31 March 2019
By Louis Petrin, of Drummoyne Rowing Club
Australia had entered two crews for the Royal Henley Peace Regatta to be held at Henley in 1919. The A.I.F No. 1 crew was meant to use the Australian boat Q.L. Deloitte since it was successfully used by an Australian crew at the 1912 Henley Regatta. It was hired from the Thames Rowing Club. A second eight, to be used by the No. 2 crew, was hired from Jesus College, Cambridge. However, as the regatta approached, the crews swapped boats.
On display on Saturday at Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) in Penrith was a wooden eight, sadly not the original boat used in 1919, but it was a good representative for all to enjoy. It was made by Cantiere Navale Donoratico from Livorno (Leghorn in English), an industrial port city south of Pisa, on the western coast of Italy.
Here are some images of the Italian-built eight.
Back in 1919, the practice oars were purchased from Edmund Norris and the racing oars from E. Ayling & Sons Ltd, both of Putney. Today, we are fortunate that the oars were made by the doyen of oars, Howard Croker.
At the lunch break, there was a presentation of the boat. The rowers were dressed much like they did in 1919.
Sunday afternoon will see a range of races, culminating in the Queen’s and King’s Cup for the eights.
Here is a short video from Saturday: