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Rowing Victoria

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Rowing in a young Victoria
  3. Formation of the Association
  4. Growth of the Sport 1876-1889
  5. Years of great success 1890-1899
  6. The rise of Henley on the Yarra 1900-1909
  7. The War Years 1910-1919
  8. Women's rowing and the modern era 1920-1929
  9. The Depression years 1930-1939
  10. War and rebuilding 1940-1949
  11. Expansion years 1950-1959
  12. The search for international success 1960-1969
  13. Combining the Associations and lightweight success 1970-1979
  14. The new national program 1980-1989
  15. Golden years 1990-1999
  16. Professionalism 2000-2009
  17. Yet More Growth 2010-2019


  1. Life Membership and other important awards
  2. Patrons and Presidents
  3. Office Bearers
  4. Clubs and their histories
  5. The Oarsmen's Centotaph and WWI Roll of Honour
  6. WWII Roll of Honour
  7. Premierships
  8. State Championships
  9. Hall of Fame Inductees
  10. Victorian Olympians
  11. International representation
  12. Intercolonial and Interstate Racing
  13. School rowing
  14. University rowing
  15. Personalities of the sport

15. Personalities of the sport

Surname J

Those appearing below are:

  1. Alan Jacobsen, Banks
  2. Campbell Johnston, MUBC
  3. John Jopling, Wendouree
  4. Justine Joyce, Hawthorn/Yarra/Banks
  5. Rebecca Joyce, Mercantile
  6. Caroline Judd, YWCA

Alan Jacobsen

Banks Rowing Club
1938 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Fourth
1962 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - First
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight coach – Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach - Fifth
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - First
1964 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - First
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight coach - Eighth
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championships selector

Alan Jacobsen

Alan had rowing imbued into him by a keen rowing father. He excelled at rowing at Scotch College and went onto to stroke the 1938 King’s Cup crew.
After serving in WWII, he briefly returned to the sport until family and business pressures intervened. In the early 1960s, he was persuaded to return to rowing by preparing the Banks senior eight for the State Championships. This commenced a highly successful period of coaching. After the 1964 Olympic Games he retired but maintained his interest in the sport. His interest in coaching went beyond the elite level. He coached school and club crews and produced coaching videos and other tools for aspiring coaches.
Alan is also the author of a book titled Australia in World Rowing published by Hill of Content in 1984. An obscure sporting fact is that he played senior football for Footscray playing against the great Jack Dyer and with Ambrose Palmer (famous boxer and trainer of John Famechon).

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Campbell Johnston

Melbourne University Boat Club
1970 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Third
1971 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1972 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1972 – National Championship Lightweight Eight stroke - First
1973 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1974 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1974 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Gold
1975 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1975 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Bronze

1974 FISA Champion crew training on the Yarra - Cam in stroke seat

Cam has been a Partner and ultimately Chairman of Partners of a leading Australian law firm. He has been regarded as a leading Australian advisor on banking and finance. Cam has recently joined with Geoff Rees as Chairman in establishing a specialist boutique legal firm advising on commercial matters. Cam also undertakes significant Not for Profit Board/Council roles with Scotch College, Royal Melbourne Golf Club and the Melbourne Club. Both Cam's daughters rowed successfully at school and Blues at Melbourne University.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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John Jopling

Wendouree Rowing Club - died 19th July 1948

1924 Victorian crew stroked by John Jopling

The following article was extracted from a Richmond Rowing Club newsletter in 1945.

"Victoria's most successful stroke over the past 25 years, Jack Jopling, died at Ballarat yesterday after a short illness. He stroked 10 pairs, fours and eights to Victorian Championsbips."

This brief announcement in the Herald of 20/7/1945 marked the passing of a great oarsman. Ray Todd of the famous Todd Jopling pair, enlarges on this for us.

Jack Jopling, who died at Ballarat on 19/7/1945 at 48 years of age following a short illness, was Victoria's most successful stroke since the last Great War.

With crews of the Wendouree club he had more than forty successes in the stroke seat recorded in seven years. In fourteen starts in State title events, he was successful on ten occasions, was second three times, and once unplaced.

He holds the record as a champion pair-oared stroke, having won the titlefive times.

Jack stroked the Victorian King's Cup eight in Adelaide in 1924 and in Victoria in 1925.

He was also the stroke of the Wendouree four-oared crew that represented Victoria in New Zealand in 1927. This crew was successful at the Wanganur and Wellington regattas.

One of his most important victories was in the Steward's Challenge Cup event at Henley-on-Yarra in 1923, when his Wendouree crew (Walsh, bow, Hutchins, Todd, Jopling, stroke) easily defeate the famous Murray Bridge four in the final of that event. The following year the Murray Bridge representatives rowed for Australia at the Paris Olympic Games. At the time of his death jack Jopling was President of the Wendouree Club and a very popular figure in the rowing world.

Ray Todd 1945

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Justin Joyce

Hawthorn Rowing Club, Yarra Yarra Rowing Club, Banks Rowing Club
1996 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Second
1996 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Pair stroke – Fifth
1997 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1997 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Pair stroke – Gold
1998 –Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1999 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship two seat – First
2003-2005 Competed Masters rowing
1994-2009 Coached schoolgirl rowers

Celebrating 1997 World Championship

David Orchert (coach), Eliza Blair and Justine Joyce

Registered Psychologist helping adolescents and adults since 2000.
Currently School Counsellor Melbourne Girls Grammar and enjoying raising two active girls with husband Mark.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Rebecca Joyce

Mercantile Rowing Club, 1988-90, MUBC 91-94 and later UTS Haberfield Rowing Club 94-2000
1989 – Interstate Women’s Youth Four Championship bow – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four stroke – Fourth
1990 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship emergency
1990 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four stroke – Silver
1991 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1991 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four stroke – Fifth
1991 – World Championships – Women’s Eight stroke seat - Twelfth
1995 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship NSW bow - First
1995 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Single Scull - Gold
1996 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship NSW bow – First
1996 – Olympic Games – Women’s Lightweight Double Scull bow – Bronze
1997 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship bow – Fourth
1998 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull stroke – Fifth
1999 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Third

Celebrating 1996 medal winning performance at Atlanta

Rebecca joined Mercantile in 1988 while at GGS whilst under the guidance of GGS rowing master Paul McGann. She took part in the inaugural AIS talent ID program across Australian schools which put her in the top 10% in the country. However she was rejected for being too light and perhaps should have had more GGS stews! Lightweight rowing was not an Olympic sport at that stage and so not supported by the AIS. Though no guidance was given by the AIS as to how and when to best focus her talents, she was thankful for the fortunate guidance of Paul McGann who suggested she join Mercantile. She did so while still in her HSC year and started training with the lightweight B team.

Rebecca contracted chronic fatigue in 1992 and was unable to take up a VIS scholarship. However in 1993, the lightweight double scull was announced for introduction into the Olympic program. This spurred her back into the sport and served to rebuild her spirit, confidence and physical well being. In changing from sweep to sculling, she sought the best sculling coaches out and so moved to Sydney to be coached by Ellen Randall. In Rebecca’s words, “Ellen provided compassion and loving guidance which resulted in Rebecca becoming a World Champion in 1995. The best coach I ever had and a role model for the work I do today in building high performance teams in the corporate world.”

Interestingly in 1991 she was selected originally in the double. But coach Harald Jahrling was concerned about combining the tall lightweights, Virginia Lee and Rebecca, so he forced her into the single that year. In Rebecca’s view, it was the best mistake he ever made! She regards the 1996 as her most challenging rowing year, just to get in the boat. Although proud of her bronze, she is still dissatisfied with the result. “As an elite athlete there was an element where I always felt eternally dissatisfied as I constantly strove for perfection.”

Rebecca is a Board Member of Rowing Australia and is the Chair of the Athletes Commission. Rebecca’s father Bob competed in the 1956 Melbourne Games in 110m hurdles.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Caroline Judd


Caroline Judd was a great administrator of the sport. She reformed the then defunct Preston Club at Edwards Lake in the late sixties, and later served as Secretary to the Victorian Women's Amateur Sports Council. She became Secretary of the V.L.R.A. in 1974 and was elected President in 1976. The continued growth of women's rowing in thie seventies owes much - to her flair and far sighted administrative ability.

The YWCA dominated Victorian women's rowing during the 1970s and had a significant influence in raising, rowing standards Australia wide. The continued expansion of women's rowing in Victoria during that decade must be attributed primarily to two women who have become a driving force behind the association's rapid but controlled expansion - Kath Bennett and Caroline Judd both of the YWCA. A strong and resourceful administrative team, their combined efforts have formed the basis for much of the V.L.R.A.'s organisation and progressive approach.

Andrew Guerin 2016

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<back to Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame Index

< back to Personalities of the Sport Index


< previous Appendix 14 University Rowing

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