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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 G

Those appearing below are:

  1. Phil Gardiner, Barwon/MUBC
  2. Richard Garrard, Mercantile/Corio Bay
  3. Simon Gillett, MUBC
  4. Stephen Gillon, Mercantile
  5. Drew Ginn, Mercantile
  6. Herbert J Green
  7. Nick Green, MUBC
  8. W M Greenland, Melbourne
  9. Paul Guest, Banks
  10. Gary Gullock, Wendouree-Ballarat

Phil Gardiner

NSW then Melbourne University Boat Club
1977 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship emergency
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Bronze
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight three seat – Bronze
1979 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - First
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Sixth
1980 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - Third
1980 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four reserve
1981 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight bow - First
1981 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Double Scull bow – Eleventh
1983 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship emergency
1984 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - First
1984 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Tenth
1985 – Interstate and National Championships Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow – First
1985 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight two seat – Fifth
1986 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - First
1987 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - Second
1988 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - First
1990 –Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight bow – Fifth
1992 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship bow - Second
1992 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four bow – Eighth
1994 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Pair bow - Eighth

1977 Australian Lightweight Eight - Phil front second from right

Phil started his rowing at Glebe Rowing Club in Sydney as a cox at the age of 9 in 1961, he first came to Victoria as part of the first ever lightweight eight to represent Australia in 1977 has had a long state, national and international career for Victoria spanning from 1977 to 1995. In that time Phil has won 2 world championship bronze medals, over 40 state and national championships and while representing Victoria has won 6 Penrith Cups for interstate lightweight fours.   Phil has subsequently made his name with the respected boat building business Sykes Racing.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Richard Garrard

Mercantile Rowing Club and Corio Bay Rowing Club
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship emergency
1964 – National Championship Men’s Coxless Four two seat - First
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four two seat – eliminated in repechage
1966 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship bow – First
1966 – National Championships Men’s Coxless Four two seat - First
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Four three seat – Eliminated in repechage
1967 – Trans Tasman Series - Australian Men’s Eight stroke NZL
1972 – National Championships Men’s Coxed Pair stroke – First
1974 – National Championships Men’s Coxless Pair stroke – Fifth
1975 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke - First
1976 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight six seat - First
1977 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat - First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat – Bronze
1978 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat – Second
1979 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Pair bow - Second
1990 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Pair - First
1990 - World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Double Scull coach – Seventh
1993 - World Junior Championships – Men’s Scull coach – Fourth
1994-95 – Coached the US Women’s Coxless Pair
1996 – Olympic Games – USA Women’s Coxless Pair coach – Silver
2000 – Olympic Games – USA Men’s Scull coach - Seventh

1977 Australian Lightweight Eight - Dick is centre back row

Dick commenced his rowing at Xavier rowing in 1958 and joined Mercantile in 1959 whilst still at school and won a novice pair in that year. His first State Championship win was with Bob Lachal in the senior coxed pair in 1962. His first National Championship was in the Men’s Four in 1964. He is a great and tough competitor who hates losing. He is a legend in the sport as few people survive 10 years as an active rower, Dick raced competitively for well over 20 years. He still rates 17 straight wins from 1977 at the Anglesea Regatta as a rowing highlight!

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Simon Gillett

1975 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship two seat – First
1976 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship five seat – First
1977 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1977 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat – Silver
1978 – Interstate and National Championship Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1978 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight seven - First
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four three seat– Bronze
1979 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Second
1979 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight four - First
1979 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke – Sixth
1980 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – Third
1980 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Eight six - First
1980 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke - Gold
1981 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – Second
1981 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Pair stroke – First
1981 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke - First
1981 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four stroke – Gold
1982 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship stroke – Second
1982 – National Championships Men’s Lightweight Pair stroke - First
1982 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight stroke – Fourth
1983 – World Championships – Selector
1984 – Olympic Games - selector
1988 – Olympic Games – selector
1989 – World Championships selector
1990 – World Championships selector
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship co-coach - Fourth
1991 – World Championships selector
1991 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship co-coach - Fifth
1991 – Interstate Women’s Youth Four Championship co-coach - First
1991 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Women’s sweep coach
1992 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - Second
1992 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Women’s sweep coach
1992 – World Junior Championships – Women’s Pair coach – Gold
1993 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - Third
1993 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1993 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach - Fourth
1993 – Interstate Women’s Youth Four Championship coach - First
1993– Trans Tasman Juniors Women’s Double Scull coach
1993 – World Junior Championships - Women’s Single Scull coach - Silver
1993 – World Junior Championships - Women’s Junior Pair coach - Gold
1993 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Four coach - Fourth
1993 – World Championships – Women’s Pair coach – Silver
1994 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach - Third
1994 – Interstate Women’s Four Championship coach - First
1994 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship coach - First
1994 – World Junior Championships – Women’s Single Scull co-coach– Gold
1994 – Nations Cup – Women’s Scull coach - Fifth
1994 – World Championships – Women’s Single Scull coach – Fifth
1994 – World Championships – Women’s Quad Scull coach - Fourth
1994 - Head coach of the Australian Rowing Team
1995 - Head coach of the Australian Rowing Team

1977 Australian Team - Simon centre front row

Simon was head coach of Australian rowing for a short period of time. During this time he finalised a document titled “The Model of Excellence” which proposed the way to achieve success at the 200 Olympic Games. This work had previously been commenced by Dennis Hatcher, an Australian Lightweight representative and selector, and now at the AIS. The ideas in this document were used as a base for the ASC high performance programmes and funding in the years leading up to the 2000 Olympic Games and the high performance structure for rowing.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Stephen Gillon

Mercantile Rowing Club
1966 – World Championships - Men’s Eight reserve
1967 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – Fourth
1967 – USA National Championships - Men’s Coxed Four bow – Second
1967 – North American Championships – Men’s Coxed Four bow – First
1967 – European Championships – Men’s Coxed Four bow - Eighth
1968 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Second
1968 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxed Four - Selected by AARC but rejected by AOF for team size reasons
1969 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1970 – World Championships - Men’s Eight seven seat - Fifth
1980 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship reserve

1967 Four in training in Canada - Stephen in the bow seat

Stephen tells the story of 1967. “I recall how Freddie took us through our first Kings Cup and on to be competitive on the world stage in just six months. Our average age was not much more than twenty years. The only international experience we had really, was Graeme. My everlasting memory is the honour of being presented with my gold medal by the revered Thomas Keller, President of FISA.”

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Drew Ginn OAM

Mercantile Rowing Club
1993 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship five seat – Second
1993 – Trans Tasman Series & Nations Cup – Men’s Eight
1994 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship six seat – First
1994 – Trans Tasman Under 23 – Men’s Eight five seat
1994 – Nations Cup – Men’s Eight five seat – Fourth
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat – First
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Eight bow – Eleventh
1996 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1996 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Four bow – Gold
1997 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – Third
1997 – World Championships – Men’s Eight seven seat – Bronze
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – First
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Four three seat – Gold
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair stroke – Silver
1999 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship six seat – Second
1999 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Gold
2000 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship – First
2002 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
2003 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
2002 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Fourth
2003 – World Championships – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Gold
2003 – FISA male rower of the year jointly with James Tomkins
2004 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – Second
2004 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Gold
2004 – AOC Athletes Commission Member
2006 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - First
2006 - World Championships – Men’s Pair bow – Gold
2006 - World Cup Poznan – Men’s Pair bow – Gold
2007 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - First
2007 - World Cup – Men’s Pair bow – Gold
2007 – World Championships – Men’s Pair bow – Gold
2007 – FISA male rower of the year, jointly with Duncan Free
2007 – One of Harry Gordon’s 100 Greatest Olympians
2008 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship stroke - Second
2008 – Olympic Games Men’s Pair – Gold.
2010 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame
2012 – Olympic Games Men’s Four three seat - Silver
2012 onwards - National Head Coach – Integration

A happy Olympic Champion in 1996

Harry Gordon AOC Historian wrote of Drew: The illustrious Olympic career of Drew Ginn, winner of three gold medals, was ignited when a slot in the Oarsome Foursome coxless fours crew became available before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Andrew Cooper had withdrawn from the crew which had won gold in Barcelona in 1992, leaving James Tomkins, Mike McKay and Nick Green. Rowing selectors tried several candidates before settling on the 21-year-old. Ginn was a gifted athlete, having won school colours in four different disciplines at Melbourne’s Scotch College. He had impressed the Foursome’s coach, Noel Donaldson, when he went overseas with Australia’s under-23 eight in 1994. After a few early settling-in problems with his older team-mates, Ginn became a valuable member of the Foursome crew, which went on to win gold in Atlanta.
Ginn and Tomkins, 10 years his senior, later teamed up, and won the 1999 pairs world championship. They were favoured for gold at the Sydney 2000 Games, but Ginn was forced to withdraw, a prolapsed disc in his back causing horrific pain. Tomkins rowed at short notice with an emergency, Matthew Long --- and they won bronze. After two years of rehabilitation and recovery work, Ginn talked with Tomkins about trying again … and they agreed to give it a go. They rowed perfectly to win gold in Athens in 2004. Afterwards, with the 2008 Beijing Games ahead, Ginn linked up with Duncan Free, who had won bronze in quad sculls in 1996. They won two world titles together, then - despite further back pain for Ginn during the Games - went on to win Beijing gold in commanding fashion.

Harry Gordon’s description of 2008 understates the situation. He endured enormous pain rowing at the Games and rowed only three times, heat, semi-final and final. No other in the boat work was undertaken. At each of these races, the team spare man was in the wings ready to jump in at the last moment. His journey back to Australia was painful and on his back. Following another operation after the Games and doctors orders never to row again, in 2010 he raced again in London and won a silver medal.

Andrew Guerin 2010 - updated 2012

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Herbert J Green

Herb Green was an administrator and regatta official of his time. He was the noted starter of Victorian regattas and also several Interstate Championships. He also acted as Chairman of the Victorian Rowing association Committee in the absence of the President.

1906 - Interstate Championships Men's Eight bow - Second
1929 - Interstate Championships starter
1936-44 - Vice-President Victorian Rowing Association

Andrew Guerin 2015

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Nick Green OAM

Melbourne University Boat Club
1987 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship three seat – First
1989 – Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Men’s sweep
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – Race not conducted due to a cyclone.
1989 – Interstate Men’s Eight Challenge five seat – First
1990 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1990 – World Championships – Men’s Four – Gold
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1991 – World Championships – Men’s Four – Gold
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1992 – Olympic Games – Men’s Four three seat – Gold
1994 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1995 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat – First
1995 – World Championships – Men’s Four bow – Fifth
1996 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First
1996 – Olympic Games – Men’s Four three seat – Gold
1998 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat – First
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Four bow – Gold
1998 – World Championships – Men’s Coxed Pair bow – Gold
2000 – Olympic Games – Carried the IOC flag at the Opening Ceremony
2000 – Olympic Games – TV rowing commentator
2002 – Olympic Winter Games – Director, Athlete Services
2000 - Olympic Games – TV rowing commentator
2004 - Olympic Games – TV rowing commentator
2008 - Olympic Games – TV rowing commentator
2010 - Chef de Mission of the Australian Youth Olympic Team
2010 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame
2012 – Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team
One of Harry Gordon’s 100 Greatest Olympians

1996 Olympic Champions again - Nick second from the left

Nick retired from a great rowing career due to a back injury. He has moved onto being one of Australia’s top sports administrators. He has served on the AOC Board and was Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team in London. He continued his fine work in sport with Victorian Major Events Corporation and now is CEO of Australian cycling.

Andrew Guerin 2010 - updated 2015

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W M Greenland

Melbourne Rowing Club (VIC)
1873 – Intercolonial Men’s Four Championship cox – First
Greenland coxed the crew and was most likely a relative of the Melbourne boatbuilder W T Greenland.

This 1873 crew recorded Victoria’s first win in an intercolonial race. It includes some of the pioneers of our sport. The crew is also of interest as it was the first representative crew from several clubs. It was known as the Melbourne crew.

1873 Trophy

John Lang, in his book the Victorian Oarsman in 1919, recorded the importance of the race as follows: Victoria secured the first win with a non-club four (Melbourne, Melbourne University and Warehousemen). The other crews in the race were club crews, comprising two from Ballarat, a Sydney Rowing Club crew, and crews from Hobart Town and Geelong. The race was rowed over about four miles on the Lower Yarra - time, 25 min. 30 sec. This race is generally recognised as the first "official" Intercolonial match.


Andrew Guerin 2013

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Paul Guest OAM

Banks Rowing Club
1959 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship - Emergency
1960 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - Third
1960 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxed Pair bow – Eliminated in repechage
1962 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - First
1962 – British Empire & Commonwealth Games – Men’s Eight five seat – Gold
1962 – World Championships – Men’s Eight five seat - Fifth
1963 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three four seat - First
1964 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship five seat - First
1964 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight five seat – Eighth
1965 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - Second
1966 – World Championships – Men’s Eight five seat - Tenth
1968 – Olympic Games – Men’s Coxless Pair bow – Seventh
1968 – Australian Olympic Rowing Team Captain
1969 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1970 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship four seat - First
1970 – World Championships – Men’s Eight five seat - Fifth
1972 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat - Third
1975 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach – Third
2000 – Awarded the Australian Sports Medal.
2011 – Inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame

1968 Olympic Pair - Paul in bow seat

Paul commenced rowing at Wesley College Melbourne but was for most of his schools day a track specialist. He was enticed back to rowing by a call from friend Ian “Porky” Douglas to try out for the Melbourne University eight in 1958. By 1959 he gained a place in the Victorian King’s Cup squad and in 1960 a place in the Olympic rowing team, partnering Neville Howell. His comments on equipment at those Games are clear. “The boat was a barge – very little thought was given in those days to equip the rowers adequately.”

After a year off in 1961 to further his law degree, he returned in 1962 to join the Alan “Jake” Jacobsen stable at Banks Rowing Club. In that year, Jake took his crew all the way to a gold medal at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth and 5th place at the first World Rowing Championships in Lucerne. Perhaps one of the great crews he rowed was the 1968 Olympic Pair with David Ramage. 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 and 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. 

Paul is a retired judge of the Family Court of Australia and is quoted as saying “I love rowing; it is the sport of kings. Those who have never rowed could never understand.” Paul continues to be a very active as an administrator and successful masters rower. He was the first 70 year old in history to break 7 minutes 2K ergo and currently hold the world record at 6.56.2. There is no other male Australian world record holder in any of the divisions. He is also the worlds best over 1000 meters but Concept 2 only classify the 2K. Paul is also President of the Banks Rowing Club and Chairman of Rowing Australia Appeals Tribunal.

Andrew Guerin 2011

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Gary Gullock

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club
1975 & 1976 – Head of the Lake crews with Ballarat High
1977 – Interstate Men’s Youth Eight Championship six seat - Fifth
1983 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Third
1984 – Olympic Games – Men’s Quad Scull two seat – Silver
1985 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - First
1986 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship - Third
1988 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First
1991 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat - First
1992 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship three seat - First
1994 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship two seat – First

1984 Olympic Quad - Gary in two seat

Gary was not only an accomplished sculler but also loved racing in sweep boats, particularly King’s Cup eights. Not only did he love it, but also those who joined him In these boats. The 1988 King’s Cup crew was beginning to look like a scullers eight, stroked by Peter Antonie, Gary in the two seat and Hamish McGlashan reserve.

Andrew Guerin 2010

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