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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 R

Those appearing below are:

  1. David Ramage, Corio Bay
  2. Paul Reedy, MUBC
  3. Geoff Rees, MUBC
  4. Robert Richards, Wendouree-Ballarat
  5. Brian Richardson, Mercantile
  6. Rosemary Richardson, Richmond
  7. Malcolm Robertson, Mercantile
  8. Jane Robinson, Melbourne
  9. Harry Ross Soden, MUBC
  10. Matthew Russell, Wendouree Ballarat
  11. Christian Ryan, MUBC

David Ramage

Corio Bay Rowing Club and then Banks Rowing Club
1956 –Head of the River Geelong College 1st V111 4 Seat - First
1957 – Head of the River Geelong College 1st V111 2 Seat - First
1960-61 - Corio Bay four - 20 consecutive wins including two State Championships and NSW Championship
1962 – National Championships Men’s Coxed Four - Gold
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games – Men’s Coxed Four stroke – Silver
1962 – World Championships – Selected for Men’s Coxed Four but unable to travel
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1964 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight Four seat – Eighth
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – Second
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Eight bow - Tenth
1967/68 - 2 Victorian Championships, 2 NSW Championships Men’s Pair - First
1968 – National Championships Men’s Pair - First
1968 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Pair stroke -Seventh
1969 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow - First
1973 to 1978 Geelong College 1st V111 Coach (1976 victory)
1975 - Australian Championships Schoolboy V111 coach - First
1975 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship coach – First
1989/91 - Head of the River First V111 Coach Geelong College (1990 victory)
2009 to 2015 - Masters rowing numerous wins including seven Gold at Ballarat FISA Worlds

1968 Olympic Pair with David in the stroke seat

Another crew which was not an Olympic or World Champion medallist but which provided the sport with fame which requires recognition is our 1968 Olympic pair. Other than for the eight, the selections for the Olympic events were conducted at the National Championships at Murray Bridge in South Australia. The outstanding performers at the regatta were Paul Guest and David Ramage in the coxless pair. They were however graded second behind the eight. The total Australian Olympic team was restricted to 180 people so rowing was well represented in view of the poor 1964 results. One coach and a rowing team manager were also permitted. This crew was left coachless.

Unbeaten in Australia, it has been described as one of the finest pair oared crews Australia has ever produced. However in the semi-final at Mexico, whilst in a commanding position and just short of the finish line, David partially collapsed suffering oxygen deprivation in the high altitude. They were relegated to the small final by 1.18 seconds in a time that would have won the other semi-final. They won the small final some 6 seconds faster than the Gold medal winners.
At the 2015 World Rowing Masters Regatta, these two Australian rowing legends, Paul Guest and David Ramage, came home four gold medals in the I8+, I2-, H8+ and G4+. Following the regatta the duo made the decision to retire from the sport after glittering careers that featured highlights over 50 years at through National Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Olympic Games and on to the top of Masters rowing.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Paul Reedy

Melbourne University Boat Club
1980 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship seven seat - First
1981 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1983 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Mens sculling
1984 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - First
1984 – Olympic Games – Men’s Quad Scull bow – Silver
1985 – World Championships – Men’s Quad Scull stroke – Eighth
1986 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Fourth
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Double Scull bow – Silver
1987 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Second
1987 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull stroke – Eliminated in repechage
1988 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Second
1988 – Olympic Games – Men’s Quad Scull three seat – Fifth
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge seven seat - First
1989 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull – Fourth
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull bow- Bronze
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Quad Scull bow – Twelfth
1993 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – First
1993 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship co-coach - Fourth
1993 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull non travelling coach – Seventh
1994 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach - First
1994 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Double Scull coach - Thirteenth
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull stroke - Eleventh
1996 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Fourth
1997 – Interstate Women’s Youth Eight Championship co-coach - First
1997 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat - Third
1998 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship co-coach - First
1999 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship coach - First
1999 – Nations Cup – Men’s Quad Scull coach – Seventh
2000 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship co-coach - First
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach - First

Australian Quad in 1984 Los Angeles Games - Paul in bow seat


Paul moved to the UK following the Sydney Games to coach in London.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Geoff Rees

Melbourne University Boat Club
1973 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat – First
1974 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat – First
1974 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four two seat – Gold
1975 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat – First
1975 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four two seat – Bronze
1977 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Silver
1978 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – First
1978 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke - First
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Bronze
1979 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – Second
1979 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight five - First
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat- Sixth
1981 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – Second
1981 - National Championships Men's Coxless Four coach - First and Second

Geoff at the Rotsee in 1974

Geoff has spent a working life as a senior partner in a Melbourne legal firm. Geoff, together with fellow crew member Cam Johnston, have recently formed a specialist boutique firm specialising in commercial advice. Geoff also Chairs Melbourne University Sport, Uniseed and Director of UoM Commercial and a listed investment vehicle. Geoff has managed to keep his rowing interests alive both as the legal adviser to Rowing Australia and as an active and successful master rower. His excellence as a rower still shines through as a master recently winning again the prestigious Masters 8 at the Head of the Charles in Boston USA

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Robert Richards

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club (VIC)
1997 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - Second
1997 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight six seat – Gold
1998 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - Second
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Bronze
1999 –Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four bow - Silver
2000 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship - Third
2000 – Olympic Games – Men’s Lightweight Coxless Four stroke – Silver

Rob in the stroke seat of the Sydney Games Lightweight Four

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Brian Richardson

Adelaide University Boat Club then Monash University Boat Club, Mercantile Rowing Club & Banks Rowing Club
1966 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) four seat - Third
1967 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) four seat - Third
1968 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) stroke - Fourth
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) bow - Second
1971 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) seven seat - Second
1972 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) seven seat - Fourth
1973 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) stroke - Third
1974 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (SA) stroke - Second
1975 – World Championships – Men’s Eight six seat - Sixth
1975 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (VIC) six seat - Third
1976 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight bow – Fifth
1976 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (VIC) stroke - Second
1977 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (VIC) five seat - Third
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four stroke - Ninth
1978 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (VIC) stroke - Second
1979 – World Championships Men’s Eight stroke - Fourth
1979 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship (VIC) stroke – First
1980 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight stroke – Fifth
1980 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke (VIC) - First
1985 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship VIC coach – First
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Fourth
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Coxless Pair coach – Fifth
1986 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship VIC coach - First
1987 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship VIC co-coach - First
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship VIC co-coach – First
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull coach - Fourth
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge coach – First
1990 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach - Second
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Double Scull coach – Bronze
1991 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach - First
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Single Scull coach – Fourth
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Quad Scull coach - Twelfth
1992 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach - Second
1992 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight coach – Fifth
1993 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship VIC co-coach – First
1993 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship co-coach - Fourth
1993-1996 – Head coach Canada
1997 -2000 – Head coach Australia
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach – Seventh
2000 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight coach – Silver
2001-2004 – Head coach Canada – Teams won 65 medals at World Championships and Olympic Games
2005-2008 – AIS and National Men’s Head Coach
2005 – World Championships Men’s Coxed Pair coach – Gold
2005 – World Championships Men’s Quad Scull coach – Ninth
2006 – World Championships Men’s Eight coach – Fourth
2006 – World Championships Men’s Coxless Four coach – Fifteenth
2007 – World Championships Men’s Eight coach – Seventh
2007 – World Championships Men’s Coxless Four co-coach – Twelfth
2007 – World Championships Men’s Coxed Pair co-coach – Fourth
2007 – World Championships Men’s Coxless Four co-coach – Twelfth
2008 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach (NSW) – First
2008 – Olympic Games Men’s Eight coach - Sixth
Between 1986-2008, Brian coached individual crews to 65 medals at World Championships and Olympic Games (7 gold, 4 silver 1 bronze).

Brian's 2000 Men's Olympic Eight

Brian was a member of Australia II crew which defeated the Americans for the America’s Cup in 1983. He has held prominent coaching positions in Canada, South Korea and Australia. He went to Canada following the Sydney Olympics and returned to Australia in 2004. His rowing record in the Interstate Men’s Eight Championship is magnificent. On his 13th attempt, he won the race and then went to win it as rower and coach a further eight times. His record as head coach is also magnificent, both in Australia and in Canada. In the period 2001-2003, the Canadian team has won 52 medals.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Rosemary Richardson

Rosemary was not a rower herself but has lived rowing throughout her life. She was imbued with rowing by her father Ron March and her grandmother Rose March. Her first outing in a boat was even before her christening when she was held in her father’s arms whilst he coxed a tub pair. She accompanied her father coaching on the Yarra daily sitting on a seat on her father’s coaching bicycle. She had her first swim in the Yarra at the age of four years old when Ron rode into the Yarra near Morell Bridge when he failed to take the corner. Rosemary attended almost every regatta in Victoria and many in New South Wales. She also attended international events including the 1978 World Championships which are also celebrating at this induction. Her love of the sport and the people within it, led Rosemary to become heavily involved in the administration of it.

Rosemary making presentations at 1993 World Sculling Cup

Rosemary had her own sporting achievements being a noted marathon water skier, a tricks ski duo with her brother and also a speed boat racer. She also was a noted arranger of social functions being a director of the Australian American Association which hosted events for visiting businessmen, servicemen and diplomats.

Rosemary became the driving force behind the reinvigoration of the Henley of Yarra regatta in 1982 when the regatta was ailing. She first used her skills in reinvigorating the important social side of the event with the Thursday night cocktail function. This function then grew into a dinner in the ANZ Pavillion at the Arts Centre. When the dinner outgrew the ANZ Pavillion, it moved to the Great Hall and when that was too small, then to the Hilton Hotel. The regatta also grew, as did the sponsors and the raffle.

By 1990, the regatta had sufficient clout and financial strength to invite five international crews to race at it and take on a bid for the first World Cup in the southern hemisphere. This bid was successful and in 1993, the first ever World Sculling Cup was held. The regatta was a four day event with 500 people attending a luncheon on the course daily. This event captured the imagination of sports loving people of Melbourne and brought great fame to the sport. It brought back the sport of rowing to the Yarra River and the television coverage of rowing. It was a great achievement for Rosemary and her skilled and enthusiastic 1993 team that made it happen.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Malcolm Robertson

Mercantile Rowing Club
1975 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship four seat – First
1975 – National Championships Schoolboy Eight four seat – First
1976 – National Championships Men’s Junior Eight bow – Second
1977 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight - First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight two seat – Bronze
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight two seat – Bronze
1987 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat - Second
1988 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat – First
1989 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Four two seat – First
1989 – National Championships – Men’s Lightweight Pair stroke - First
1990 –Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat - First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight two seat – Fifth

Magic is front left - 1977 World Championships

Malcolm “Magic” Robertson commenced his rowing at Geelong College in 1974. In 1975 under coach David Ramage and with fellow inductee Simon Gillett, he won the National Championship Schoolboy Eight Championship and the Wilkinson Cup. He joined Mercantile in 1976 and raced in the junior eights at the National Championships finishing second. In 1977 he won a national championship and bronze medal at the World Championships. After a year off, he returned to racing in 1980 but struggled with making weight and was ill. He returned to a successful rowing career in 1987 and finished with the Australian lightweight eight at the World Championships in Barrington in 1990. He was a very strong and tough lightweight rower. He enjoyed club rowing but his strenuous work commitments made it difficult to manage both activities.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Jane Robinson

Melbourne Rowing Club
1995 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship (VIC) – Fourth
1995 – World Championships – Women’s Quad Scull reserve
1996 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship (VIC) – Third
1996 – Olympic Games – Women’s Quad Scull two seat – Ninth
1997 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship (VIC) – Third
1997 – World Championships – Women’s Double Scull stroke – Sixth
1998 – World Championships – Women’s Quad Scull two seat - Bronze
1999 – World Championships – Women’s Quad Scull stroke - Eleventh
2000 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (VIC) five seat – First
2000 – Olympic Games – Women’s Eight stroke – Fifth
2001 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (ACT) six seat – Third
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Eight Four seat– Gold
2001 – World Championships – Women’s Four bow - Gold
2002 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (ACT) six seat – Fourth
2002 – World Championships – Women’s Eight Four seat - Silver
2003 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (ACT) six seat – Fifth
2003 – World Championships – Women’s Quad bow – Gold
2004 – Olympic Games Women’s Double Scull stroke - Ninth
2004 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (ACT) stroke – Fourth
2004 – Olympic Games Women’s Double Scull stroke – Ninth
2005 – Interstate Women’s Eight Championship (ACT) six – Fourth (this one done with a new baby and very unfit!)

1998 Women's Quad - Jane is second from left

Jane started rowing at Melbourne Rowing Club, literally walking in and asking to row. She moved to the ACT after the 1996 Olympics to be at the AIS. Back then there was very little support for women scullers in Victoria, a situation that is now well in the past. This explains her racing for the ACT. During her career she also won some 13 medals in World Cup in addition to the matters mentioned above. Jane is well and truly back in Victoria coaching for Genazzano FCJ College and competing in masters competition on an irregular basis. She is a mother.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Harry Ross Soden

Later Lt Ross-Soden
Melbourne University Boat Club then Banks Rowing Club in 1913
1908 – Intervarsity Eights – Second
1909 – Intervarsity Eights –Second
1910 – Intervarsity Eights – Third
1910 – Australian Henley Senior Eights seven seat – First
1911 – Intervarsity Eights – First
1911 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Second
1912 - Olympic Games Men’s Eight seven seat – Eliminated in semi-final
1912 – Henley Royal Regatta - Grand Challenge Cup seven seat - First
1913 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Did not finish
1919 – Peace Regatta for the Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach and member of the sub-committee charged with the coaching and selection of the 1919 AIF crews - First

1912 Olympic Rowing Team - Harry is seated second from right

It is reported that he coached the 1919 1st AIF crew in the UK in the last week prior to the racing. Extracts from John Lang’s book The Victorian Oarsman in 1919 record that his coaching “improved their pace and form very much indeed. A great deal of their success is due to him.” The no. 2 crew proved faster in the last two trials. With a little more than week to go, three members of the second crew were moved into the 1st crew. “The critics were open mouthed when they heard of it.” From that day, however, “there was continual improvement in the style, and the gain in ability was accompanied by a corresponding increase in confidence, both on the part of the crew and its supporters.”

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Matthew Russell

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club
1994 – Nations Cup – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat - Fourth
1994 – Trans Tasman Under 23 – Men’s Lightweight Four
1996 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1997 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship two seat - Second
1997 - World Championships - Men’s Lightweight reserve
2000 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow – Third
2000 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow - Bronze
2002 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Fourth
2002 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Pair bow – Ninth
1995-1997 - Director of Coaching at Ballarat and Clarendon College before moving to Tasmania
1992-1997 – Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club Committee

Matt Ruseel stroking an Australian pair in 1997

Matt commenced his rowing at Ballarat and Clarendon College before joining Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club. Being a ‘proud Ballarat Boy’, Matthew has fond memories of 1997 for a number of reasons. It was the first all-Ballarat Victorian crew racing in the Penrith Cup with Rob Richards, Tim Wright and Anthony Edwards. The same crew won the National Championship lightweight four in a cracker of a race. They were bow ball to bow ball all the way down the course with another Victorian based crew including Stuart Peile, Andrew Lane, Stuart Purves and Darren Balmforth. He regards the win against such strong competition with three close mates as “simply fantastic”. Also in 1997 he had another superb race, at the Lucerne World Cup in the lightweight pair final together with Tasmanian Andrew Butler. The crew moved into the lead from the 1000 and secured the silver in a photo finish. Well done Matt.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Christian Ryan

Melbourne University Boat Club
1996 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship stroke – Fourth
1997 – Nations Cup – Men’s Eight bow – Fourth
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow - First
1998 – Nations Cup – Men’s Eight bow – Gold
1999 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Eight two seat - Seventh
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship - First
2000 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight bow – Silver
2005 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Second
2005 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair – Ninth
2006 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – First
2006 – Final Selection Regatta Coxless Pair - First
2006 – World Championships – emergency for the eight
2007 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – First

Christian in the bow seat of 2000 Silver medal Olympic Eight

Andrew Guerin 2010

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<back to Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame Index

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Surnames starting with:ABC D EFGHI JKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

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