Kim Brennan won the single scull at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
LOOKING BACK, RATING HIGH:
A HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN ROWING
An era of international prominence 1940–2020
Robin Poke AM
with Andrew Guerin and Brice Coe
with a Foreword by
John Coates AC
past President Rowing Australia
Foreword • Black-and-white and colour illustrations • Statistical Appendix • Endnotes • Bibliography • Index
Publication date: 21 March 2021
The book will be published in a special numbered and signed hardback edition of 125 copies. The support of individual subscribers will be acknowledged in the front section of the book. To become a subscriber and have your name listed in the special edition, you will need to order and pay for the book by 31 January 2021.
The book will also be published as a paperback.
ISBN (hardback) limited edition: 978-1-876718-34-X
ISBN (paperback) edition: 978-1-876718-35-0
Limited edition $100 plus postage
Paperback edition $50 plus postage
Order this book.
Rowing achieved greater national and international prominence over the past 80 years when the sport was better managed and funded. Rowing also broadened its appeal attracting more women and girls, people with a disability and rowers of all ages.
Australian rowing became semi-professional during the 1970s when John Coates and John Boultbee overhauled the sport’s administration. The appointment of the first professional Director of Coaching, Reinhold Batschi, in 1979 was an important element of change. Rowing benefited from increased federal government recognition and funding after it was admitted to the Australian Institute of Sport in 1985.
The original Oarsome Foursome became world champions at Lake Barrington in 1990.
Australia achieved a remarkable decade of success in the 1990s, when it ranked among the top nations in international competition. The members of the Oarsome Foursome, who first won gold at the 1990 World Championships, became household names. Peter Antonie and Stephen Hawkins, who won Olympic gold in the double sculls in 1992, also enhanced rowing’s status.
Women and girls took up rowing in increasing numbers. Adair Ferguson was the first Australian female world champion in 1985 and Kim Brennan was the 2016 Olympic gold medallist in the single scull. By the 1990s, schoolgirl rowing was growing faster than schoolboy rowing.
The sport of rowing now is more visible, inclusive and popular than ever. Rowers with a disability have represented Australia in international competition. Rowing in the Australian and World Masters Games has grown in popularity.
Dr Robin Poke AM was awarded a PhD by the University of Canberra in November 2019 for his innovative thesis, ‘A Narrative History of Australian Rowing from 1770 to 2016’, which has now been revised and extended and published in two volumes. He has had a long-time involvement in rowing as an oarsman, administrator, journalist and author. He was awarded an AM in 2013 for his services to rowing and the Olympic movement.
Brisbane Boys’ College won the Brisbane head of the river in 1993.
Adair Ferguson, the first Australian female world champion in 1985, and her coach Noel Langton.
Reinhold Batschi became Australia’s first professional coach in 1979.