW Nagambie, VIC Balmain, NSW       7:30.80
1966 Mosman, NSW Nepean, NSW Haberfield, NSW Colleagues, NSW     8:14.00
1968 Banks, VIC Mosman, NSW Melbourne / MUBC, VIC Colleagues / Haberfield, NSW     7:37.30
1970 Corio Bay, VIC Banks, VIC Mosman No 1, NSW       7:27.80
1972 Sydney, NSW Haberfield / Mosman, NSW Corio Bay, VIC Joondalup, WA Barwon, VIC   6:50.20
1974 Mosman / SUBC, NSW Sydney, NSW Tasmania Banks, VIC Corio Bay / Mercantile, VIC Adelaide / AUBC, SA 7:18.40
1975 SUBC / Mosman, NSW QUBC, QLD Mercantile / MUBC, VIC       7:23.30
1976 SUBC, NSW MUBC, VIC Sydney, NSW Mosman, NSW Torrens, SA   7:15.00
1977 Haberfield No 1, NSW Haberfield / Sydney, NSW Franklin, TAS SUBC, NSW Sydney, NSW   7:13.60
1978 Sydney, NSW Adelaide, SA Haberfield No 2, NSW       7:31.80
1979 SUBC, NSW AUBC, SA Haberfield, NSW Torrens / Adelaide, SA Nepean, NSW   7:17.80
1980 AUBC, SA SUBC No 1, NSW Monash Uni, VIC Adelaide / Torrens, SA Drummoyne No 2, NSW Sydney No 2, NSW 7:48.88
1981 AUBC, SA Mosman, NSW SUBC, NSW       6:54.57
1982 AUBC, SA Sydney / Balmain, NSW Adelaide, SA Mercantile, VIC     7:02.50
1983 AUBC, SA Banks No 1, VIC UQBC, QLD       7:08.10
1984 Balmain / Drummoyne, NSW AUBC, SA Mosman, NSW UQBC, QLD Mosman / Sydney, NSW Mercantile, VIC 6:54.20
1985 Mercantile No 1, VIC Adelaide / Port Adelaide, SA Banks No 3, VIC Mercantile No 3, VIC Banks No 1, VIC Mosman / Drummoyne, NSW 6:54.90
1986 Mosman No 2, NSW MUBC, VIC / Tamar, TAS Banks No1, VIC Mercantile No 1, VIC Mercantile No 2, VIC Mercantile, VIC / Commercial, QLD 6:55.53
1987 Mercantile, VIC           6:48.67
1988 Mercantile, VIC           6:16.81
1989 Sydney, NSW / Torrens, SA           7:51.39
1990 Mercantile, VIC           7:07.69
1991 AIS, ACT           6:43.20
1992 Mercantile, VIC           6:22.08
1993 Mercantile, VIC           6:41.18
1994 AIS. ACT           6:41.65
1995 Sydney, NSW           6:33.04
1996 UQBC, QLD / Curtin, WA           6:38.35
1997 AIS, ACT           6:58.76
1998 UTS, NSW           6:57.30
1999 Mercantile, VIC           6:42.21
2000 Mosman, NSW           6:26.80
2001 UTS, NSW           6:35.66
2002 Mercantile, VIC           6:23.51
2003 UTS, NSW           7:18.45
2004 UTS No 2, NSW WA No 2, WA Mercantile, VIC / Surfers Paradise, QLD UQBC, QLD WA No1, WA UTS No 1, NSW 6:44.69
2005 UQBC, QLD UTS / SUBC, NSW Swan River No 1, WA SWan River No 2, WA UQBC No 2, QLD MUBC No 1, VIC 6:37.91
2006 MUBC No1, VIC Mercantile, VIC / Surfers Paradise, QLD MUBC No 2, VIC SUBC / UTS, NSW UQBC, QLD Mosman, NSW 7:39.91
2007 Mercantile, VIC / Surfers Paradise, QLD Melbourne University, VIC Swan River, WA / Sydney University, NSW Mercantile, VIC / University of Queensland, QLD Melbourne University, VIC Mosman / Sydney University, NSW 6:41.89

The following extracts are from some 1998 comments of Ted Bromley and reveal much on the early development of coxless pair rowing in Australia.

In 1938 The British Empire Games were held in Sydney and the rowing events took place on the Nepean River at Penrith. There was no pair-oared race.

I was interested to learn that two members of the New Zealand Eight had rowed in the 1932 Olympic Games at Los Angeles in the coxless pair event and had won the bronze medal. I had discussions with them about that class of rowing and I observed them closely during their outings on the water. It seemed to me that while they were good oarsmen they were not obviously superior to their Australian counterparts and there should be Olympic prospects for Australia at the forthcoming 1940 Helsinki Olympics.

Some weeks later, I had a discussion with my friend John Burrell with whom I had enjoyed several years of successful rowing. We agreed that we would get together and try ourselves out in a pair-oared boat and if we found we could move the boat well, we would train together with a view for selection for the 1940 Games. George Towns and Sons were given an order for the pair and two oars at a cost of £98.

The boat was delivered towards the end of 1938 and by that time our plans had been overtaken by events.
Burrell and I were in the crew which, selected by the NSW Rowing Association but rowing as Sydney Rowing Club, went to Henley and competed in "The Grand".

The Henley Regatta gave me the opportunity to examine pair-oared boats and to see them on the water. I noted that the pair that won comfortably was some 13kg per man lighter than the powerful second pair. The message was that skill is a vital factor in that class of rowing.

Before we had arrived back in Australia our Helsinki 1940 plans had again been overtaken by events and it was quickly clear that the start of World War II meant there would be no 1940 Olympics.

It had been announced that the next Olympics would be held in 1948 in London and Spencer Grace, who had been a member of our 1939 Henley crew, suggested that we should start rowing together in the pair and try for selection. (John Burrell's right arm had been injured in the war during the defence of Tobruk and he was not available.)

By early 1948 our pair was the only one rowing in NSW, and, as far as I am aware, there was no other coxless pair in use in Australia. We were selected in the Olympic Team with the proviso that we should first compete in the Henley Regatta and reach the final of the pair-oared race (the last two) which we did.

…[British coach Derek Ivors-Smith] taught us a lot about pair-oared rowing. …He required us to "brighten up”…... Our bodies had to remain almost perpendicular, the hands had to be struck away smartly after the finish. Nearly all the work was with the legs.

Before long we had the opportunity of trying out our new style at the Marlow Regatta (ten days before Henley). In the first heat we were drawn against Laurie and Wilson of Leander who were the nominated British Olympic pair and later winners of the Olympic gold medal.

We got away very smartly rating well over forty strokes to the minute and did not drop below about thirty eight. We won the race by over two lengths. Later we won the final against Thames Rowing Club by three and a half lengths.
At the Henley Regatta we won our first two races "easily" and joined Laurie and Wilson in the final.

Due to injury to Grace the Australian finished second at Henley and their Olympic efforts were also upset with injury, changing styles and lack of experience in pair oared rowing. Ted Bromley continues –

I returned to Australia convinced that Australia should adopt a policy of giving a high, or even top, priority to the development of pair-oared rowing in preference to the past practice of first selecting an eight and two spare men ("they can row in the pair") when the Olympics came along every four years and paying no attention to the fact that such selections did not take into account the possibility that amongst those ten men there might have been two capable of winning a gold medal as a pair.

It was heartening to see that after 1948 pair-oared boats started to proliferate and by 1950 about a dozen presented themselves for a test race for selection in the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.

In 1988 Ted Bromley generously established a Fund to support Australian World Championships pair oared crews. By 1995 it was extended to under 23 pair oared crews due to the growth in the success of our World Championships senior and junior pair oared crews. By 2001, so successful were Australian pair oared crews that the Fund had met it’s objectives. The fund continues to support Australian crews with $22,000 donated to Australian crews in 2005.


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