City had the distinction of being one of the three crews to race in the first ever eight-oared race held in Australia, where we placed third. This race was held at the Melbourne Regatta 1875 and was won by the Civil Service crew with the Warehouse Rowing Club second. Both these clubs are long since vanished. The City eight also raced for the Footscray Cup but stuck on a sandbank, lost three lengths and the race.
At the Melbourne Regatta on the Saltwater River in March 20th 1875 the crew of Zachariah Giles, W.Crampton, John Stout and Arthur Gibbs won the Senior Gig-that being all the senior Fours for the season. This Senior four crew made up half the what would be the first winning eight for the club with Lessels, Hewett, Fredrick Hughes and William Stout making up the other half. This crew won at the Ballarat Regatta on March 27th 1875 just one week later! This was only the second eight-oared race held in Australia. So it was quite an achievement for the still-young club to go out, race and win.
This season the men indeed grasped the nettle and took on Captain Cazaly’s challenge of the year before and did bring home his heart’s desire-a Grand Challenge cup-the very first to be won by a Ballarat crew and brought to Ballarat. The crew of John Stout A. Gibbs, W.Crampton, Fitzgerald and Z.Giles carried off the race for the Grand Challenge Cup for the Senior Gig at Geelong Regatta. In winning the Grand Challenge Cup the crew defeated the highly acclaimed Civil Service crew stroked by the champion oarsman Mr. Carter. The cup was apparently a beautiful specimen designed and manufactured by Mr. Fischer of Moorabool Street Geelong and must have pleased Captain Cazaly greatly. John Stout also won the Maiden sculls at the same regatta.