Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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SYKES, 'Jeff'

Former College rowing coach, boat builder and founder of Sykes Racing claimed that he became a boat builder by accident rather than design after building an unconventional, lightweight rowing skull which he used to win the single skulls at the 1966 Australian Championships. His father, a boat builder, was a part-time racing shell builder and Jeff completed an apprenticeship with him but had not seriously contemplated a future as a boat builder. The Sykes business that he founded in 1966 and sold in 2000 now dominates the Australian rowing construction business.

He has always been associated since School with rowing though he retired from international competition after competing in the 1978 World Championships. Even in his sixties he was still racing in the Masters competition. Jeff coached College crews from 1979 to 1983 and is a member of the Albert Bell Club. His children have attended College.

Sources: Geelong Independent 5 Sept 2008 p9; Geelong Advertiser 3 Sept 2008 p7.
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