Club History

Our club was incorporated in June 2010. Immediate support from the council and community was gained once four local businessmen stood up and took ownership of the club early May 2011. The core group had different areas of expertise and complimented each other with their knowledge and support of each other. The club appreciated assistance from Ray Green (OAM) whose passion, enthusiasm and commitment to the the sport of rowing helped to get the club established. The Committee now consists of parents as well as a few original committee members working for the good of the sport.

The Adopt A School programme is an initiative of Rowing Australia and funded through the Federal Government, available to regional clubs for the advancement of the sport. It helped the club in the early days by giving grant assistance to enable students from two local schools in Bathurst (Kelso High School/Denison College and All Saints' College) to learn to row and compete in regattas. The club was the only one in NSW to receive such recognition. We were lucky to have our head coach Joe Martin teaching the basics of rowing to Year 7 and 10 students. After a few months they competed in the J.B. Sharpe Memorial winter regatta novice races finishing a notable 2nd in the club championship. It will be fantastic to be able to watch their further advancement over the years. All Saints' College is virtually self-managed with their headmaster, Dr Peter Miller having previous coaching experience at the prestigious, The Shore School. Also present at the school are the children of parents, who have represented Australia in the sport. The club has also received a grant to help build & modify a trailer to store boats and also to transport boats to regattas.

The Central Tablelands Rowing Club has also been accepted as a host club with Chifley Dam to be used as a training venue prior to the World Cup in March 2013 and 2014. We are thankful to Rowing NSW for the encouragement and support given in allowing us to contribute towards this event considering that we are only a new club.

The club is planning for the future and is building a boat compound close to the water at the dam as the rowing boats can be damaged when stored exposed to the weather.

Rowing History in Australia

The first recorded competitive rowing in Australia took place on 16th May, 1818. The race was held in Sydney between crews from three ships, the Batavia, the Guildford and the Minerva, and a crew from the colony formed by Captain John Piper. The race was for "a considerable sum" and was won by Captain Piper's crew.

The crews rowed from Bradley's Head to Sydney Cove and the winning crew reportedly covered the 3 1/2 mile course in only 15 minutes. A year later, Captain Piper challenged a crew from the American brig the General Gates to a match.

The first "international" event in Australia was over an eight-mile course and Captain Piper's crew, himself at the helm, won easily. In November, 1820, the worthy Captain was at it again, this time with even more confidence. His gig, "pulling four oars", defeated a gig from the ship Regalia, "pulling five". His interest appears to have continued for in 1824 the Captain imported a boat-the Lady of the Lake, 43 feet long, with four oars - especially for racing.

The "founder" of rowing in Australia, John Piper, appears to have been a most interesting character. He arrived in the colony at the age of 19 with the New South Wales Corps in 1792, just four years after Captain Phillip's first settlement. He became a close friend of John Macarthur and later, of Governor Macquarie. His career had many highlights. In 1793, following what seems to have been an unfortunate affair of the heart, he requested a transfer to Norfolk Island. He returned to the colony in 1795 and gained promotion first to lieutenant and then to captain. In 1802, following the struggle between Governor King and the NSW Corps, he was court-martialed.

After a further term in Norfolk Island, he resigned his commission to stay on in Sydney and was appointed, in 1813, naval officer and collector of duties. A percentage of revenues received went to him as salary and this gave him an annual income of £4 000 per year. He married in 1816, having had four sons by his wife-to-be before the marriage, and he had nine other children thereafter. At one time he was the owner of Vaucluse House and his lavish home at Eliza Point was completed in 1822 at a cost of £10,000.

The name of Eliza Point was then changed to Point Piper. Governor Macquarie appointed him chairman of directors of the Bank of New South Wales, but he was forced to resign after an investigation of certain loans. The mismanagement of his functions as collector of duties led also to his suspension, and he attempted suicide. Unsuccessful again, this lover of aquatic sports then retired to the property, “ Westbourne” at Bathurst which, sad to relate, he also succeeded in mismanaging badly. John Piper died at his Bathurst property, then run by one of his sons on 8 June, 1851; he was 76 years of age. He is buried at Bathurst Cemetery.