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Balmain Regatta - 1896
The annual Balmain Regatta, held on Monday on the waters of Iron Cove, was the most successful of it kind for many years past. Hardly a better day could have been chosen to suit a mixed regatta of sailing and rowing. The rowing part of the regatta was undoubtedly very successful, and added much to the enjoyment of the crowded flagship, as well as to some thousands who were on the shore of Balmain, and some hundreds of boats of all descriptions.
The first race was Maiden Fours, there being five crews. The course was from Callan Park Wharf to a wharf some distance beyond the flagship. This was a bad arrangement, as persons on the flagship could not see the line of finish. Leichhardt, in a new boat which has recently been built by Fuller, of Melbourne, jumped away smartly, a fine breeze helping the boats, but causing the water to be just a little bumpy. Balmain and Sydney shaped well, and soon closed on the leader, but North Shore and Enterprise were outpaced. Passing under the bridge over Iron Cove, Sydney had a slight lead of Balmain, with Leichhardt well up. A very fast race was rowed to White Horse Point, where Sydney led by nearly two lengths of Balmain, but the latter was going strong, although the rowing was scratchy and jerky. Nearing the flagship Sydney still had a clear length, but some of the men were done, and a well-timed spirt on the part of Balmain told its tale. The finish was a very close one, and owing to faulty rowing in the Sydney boat Balmain just got home by two feet. The other crews were distanced, but Leichhardt was the third to finish.
B.R.C. - J Fitzsimons, W Macnee, A Fitzhardinge, A B "Banjo" Patterson (stroke),
[W Smith cox]
Sydney Morning Herald - 14 November 1896