The Victorian Rowing Association (now Rowing Victoria) was formed in 1876.
Towards the end of the following year, the Association suggested to the Sydney rowing clubs that an inter-colonial eight-oared race be rowed on the Yarra. After lengthy discussion, the Mercantile Rowing Club agreed to represent New South Wales. The race was rowed in 1878 and Victoria won. All states finally competed in the same competition in 1902.
In the early 21st century the Association has a membership of 70 clubs and schools, as well as around 4,000 individual members. The Association conducts a statewide Regatta Program with 50 events as well as coaches and officials education courses. It also conducts an award for the best official VRA Regatta.
The Head of Schoolgirls Regatta was established in 1985 and is conducted each year on the Barwon River in March. This regatta attracts around 1300 competitors from 40 schools, with 8,000 spectators attending the event.
Rowing Victoria is a member of Rowing Australia, and a representative of Rowing Victoria sits on the council of Rowing Australia.
Field Rickards (1976). Rowing in Victoria: The First 100 years of the Victorian Rowing Association, 1876-1976. State Library of Victoria 797.123060945 R42R.
Asthma Victoria website
Rowing Australia website http://www.rowingaustralia.com.au/structure.html
National Library of Australia sheet music website http://www.nla.gov.au/ntwkpubs/gw/41/p10a01.html