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Antonie and Hawkins in BARCELONA 92

Barcelona 92

Vessel Number: HV000479
Date: 1992
Builder: Jeff Sykes
Previous Owner:
Vessel Dimensions: 10 m (32.81 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
BARCELONA 92 is rowing shell from 1992 built in Melbourne Victoria. It won the gold medal in the Double Scull event at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 rowed by Peter Antonie and Stephen Hawkins, Australia first rowing gold medal since 1948. It also ensured that Australian builder Jeff Sykes would become only the third Australian rowing shell maker to build a gold medal winning boat, and the first since 1948 as well.
DescriptionBARCELONA 92 was built by Jeff Sykes at his Geelong factory south west of Melbourne. The double scull is 10.00 metres long, and only weighs 26 kgs. Its lightweight composite sandwich construction featured Kevlar, carbon fibre reinforcements around a nomex honeycomb core. This was state of the art construction at the time, and its win at the highest level showed once again that Australia could design and build rowing craft that were world class. In the earlier days of wooden shell building, both George Towns and Sons and then A&H Green produced gold medal winning boats as well from the late 1920s until 1948.

For Peter Antonie and Stephen Hawkins their win was a triumph of tenacity and skill. Antonie had initially rowed as a lightweight single sculler which suited his weight and he was successful, winning the 1986 World Championships in this class. He then changed to the open category so he could race in the Olympics, and formed a team with Hawkins in the double sculls for the 1992 events. Hawkins was only 21 and also quite light. They gave a 15kg bodyweight advantage to most of the other crews. This was also a measure of the margins of strength between the heavier crews and the Antonie Hawkins pair, which was soon dubbed the Pocket Rockets as they showed their potential. They were a relatively untried combination that was formed only a few months before the Olympics, and in the lead up to the event the pair was overshadowed by the focus on the Oarsome Foursome team, favorites for the coxless fours event and media favorites.

In the final, Antonie and Hawkins' took the lead early and never lost it. Their gold medal win in BARCELONA 92 by one second over the Austrian pair caught people by surprise, coming a day before the four went on to take their gold medal.

After the Olympics the scull was acquired by the Australian National Maritime Museum and put into the National Maritime Collection. Antonie and Jason Day represented Australia in the pairs at the 1996 Olympics and finished eighth, and Antonie was later a reserve for the eight in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Antonie has since been recognised through the book 'Peter Antonie: Out of His Shell - A Biography of Australian Rowing's Unsung Hero' by Robin Poke ( pub 2007). In this book the author records: "A journalist noted that Peter Antonie is ‘truly one of the greatest sportsmen Australia has produced, yet only a few people know who he is… (But) those who know (rowing) regard him as one of the greats, up there with… Bobby Pearce and Merv Wood’." He was awarded the international sporting federation's (FISA) Thomas Keller Medal in 2003, in recognition of his long and successful rowing career and is the only Australian to receive this honour, the highest awarded by FISA.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
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:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:other

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