John Boultbee, one of the best known and most respected administrators in world rowing has survivde a determined campaign from elements of rowing in Victoria and NSW to remove him from the Board of Rowing Australia. In the elections held at the RA Councillors meeting two weeks ago the board positions of David Pincus and John Boultbee were up for re-election and nominations were received from Pincus, Boultbee plus Charles Bartlett of NSW and Steve Pennington of South Australia.
There was strong pre-election lobbying which culminated in an apparent deal where the NSWRA Board was convinced by various parties to support Bartlett as its preferred candidate with preference then flowing to Pincus leaving Boultbee without support from the major states who control 4 of the 9 votes for the board positions. Exactly what was the reason, we in NSW chose to do the bidding of elements of Victorian rowing (though apparently not of the Victorian Rowing Association) in trying to remove John Boultbee from the board is not clear. What is clear is that this move by NSWRA Board was completely out of touch with the views of the major clubs of NSW who value and continue to support John Boultbee’s long contribution to rowing and sport administration both in Australia and around the world.
This writer’s polling of metro clubs indicated that seven of the ten main metro clubs were opposed to the decision of the NSW Board in moving to ensure Boultbee was removed by not giving support.
With strong support from all states except NSW and Victoria Boultbee was the first candidate re-elected with Pincus defeating Bartlett for the remaining position.
John Boultbee is a current member of the FISA Board and a Steward of the Henley Regatta and Captain of Lucerne Regatta. He served as the first Secretary-General of FISA from 1989-1995, as head of the AIS from 1995-2001 and apart from his great interest in rowing and administrative contribution since 1971 is currently High Performance Manager for Australian Soccer.