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Melbourne Regatta Four-Oared Outrigger Challenge trophy

Date: c 1862
140 x 100 x 95 mm, 0.5 lb. (951 11/16 in., 0.24 kg)
Medium: Silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Trophy
Object No: 00039566

User Terms

    This silver rowing trophy in the form of a goblet was presented to J W McCutcheon, stroke of the Elswick Rowing club's boat ATALANTA, contesting the four-oared outrigger race at Melbourne Regatta in 1862. This race for amateur rowers ended in dispute when the other participating crew from Ariel Rowing Club registered a protest. The race was awareded to Elswick Rowing Club. The trophy in was one of four made in Melbourne, Australia and is hallmarked 'Emu, WE, Kangaroo' and features a decoration of grapes, vines and leaves. The goblets were presented to each of the four members of the winning crew of the Grand Challenge Senior Fours.
    SignificanceThis trophy is significant as a rare piece of memorabilia from the early years of amateur rowing in colonial Australia.
    HistoryThis trophy was presented for the Four-Oared Outrigger Race for amateurs competing for the Grand Challenge Cup in the Melbourne Regatta in 1862. The Melbourne Regatta was established in 1860 on the Yarra River. The sport of rowing and sculling was dominated by professional crews and the Melbourne Regatta was the first with races dedicated to amateurs in Victoria and the earliest in the Australian colonies. In 1861 the definition of amateur was defined as "Anyone who has not entered for a race advertised as for a watermen, anyone who has not plied for hire on the water, anyone who has not rowed for a money prize...' (John Lang 'The Victorian Oarsman', 1919).

    The Four-oared outrigger race for coxed crews was the race and rowing shell of choice in amateur competition and the most aspirational for the booming Melbourne population with its goldrush economy. Races for the more prestigious eights were not introduced until 1875.

    In the race on Saturday 1 May 1862, the ATALANTA came in first, with JW McCutcheon as stroke, Sydney Smith on bow, George Coates, position no 2, H Woolnough, position no 3 and B McNight, cox.

    The trophy was made by silversmith William Edwards who came from the United Kingdom to Melbourne in 1857. As one of Victoria's premier silversmiths he was awarded a Royal commission in 1867 after supplying gifts to the visiting Duke of Edinburgh. He won many awards for his work.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Melbourne Regatta

    Web title: Melbourne Regatta Four-Oared Outrigger Challenge trophy

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