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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 D

Those appearing below are:

  1. Tom Daffy, Mercantile
  2. Brian Dalton, Albert Park/Sth Melb
  3. Terry Davies, Banks
  4. Jason Day, Bendigo
  5. David Deeble, Hawthorn
  6. Brian Digby, Barwon
  7. Clive Disher, MUBC
  8. Ben Dodwell, Mercantile
  9. Charles Donald, Wendouree/Albert Park
  10. James Donald, Wendouree/Albert Park
  11. Noel Donaldson, Mercantile
  12. Marc Douez, MUBC
  13. David Douglas, Mercantile
  14. Ian Douglas, Banks
  15. Brian Doyle, Mercantile
  16. David Doyle, Mercantile
  17. Mark Doyle, Mercantile
  18. Bob Duncan, Albert Park South Melbourne

Tom Daffy

Mercantile Rowing Club
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – Second
1966 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Eight cox - Tenth
1967 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – Fourth
1967 – USA National Championships – Men’s Coxed Four cox – Second
1967 – North American Championships – Men’s Coxed Four cox – First
1967 – European Championships – Men’s Coxed Four cox - Eighth
1968 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – Second
1968 - Olympic Games - Selected by AARC for Men’s Coxed Four but rejected by AOF for team size reasons.

1967 North American Championships

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Brian Dalton

Albert Park/South Melbourne Rowing Club
1980 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1980 – Canadian Henley – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – First
1981 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1981 – Canadian Henley – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – First
1982 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1983 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1984 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach – First
1984 – World Championships –Women’s Lightweight Eight (test event) coach – Silver
1985 – Interstate Women’s lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1985 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Gold
1986 – Interstate Women’s lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1986 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Fourth
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Silver1990 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1990 – World Championships - Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Silver
1991 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1991 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Fifth
1992 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1992 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - Third
1992 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four coach – Gold
1993 – Interstate Women’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1993 – World Championships – Women’s Lightweight Four coach - Fourth
1996 - Olympic Games – Women’s Eight coach – Fifth
2000 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship coach – Third

Brian with his World Champion Lightweight Four in 1985

Brian is one of the key people involved in the development of women’s lightweight rowing in Australia. He took crews from an interstate standard to world class standard. He was involved with the early Canadian Henley crews which showed that Australian women’s lightweight rowing was of the highest standard. He made the transition to the World Championship status and performance with an amazing record of success. His coaching skill and management of his athletes were superb. His no nonsense and demanding style got the best out of his athletes. He was also a finalist Olympic coach.

After the Olympics, Brian continued coaching at the school level. He worked with Peter Antonie to get Xavier across the line in 1999 for a Head of the River win for the first time in 50 years.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Terry Davies

University of Western Australia Boat Club then Banks Rowing Club
1954 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat (WA) - Fifth
1957 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency (VIC)
1958 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat (VIC) - First
1960 - Olympic Games – Coxless Pair stroke – eliminated in repechage
1962 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - First
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight Four seat – Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight Four seat - Fifth
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - First
1964 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - First
1964 - Olympic Games – Men’s Eight stroke - Eighth
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Second

Terry receiving the King's Cup in 1963

Terry won his first maiden eight in 1951 whilst rowing for the University Club in Perth. He was selected into the 1954 Western Australia King’s Cup crew which finished fifth. He won the WA Champion Pairs in 1955 with Dick Kernot and coxed by future Perth Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass. He blossomed in Melbourne under the tutelage of Alan Jacobsen stroking two winning King’s Cup crews, rowing in two Olympic Games and in the first World Championships. He was a very strong oarsman.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Jason Day

Bendigo Rowing Club/UTS Rowing Club
1988 - World Junior Championships - Men’s Single Scull – Silver
1989 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Men’s sculling
1990 – World Championships - Men’s Quad Scull three seat – Seventh
1991 - World Championships - Men’s Double Scull bow - Fifth
1992 - Olympic Games - Men’s Quad Scull stroke – Ninth
1993 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Fourth
1993 - World Championships - Men’s Double Scull stroke - Seventh
1994 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - First
1994 - World Championships - Men’s Single Scull - Fifteenth
1995 - World Championships - Men’s Quad Scull bow - Eighth
1996 - Olympic Games - Men’s Double Scull stroke – Eighth
1998 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Quad Scull two seat - Bronze
2000 - Olympic Games – Men’s Quad Scull two seat – Fourth
2001 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Fifth
2003 – World Championships – Sculling reserve
2005 – World Championships Men’s Quad Scull stroke - Eleventh

Jason Day in the two seat of the 1999 bronze medal wiining quad scull

Jason commenced rowing on the 500m Lake Waroona in Bendigo. It is from this lake that he trained successfully to win a silver medal at the World Juniors in 1988. He had a long career in Australian teams before retiring before the 2004 Olympic Games.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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David Deeble

(18 Jan 1940 - 24 Nov 2011)
Hawthorn Rowing Club
David Deeble was nominated for RV life membership due to his fine work for Victorian rowing generally, but in particular, for his work as President of Rowing Victoria Inc, his advocacy and leadership of the ROMS system and his critical work in the evolution of the Head of the Yarra regatta into an outstanding marquee rowing event.

David Deeble commenced his rowing at Hawthorn Rowing Club in 1954 as a coxswain being recruited with a number of others from Camberwell High School. He has remained a member of that club since that time despite working overseas for an extended period. David was Captain of his Club in 1965, President during the period 1999-2003 and is a life member. His time as President was is noted by the application of contemporary business practice to the administration without losing the essential character of a community and volunteer run club. The production of a “welcome package” for new members is an example of his work. Currently he trains and occasionally competes in masters rowing.

Professionally he was also a senior executive of the National Australia Bank.

He was President of Rowing Victoria from 2003-2006 and chaired the Rowing Australia Competition Commission.

Head of the Yarra
The involvement of David with Head of Yarra regatta commenced before he worked for an extended period overseas. But on return to Australia, he took over the major role in organising the regatta. David introduced a ‘corporate‘ model into the management structure which was the basis of the growth and success of the regatta. In particular, a key feature of the management structure was to identify the various working groups and to document their tasks against a time line. This enabled:
1. Tasks to be achieved almost without fail.
2. Seamless transition from year to year with experience retained and lessons learned being corrected in the next year.
3. The autonomy of the groups created innovation and ownership of responsibilities.
4. Problems were able to be identified and corrected in time.
5. Succession planning was achieved.

This management structure has stood the test of time and the regatta continues to be the marquee event on the Victorian rowing calendar.

Presidency of Rowing Victoria
David was elected President in 2003 and immediately made significant changes to the Association. He appointed Grant Cosgriff as CEO and an excellent team was created. They immediately undertook a strategic review of all areas and created a suitable structure from which change could be achieved. Not only did he provide breadth of vision, but always applied good analysis as the basis of decisions.

David Deeble presenting awards at the 2006 AGM

The following are examples of the work of David Deeble and the changes in Rowing Victoria in that time:
1. The engagement of RA and members state associations with the national membership database and online entry system and the provision of leadership and advocacy for it.
2. The further development of good regatta management skills within the Association.
3. The establishment of rigorous a regatta application processes to lift the standard of regattas for the enjoyment of all participants.
4. The complete review of the competition structure to overcome serious deficiencies with it and the establishment of the rowing score system as an outcome.

He was about to become the next President of Rowinf Australia when a terminal illness struck. He spent his final years with his family.

The work of David Deeble permanently improved the sport and the Association has left a significant beneficial legacy for the Association.

Andrew Guerin 2009

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Brian Digby

Barwon Rowing Club
1974 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship cox - Fifth
1982 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship emergency
1983 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - Second
1983 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Silver
1984 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Sixth
1985 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1985 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Fifth
1986 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke - Silver
1986 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Fourth
1987 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - Second
1987 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke – Eighth
1988 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1990 –Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke – Fifth
1992 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke - Second
1992 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Eighth

1983 silver medal winning Australian Lightweight Eight - Brian second from right
Brian has maintained his interest in rowing with as a strong supporter of the Barwon Rowing Club and Geelong Rowing Association. His time as an administrator of the Geelong Rowing Association spanned around 16 years up to 2013 both as assistant secretary and secretary. He has been instrumental in enhancing the Barwon River rowing course to a "boutique" venue so as rowers and spectators enjoy their regatta experience in Geelong. This will be a lasting legacy.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Clive Disher

Melbourne University Boat Club
1914 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - Fourth
1919 – Peace Regatta for the Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
Prior to WWI he was a successful rower in Intervarsity rowing winning Intervarsity Eights in 1912, 1913 & 1914. He also competed in Inter Collegiate rowing for Ormond College in 1912-13-14.

Dr Disher late in life with his winning oar

The 1919 Peace Regatta, and the winning crew who won the King’s Cup, have a special place in Australian rowing history. The annual King’s Cup race is a fitting memory to those rowers who lost their lives in WWI.

The 1919 Peace Regatta was a remarkable event in many ways. It was the first world class rowing event conducted after so many years of war. The spirit exhibited by the crews was excellent and the standard of rowing high. It was a representative Australian crew drawn from senior oarsmen from all parts of Australia. It was the only time Henley Royal Regatta was conducted whilst suspending both the Grand Challenge Cup and the Diamond Sculls. Further WWI took a terrible toll. Those who survived carried physical and mental scars which were only occasionally apparent. Pictures of the rowers who took part in this competition showed that they were a mere shadow of what they were prior to the conflict. It was an event deserving of a special place in rowing history.

Clive Disher signed the petition to the King to use the King’s Cup trophy as the perpetual trophy for the Interstate Men’s Eight competition.

Clive Disher enlisted in August 1917 and was a medical officer. He achieved a reputation for efficiency and bravery and was recommended for a Military Cross. He also served in WWII. He was awarded a CBE and Order of St John for his work.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Ben Dodwell

Mercantile Rowing Club and UTS Haberfield Rowing Club (NSW)
1989 – Wilkinson Cup – First
1990 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship five seat – First
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat - First
1992 - Olympic Games – Men’s Eight five seat - Fifth
1993 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - First
1993 - World Championships - Men’s Eight five seat – Fourth
1993 – National Championships Men’s Pair – First
1994 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1994 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four stroke - Eleventh
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1995 - World Championships - Men’s Eight six seat – Eleventh
1996 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1996 - Olympic Games - Men’s Eight six seat – Sixth
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – First
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four three seat – Fourth
1999 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat - Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four three seat - Silver
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship - First
2000 - Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four two seat - Bronze

Ben returning to the boatshed after the presentation of his bronze medal
Ben commenced rowing at Melbourne Grammar School where he rowed in their first crew in 1988. He then had a dramatic rise to become a key seat rower in the 1992 Olympic eight. In his first year of senior rowing in 1992, he teamed up with Peter Murphy to finish third in the pair races with the first two placings going to the members of the Oarsome Foursome. He won the pair in 1993. He was one of the strongest oarsmen Victoria ever produced.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Charles Donald

Wendouree Rowing Club 1889-1898 then Albert Park Rowing Club
1894 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
1895 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
1896 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1896 – Intercolonial Men’s Four two seat – First
1899 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1900 – Intercolonial Sculling Championships – Second
1902 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1903 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - First
1904 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - First
1908 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - Second
1909 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach - Second
1910 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach - Second
1926 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach – Third

Charles Donald

He also coached University and College crews to success. He proved that he could successfully inculcate his knowledge to his rowers and was at his time the best rowing authority in Victoria. One of Victoria’s and Australia’s leading oarsmen of his day. He had won 32 first class wins with Wendouree before winning 82 first class wins with Albert Park. He was the first person in Australia to win more than 100 races which he reached in 1910. His first win was with his brother James in the maiden eight double at Ballarat and Barwon in 1889. He coached the first crews at Wesley College in Melbourne from 1901-1940.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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James Donald

Albert Park Rowing Club and Fremantle Rowing Club (WA 1896-97)
1894 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1895 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1897 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship (WA) stroke – Second
1899 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1900 – Intercolonial Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1901 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1902 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1903 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1905 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1907 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1907 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Second
1908 - Interstate Eight Oared Championship stroke – Second
1910 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Second

James Donald

His first win was with his brother Charles in the maiden eight double at Ballarat and Barwon in 1889. Known as the prince of oarsmen, he helped Victoria to a long and important period of great success. His record was not beaten until the Tomkins, McKay and Green period, some 90 years later. He stroked the first representative crew from WA in the Interstate Championships whilst rowing for Fremantle. That Club history reports that Donald disliked sea travel and this was pre rail, so he and fellow rower J Porteous cycled back to Victoria: an amazing feat in those days.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Noel Donaldson

Mercantile Rowing Club
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Eight cox – Fourth
1979 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Gold
1990 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach – First
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Gold
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – First
1992 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Gold
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – First
1993 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach – Fourth
1994 – Trans Tasman Under 23 – Men’s Eight coach
1994 – Nations Cup – Men’s Eight coach – Fourth
1994 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – First
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Fifth
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – First
1995 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach – First
1996 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four coach – Gold
1996 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – First
1997 – Nations Cup – Men’s Eight coach – Fourth
1997 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – Third
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach – First
1998 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach – First
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair coach – Gold
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair coach – Silver
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Four coach – Gold
1998 – World Championships – Women’s Scull coach – Eighth
1998 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship co-coach – First
1999 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach – Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair coach – Gold
1999 – World Championships – Women’s Scull coach – Seventh
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair coach – Fourth
1999 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach – Second
2000 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Pair coach – Bronze
2000 – Olympic Games – Women’s Single Scull coach – Fifth
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach – First
2000 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach – First
2001 – World Championships – Head Men’s Coach and Head Coach VIS
2002 – World Championships – Head Men’s Coach and Head Coach VIS
2003 – World Championships – Head Men’s Coach and Head Coach VIS
2003 – Under 23 World Regatta – Men’s Single Scull co-coach – Gold
2003 – Under 23 World Regatta – Men’s Lightweight Single Scull co-coach – Silver
2004 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship co-coach – Second
2004 – 2008 High Performance Director of Rowing Australia.
2004 – Olympic Games – Head Men’s Coach – Most successful men’s team at the Olympic Regatta
2004 – High Performance Director of Rowing Australia.
2008 – 2012 Head Men’s Coach National Rowing Centre of Excellence
2009 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach – Seventh
2010 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame
2010 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach – Bronze
2010 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair coach – Gold
2010 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame
2011 – World Championships – Men’s Eight coach – Fourth
2011 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair coach – Silver
2012 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight co-coach – Sixth
2013 – World Championships – NZL Lead Men’s Sweep and Men’s Pair coach - Gold

Noel enjoys a most successful coaching career. He has held head coaching roles for the Australian men’s team and the Victorian Institute of Sport, Rowing Australia and the National Centre for Rowing Excellence. He is currently the New Zealand lead men’s sweep coach.

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Marc Douez

Melbourne University Boat Club (VIC)
2001 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship cox - First
2002 – World Under 23 Regatta – Men’s Eight cox - Fourth
2003 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox – First
2003 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair cox – Silver
2003 – World Championships – Men’s Eight cox - Fifth
2004 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Silver
2004 - World Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight cox - Bronze
2005 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Silver
2005 - World Championships Men’s Coxed Pair cox – Gold
2006 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Gold
2007 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Gold
2008 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Silver
2010 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship cox - Silver

Marc at the presentation of silver medal in 2003

Andrew Guerin 2015

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David Douglas

The 1968 Olympic Eight was the proof that Australian rowing had returned to world standard following the poor results of the previous two Olympic Games had shown. The total Australian Olympic team was restricted to 180 people so rowing was well represented in view of the 1964 results. One coach and a rowing team manager were also permitted. This crew was important for Australian rowing and David Douglas was our Victorian in that crew.

1968 Olympic Eight - David in four seat

Mercantile Rowing Club
1967 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – Fourth
1967 – USA National Championships – Men’s Coxed Four – Second
1967 – North American Championships – Men’s Coxed Four – First
1967 – European Championships – Men’s Coxed Four – Eighth
1968 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – Second
1968 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight Four seat – Silver
1969 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1970 – World Championships – Men’s Eight six seat – Fifth
1971 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – First
1972 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1980 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
David is the father of Georgina Douglas, another rowing Olympian in 1996 and 2000 and Robert, also an Australian representative.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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Ian Douglas

Banks Rowing Club
1953 – Head of the River Geelong Grammar – First
1954 – Australian University Championships Men’s Eight MUBC – First
1955 – Australian University Championships Men’s Eight MUBC – First
1956 – Australian University Championships Men’s Eight MUBC – First
1957 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1958 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1959 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1962 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – First
1962 – British Empire and Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight bow - Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight bow – Fifth
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach - Second

Finish of the 1962 Commonwealth Games final - Ian in the bow seat

Ian was a prominent barrister and QC in Melbourne. He also was the youngest Australian to have charge of the Australian Antarctic base at Davis at the age of 23. He led a team of 8 men to Antarctica.  His father was a famous aviator being the pilot for Sir Douglas Mawson and the first man to fly a Gypsy Moth aircraft on floats from a sailing ship. Ian’s father made three trips to the Antarctic in the 1930’s and piloted the aircraft which found lost American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth in the Antarctic.

Ian is currently a farmer growing finger limes in South East Queensland and has been an active masters rower at Banks Rowing Club. He has also maintained a strong interest in sport through the company WCSN which provides great sport coverage via the internet.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Brian Doyle

Mercantile Rowing Club
1949 – Head of the River – Xavier College stroke – 1st
1952 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
1953 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
1954 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1955 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – Second
1956 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke – First
1956 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight stroke – Bronze

Brian is congratulated by coach Bob Aitken after the heat in 1956

Brian stroked the Xavier College crew in 1949 to a win in the Victorian Head of the River.  Unfortunately his school was unable to win the event again until 1999, fifty years later.  His sons David and Mark are also rowing Olympians.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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David Doyle

Mercantile Rowing Club
1981 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - Second
1982 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Third
1982 – Match des Seniors – Men’s Coxless Pair stroke - Gold
1983 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - Second
1983 – World Championships – Men’s Eight Four seat - Bronze
1984 - Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four bow – Eighth
1985 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1986 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat - First
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – Fourth
1987 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First

David in the six seat of the 1983 Australian Eight

David continued his interest in rowing with coaching of school crews. He is an architect based in Melbourne.

Andrew Guerin 2013

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Mark Doyle OAM

Mercantile Rowing Club
1981 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship seven seat - Third
1982 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – Third
1982 – Match des Seniors – Men’s Coxless Pair bow - Gold
1983 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat - Second
1983 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Mens sweep
1985 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1986 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat - First
1986 - World Championships – Men’s Eight five seat – Gold
1986 – Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight five seat - Gold
1987 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat - First
1987 – World Championships - Men’s Eight five seat - Fourth
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – First
1988 - Olympic Games – Men’s Eight five seat – Fifth
2011 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame

Mark in the five seat of the 1988 Olympic Eight

Mark continued his strong interest in the sport with school rowing. In particular, he coached and headed that rowing programme at Haileybury College in Melbourne.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Bob Duncan

Albert Park South Melbourne Rowing Club
1956 - Olympic Games Men's Coxed Pair bow
1968 - FISA umpire
2015 - Author and publisher of the book "Small Boat Rowers of the Fifties"

Bob was a successful small boat rower in the early 1950s. From 89 starts in small boats, he won 67 of them. He won the first two Interstate Coxed Pair Oared Championships in 1955 and 1956, five successive Victorian Pair Oared Championships 1952-56, 25 successive senior pair oared regatta wins amongst many other achievements.

He was also a very influential and innovative umpire.

The following was written by Andrew Guerin upon his retirement from umpiring. Bob Duncan has retired from umpiring at the 2007 Victorian Championships after 50 years service – an incredible length of service to the sport.

Bob commenced his rowing in 1945 as a cox at Mercantile and Wesley College. He went onto be a successful rower at Albert Park and competed at the 1956 Olympic Games in the coxed pair.

Within one month of finishing his rowing career, Bob started umpiring. His first regatta was assistant starter at the Australia Day regatta in 1957 with six crews abreast. In those days, regatta committees chose their umpires and invitations to umpire quickly followed his first appearance. In 1959 he umpired his first championship.

In 1961, he started the Victorian Head of the River for school eights. He continued this duty for 40 years retiring in 2002.

In 1962 he started his first King’s Cup at Ballarat and he started his last in 1996 at the new SIRC course. The difference in the facilities is enormous as is the difference in the cost of establishment - ₤1,600 in 1956 and $40m in 1996.

By the mid 1960s, a Victorian Umpires Panel was formed by Messrs Aitken, Cairnes, Duncan, Donald, Harding and Rodda. The Australian Rowing Council formed their own committee at much the same time with Messrs Aitken, Blundstone, Howson, Rosevear and Fazackerley involved. These committees introduced umpiring standards, education and enhanced rules of racing.

In 1968 he sat his FISA exams and was one of the few who passed. He was the umpire co-ordinator at 1990 World Championships and umpire at 1991 World Championships in Vienna. At this regatta, he undertook every task except starter. This task was reserved for the Europeans.

Bob was an innovator. In 1968 he showed Thomas Keller how Australian umpires started crews on an angle in adverse weather conditions, an innovation to the Europeans. In 1974, he introduced the count down start which was adopted by the AARC.

In 1995, he enjoyed his last World Championships as an umpire at Tampere Finland. Bob took on the FISA establishment and demanded an opportunity to start. Every excuse was used by FISA as to why the Europeans should undertake this duty. He won the day and started not once but twice, including the finals. FISA attitude has changed from that day forward.

He takes great pride in seeing Australian umpires regarded as good or better than any in the world and that we are well represented at all international events.

Bob’s suggestions for umpires are:
1. Be wary about disqualifying young crews, particularly for coxing errors - the youngsters will live with the consequences of these decisions.
2. Encourage rowers to become umpires immediately after they cease rowing.
3. Umpires should start their international umpiring career early in life.
4. Umpires must have the temperament and knowledge to be good. He despairs at the poor quality of umpiring when he was rowing.

Bob retired from FISA at the age of 65 years, National and Head of the River duties at 70 and Victorian duties at 75. This is a pity because he is still a great umpire.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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