Who we are
Sykes is a leading manufacturer of world renowned rowing shells. It was in 1966 when Jeff Sykes built his first racing scull that would assist him in winning the Australian Interstate Sculling Championships – the Presidents Cup. That first boat was the beginning for what became Jeff Sykes & Associates Pty Ltd, now known as ‘Sykes’.
Within two years of commencing in business, a Sykes boat was competing at the Mexico Olympics and within eight years, our first rowing gold medal boat (also Australia’s first) was achieved at the 1974 World Championships.
Four Olympic Gold Medals and over 30 other medals at Olympics and World Championships is a testament to the excellence in design and quality of manufacture begun by Jeff Sykes and still continued at our Geelong, Australia manufacturing site.
Sykes boats have been the choice of many Australian Rowing Teams– a fact highlighted by the majority of all medals won by Australian crews being in Sykes boats, as well as most Schools and Rowing Clubs around Australia. Since the 1990’s we have exported extensively to almost all corners of the globe and our success in part is due to a long line of continuing innovations.
Today, more than 50 years later, Jeff’s passion and desire to be the best still lives on – that very first wooden Sculling boat and the 1974 Gold Medal boat still exist too.
At Sykes, we believe that to be the best boat company in Australia and the world, we must focus on three critical areas: Innovation, Connection and Support.
Innovation at Sykes happens daily in design and construction but also via partnerships with world leaders in technology.
So that we stay in front of the pack, our team of leading craftsmen in their field are backed by the latest equipment to evolve our designs every day. We do this in collaboration with top international competitors, coaches and industry experts from around the world. Using advanced computer modelling, we can now evolve and test designs faster than ever before.
For us construction isn't just about quality, it is about improving techniques so that our boats evolve in every way possible. It has always been a priority for us and as we work stringently towards achieving the rigorous Australian Quality Standard ISO-9002, it becomes absolutely imperative.
Connection is important to Sykes not only with our customers but understanding and improving how they connect with the boat.
An athlete's connection to the boat is critical to us as we believe your success is our success, striving for the same victories as one team. This means every point of contact you have must balance both comfort and efficiency which comes from great design and endless variation for personal rigging.
Since our first World Championship gold medal in 1974, Sykes has worked closely with the majority of Australian Rowing Teams. Regardless of the level of competition, we enjoy being the team you win with. Enabling your success is an important and enjoyable part of the business for us and for more than 50 years Sykes manufacturing excellence has enabled us to share many victories in Australia and beyond.
Sykes supports our customers from innovative designs right through to maintenance. Our service & maintenance are there for you and your club and our passionate service team are there for your daily needs. With our maintenance team led by Paul Fitzgerald, we are there for any issue.
We are passionate about supporting rowing in Australia in all forms and are proud to support numerous Australian Rowing Teams, AIS Programs and local regattas.