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Australian Olympic Committee

Vessel Number: HV000103
Date: 1991
Builder: Empacher
Designer: Empacher
Previous Owner: Rowing Australia Inc ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 12.88 m x 0.57 m (42.26 ft x 1.87 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE is a composite construction rowing shell built in Germany in 1991. It was the shell rowed by the Australian "Oarsome Foursome" crew to a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
DescriptionAUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE was built in Germany by Empacher, one of the principal builders of racing shells for international level racing. It is made of foam and high strength fibreglass fabric reinforcements in a strong and light composite construction. It is 12.88m long, and was finished in their standard yellow and black trim colour scheme.

The 'Oarsome Foursome' crew raced AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE in the Coxless Four event at the 1992 Olympic Games. Before the event the Australian crew had been performing well in the lead up events nad had become one of the favorites for the gold medal. The race was keenly anticipated by the media and public.

The original crew which was formed in 1990 was Nick Green, James Tomkins, Mike McKay, and Sam Patten. They won the World Championships in 1990 and 1991, earning the nickname 'Oarsome Foursome' which was quickly adopted by the public. In 1991 Patten retired from the crew to focus on his medical studies and was replaced by Andrew Cooper, and this was the crew that competed in the Olympics. Their coach was the highly experienced Noel Donaldson from Victoria.

They showed good form in the heats, and then in the final the crew controlled the race to their plan and won in a time of 5 minutes 52 seconds with a margin of 2/3rds of a length. The win was one of the most popular Australian performances at that games and the crew became well known throughout the country. Their celebrity status included featuring in a series of advertisements for the Australian tinned fruit brand Goulburn Valley.

The win focused attention on rowing. Their earlier world championship wins and strong performances from other crews had already laid a foundation for the sport's resurgence in Australia, but the gold medal results in Barcelona, which included the pair of Peter Antonie and Stephen Hawkins raised the status to a new level and helped attract more funding. Rowing responded with more world championship wins and further strong results at subsequent Olympics.

AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE was bought as a state-of-the-art composite construction boat from the German builder Empacher in 1991. Many of the other crews used Empacher hulls as well, as they were amongst the best available. The crew used the cleaver shaped oars which were also now favoured by other competitors.

In 1996 the crew defended their Olympic title in the Atlanta Games held in the USA. The 'Oarsome Foursome' now included Drew Ginn who had replaced the retired Andrew Cooper, and they competed in a new boat. In the meantime AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE was acquired by the Australian National Maritime Museum and became part of the National Maritime Collection. It is on display in the Watermarks exhibition at the Museum in Darling Harbour.


Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:synthetic core/fibreglass
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:synthetic core/fibreglass
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references

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