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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

Appendices

  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 M

Those appearing below are:

  1. Graeme McCall, Mercantile
  2. Lyall McCarthy, Mercantile
  3. Michael McKay, Mercantile
  4. Reg McKay, Footscray City
  5. Margaret Mackenzie, YWCA
  6. Adrian Maginn, MUBC
  7. Garth Manton, Mercantile
  8. Emily Martin, Wendouree Ballarat
  9. T Meyer, Elswick
  10. Andrew Michelmore, MUBC
  11. Henry Mitchell, Richmond
  12. James Mitchell, Richmond
  13. Robert Mitchell, Richmond
  14. Adrian Monger, MUBC
  15. Robert Morell OAM
  16. Sir Stephen Morell, Mercantile

Graeme McCall

Mercantile Rowing Club
1959 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – Second
1960 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – Third
1961 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1962 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight six seat – Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight six seat - Fifth
1964 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight six seat – Eighth
1967 – Coach of Australian Crews ,tour of New Zealand
1989-91 – Councillor for Victoria on AARC

Finish of the 1962 Commionwealth Games Eights Final

Graeme began his rowing career at Scotch College and was a member of many school crews, rowing in the 6 seat of the Scotch 1st Crew in 1955. After leaving school he joined Mercantile Rowing Club and rowed in their Junior and Senior Crews under the coaching of Norm Cairns and Robert Aitken, with some great successes .He went on to represent Victoria in 5 Kings Cup crews and then Australia rowing in the 1st World Rowing Championships in Switzerland ,the Commonwealth Games in Perth, and the Olympic Games in Japan ,in the 6 Seat . After retiring from active rowing he coached at Mercantile and an Australian 8 and pair who competed in New Zealand in 1967. Graeme is the father of Felicity McCall an Australian representative.


Andrew Guerin 2011

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Lyall McCarthy

Drummoyne Rowing Club (NSW), Barwon Rowing Club & Mercantile Rowing Club now NCRE
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight – Bronze
1981 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship (VIC) two seat – Second
1985 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship (NSW) bow - Third
1990 –Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship (VIC) three seat - First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat – Fifth
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat – Fourth
1992 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat - Second
1992 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat – Eighth
1995 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1995 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - Second
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach – Tenth
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Pair coach- Ninth
1995 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Pair coach - Fifth
1996 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1996 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Sixth
1997 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight coach – Gold
1997 – Lucerne Regatta – Men’s Lightweight Eight coach – Gold
1997 – Lucerne Regatta – Men’s Lightweight Pair coach – Silver
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Pair coach – Fifth
1998 – Lucerne Regatta – Men’s Lightweight Pair coach – Gold
1999 – Nations Cup – Women’s Quad Scull coach - Sixth
2000 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship co-coach - First
2000 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight coach – Fifth
2001 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship NSW coach - Fourth
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Eight coach – Gold
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Four coach – Gold
2002 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach - Fourth
2002 – World Championships – Women’s Eight coach – Silver
2002 – World Championships – Women’s Four coach – Gold
2002 – World Championships – Women’s Pair coach - Sixth
2003 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship - Second
2003 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship - Third
2003 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship - Fourth
2003 – World Championships – Women’s Quad coach – Gold
2003 – World Championships – Women’s Double Scull coach – Sixth
2003 – World Championships – Women’s Single Scull coach – Seventeenth
2004 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach – First & Second
2004 – Olympic Games – Women’s Quad Scull coach – Bronze
2005- World Championships – Women’s Pair-Silver
2005- World Championships - Women’s Double Scull – Bronze.
2006- World Championships – Women’s Quad Scull – Silver.
2007 – World Championship – Women’s Pair – Fourth
2007 – World Championship – Women’s Eight – Fourth
2008 – Olympic Games – Women’s Pair – Tenth
2008 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight – Sixth
2010 - World Championship – Women’s Quad Scull – Fourth
2010 - World Championship – Women’s Double Scull – Silver
2011 – World Championship – Women’s Double Scull – Silver
2012 – Olympic Games – Women’s Single Scull - Bronze
2012 – Olympic Games – Women’s Double Scull – Silver
2013 – World Championships – Women’s Single Scull – Gold

Lyall and Jeff Sykes cooling off on tour in 1978

Lyall has coached on the senior A team for 17 years including 5 Olympic Games. In that time he has coached 15 medal winning boats at World Championships or Olympic Games and has won medals in every open women’s boat category, as well as gold with the men’s lightweight eight in 1997.

Lyall has coached 27 different athletes to medal at either Olympic Games or World Championships. Perhaps most interestingly, he has coached Australia’s first ever Gold Medal in the following events: Men’s Lightweight eight 1997, Women’s Coxless Four 2001, Women’s Eight 2001, Women’s Quad Scull 2003 and Women’s Single Scull 2013. He is an outstanding coach.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Michael McKay OAM

Mercantile Rowing Club
1984 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship six seat – First
1985 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Men’s sweep
1985 – Match des Seniors – Men’s Eight six seat – Silver
1986 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1986 – World Championships – Men’s Eight Four seat– Gold
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight Four seat– Gold
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Coxed Four three seat – Bronze
1987 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1987 – World Championships – Men’s Eight – Fourth
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1988 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight three seat – Fifth
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge for the Patten Cup six seat – First
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge six seat – First
1990 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Gold
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Gold
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1992 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Gold
1993 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1994 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Fifth
1996 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1996 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four stroke – Gold
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Four two seat – Gold
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Silver
1999 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Eight stroke – Seventh
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship – First
2000 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight five seat – Silver
2002 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship – First
2003 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
2004 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Second
2004 – Olympic Games Men’s Eight seven seat – Bronze
2007 – Thomas Keller Medallist for outstanding contribution to the sport of rowing
2010 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame
One of Harry Gordon’s 100 Greatest Olympians

1992 Olympic Champions - Michael second from the left

One of Australia’s finest oarsmen and one of the most successful Australian sweep oarsman at the Olympic Games. Martin Cross from the UK stated correctly that “McKay’s career cannot be measured in numbers, or summed up by these phrases: aggressively competitive; a crew-maker; hugely respected; innovative; controversial…”. However a few quotes will add to Martin’s quote. Noel Donaldson: “There’s no doubt that he was the greatest rowing competitor that Australia has seen.” Tomkins when asked why he wants to row with Michael: “I want him in a crew with me because I know with Mike we’ll win!” He was an outstanding oarsman and competitor in too many ways to state in a few words.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Reg McKay

Footscray City Rowing Club
1977 – Obtained FISA Umpires Licence
1977 – World Championships jury
1978 – World Championships jury
1979 – World Junior & Senior Championships jury
1980 – Olympic Games & World Championship juries
1982-87 – Chairman of VRA Committee
1982-90 – Councillor for Victoria on AARC
1983 – World Championship jury
1984 – Olympic Games jury
1986 – World Championship and Commonwealth Games jury
1989 – World Championships jury
1990 – World Championships jury
1989-1994 – President Australian Rowing Council
1992 – Olympic Games – jury
2011 – Julius Patching Award winner for official of the year

Reg McKay, Prof Theo Koerner and Michael McKay in 1990

Reg has made an enormous contribution to the sport at all levels, from club to the national level. He has umpired and administered the sport at the highest levels being a long standing international umpire and also President of Rowing Australia. He has been Chairman of the Rowing Victoria Committee and also President of his club, Footscray City. He continues to actively row, coach and assist at his club. He is an administrator who always sought to provide a sporting environment on which the talented could achieve their best. Recognition of his achievements was made in 2011 when he was awarded the Julius Patching award by the Victorian Olympic Council. Reg is also the father of Michael McKay, one of Australia’s finest oarsmen. In his humble way, he noted that: I have enjoyed my journey with our great sport, many very exciting moments and also memorable ones, however I don’t believe the need for any further elaboration is required. Memories are best kept for "elaboration" over a beer.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Margaret Mackenzie OAM

Sydney Rowing Club (NSW) and YWCA Rowing Club (VIC)
1954 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship bow – Second
1955 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat – First – after re-row of dead heat
1957 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship reserve NSW
1958 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat NSW – First
1959 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat – First
1960 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat - First
1961 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat - First
1962 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat - First
1964 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship two seat - First
1967 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach (Vic) - Second
1968 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championships stroke and co-coach (Vic) - First
1968 – Interstate Women’s Four Championships coach Coach (Vic) – Second
1969 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach (Vic) – First
1969 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championships coach (Vic) – Second
1969 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championships (VIC) coach – Second
1973 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach (NSW) – First
1975 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach (NSW)– Second
1978 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach (NSW)- Third
1979 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach (NSW) - Disqualified
Past President of NSW Women’s Rowing Association
Past President YWCA Rowing Club
Past Secretary of Australian Women’s Rowing Council
Past Secretary of the Victorian Ladies Rowing Association

Margaret as coach of her Victorian Four


Margaret has been a driving force in women’s rowing as a competitor, coach and administrator. Her work has often been in the background and has been a key factor in implementing major changes to the sport. For example she assisted in establishing women’s rowing in New Zealand and ACT. She assisted in the re-introduction of women’s rowing and sculling in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and was a significant contributor to the resurrection of women’s rowing in Victoria.
Perhaps less known is her assistance in the introduction of Lightweight women’s rowing internationally and the introduction of women’s rowing at the Olympic Games. Her life continues to be one devoted to the sport of rowing and, in particular, women’s rowing.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Adrian Maginn

Mercantile Rowing Club (1967 – 1976) and Melbourne University Boat Club

1971 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
1972 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – Third
1973 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox- Second
1977 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – Third
1978 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship cox – First
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight cox – Bronze
1981 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship coach – Third

Adrian as cox of 1978 Australian Lightweight Eight

Adrian has maintained a life-long involvement in the sport from the time that he started as a thirteen year old cox at Mercantile Rowing Club in 1967.
Maintaining his close connection with Mercantile, Adrian also steered three First VIII crews for St Kevins College (1968, 69 & 70). In 1971 he was
selected to steer his first Kings Cup crew for the regatta in Perth and they were successful by a narrow margin in a very tight finish.
At the end of the 1976 season he moved to MUBC and in 1978 was part of the successful Penrith Cup and National Championship Lightweight Eight crews that year. 1978 was the last time that the Penrith Cup was a coxed event. His efforts were rewarded with inclusion in the 1978 Australian Lightweight Eight to compete at the World Championships in Demark. After winning their heat over the more favoured Great Britain crew they finished third in the final behind the British and the Danes but in front of the fast finishing Spanish crew.

At Melbourne University Boat Club Adrian coached many winning Inter Collegiate and Intervarsity crews with his most memorable success being the 1980 VIII which won the Oxford and Cambridge Cup in Canberra. Adrian is a strong supporter of masters rowing and is invariably called upon each year to negotiate the Head of the Yarra course as part of a masters crew. More than anything, he has a passion for rowing history and the recording and preservation of all rowing memorabilia. He was a member of the MUBC 150thCelebration Committee which published one of the best rowing club histories ever produced in Australia.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Garth Manton

Mercantile Rowing Club
1954 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1955 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Second
1956 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1956 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight five seat – Bronze

1956 Olympic Eight on Lake Wendouree - Garth in five seat


Garth has been a great supporter of the sport and also rowing at Geelong Grammar. A great raconteur and keenly sought speaker at rowing functions

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Emily Martin

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club
1997 – Interstate Women’s Youth Eight Championship four seat - First
1998 – Interstate Women’s Youth Eight Championship seven seat - First
1998 – Nations Cup – Women’s Four two seat - Gold
1999 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship three seat - First
1999 – World Championships – Women’s Eight five seat - Fifth
2000 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship - First
2000 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight seven seat – Fifth
2001 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship four seat - First
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Pair bow – Fourth
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Eight five seat - Gold
2002 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship stroke - Second
2002 – World Championships – Women’s Pair bow - Sixth
2003 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship seven seat - Second
2004 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship two seat – Third
2005 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships five – Gold
2005 - World Championships Women’s Eight five– Gold
2005 - World Championships Women’s Four two– Gold
2006 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships five – Gold
2006 - World Championships Women’s Eight seven– Bronze
2006 - World Championships Women’s Pair bow – Ninth
2007 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships three – Gold
2007 – World Championships Women’s Four three - Bronze
2010 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships seven – Gold

2005 World Champion Eight - Emily front row second from left

Emily, now Emily Carmody, started rowing at Ballarat Grammar School which then was located at Wendouree Ballarat boatshed. She was inspired by seeing 1996 Atlanta Olympian Anthony Edwards around the shed and progressed to club rowing in the same manner as he had done.

Emily regards the highlight of her career as “the 2001 Women’s eight gold at the Lake of the Gods, the Rotsee in Lucerne”. It was the first ever medal for an Australian women’s eight at a World Championships. Emily also tells the story that “the cox box stopped working half way down the course so it was lucky we all knew the race plan!” Her other highlight was of course the 2005 Women’s eight gold at World Championships in Gifu Japan. Locally, Emily always enjoyed the Interstate races and in particular, the 2005 Victorian crew which raced excellently.

Even with her great results, she regards the best thing that she got out of rowing was the great and ongoing friendships made with crew mates along the journey.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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T Meyer

Elswick Rowing Club
1860 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, stroke – First
1860 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs, bow – First
1861 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, stroke – First

Elswick Challenge Cup


The first amateur regatta to be conducted in Australia was the Melbourne Regatta in 1860. The founder of this regatta was 2010 inductee Prof Martin Irving. The Grand Challenge Cup for senior fours was the biggest amateur race in the land at that stage. The Elswick Rowing Club won the race in 1860, 1861 and 1862, thus winning the Challenge Cup outright. The three crews comprised four oarsmen who won the trophy at least twice each. They were the first Victorian amateur champions.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Andrew Michelmore

Melbourne University Boat Club
1972 – National Championship Lightweight Eight six - First
1973 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship emergency
1974 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1974 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat – Gold
1975 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1975 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat – Bronze
1979 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1979 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight six - First
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight six seat – Sixth
1980 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship coach - First

1974 FISA Champion Four training on Yarra - Andrew in the three seat

Andrew has had an excellent rowing career both in Australia and in the UK. Andrew won a Rhodes scholarship in 1976 and raced and won for Oxford in 1977 & 78 in the Boat Race. He was also President of the Oxford Rowing Club in 1978. On his return to Australia he resumed his rowing career before work and family commitments prevailed. Andrew is a prominent mining chief executive officer in the mining industry. Andrew also Chairs the Council of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Henry Mitchell

Richmond Rowing Club
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Junior Gig for youths, two – First
1868 – Melbourne Regatta Junior Sculls - First
1869 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, bow – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, bow – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, two – First
1871 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, two – First

1870 & 1871 Grand Challenge Cup Crew


Left to right: James Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, R Whitehead (cox), Henry Mitchell, Joseph Hood


By 1870, the competition for the Grand Challenge Cup at the Melbourne Regatta was fierce and three brothers from the Richmond Rowing Club made their mark in their club’s Grand Challenge Cup crews of 1870 and 1871. They were superb competitors and winners of many of the few races on offer.
Initially four brothers raced in the 1860s but one (John) dropped out. We recognise three of the Mitchell brothers as superb oarsmen of their day.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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James Mitchell

Ariel, Leander and Richmond Rowing Clubs
1862 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, two – First
1862 – Melbourne Regatta Victorian Challenge Oars, stroke - First
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, stroke – First
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Victorian Challenge Oars, stroke - First
1864 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, stroke - First
1864 – Melbourne Regatta Victorian Challenge Oars, stroke - First
1869 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, stroke – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, stroke – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, stroke – First
1871 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, stroke – First

By 1870, the competition for the Grand Challenge Cup at the Melbourne Regatta was fierce and three brothers from the Richmond Rowing Club made their mark in their club’s Grand Challenge Cup crews of 1870 and 1871. They were superb competitors and winners of many of the few races on offer.
Initially four brothers raced in the 1860s but one (John) dropped out. We recognise three of the Mitchell brothers as superb oarsmen of their day.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Robert Mitchell

Richmond Rowing Club
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Junior Gig for youths, three – First
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Junior Gig for youths, three – First
1863 – Melbourne Regatta Maiden Gig stroke – First
1864 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, two - First
1869 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, two – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Senior Gigs for the Gardiner Cup, two – First
1870 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, three – First
1871 – Melbourne Regatta Grand Challenge Cup, thee – First

By 1870, the competition for the Grand Challenge Cup at the Melbourne Regatta was fierce and three brothers from the Richmond Rowing Club made their mark in their club’s Grand Challenge Cup crews of 1870 and 1871. They were superb competitors and winners of many of the few races on offer.
Initially four brothers raced in the 1860s but one (John) dropped out. We recognise three of the Mitchell brothers as superb oarsmen of their day.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Adrian Monger

Melbourne University Boat Club then Mercantile Rowing Club
1954 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – First
1955 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Second
1956 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1956 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight seven seat – Bronze

1956 Olympic Eight - Adrian in seven seat

Adrian lives in Perth and is a supporter of the sport in that city. Adrian tells this story of how he took up rowing seriously. I took up rowing towards the end of my Geelong Grammar days but when I entered Trinity in March 1952, I had decided to return to my first love - cricket. However the Captain of Boats, Brian Loton, had other ideas, and on my first day in College he asked me to make up the numbers in the College crew that evening. It must have been a promising outing because I was then prevailed upon by other crew members, including Rod Carnegie, to stay with the crew. Two short years later, I found myself in the record-breaking Victorian King’s Cup eight and was then given the nod as the No 7 man in the Australian Olympic eight. So, looking back on it, I guess that if it hadn’t been for Brian Loton’s powers of persuasion, I probably would have remained a rather wayward cricketer!

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Robert C Morell OAM

1999 - Elected a Life Member of the Victorian Rowing Association
2001 - Awarded an OAM for services to rowing

Bob joined Corio Bay in 1947 and competed until 1955 very successfully. He held a club record for his number of wins as well as winning two Victorian Championships in lightweight fours and junior eights.

In over 45 years of coaching at Corio Bay he has become a loved and respected figure for his strength of character and his ability to be totally fair, unbiased and supportive. As well as his success with junior rowers at Corio Bay, he coached at The Geelong College for over 20 years, mainly looking after the second eight, "Bob's Muckies".

In 1974 Bob founded the Corio Bay Ladies Rowing Club which helped strengthen the possition of women in what was a male dominated sport. He went onto assist with the Victorian Ladies Rowing Asociation. He continued to support women's rowing throughout his years and was always involved with their regattas, especially the Head of the Schoolgirls.

The administration of the sport, firstly in Geelong with the Geelong Rowing Association and later in the Victorian Rowing Association has been influenced greatly by Bob's efforts. He has held senior positions in both organisations and helped shape the organisations. He was always involved in the GRA regattas and was an active Boat Race Official at other regattas.

Bob was also active in the United Way Corporate Cup. This charity event involved a great deal of organisation and provided a great deal of entertainment for all involved. This event raised tens of thousands of dollars for Uniting Way in the years of involvement of Bob.

The Victorian rowing community were delighted to learn of Bob's OAM award.

Rowing Victoria Newsletter Vol 2 Edition 2 season 2000-01.

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Sir Stephen Morell

Mercantile Rowing Club
1896 – Victorian Champion Four bow – First
1896-7 – Victorian Champion Eight bow - First
1891-97 – Coach Scotch College first crew except 1893
1905-33 – President Mercantile Rowing Club
1911-36 - Vice-President Victorian Rowing Association
1936-44 – President Victorian Rowing Association

Sir Stephen died in 1944 and in the annual report of the Victorian Rowing Association it was recorded:
One of Melbourne’s most successful business men, a distinguished member of the Melbourne City Council for many years and a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Stephen Morell never lost his keen interest in the sport of rowing. In his younger days he was an active oarsman, winning champion four-oared and eight oared events, in addition to sculling races. When he retired from racing he took a very keen interest in the administrative side of the sport, and despite his many business and civic activities, he was almost a daily visitor at the river bank, where he took the keenest personal interest in all oarsmen, novice and senior alike.

The bridge over the Yarra River at Anderson Street bears his name.

He not only brought great fame to the sport, but was instrumental behind the scenes assisting and developing the rowing precinct in Melbourne.

Mercantile Victorian Champion Eight 1896-97

Stephen Morell in back row left hand side

 

Andrew Guerin 2015

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