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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 P

Those appearing below are:

  1. David Palfreyman, Mercantile
  2. Susie Palfreyman, MUBC
  3. Elizabeth Patrick, MUBC
  4. Sam Patten, Mercantile
  5. Peter Philp, Mercantile/MUBC
  6. Jess Pinkerton, Essendon
  7. Ion Popa, Banks
  8. Ian Porter, Mercantile

David Palfreyman

Mercantile Rowing Club
1960 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship cox - Third
1961 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
1962 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship cox - First
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games - Men’s Eight cox – Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight cox – Fifth
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
1964 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1966 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four stroke – Eliminated in repechage
1968 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship reserve
1972 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - Third
1974 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Eliminated in repechage
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight coach – Bronze
1979 – World Championships – Women’s Coxed Four coach - Fifth
1980 –Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - First
1980 – Olympic Games – Women’s Coxed Four coach – Fifth
1981 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - First
1981 – World Championships – Women’s Pair coach – Eighth
1982 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - First
1982 – World Championships – Women’s Pair coach – Ninth
1983 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - Second
1983 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach – First
1984 - Trans Tasman Juniors – Australian Men’s Schoolboy Eight coach – 2nd.
1984 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - First
1984 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight coach – Tenth
1985 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach – First
1985 – World Championships – Women’s Pair coach - Eighth
1986 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach – First
2008 - Olympic Games – Women’s Double Scull coach – Eighth.

David coxing the winning 1962 Penrith Cup crew

David is probably the only person to have been a successful cox, lightweight oarsman, heavyweight oarsman and coach. The only level at which he did not represent Australia was as at lightweight and this was only because there were no opportunities at that time to do so. It is a remarkable rowing record. David married fellow rowing Olympian Susie and they now operate a clothing merchandise business specialising in rowing. In 2006 David was appointed the Australian Agent to import the very popular Canadian built HUDSON boats.

David began coxing veteran crews in 1958 at the age of thirteen but was given his first permanent crew by junior four coach Bill Wallace one day when the usual cox failed to turn up. He won a Victorian Championship with that junior four and went on to win many more. By 1960 he coxed a Victorian crew and in 1962, the Australian crew. After coxing the winning King’s Cup crew in 1963, he stroked the Penrith Cup crew to victory in 1964, aged 18. In 1965 he won numerous open weight events culminating with Australian representation in 1966. His first coaching success was an Australian Championship in the lightweight eights in 1976 and his first National coaching job was in 1978 with the Australian lightweight eights. His coaching career then peaked with an Olympic crew in 1980. From 1986 thru till now he has coached at various school programs & some years part time at the Victorian Institute of Sport. In 2008 he coached the Australian Women’s Double Scull at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Susie Palfreyman

University of Western Australia Boat Club then Melbourne University Ladies’ Rowing Club
1973 – WA Women’s Four cox – Fourth
1976 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox WA - Third
1977 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox WA - Second
1978 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox VIC- First
1979 –Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox VIC - First
1979 – World Championships – Women’s Four cox - Fifth
1980 –Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox VIC - First
1980 – Olympic Games – Women’s Coxed Four cox – Fifth
1983 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship cox VIC – First
Inaugural President of the WA Women’s Rowing Association (1972)
Past President of the University of Western Australia Ladies’ Rowing Club (1973-74)
Past President of Melbourne University Ladies’ Rowing Club (1980).

1980 Olympic Rowing team - Susie front row right end

Susie married fellow rowing Olympic coach David Palfreyman and she now operates a clothing merchandise business which specialises in rowing.
Susie was a clear choice for the RV Awards Committee as a person who has achieved so much to develop the sport in Victoria. She has also achieved the highest levels as a rower. The Committee was drawn to such matters such as a competent coach and school administrator, clearly superb communication skills with girls, commenced the MLC program in 1980, coached many MLC crews to the highest Australia levels and established MLC as the dominant schoolgirl club, in 1985 coached Mercantile’s first ever winning women’s crew, inaugurated the rowing programme at Firbank and of greatest interest to the Committee, established the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta. In 1984 MLC won the APS women’s four and was not invited back – the new regatta was formed. Susie Palfreyman was a founder and President of the regatta committee for 20+ years. She was the key person who developed the regatta into the important event that it now is. Her great input was her vision for the regatta, understanding what was possible and making that happen, bringing together the schools and making the regatta fun for all involved. She has built the regatta into the great success of today

Her contribution to the sport of rowing over many years has been profound and has included national and Olympic representation and the expansion of women’s rowing through you participation in competition, coaching and development of the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta into one of the largest schoolgirls regattas in the world.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Elizabeth Patrick

Melbourne University Boat Club (VIC)
2004 – Interstate Women’s Youth Eight Championship cox – Third
2005 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2005 - World Championships Women’s Eight cox – Gold
2006 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2006 - World Championships Women’s Eight cox – Bronze
2007 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2007 - World Championships Women’s Eight cox – Fourth
2008 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2008 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight cox – Sixth
2009 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2010 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2011 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2012 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight cox – Sixth
2013 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championships cox – Gold
2013 – World Championships Women’s eight cox - Fifth
2014 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship cox – Gold
2014 – World Championships Women’s eight cox – Tenth

2005 World Champion Eight - Lizzie front row second from right

Lizzy Patrick was the mainstay of Australian women’s coxing for a decade. With the opportunities for women’s coxing limited to an eight, she gained every selected opportunity in that period. Lizzy has coached at MLC, MGGS and now enjoys in helping to develop coxswain skills at schools and clubs.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Sam Patten

Mercantile Rowing Club
1981 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship emergency
1981 – World Junior Championships – Men’s Coxed Four three seat – Fourth
1982 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1983 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - Second
1983 – World Championships – Men’s Eight bow – Bronze
1984 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Third
1984 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight three seat – Bronze
1987 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - First
1987 – World Championships – Men’s Eight bow - Fourth
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1988 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Pair stroke – eliminated in repechage
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge three seat - First
1990 –Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Four three seat - Gold
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship – selected but withdrew due to injury
1992 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight six seat – Fifth
1993-96 – AOC Athletes Commission
1993-96 – Victorian selector
1996-97 – Board member of Rowing Australia

1990 World Champion Four - Sam in the middle

Sam retired from rowing in 1991 to complete his medical studies. He returned for 1992 Olympic Games and is now an orthopaedic surgeon practising in Melbourne. He claims that the highlights of his rowing career were his victories in the 1987 & 1988 J G H Sprigg time trials! His other highlights were winning each of the two selection events in 1987 but over 10 seconds, the coxless pair and coxed four. The win in 1988 King’s Cup by 11.6 seconds in a time of 5:25 - everyone was a gold medallist except one who had a silver Olympic medal. The 1990 Lucerne regatta win announcing the arrival of the Oarsome Foursome in the world fastest time and culminating in a gold medal at home at Lake Barrington. Finally in 1992 qualifying the young Olympic eight – four of the seven young guns went onto Olympic medals. He also noted that the biography sent to him for approval appeared a lot when all he was doing was have fun with my closest and best companions.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Peter Philp

Mercantile Rowing Club and Melbourne University Boat Club
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Eliminated in repechage
1973 – World Junior Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair co-coach – Eliminated in repechage
1973 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1974 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1974 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach – Gold
1975 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1975-80 – Victorian lightweight selector
1975 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach – Bronze
1976 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach – Disqualified
1977 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach – Silver
1978 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1978 - National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight coach - First
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach – Bronze
1977-8 – World Championships – Women’s selector
1979 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1979 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight coach - First
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight coach - Sixth
1982 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – Third

Peter coaching in 1974

Peter commenced his rowing at Scotch College where he stroked their first crew. He then joined Mercantile where he became a successful senior rower, racing in the 1966 World Championships. He started coaching successfully at both school and club levels before becoming a very successful international lightweight coach. He was also a State and National selector and has maintained his interest in the sport through master rowing.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Jess Pinkerton

Jess was a member of the Victorian Ladies' Rowing Association from 1929 to circa 1976. She also held the office of Treasurer of the Victorian Women's Amateur Sports Council for 20 years. She was a life member of both Essendon and the Victorian Ladies' Rowing Association.

Field Rickards 1976

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Ion Popa

Mercantile Rowing Club and Banks Rowing Club
1981 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Second
1982 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Third
1983 – World Championships – Men’s Eight seven seat – Bronze
1984 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Third
1984 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight seven seat – Bronze
1986 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1986 – World Championships – Men’s Eight seven seat – Gold
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight seven seat – Gold
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1988 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight seven seat – Fifth
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First

1986 World Champion Eight - Ion in seven seat


Ion was a member of the Romanian rowing team and a member of its police force prior to defecting to Australia in 1978. He married fellow rowing Olympian Sue Chapman in 1984.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Ian Porter

Mercantile Rowing Club
1973 – World Junior Championships – Men’s Eight three seat – Eighth
1975 – National Championship Junior Eight seven seat - Second
1976 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1976 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four three seat - First
1977 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight five seat - First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight five seat – Bronze
1978 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight five seat - Second
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight six seat – Bronze

Ian departing the crew car in 1977

Ian commenced his rowing at Scotch College and stroked the 1974 Head of the River crew. He then joined Mercantile Rowing Club and rowed in the maiden and juniors crews in his first year. In 1976 he made the decision to go lightweight and joined with fellow inductee John Hawkins and also Peter McCartney and Terry Thurtell in a clean sweep of lightweight four races. They were very unlucky not to be selected as an Australian crew in the light of local performances and the history of success of Australian crews overseas. Despite being a disciplined lightweight, Ian struggled to make weight. In one race in NSW, he had to run up the Blue Mountains and back in a slicker to sweat out the weight. He was not capable of racing after it but fortunately the race was postponed without a re-weigh.

In 1978 he and other members of his crew were in a tragic car accident. Fortunately he was only left with a broken jaw which was wired up. Being a good lightweight, he was the only person known to the dietician to increase their weight eating by a straw through a wired up jaw! He had to train for several weeks in the Australian team with a wired up jaw and the coach carrying tin snips in case he had to be rescued.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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<back to Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame Index

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