Member Profiles

Phil Cayzer

Phil Cayzer OAM, stroked the Australian Men’s Eight in the 1952 Olympic Games to a bronze medal, was awarded the Club’s honor blazer in 1970 and in 1983 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Sydney Rowing Club.

Phil’s long and successful career with the Club began when he became a member of Sydney Rowing Club in1947, after which he stroked the Kings Cup crew for five out of the next six years, winning three Championships at Murray Bridge in 1949, Yarra in 1950 and Brisbane in 1951.

As a result of the 1949 win in the Kings Cup, the crew was selected to represent Australia in the Empire Games at Lake Karapiro in February of 1950, where they beat New Zealand by just a foot. The 1950 win in the Kings Cup also resulted in the opportunity to represent Australia and the crew travelled to the Canterbury Centennial Games and 1951 New Zealand Championships, defeating the University of California by a canvas in both races.

An all NSW crew was selected to represent Australia at the Henley Royal Regatta and Helsinki Olympic Games for the 1951/1952 season. At Henley, the crew, again stroked by Phil, placed second to Leander by 0.8 of a second. The crew then competed in the 1952 Olympic eights in Helsinki, winning a bronze medal behind USA and Russia.

After being sidelined for the 1953 season due to a car accident, Phil returned to stroke the Sydney Rowing Club crew to win the Champion Eights of NSW and the NSW Kings Cup, which placed second to Victoria.

When Phil retired from rowing, he took up coaching, and was the Senior Coach at Sydney Rowing Club for the majority for the sixties while also coaching numerous Kings Cup crews. In 1964, Phil coached the Sydney Rowing Club coxed four that was selected to represent Australia in the Tokyo Olympics.

During the seventies, Phil was noticeably absent from the club when he moved to Victoria for work and joined Mercantile Rowing Club and the Victorian state team as a coach. His relationship with Mercantile during this period was recognized by Mercantile when in 2000 they suggested an annual competition between the two clubs, which is now called the Cayzer Cup.  

He then returned to Sydney Rowing Club in the eighties where he continued to coach Club, state and national crews through till early 2000s, developing some of our most successful young athletes, such as Kurt Spencer.

The club has named a total of four boats after Phil Cayzer and one after his wife, Melva Cayzer, to recognize the tremendous contribution they have both made to Sydney Rowing Club.

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