Saturday, 7 September 2013

Sepia Saturday 193 : Richard Geoffrey Champion de Crespigny

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt concerns rowing ... though the image also inspired the thoughts that
some times you just need to be alone. You need space : space to think, space to breathe, space to contemplate your place in the great scheme of things. What better way to find such space than to get into a boat and row out into the middle of the sea. This is what this young lady did back in 1900 somewhere near Estonia. ( )

I do have a picture of my daughter rowing our dinghy at Batemans Bay several years ago.

The mood somewhat less reflective than the young girl in Estonia a hundred years earlier.

However the blogging prompt actually reminded me of my grandfather, Richard Geoffrey Champion de Crespigny (1907 - 1966). Geoff de Crespigny was a talented rower who was in the Melbourne University crew and also the crew for Trinity College while he studied medicine from 1927 -1929.

This is a picture of the Trinity College crew in 1929.  Geoff is number 7.
Trinity lost against Ormond College in the University boat race of April 1929. However we do have two trophy oars as mementoes of my grandfather's rowing career; one from Trinity College and the other from Melbourne University.

INTERSTATE UNIVERSITY BOAT RACE: MELBOURNE'S GREAT WIN. (1929, June 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from

from the History of Australian Rowing ( retrieved 3 September 2013) : 1929 Australian University Championships  Lower Yarra River Melbourne Victoria

The race was contested on the Lower Yarra on 1st June 1929. The six States were again represented and the race was won by Melbourne University handsomely by 3 1/2 lengths. Both races were conducted over 2 1/2 miles.

Men's Eight
Time: 14 mins 27.2 secs
Margin: 3 1/2 lengths
1st Melbourne University - Bow: A A Lee, 2: A R M Johnson, 3: R G de Crespigny, 4: L R Sharp, 5: Ronald C McKay, 6: R Officer, 7: W Balcombe Griffiths, Str: W Sherlock, Cox: Gerry K Duane, Cch: Charles Donald


  1. Looks like your daughter was working pretty hard, there. Love the picture of the rowing team. When I was in Boston I enjoyed watching the many men and women teams rowing up and down the Charles River.

  2. I enjoyed many early mornings walking beside the Brisbane river with my friend while our sons rowed...well her son son coxed.

  3. The photo of your daughter matches this week's inspirational photo beautifully..

  4. Ah, Gail! Me, too! Lived in Cambridge in the late 1960s; I used to sip coffee on the banks of the Charles and watch crews...small world!

  5. I have never watched rowing in person, but I like watching it on TV during the Olympics.

  6. A great collection of actual rowers - so many just sitting (or courting) in boats this week.

  7. I think that your daughter has earned the right to be featured as a Champion as well as de Crespigny.

  8. Love the three pictures of your daughter rowing, looks like hard yakka.

  9. Great water pictures. Love the vibrancy exuded by your daughter. Also love to watch the rowers here on our local lake --- though I never get that close up feel that one gets from your picture of Geoff and crew. Very nice.

  10. I've never seen a rowing crew,just individual's rowing a boat. It must be quite a sight.