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Key Staff

Since Jeff Sykes first made his own scull during his National Championship campaign of 1966, we have been pushing boundaries in pursuit of victory.

From the original team we have now transformed into a company that includes passionate experts in many fields. A handful of the people you will find in Geelong are below.


Mark joined Sykes in 2017 after entering into an agreement to acquire the company from Jeff Lawrence. Prior to 2017 Mark held numerous senior executive leadership roles in manufacturing and technology in the global packaging industry. As a rowing parent Mark recognised the huge reputation that Sykes boats have and saw an opportunity to use this as the base for a global business in the rowing industry.  

In 2020, as the world started to emerge from the COVID pandemic, Mark assumed the role of Managing Director. With that began the journey to build Sykes into one of the global leaders in high performance rowing shells. Mark strongly believes that the broader rowing community in Australia, collectively, has no peers anywhere in the world. Iconic Australian Rowing companies for example Sykes, Croker, Rowfit and a few others, working together for mutual benefit, have a unique opportunity to become the dominant force in world rowing.  

Mark is a fierce advocate for the future of manufacturing in Australia and despite pursuing a global growth strategy, remains focussed on creating a sustainable manufacturing platform in Australia for the ANZ region. There is change afoot at Sykes, we will continue to innovate, our team will demonstrate that we listen to our customers, we will [provide unrivalled spare parts and after sales support and we will bring the Australian Rowing Community together for mutual benefit.

Everyone knows that:

  1. Sykes boats are fast – they are just as fast as any of the big global boat builders, and
  2. Sykes boats are made for Australian conditions so are more durable than any of the big global competitors, and
  3. Sykes has an unmatched range of boats for anyone “from beginners to champions”, and
  4. Sykes boats are comfortable and easy to row with exceptional fittings and biomechanics, and
  5. Sykes boats are more affordable that any of the big global boat builders, and finally
  6. The Sykes team will always be available to look after every need of every customer.

So, why look any further than a Sykes boat?


 Alex, a proud West Australian, fell into the sport of rowing in 2002 while still in primary school. She was based out of the Bunbury Rowing Club for seven years. During this time, she was consecutive Australian School Girls Single Scull champion and won two Sykes single sculls in the Rowing Australia ‘Breaking the Drought’ program funded by Sykes. She then moved to the Australia Institute of Sport in Canberra where she was based on-and-off for portions of her career.

Alex was an Australian representative from 2008 through to 2016. She represented Australia both in sculling and sweep, with her first sweep and senior team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Alex had the privilege of competing in two Olympic Games, has won a World Rowing Under 23 Championship, a World Cup and medalled at Junior and Under 23 international regattas.

Passionate about giving back to the sport, Alex has been coordinating a senior program at Melbourne Girls’ Grammar which she finds incredibly rewarding. After Alex finished competing, she worked in finance, moving into sales in the last few years. She now finds herself back in the world of rowing selling a brand she has always been passionate about; in a community of people she loves and looks forward to going from strength-to-strength in the sales and customer service team. 


George rowed in Victoria at Scotch College during his school years and achieved an undefeated domestic 2013 season in the 1st Division which sent the crew to the Henley Royal Regatta and the Junior World Rowing Championships in Lithuania. From here a year of rowing at Melbourne University Boat Club was followed by an undergraduate education in the United States at The University of Washington where he rowed for the ‘Huskies’ until injury altered his sport to boxing.

Returning to Australia George graduated with honours and took up wooden boat building for several years on the Mornington Peninsula while he studied a Master of Laws for one year, then a Master of Construction Management until he was drawn back into the world of rowing. His passion for the sport, boats, his interest in the expanding future of Sykes and the growing interest in coastal rowing has led him to join our crew.


Angus was born and bred on the banks of the Barwon River. Growing up in Geelong, he started his rowing career at The Geelong College, finding a deep passion for rowing. He continued his rowing at Barwon Rowing Club, then moved on to Mercantile Rowing Club to chase his dreams of rowing at the Olympic Games. In 2017 Angus became one of the first 15 members of the National Training Centre in Canberra. He has represented Australia for the past five years, stroking the Australian Men’s 8 since 2018 and on to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Angus’s first win was on the Barwon River in a Sykes pair! He went on to win multiple medals internationally at World Cups and World Championships. His highlights winning two silver medals. One in the coxed pair in 2017 and the men’s 8 in 2018. Still to this day Angus remarks one of his favourite wins was at the 2016 Australian Nationals, winning the Under 23 pair and four in Sykes boats! With an extreme passion for the Geelong community and rowing, Angus is a welcome addition to the Sykes sales and customer service team.



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