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Souvenir program for the Inter-State eight-oar rowing and sculling championships of Australia, 1911

Date: 6 May 1911
Display Dimensions: 190 x 255 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Patsy Webb
Object Name: Program
Object No: ANMS0354[140]

User Terms

    An inter-state eight oar rowing and sculling championship souvenir programme, 6 May 1911.
    The event was held on the Parramatta river in "ideal conditions" with a win from New South Wales in the eight-oar rowing and a win by McVilly from Tasmania in the sculling.

    SignificanceRowing regattas were immensely popular during the 19th Century. It was a spectacle open to everyone, suited Australia's growing love of the outdoors and their particular reverence for sporting competitions from "home".

    This afternoon the historic Parramatta will be en fete, for the most Important rowing events of the year - the Interstate eights and single sculls will be decided. In England the great annual contest Is the eight-oar race between Oxford and Cambridge, which has been taking place since 1820, when curiously enough a foul occurred, and the race had to be re-rowed. Regarding this afternoon's event it may be stated that there is not another rowing function of the same standard in the world, and in point of interest to Australians equals that of the old world event.

    These Interstate contests were first established in 1878, when New South Wales and Victoria met on the Yarra, the southerners proving victorious. In 1885 Tasmania first took part in the race, but it was not till 1890 that three or more crews began to compete regularly.

    It is six years since the event was last rowed on the Parramatta, then the Victorians proved successful, and thus completed a sequence of twelve victories. Since then, howoever, they have won only once. whilst Tasmania and New South Wales have each gained two victories.

    In this afternoon's event six crews will compete, and as they sweep down the river struggling for supremacy the spectacle should prove a magnificent one.

    In the single sculls Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales will be represented respectively by C. Mcvilly, H. R. Stevens, and J. R. Towns.

    Steamers are advertised to leave Point Macquarie at 2 o'clock sharp. Three will follow the racing, and a fourth, which is set apart for the schools, will be moored on the course.

    A large number of visitors will view the racing, among them many prominent supporters of rowing, also veteran oarsmen, and among the latter will be Mr. M. J. Slack, of Queensland, who was the first holder of the sculling championship, and who was first or second in the seven years he took part.

    A dinner will take place at Sargent's, Market street, this evening at 7.15 and there will be a harbour picnic tomorrow, the steamer leaving at 11 a.m. The party will land at CIifton Gardens and have lunchon there.

    The training of the crews ended on Thursday afternoon when there was a great deal of interest taken in the final preparations. The most fancied crews are New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. Those three are expected to provide an excellent race. Of the others South Australia seen as the best, but Is using a boat too small for the crew, which is a heavy team and inclined to press her with the weight of the men both at the beginning and after blades have been released. The work on Thursday showed that New South Wales was as good as their numerous friends could wish and a win may be reasonably looked forward to. Victoria has improved, and if not forced to a high rate of stroke, but allowed to grip and swing at, say, 32 to 34 per minute, may be expected to account for Tasmania.

    Of the scullers, McVillly, with his fine reach and free rowing, will be a worthy opponent, and should the least muscular trouble come to Townes then Tasmania will carry the honours away. The only award for a win in these championships is a certificate of the value of five shillings, but winners always hlghly prize the memento. The scullers will start at 3 p.m., from near Ryde Bridge, and finish at the 23 miles mark just past Gladesville Wharf. The eights will start at 4 p.m.. the course being from near Ryde Bridge to Searle's Monument. "

    - Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 1911.

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