You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

Craig Rowing Blog

Slater and Gordon is the Official Law Firm of the Australian Olympic Team – and one staff member who has a long association with the Olympic movement is WA-based Personal Legal Services Principal Lawyer, Craig James.

A rower since 1965 and a rowing umpire since 1978, Craig has officiated World Championships as far afield as Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Scotland, Slovenia, and Switzerland. He is also the recipient of the Western Australia Government’s 2011 John Graham Award for exceptional service to sport and remains an administrator at the most senior level of Western Australian Rowing.

Fifty-thousand spectators

Craig also officiated at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Rowing and 2008 Beijing Olympic Rowing regattas.

‘My experiences at the opening ceremonies at the Sydney and Beijing Olympics were different, but equally inspiring,’

‘For the Sydney Olympics ceremony, it was the pride of being personally present at my country’s presentation to the world, among the 100,000 people watching at the venue. Not everyone gets to go to an Olympic Opening Ceremony. I went because I was an official at the regatta.’ Craig says.

Craig’s Olympic experiences weren’t all blustery fireworks and dazzling lights, though.

‘I was a member of the International Jury at the Beijing Olympics, and a national technical official in Sydney.'

'At the Olympic regattas, there are 50,000 spectators at the venue – and all eyes turn to the umpire if something goes amiss during a race. You’re praying that things don’t go wrong.’

Has it ever gone wrong?

‘Often. Most boats are steered by one of the rowers using a pulley device that attaches the rudder to the toe of a rower’s shoe. By moving the toe of the shoe the rudder can be moved. But as the athletes tire, usually in the last stages of the race – in front of the crowd – they can forget about their steering.'

‘As an umpire I have to follow the race, travelling in a boat behind the rowers, watching for boats leaving their dedicated lane and interfering with other crews. When I notice a boat deviating, I bring them back on course by using flags and, if necessary, shouting commands.’

Planning for opportunities

Not that all of Craig’s high-octane sporting moments have been on the rowing course.

As past President of Rowing WA, Craig became a technical adviser to the Armadale Redevelopment Authority which was established to reinvigorate a particularly deprived area of Perth.

The project included the construction of a road which required substantial amounts of soil to build up along the road reserve. And it just so happens, Craig says, that a hole was dug beside the reserve to the specifications of an international standard rowing course. That random ‘hole’ is now Australia’s ‘second-best rowing course: Champion Lakes.

‘Champion Lakes is used for rowing, canoeing, dragon boating, triathlon, model sailing boats – and it also features a beach dedicated to the local community who use it for recreational swimming.’

Craig says there is a connection between his legal work and rowing.

‘There are a lot of lawyers in the (rowing) game. That’s because lawyers are good at interpreting and applying the rules.’

But, perhaps because Craig is a Slater and Gordon lawyer, it’s no surprise when he says: ‘As an umpire, my biggest responsibility is to ensure athletes have a fair race.’

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

What's in a name: the story behind Slater and Gordon

While Slater and Gordon has had many partners and illustrious alumni who have walked it’s corridors throughout its 85 years, Bill Slater’s and Hugh Gordon’s passion for ensuring access to justice for those who would not otherwise have a voice has continued to shape the firm. That passion lives on in Slater and Gordon’s name, it’s values, and most importantly, its people. William (Bill) Slater knew he wanted to practise law when he was ten years old. It was around the turn of the 20th century and Bill was standing in a Melbourne court after the police had caught him and some of his mates skinny-dipping in the Yarra River on a hot summer’s day. After being marched from the...

Bill Slater and Hugh Gordon
Understanding medical confidentiality and privacy laws for health professionals

As a health professional—whether you’re a doctor, nurse, technician or assistant, to name just a few—you have a rewarding yet challenging task. You’re faced with an endless diversity of patients, medical conditions and circumstances. You use your technical training and your professional judgement to meet the standards expected of you. And in one way or another, you’ll find yourself navigating legal frameworks affecting you as a health professional. Privacy and confidentiality are two key areas of the law that impact what you can and can’t do with the information entrusted to you by your patients. As a medical negligence lawyer, I’ve seen firsthand how many healthcare...

Medical Record Papers Cropped
What is the role of a legal assistant?

Have you ever called your lawyers office, only to be greeted by their legal assistant? Whilst at times considered a gate-keeper to the lawyer, the role of a legal assistant is a critical part of your case, working closely with your lawyer to deliver you the best outcome possible. In this article we provide an overview of the role of a legal assistant and what you can expect them to be doing as part of the expert legal team working on your case. In many circumstances, the legal assistant may be the first person from your legal team that you interact with after booking an appointment. Depending on how quickly your appointment occurs, they will likely give you a call to confirm your...

Two People At Desk Reseized Blog

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.