Search the Register
Advanced Search


Vessel Number: HV000461
Date: 1979
Vessel Dimensions: 18.29 m (60 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
TOYOTA is a wooden eight rowing shell which became well known in South Australia when it won Australian rowing's premier event the Kings Cup three times in succession from 1981 to 1983. It has a very strong regional association with South Australia, and 1981 was the first Kings Cup win for a South Australian crew in 44 years. Some members of the crew rowed in two or three of these wins. Four of the SA crew then went on to international success as part of the Australian eight that won bronze at the World and Olympic events, marking a resurgence in Australian rowing that has since been maintained . TOYOTA has been maintained in excellent condition and members of the original crew rowed the craft in their 2011 reunion, 30 years since it won the Cup. It is one of the few wooden Kings Cup shells that won the event in a period when composite hulls were being introduced, initially from outside of Australia.
DescriptionTOYOTA was built by Sargent and Burton at Mortlake in Sydney in 1979. It has an Australian cedar skinned hull. Sargent and Burton were one of the premier scull and shell builders in Australia through the 1970s and 1980s before the business closed in the late 1980s. They only ever built wooden boats, and this craft was built toward the end of the era for wooden hulls. The composite hulls had begun to be introduced to Australia at this time, having been pioneered in Europe and the USA during the late 1970s. However the cedar-hulled wooden craft built in Australia were able to compete on even terms of weight and stiffness with the early composite craft. Australian builders moved across to the method during the 1980s, and new materials in the 1990s saw composites improve beyond the possibilities available with wooden construction.

TOYOTA was first raced by a SA youth crew, before becoming the craft for the state's premier crew. Their win in 1981 was reported in the Adelaide press with the headline "King's Cup back after 44 years". The Queensland crew took an early lead, but with 500 metres left, the South Australian and Victorian boats passed them for a spirited battle to the finish, won by the South Australians in a tight finish by just 0.63 seconds. The 1982 win was more controlled; South Australia took the lead at the one kilometre mark, and kept control to win from Tasmania by 1.8 seconds. Their third win in 1983 was again very close. The Victorian crew kept in front through the 1500 metre mark, but over the final 300 metres the South Australians put on more speed and broke into the lead with just 50 metres to go, winning by half a second.

Four of the crew formed the basis of the Australia eight that won bronze at the 1983 World Championships and again in the 1984 Olympics, beginning a new period of international achievement and success for Australia rowing that continues in 2011.

At an unknown date TOYOTA was purchased by Rowing Australia and used by under-23 national crews for a period before being sold to the Australian National University boat club where it was used on Lake Burley Griffin for training. In 2011 TOYOTA is in original condition, and still able to be used for demonstration purposes. The various crew members over the three winning years maintain contact, and had a reunion in January 2011, where they rowed TOYOTA on the water at Westlakes in Adelaide.
Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:spade rudder
Deck material and construction:other
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:other

Discuss this Object


Please log in to add a comment.