Mosman Rowing Club

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Mosman Rowing Club
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
LocationThe Spit, Sydney
Coordinates33°48′50″S 151°14′35″E / 33.81389°S 151.24306°E / -33.81389; 151.24306 (Mosman Rowing Club)Coordinates: 33°48′50″S 151°14′35″E / 33.81389°S 151.24306°E / -33.81389; 151.24306 (Mosman Rowing Club)
Home waterMiddle Harbour, Sydney
AffiliationsNSW Rowing Association

Mosman Rowing Club is an all-level competitive and recreational rowing club on the North Shore of Sydney. Since 2007 the club's facilities have been wholly located at The Spit in Sydney's Middle Harbour, the northern arm of Port Jackson.

Mercantile club history[edit]

Mosman's red and white hooped racing colours date back to 1873 when the Mercantile Rowing Club was founded on the west side of Sydney's Circular Quay at Dawes Point. A meeting of warehousemen and merchants' clerks had decided to form a second club the second in the colony (after Sydney Rowing Club). Henry Woolnough was the club's first chairman, he had earlier been a committee member at Sydney. Mercantile's first patron was the Governor of the New South Wales, Sir Hercules Robinson. Mercantile enjoyed a strong patronage but began to struggle in the 1890s and sustained losses when it opened an unsuccessful branch shed at Parramatta.[1]

Mosman club history[edit]

In 1911 due to poor water conditions in the busy port and the expiration of a lease, a decision was made to relocate the original boatshed and all rowing equipment to Mosman Bay on the northern side of the harbour and to re-establish the club as the "Mosman Rowing Club".[2] The Dawes Point boatshed was purchased from the disbanded Mercantile club and rebuilt at Mosman in time for new club's official opening on 1 April 1911.[1]

The social clubhouse at Mosman Bay was closed in 2007

The club operated from this building until 1933 when a new clubhouse was built on the same site. Boating and ferry traffic made this location less than ideal and from the 1950s senior training was done from Pearl Bay at The Spit near Mosman. A boatshed facility was built there in 1967 at the cost of $74,000.[1] The Club's rowing facilities were progressively re-housed to Pearl Bay with the Mosman Bay site being transformed to a licensed social club. That site was closed in 2007 and major upgrading and a complete relocation to Pearl Bay had occurred by 2010.[2]

From 1956 the club owned bushland property at Killarney Heights on the foreshore of Middle Harbour with water access looking across to Castlecove. The site was used as a club recreation and rowing camp facility but was never able to be developed and fully utilised. In 2005 the club sold the land for $1.5M but retained a 150-year lease on a building on the property. In June 2012 the club also sold its lease on the building and severed its connection with the Killarney Point site.[3]

Competition history[edit]

In 1930 the Mosman VIII was chosen in toto as the state representative eight for New South Wales in the Kings Cup at the Australian Rowing Championships. The crew won the King's Cup. The Mosman club's win that year of the Sydney premiership pennant marked the ninth successive year the club had won the pennant and eclipsed the Sydney Rowing Club's 1880 to 1888 record for the longest successive run.[4]

Current facilities[edit]

The MRC, based at Pearl Bay, Mosman is the main rowing centre for some 450 rowers, including elite, seniors, juniors, masters, recreational and school rowers. The shed houses over 100 rowing boats. MRC's Head and Elite Coach, Nick Garratt, has coached rowers to Olympic and World Championship levels. He is supported by six other coaching staff.[5]

The MRC is self-funded by memberships, lease arrangements to schools and private members' ongoing fundraising activities. A number of Sydney's private girl's schools have a leasing and coaching arrangement with the club.[6]


MRC has had representatives in World Rowing Championships and Olympic Games rowing squads over its history. From 1960 Summer Olympics Rome 1960 until London 2012 the Mosman club had at least one representative in every Australian Olympic rowing squad excepting Moscow 1980 and Barcelona 1992.[7]

Notable club members include:

Olympic representative members include:

World Champions include:




  • May, Alan (1970) Centennial History of the Sydney Rowing Club, Sydney Rowing Club (reproduced on Guerin-Foster)

External links[edit]