Bob recognised the great value and benefit derived from the feeling of well being that comes from being fit and healthy for racing. It was very much a way of life.
There is also the Life Membership of his beloved Club. Over 56 years, he fulfilled the positions of Captain, Secretary, Treasurer, Committee Man and laboured at building and boat maintenance, helping to build the Club from humble beginnings to the proud heritage of social and community benefit that it now presents.
When he was 16 in 1946 Bob left school to be an apprentice in Engineering, Fitting and Machining at the South Australian Railways. Hence, in 1947 he took his first stroke of an oar with the SA Railways Institute Rowing Club. When the Commonwealth took control of State Railways in the 70's, the Club became known as Australian National Institute Rowing Club.
At a later date, the Institute disbanded, forcing the renaming of the Club to Riverside Rowing Club Inc. Back in 1947 Bob's first Coach taught the old fashioned 1920's straight back body swing style. After two years of hard slogging in crews with minimal winning potential, he latched onto Douglas Fairburn's book "Chats on Rowing" started sculling and forever after was self coached and joined crews only in emergencies.
Over the years, Bob's trophy cupboards have overflowed with mounted trophies, pewter mugs, ceramic goblets, beer mugs, engraved drink glasses, cake trays, spoons and a collection of nearly four hundred medals. Three hundred of these medals have been gathered since 1980, when he switched to Veterans and Masters rowing. The major pride of possession happened in 1979, when at the age of 49 Bob became the oldest sculler to win a National Australian Championship in Lightweight double sculls with 34 year old Robert Booth of Mannum Rowing Club. In adding more credit to the win this double blitzed the field in a World Record Time of 6' 27.5 seconds. This record remained unsurpassed for a number of years until equipment improvements such as Cleaver blades and plastic boats became responsible for faster times.
Since 1980 Bob enjoyed lots of thrilling wins in all classes of boats, generally in composite masters crews when competing in Annual Masters Championships held throughout Australia.
1950 - 1980 - 9 State Heavyweight and 8 State Lightweight single scull championship titles plus a number of double scull championships in both weight
1979 - National Australian Lightweight double scull championship
1980 - onwards - 16 Annual Australian Masters single sculls Championships and a similar number of 2-, 2x, 4+, 4X and 8+
1985 - FISA World Veterans Regatta, Toronto Canada. Gold in single scull and silver in men's coxed four. Inaugural World Masters Games Toronto Canada, 4th in single scull and bronze in men's 4+. Royal Canadian Henley Regatta St. Catherine, Gold in E double sculls with Steve Roll Haberfield.
1989 - Australia Day Medal for "Achievement in Sport" Ergo Mania best World ranking (24/9/89)
1990 - Ergo Mania best World ranking (23/9/90) and Worlds highest ranking (14/10/90)
1997 - FISA World Masters Regatta Adelaide. Gold in single and double sculls.
1998 - Australian Masters "Champion of Champions" single scull.
BEST IS BETTER