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australian rowers profiles and history

Paul Guest OAM

Banks Rowing Club (VIC)

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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