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Vale Bob Pennington

Rowing Australia was deeply saddened to learn today of the recent passing of Bob Pennington.


Born on 12 November 1936, Bob, in addition being a successful school teacher and fisherman, was an incredibly respected Australian rowing umpire, administrator and a key member of the Adelaide Rowing Club for many years. He will be very much missed by the entire rowing community.

An Australian umpire for nearly four decades, he held the position of Chair on the Australian Umpires Panel for over 15 years and was an active and valued mentor to many Australian umpires coming through the system. Internationally, he held many positions with FISA with major highlights being the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, as well as a number of World Championships and World Cup Regattas.

It is fair to say that Bob was instrumental in lifting the standard of Australian umpiring to a world-class level.

In addition to his role in umpiring, Bob also contributed significantly to various administrative areas across rowing at a national and state level. As a Director on the Rowing Australia Board from 1996 for over 10 years, he was involved in implementing significant positive change within the organisation. Bob also held the position of Chair for 15 years and Director from 1991 to 2012 on the Rowing South Australia Board where he led major advances to the West Lakes facility that provided a very sound base for the future of the sport in South Australia. Bob also played a driving role in securing the 1997 FISA Masters for Adelaide. He was a Life Member of Rowing SA.


Bob passed away peacefully in Adelaide and is survived by his wife Carole, two sons and two step daughters.