1889 – 1964
Cecil McVilly, from Tasmania, rowed in the single sculls at Stockholm 1912. He was first across the line in his heat but during the race steering problems with his boat had caused him to foul his German opponent, and he was disqualified. Without those steering problems, which had plagued him since leaving Australia, he would have contended for medal at Stockholm.
In 1913, he returned to Europe and became the first Australian-based rower to win the Diamond Challenge Sculls at Royal Henley. For that achievement, over thirty years later, he was retrospectively awarded a Helms Trophy as the ‘foremost amateur athlete in Australasia’.
Cecil McVilly received a Military Cross for bravery during World War I. McVilly Close in the Canberra suburb of Gordon is named in his honour.