'Olympic Gold'

Eight man racing shell or 'Eight'

Made 1985

Read a transcript of this video

In 1984, Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club commissioned the construction of an eight-man racing shell. Named 'Olympic Gold', it marked the first gold medal success by British rower Sir Steve Redgrave in the 1984 Olympic Games.

'Olympic Gold' was built by Raymond Sims of Nottingham. The lightweight hull is made of a very thin cedar wood skin over a larch wood frame.

The vessel was officially launched by Sir Steve Redgrave at the club in 1985.

Sir Steve returned to the club in 2004 to mark the opening of a new boathouse. This visit followed his fifth, and final, gold medal success at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club traces its beginnings to 1884, and is the last surviving rowing club on the Wirral peninsula.

'Olympic Gold' is on loan from Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club. It hangs above visitors' heads in the Racing for Gold display.

old photo of crowds watching rowers

Merseyside Regatta hosted by Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club, 1965. © Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club

Video transcript

Sir Steve Redgrave is Britain’s greatest Olympian, winner of five Olympic gold medals in rowing.

Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club is the last surviving rowing club on the Wirral, established in 1884.

How are they connected? The answer is in the vessel hanging above your heads.

In 1984, Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club commissioned a new 8 man racing shell called Olympic Gold. It was named to commemorate Sir Steve Redgrave’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

On a snowy day in 1985, Sir Steve paid a special visit to the club to officially name and launch the vessel.

And Sir Steve returned in 2004 to officially open Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club’s brand new boathouse.

Olympic Gold takes a crew of nine. Eight to row, and a coxswain to steer.

three men by a racing rowing boat

Steve Redgrave launching 'Olympic Gold', January 1985. © Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club


Film and images used with kind permission of the following:

  • Craig Beaufort-Dysart and West Cheshire Sailing Club
  • Alan Jenkins and West Kirby Sailing Club
  • Christopher Launay
  • Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club
  • Mark Lloyd
  • Clive Mason, Getty Images
  • Jesus Rendo
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • Peter Spurrier, Intersport Images
  • Rick Tomlinson
  • Tom Workman and Liverpool Sailing Club