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australian rowers profiles and history

Jeff Sykes

Corio Bay Rowing Club (Vic)
1961 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Third
1962 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Third
1962 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Scull - First
1963 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Second
1964 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Scull - First
1966 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – First
1966 – National Championship Men’s Double Scull – First
1966 – World Championships – Selected as Sculler but unable to travel due to business commitments
1967 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Second
1968 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – Second
1968 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Scull - First
1968 – National Championship Men’s Double Scull - First
1969 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Second
1972 – Interstate Men’s Lightweight Four Championship three seat – First
1973 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – First
1973 – West German International Championship Men’s LW 1x – Second
1973 – European Championships Men’s Scull - Tenth
1974 – National Championship Men’s Lightweight Scull - First
1976 – National Junior Women’s scull Leisa Patterson – Coach
1976 – Interstate Men’s Sculling Championship – Sixth
1977 – National Women’s Sculling Championship –Leisa Patterson– Third – Coach
1977 – Interstate Women’s Sculling Championship coach- Third
1978 – National Women’s scull – Leisa Patterson – Coach
1978 – National Women’s Lightweight Sculling Championship – Leisa Patterson – Coach
1978 – West German National Championship Men’s Lightweight eight - 7 seat – First
1978 – World Championships – Men’s Lightweight Eight seven seat – Bronze
1991 – National Championship Women’s Lightweight Double Scull – Leisa Wilson – First - Co Coach
1991 – National Championships Women’s Lightweight Scull – Leisa Wilson – Second – Coach
1996-98 – Board member Rowing Australia
1998-2002 - Chairman Rowing Australia Master Commission
Past member of Rowing Victoria Masters Committee.
Life member, past Vice President, Captain and committee man of Corio Bay Rowing Club.

Jeff, David Boykett and George Xouris celebrate winning the three Interstate Championships in 1966

Quite apart from his outstanding contribution to the sport as an oarsman, coach, administrator and boatbuilder, it is the quality and enduring nature of his contribution to the sport which is of great note.

Jeff commenced his rowing in 1955 at the age of 12 as a coxswain. His elite competitive career spanned the very long period from 1960 to 1978. His rowing career continues to this day as an active and very successful masters rower at the age of 70, some 58 years after he commenced in 1955.

Jeff was apprenticed to his father in his father’s boatbuilding business. A desire to change the nature of boats built in Australia led Jeff to commence his own business in 1966. His boats were light and fast and the business grew quickly, predominantly in smaller boats. By 1973, his large boats also won the big races with a King’s Cup win and by 1974 Australian crews used his boats. He was the first boatbuilder in Australia to build composite construction boats and supported Australian teams with his boats.

Andrew Guerin, 2013

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