The Australian Rowing Championships is an annual rowing event that determines Australia's national rowing champions and facilitates selection of Australian representative crews for World Championships and the Olympic Games. It is Australia's premier regatta, with states, clubs and schools sending their best crews. The Championships commence with the National Regatta - men's, women's and lightweight events in open, under 23, under 19, under 17 and school age categories and more recently there is also an event called the grammar event where grammar boys go down on some D. Rowers at the National Regatta race in their local club colours with composite crews permitted. The Championships conclude with the Interstate Regatta - currently eight events competed by state representative crews or scullers selected by the state rowing associations. The states compete for an overall points tally which decides the Zurich Cup.
Inter-colonial racing began in Australia in 1833 when a Sydney crew raced a Hobart crew in whalers. Schools, varsity and club events were the top-class races throughout the mid 19th century although New South Wales and Victoria raced regularly (though not annually) in men's IVs from 1863. In 1878 Victoria and New South Wales commenced inter-colonial racing in eight-oared boats and the other colonies and (later states) joined them such that by 1906 all six Australian states were sending a men's VIII and perhaps a sculler, to the annual Interstate Regatta.
A national open rowing championship was discussed at Australian Rowing Council meetings from 1946 but it wasn't until the 1960s that support for the concept was unanimous outside of New South Wales and Victoria. The first National Open Championship Regatta was held in 1962 and then was held every two years. Since 1969 the National Regatta has been annual and since 1976 has been held within the same single programme as the Interstate Regatta creating the combined Australian Rowing Championships.
The Interstate Regatta is held at the conclusion of the National Regatta and currently includes the following races for state representative crews:
Main article: King's Cup (rowing)
Australia's blue-ribbon annual rowing race for men. Contested by state representative senior heavyweight men's coxed eights.
An intercolonial sculling race between New South Wales and Victoria was first held in 1868 and then annually from 1895 with Queensland also racing. Tasmania has consistently been represented since 1903. South Australia and West Australia have entered scullers with some regularity but not consistently until the 1960s.
The first President of the Australian Amateur Rowing Council, Mr E.C. Watchorn, donated the President's Cup in 1925 as the perpetual trophy for the annual Australian Interstate Single Sculling Championship. It was first competed for in 1926 and won by A A Baynes of Queensland.
The premier interstate event for women was the ULVA trophy which from 1920 till 1998 was a fours event. The trophy had first been presented by the United Licensed Victuallers Association (ULVA) of Queensland. In 1999 the women's interstate race was changed to an event for VIIIs with the Queen's Cup as the prize.
Of the seventy-eight occasions between 1920 and 1999 that the race was held in IVs, New South Wales won thirty-one times with eleven of those victories consecutive between 1955 and 1965. Victoria managed twenty-four victories in that period also with eleven of them consecutive (1978–1988) and then enjoying another eleven year consecutive run from 2005 to 2015. Of the twenty-five events up until 2015, Victoria were the victors on eighteen occasions.
The Penrith Cup for a lightweight men's IV was introduced in 1958.
Since 1963 the interstate women's scull competition has been for the Nell Slatter Cup.
From 1968 until 1998 the premier women's lightweight interstate event was the Victoria Cup competed for by coxless IVs. Since 1999, lightweight quad sculls have raced for the Cup.
Since 1974 men's youth crews have competed at the state representative level for the Noel Wilkinson Cup. Noel Wilkinson (died 1992) OAM was a long serving treasurer of the Australian Rowing Council who had worked tirelessly in fund-raising over many years for Australian national and Olympic squads. He had managed Victorian and national representative crews and was a club stalwart at the Banks Rowing Club in Melbourne from 1930 till his death. The event has been raced over 2000 metres since 1983. In the first thirty-seven years of competition for the title up till 2011, Victoria were the most consistent winners with seventeen wins, followed by New South Wales with ten victories.
A women's youth event commenced in 1988 in coxed IVs and converted to VIIIs in 1994.
Since 1999 the overall cumulative points winner in the interstate championships is awarded the Zurich Cup. States are awarded points in each interstate event on the following basis: first place, eight points; second place, six points; third place, five points; fourth place, four points; fifth place, three points; sixth place, two points; seventh place, one point.
In the sixteen regattas at which it was presented up till 2014, the Zurich Cup was won on eleven occasions by Victoria, thrice by New South Wales and by Queensland in 2003 and 2014.
The National Regatta currently includes a diverse program of club and school events.
The Sydney Cup was first presented in 2005. The current title holders are St Catherine's.
|2022||St Catherine's||Melbourne Girls' Grammar||Wesley College||7:03.73||0.57|
|2021||Melbourne Girls' Grammar||St Catherine's||Methodist Ladies' College||7:17.77||5.05|
|2019||Methodist Ladies' College||Pymble Ladies' College||Geelong Grammar||6:53.38||3.14|
|2018||Pymble Ladies' College||St Catherine's||Methodist Ladies' College||6:55.20||1.77|
|2017||Walford Anglican||Queenwood||Pymble Ladies' College||6:45.02||2.72|
|2016||St Catherine's||Loreto Toorak||Queenwood||6:43.76||1.89|
|2015||Geelong Grammar||Loreto Toorak||Methodist Ladies' College||6:46.46||7.87|
|2014||Loreto Toorak||Geelong Grammar||Genazzano||6:46.02||4.48|
|2013||Melbourne Girls' Grammar||Walford Anglican||Methodist Ladies' College||6:43.87||0.26|
|2012||Melbourne Girls' Grammar||Methodist Ladies' College||Walford Anglican||6:45.87||5.50|
|2011||Melbourne Girls' Grammar||Pymble Ladies' College||Genazzano||6:44.13||1.58|
|2010||Loreto Kirribilli||Methodist Ladies' College||Loreto Normanhurst||6:50.77||2.61|
|2009||Collegiate||Geelong Grammar||St Catherine's||6:46.56||1.51|
|2008||PLC Sydney||St Catherine's||Pymble Ladies' College||6:51.32||2.19|
|2007||Methodist Ladies' College||Pymble Ladies' College||PLC Sydney||7:17.91||3.36|
|2006||Methodist Ladies' College||Pymble Ladies' College||Geelong College||6:34.97||4.47|
|2005||Pymble Ladies' College||Methodist Ladies' College||Loreto Kirribilli||6:45.77||2.58|
|2004||Pymble Ladies' College||7:03.39|
|2003||Pymble Ladies' College||6:42.87|
|2000||Pymble Ladies' College||6:51.20|
|1999||The Friends' School||6:42.63|
The Barrington Cup was first presented in 1984. The current title holders are Melbourne Grammar.
|2022||Melbourne Grammar||Scotch College VIC||Shore||6:12.15||3.00|
|2021||St Peter's College||Shore||Brisbane Boys||6:28.33||2.94|
|2019||Scotch College VIC||Brighton Grammar||Nudgee||6:08.81||4.39|
|2018||Shore||Scotch College VIC||Nudgee||6:02.89||2.93|
|2017||Scotch College VIC||Shore||Geelong College & Melbourne Grammar (dead heat)||5:51.62||2.97|
|2016||Shore||St Joseph's Sydney||Scotch College VIC||5:58.56||2.11|
|2015||Nudgee||St Joseph's Sydney||Melbourne Grammar||5:50.97||2.42|
|2014||Shore||Scotch College VIC||St Joseph's Sydney||5:52.67||3.26|
|2013||Scotch College VIC||Shore||Gavirate||5:52.87||1.68|
|2012||Scotch College VIC||Melbourne Grammar||Christ Church Grammar||6:07.08||3.18|
|2010||Scotch College VIC||Shore||Scots||5:52.99||2.66|
|2008||Scotch College VIC||Melbourne Grammar||Shore||6:00.04||2.60|
|2007||Shore||The Kings School||Newington||6:22.81||0.06|
|2006||The King's School||Scotch||Geelong College||5:40.81||3.66|
|2005||St Joseph's Sydney||The Kings School||Scotch College VIC||5:58.04||1.03|
|2001||The King's School||5:53.97|
Interstate Men's Championships for VIIIs (Kings Cup) and single sculls (Presidents Cup) were held in the following locations after Federation:
The Penrith Cup for lightweight fours was added to the Kings Cup and Presidents Cup at Interstate Men's Championships for VIIIs as follows:
An Interstate Women's Race for the ULVA Trophy was held in the following locations:
With the Nell Slatter Trophy for women's single sculls added to the Women's Interstate Regatta from 1963 and the Victoria Cup added from 1968:
Interstate Championships with both Men's and Women's events were held in the following locations:
A separate National Regatta was held with distinct dates and venue from the Interstate Championships as follows:
Australian Rowing Championships (combining both regattas) have been held in the following locations