Rowing has a long and proud history, but not many people know that Australia’s first-ever World Record was set in rowing.
Edward Trickett was the first Australian to set an official world record in any sport. On 27 June 1876, Trickett rowed 4¼ miles in 24 minutes and 35 seconds on the Thames in London, against the current world’s best, Joseph Sadler.
Trickett held this championship for four years.
Edward Trickett’s great-granddaughter, Helen Albury, is today the secretary of the Murwillumbah Rowing Club, keeping the love of rowing alive in the family. Helen organised and sponsored the inaugural Edward Trickett Commemorative Rowing event at the club, on 27 January 2014, as part of the Australia Day weekend celebrations.
‘I have been thrilled in the past to present awards at The Edward Trickett Regatta in Sydney, and I wanted to develop a local event,’ said Helen. ‘The Commemorative Row was about having a fun day on our picturesque Tweed River and to raise awareness of my great-grandfather’s achievement in Australian sporting history.’
The Commemorative Row was a time trial rather than a race. Each rower estimated how long they would take to cover Edward Trickett’s world record distance of 4¼ miles. The rower who came closest to their own estimated time was declared the winner.
‘We can’t all be world champions, but we can all challenge ourselves and have fun,’ said Helen.
Twenty rowers participated on the day, all wearing blue, which was Edward’s rowing colour. John Henley was the winner as his estimate was a mere 30 seconds outside his time of 39 minutes. The fastest time of 29 minutes and 57 seconds, was rowed by Louise and Richard McMillan in a double scull. The fastest time in a single scull was Scott O’Reilly in 30 minutes and 4 seconds.
‘The Club was delighted to participate in Helen’s event,’ said president of Murwillumbah Rowing Club, Tim Rose. ‘We are intending to make it an annual event and open it to other rowing clubs.’
For more information, contact Helen Albury on 0434 832 867.