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