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Cleaver CONCEPT II rowing oar

Date: 1997
Overall: 250 x 3770 x 100 mm, 2.55 kg
Medium: Metal, wood, plastic, rubber
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rowing Australia Inc
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Oar
Object No: 00031285
Place Manufactured:Geelong

User Terms

    This Cleaver Concept II rowing oar is the same as the type of oar used by the Oarsome Foursome™ during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The Australian Olympic Committee's four cleaver or American 'Big Blade' oars were a radical design innovation that contributed significantly to the Oarsome Foursome's crew's medal winning form. The team battled a slump in form at Barcelona, following a three-year winning streak and two World titles. However, after their coach Noel Donaldson changed their seating configuration and switched to the newly-developed Cleaver blades adopted by their competitors, the Oarsome Foursome™ snatched victory at Lake Banyoles, 130km outside Barcelona.
    SignificanceThis Cleaver Concept II rowing oar is significant because it is the same as the type of oar used by the Oarsome Foursome™ to win two world championships and a gold medal in the men's coxless fours at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
    HistoryThe Cleaver Concept II rowing oar, or 'Big Blade', was developed in the United States of America by the Dreissigacker brothers, from the Concept 2 USA company. The Dreissigacker brothers were the first to produce an all Carbonfibre racing oar in 1976. The Cleaver Concept II rowing oar was released in November 1991.

    The modern Olympic Games have become the most important sporting event in the world. Over the past 100 years profound shifts in attitudes have reshaped approaches to training, female competitors, sponsorship and professionalism. Australian Olympic rowing has been no exception. Until 1980 Olympic rowers were solely male and strictly amateur. Going to the games meant funding your own trip, on your own time and training around the commitments of full-time work. Australian Olympic rowing was transformed in the 1980s by the government-funded Australian Institute of Sport and the inclusion of women. Television coverage attracted greater public interest and new sponsorship opportunities and Australian women rowers won their first gold medal in 1996.

    The Oarsome Foursome™, crewed by James Tomkins (stroke), Nick Green (three), Mike McKay (two) and Andrew Cooper (bow), won successive Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 in the Men's Coxless four event. A Melbourne journalist coined their catchy nickname in 1990. It became synonymous with the crew's awesome achievements and was crucial in lifting the public profile of Olympic rowing. After their first gold medal, the crew signed with a management team and several sponsors. In 1998 the Oarsome Foursome™ registered their name and logo with the Trademarks Office, giving them exclusive rights to use it within Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Cleaver CONCEPT II rowing oar

    Assigned title: Cleaver CONCEPT II rowing oar

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