Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Row to Another World

The Row to Another World

I cannot be certain
At what point
The rower disappeared
In the cloud
Reflected in the river.

Philip Kuepper
(17 November, 2012)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Naked Rowers Calendars 2013

Time has come to look for a calendar for 2013. Surfing the web, I have not found a rowing calendar with naked rowers from Leander Club this year, nor has the U.S. Women's Rowing Team, or the Canadian Women's Rowing Team put out a calendar (neither of them were really naked...!). I guess, they don't need any money in between Olympic Games. However, University of Warwick Boat Club is doing its annual fund-raising, so for the forth consecutive year, the men have published a calendar with naked butt and other naked parts of the rowing body. They are joined - however, not in the same pictures or even the same calendar - by the club's women, who have a calendar of their own.

Decency allows us only to publish a picture of the club flag (above), but you can order both the calendars and a DVD on how the calendar was made (not the printing process, but behind the scenes of the photo shoot), here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leander Rowers Shake Their Stuff for a Good Cause

Photo: The Henley Standard

Here is a fun fund-raising event that happened in Henley-on-Thames the other day. The local newspaper the Henley Standard writes:

The Olympic gold-medal winning four of Pete Reed, Alex Gregory, Andy Triggs Hodge and Tom James performed to Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) during the BBC telethon on Friday night. They then joined fellow gold medallists Anna Watkins, Katherine Grainger, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in “rowing” on office chairs.

The routine helped boost the total raised on the night to a record £26,757,446. Many fund-raising events took place in the Henley area, especially in schools. Reed, a Leander Club athlete, said: “I am not a dancer at all. It’s actually a fear of mine but ‘Children in Need’ is a great charity so I just had to man up and give it my best shot. We had a lot of fun as a crew that day. It turns out that we are all trainable and it’s good not to take yourself too seriously.”

Watkins, a Leander sculler, said: “It was great fun to take part. We’re not natural dancers but they found something even we could do, although we’re not quite ready for Strictly yet! I think the boys enjoyed doing Single Ladies way too much.”

Read the whole article in the Henley Standard here. (Where you will also find a funny video!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The 2012 Trial Eights

Sean Bowden, OUBC Coach, and Steve Trapmore, CUBC Coach, with the trophy in 2011.

Tim Koch reports from London:

The recent and delightful HTBS item about the 1896 Cambridge Trial Eights reminds me that the 2012 Trials for both Universities will take place on the Thames Tideway on Thursday, 13 December (HTBS will be there). Two OUBC crews will race each other at 11.10 and then two CUBC crews will race each other at 12.25. In the past the Trial Eights were raced separately, usually with Cambridge at Ely and Oxford at Henley – as this 1934 cinema newsreel shows:


The old idea behind Trials is explained in this 1933 newsreel:


The modern version of the Trial Eights (with both Boat Clubs on the Tideway on the same day) is still useful for crew selection but is now perhaps more of a public relations exercise for the sponsors. While I am not privy to the Boat Race coaches’ selection methods, today’s top crews are usually selected using a more scientific approach involving very sophisticated trials known as ‘seat racing’.

Here two boats race each other repeatedly over the same course but, in each race, one member of each crew is swapped into the other boat. It is difficult to do this fairly and remove all other variables and it certainly cannot be done on the Tideway with its constantly changing conditions. Also, the results are difficult to interpret – but it is still generally regarded as one of the best ways of picking a top level crew from a large number of people. A full explanation of seat racing is on the splendid South African Association of Rowing Coaches website.

Other selection factors that they did not have to consider in 1896 were individual ergo scores and the results of a lot of small boat racing.

The 2012 - 2013 ‘Boat Race Season’ officially began on 22 November when, according to tradition, the President of the previous losing club challenged the President of the previous victorious club to the next race. As both the Cambridge Men’s and Women’s Blue Boats won in 2012, it was up to Alex Davidson and Bridget Fryer of Oxford to issue the Challenges on behalf of their clubs.

The 2013 ‘BNY Mellon Boat Race’ for the men’s heavyweight first and second eights will take place on Sunday, 31 March, 2013, on the Putney to Mortlake course. The heavyweight women will compete in the ‘Newton Women’s Boat Race’ at the Henley Boat Races a week before on Sunday, 24 March, 2013. The women will achieve parity with the men when their race moves to ‘Boat Race Day’ proper on the Tideway in 2015.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scandinavian Rowing News

The Swede Johan Flodin has been appointed new Head Coach for the Norwegian National Rowing Team. He will still coach Frida Svensson.

The other day, several newspapers in Sweden had articles about Johan Flodin, the ‘personal’ coach for Frida Svensson, who is one of Sweden’s most successful scullers during the last decade. Starting after New Year’s, Flodin will be the new Head Coach for the Norwegian National Rowing Team, which counts amongst its members the famous sculler Olaf Tufte. To the Norwegian State radio, Tufte says that he is very pleased with the choice of the new Head Coach. ‘We need more discipline within the team and more clear structure about whom is doing what.’ Tufte continues to say about Flodin: ‘He is a fantastic person and an amazing coach who brings tons of knowledge in his luggage’. The Norwegian sculler also mentions that Johan Flodin has been his favourite for a new coach for the Norwegian National Team. For the first time in ten Olympic Games, Norway did not take any rowing medals at the London Games.

Flodin, who coached Svensson to the World Championship title in the single sculls in 2010, is living in Strömstad, a small town on the west coast of Sweden, fairly close to the Norwegian boarder. He is the president of the local rowing club, Strömstad Roddklubb, which is one of Sweden most victorious rowing clubs. Flodin himself is one of the club’s triumphant oarsmen. He is also headmaster for a school in Strömstad, the only educational institution in Sweden that has rowing not only on its programme, but in its curriculum. The school has been the training ground for more than three decades when it comes to feeding promising rowers to the Swedish National Team.

Flodin tells the local newspaper in Strömstad that his contract with the Norwegian Rowing Federation, which will run beyond the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, will allow him to continue to train Frida Svensson. ‘She is welcome to train with the Norwegian National Team on Lake Årungen’, Johan Flodin says to the paper. He is now quitting his job as a headmaster, but will continue to live in Strömstad, with a second apartment in Norway as well.

There have been speculations in Sweden that Flodin would take on the job as the Rowing National Coach for Sweden, since the current coach, Leif Pettersson, will soon leave after he decided to not sign up for a new period. Pettersson only held this position for 18 months.

Lassi Karonen takes a break.

Another blow to the Swedes is that Lassi Karonen just announced that he will take a break from rowing on an elite level during 2013. In a press release published in the Stockholm newspapers, Karonen says that he is looking forward to taking care of his family. Starting at New Year’s, he will stay home with his children for ‘Parental Leave.’ Karonen says that this does not mean that he will not go for the Olympics in Rio. Right now, I need a break, then I will see if I will aim for Rio, he says.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cambridge Trial Eights 1896: Comparing Jackets and Socks

Sixteen oarsmen and two coxes proudly wearing their 'Trial Caps' for the Cambridge Trial Eights Race on 5 December, 1896. Back row, left to right: (unidentified), C. R. Pattison-Muir (Caius), S. V. Pearson (Emmanuel), Sultan (the horse), D. E. Campbell-Muir (Trinity Hall), Henry Trevor-Jones (coach; on the horse), (unidentified), J. E. Payne (Peterhouse), H. E. Oakeley (Jesus) and G. A. Crane (First Trinity). Front row, left to right: G. T. Bullard (Trinity Hall), B. H. Howell (Trinity Hall), C. M. Steele (Trinity Hall), (unidentified: 'old oar'?), A. S Bell (old oar, Trinity Hall), W J. Fernie (old oar, Trinity Hall), C. D. J. Goldie (Third Trinity), (unidentified), R. B. Etherington-Smith (First Trinity) and H. G. Brown (First Trinity). Sitting in the very front, left to right: W. H. G. Woodroffe (Emmanuel), P. Cave-Moyles (Caius) and F. E. Foster (Trinity Hall). (Photography courtesy NRF)
On 13 November, I wrote about the 1897 Oxford crew - 'The Finest Crew that ever Rowed'. I then mentioned that I am doing research for a booklet about Benjamin Hunting Howell, the American who rowed at Trinity Hall and in the 1897 Light Blue crew. I thought it might interest you HTBS readers to see a unique photograph from December 1896 showing Cambridge's two 'Trial Eights'. The oarsmen and two coxes are wearing their 'Trial Caps', the cap that indicates that they were selected for a seat in one of the two crews who are going to race on the Boat Race course between Putney and Mortlake. To help them with their practice are some 'old oars' who have rowed in the Boat Race before.

The first time I saw this photograph, I only recognised a few of the persons in the picture: Hunting Howell, Henry Trevor-Jones (and his horse, Sultan, which was said to be as old as his owner; Trevor-Jones was 42 years old when this photo was taken), Arthur Bell, William Fernie and Raymond Etherington-Smith. How was I to find out the names of the other oarsmen and coxes? Well, I was lucky to find an old issue of The Cambridge Review from 26 November on the web. The unsigned article gives us the names of the two eights. The first boat had the following crew: bow H. E. Oakeley (Jesus), 2 J. E. Payne (Peterhouse), 3 P. Cave-Moyles (Caius), 4 H. G. Brown (First Trinity), 5 S. J. Selwyn (Third Trinity), 6 G. A. Crane (First Trinity), 7 S. V. Pearson (Emmanuel), stroke C. M. Steele (Trinity Hall) and cox W. H. G. Woodroffe (Emmanuel). In the second boat rowed: Bow D. E. Campbell-Muir (Trinity Hall), 2 J. Sutherland (Jesus), 3 R. B. Etherington-Smith (First Trinity), 4 P. L. May (L.M.B.C.), 5 B. H. Howell (Trinity Hall), 6 C. R. Pattison-Muir (Caius), 7 G. T. Bullard (Trinity Hall), stroke C. D. J. Goldie (Third Trinity) and cox F. E. Foster (Trinity Hall). The second boat won the Trials.

Having all the names does not necessarily mean that I know who is who. So, I looked in books about the Boat Race for photographs of crews around the year 1897. I looked in some of the colleges' boat clubs' books. I compared club jackets, scarves, socks, caps (in the picture above A. S. Bell is wearing his Trinity Hall cap; he got his 'Trial Cap' in 1895, then also going on to row in 1896, 1897 and 1898 - losing all four races). It took me a week to connect the faces with the names, and I am still missing three names of the 'Trial Caps' and one old oar (sitting between Steele and Bell). And I have to confess that I might have messed up a couple of them - you see, I do not know how scientific it is to nail down names for people who are wearing a special kind of striped socks...

It is also interesting to see who is not in the photograph. One oarsman, who had not rowed for Cambridge before, did not have to row in the 'Trials' to get a seat in the 1897 Light Blue boat: William Dudley-Ward. His reputation as a 'good oar' at Eton had preceded him when he came to Cambridge in 1896. At this time, Cambridge was eager to get 'wet bobs' from Eton. In Sport and the British: A Modern History (1989; 1992), Richard Holt writes: 'The long domination of the dark over the light blues in the Boat Race of the 1890s was put down to the fact that more Etonians went to Oxford than to Cambridge.' This is true, but looking back in the record books, Cambridge had had one or two Etonians in every crew since their last victory, in 1889. Besides Dudley-Ward, Bell had also rowed at Eton.

Below is a photograph of whom eventually made up the 1897 Light Blue crew. Only two of the oarsmen who went through the Trials got their Blue: Howell and Campbell-Muir.

Here is a photograph of the Light Blue crew who would eventually row against the Dark Blues on 3 April, 1897. Back row, left to right: B. H. Howell (4 Trinity Hall), E. J. D. Taylor (3 Caius; dark jacket), W. J. Fernie (stroke Trinity Hall; sitting) and D. E. Campbell-Muir (bow Trinity Hall). Front row, left to right: W. A. Bieber (5 Trinity Hall), A. S. Bell (2 Trinity Hall),  E. C. Hawkins (cox; Caius), W. Dudley Ward (7 Third Trinity) and D. Pennington (6 Caius).

Anyone who has more information about who is who in the photo on top, or corrections are very welcome to contact me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Lay Before Him

What Lay Before Him

Out of nothing more tangible
Than his imagination
He fashioned oars
To bring forth from his mind
The shell he thought into being,
The shell he would row
When he was old enough
To hold the oars,
For pulling forward the shell
From the imaginary to the actual,
For pulling forward his shell
Through the water,
For pulling forward himself
By each stroke of the clock
Through time he manifested
As himself, holding the oars
Of necessity, ever propelling
Himself forward.

Philip Kuepper
(16 November, 2012)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Look Dashing!

Yesterday, HTBS received an e-mail from our dear friend Louis Petrin from Downunder. Louis just wanted to let us know that he had received his HTBS tie that he had ordered. He writes, ‘Please excuse my poor attempts at creativity but it was exciting and I wanted to do something to put the tie and the HTBS blog in context.’

Looking at Louis’s photographs, ever since I meet him, I thought he was a handsome-looking fellow, but with the HTBS tie on, he looks dashing!

Louis is looking smart, isn't he? Behind him, we can catch a glimpse of his rowing book library ~ very nice.

If you, dear reader, also would like to look smart, order your own HTBS tie, there are only a few left, as a matter of fact.

Monday, November 19, 2012

'Journée Nationale du Huit' in France

Le Huit

Here is a special report from Hélène Rémond about a rowing event in France, Journée nationale du huit, the National Day of the Eight. Hélène writes,

In all regions of France, rowing clubs have highlighted the collective practice of the sport by taking part in the Journée nationale du huit, an event which was organized by the French Rowing Federation on Sunday, 18 November.

Among the participating clubs in yesterday’s events was the Société Nautique Châtellerault Aviron located in Poitou-Charentes, the capital of which is Poitiers, known for its Futuroscope theme park. The boat house of Châtellerault welcomed rowers from Angoulême, Cognac and Saintes to participate in this event. There were about 270 rowers gathered on the Vienne, one of the most important rivers in South-Western France.

With this fall event, the idea is also to offer activities during the calmer period before the winter season. Experienced rowers and beginners alike, whether sculling or sweep rowing, have put the eight, this iconic boat type, to the fore. All categories of people were represented: young and old, girls and boys, women and men, belonging to competitive or leisure groups, all of them rowing together in a good mix.

In a beautiful fall setting on the Vienne, races against the clock took place on a 2,500-metre distance in the morning, whereas for the finals, in the afternoon, sprint races were held on a 500-metre distance.

Vincent Defrance, who took part in many Coupe de France races in the 1980s (portrayed near his Carl Douglas wooden racing shell to the right), was among those who enhanced the performance of the less experienced rowers. 

Even though the sun did not show up, the day gave everyone an opportunity to enjoy the river atmosphere with numerous eights, that many perceive as being the most beautiful boat, showing that collective work can bring about a harmonious movement.

(Photographs © Hélène Rémond)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 SilverSkiff Regatta in Turin

Photograph: Claudio Cecchin

The SilverSkiff Regatta in Turin, Italy, was back again after last year’s cancellation due to severe flooding. At this year’s regatta almost 500 single scullers had found their way to the waters of the River Po to race on the 11 km long course. The day before the SilverSkiff Regatta, a KinderSkiff Regatta for juniors was raced on a 4,000-metre distance by 200 youth scullers.

The men’s race was won by Jost Schoemann-Finck of Germany who had the fastest overall time at 41:39. Schoemann-Finck’s country woman Lena Müller won the women’s category at 47:11. The master I-category was won by 76-year-old Carlo Zezza of the U.S., this despite that he at one point flipped in his single scull. However, Zezza climbed back in his shell to win in his master class at 53:38. There was also an adaptive rowing category.

The scullers came from twenty-two different countries, FISA World Rowing website writes. To read more about the SilverSkiff Regatta, please click here. To get the results, please click here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Great Story!

I just read about Gib North, who is young man and a member of the Chattanooga Junior Rowing Club’s adaptive rowing program. He is rowing with Katie Rouse in a double scull on the Tennessee River. It's a great and inspiring story. Read it here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hardtalk with James Cracknell

First broadcasted today, 16 November, on BBC World Service, is a 25-minute interview with James Cracknell, Olympic rowing champion, who two years ago was involved in a bad accident (Cracknell on a bicycle, the other fellow in a big truck). Cracknell survived, but he suffered severe damage to his brain. Hear him talk about how his life is now, please click here.

Hardtalk on BBC World Service with James Cracknell is only on for seven day from today!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Famous Swede: Zlatan

Yes, yes, I know this is a rowing history blog, but I would like to make an exception only to show you why the football [some of you might call it soccer] player Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended up on my 'Famous Swedes List'. Just have a look at the goal he scored yesterday when Sweden played against England. Hold on to your hats....

On Saturday 17 November, YouTube cut the previous video I had up due to copyright issues. The above one is from the Russian tv, which does not seem to have the same issue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What the Moon Meant

What the Moon Meant

The moon followed him
All the way back.
He had rowed too far out.
Landmarks appeared to have vanished.
Where her thought the lighthouse,
No lighthouse shone.
Had he heard a sound?
Had something moved in the water
Near him?  In his mind he saw
Moonlight glitter off the teeth of a shark.
But the moon was pacing him
Like a silent coxswain.

From time to time as he rowed
He turned round to see
Where he was headed.  No fur of light shone
In the distance on the skyline
Above where he thought the little town should lay.
But the moon did not abandon him.
He rowed as one with the moonlight.
It was then he realized,
So long as he was
One with the light
He would be

Philip Kuepper
(December 2010)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oxford 1897: 'The Finest Crew that ever Rowed'

'The finest crew that ever rowed' - standing, back row, left to right: J.J.J. de Knoop (New College), R. Carr (Magdalen), H.G. Gold (stroke; Magdalen), G.O.C. Edwards (New College), D.H. LacLean (coach), sitting, left to right: C.D. Burnell (Magdalen), C.K. Philips (New College), W.E. Crum (New College), E.R. Balfour (University College), in the very front, H.R.K. Pechell (cox; Brasenose).

After I had posted yesterday's poem by Rudie Lehmann, "A Little Bit Of Blue", I came to realise that the reader of HTBS might get the idea that Lehmann had written this poem to honor the Dark Blues in the photograph that I posted with the poem. That was not the case. Although, this Oxford crew of 1897 was a particularly good one.

Right now, I am in the middle of doing some research on the American oarsman Benjamin Hunting Howell, who rowed for Trinity Hall, Cambridge, between 1895 and 1898, and then for Thames RC until 1900. Howell was picked for the Light Blues boat for the 1897 race against the Dark Blues. Oxford had had a fairly long winning streak which began in 1890 (and would go on until 1898), but for the race in 1897 Cambridge had good hopes to end Oxford's row of victories. Gordon Ross writes in his The Boat Race: The Story of the First Hundred Races Between Oxford and Cambridge (1954):

'...Cambridge made a determined bid to strive for victory in 1897, but they were really up against it. The Oxford crew is described unconditionally as he finest crew that ever rowed. It consisted of de Knoop at Bow (his second race), Edwards at Two (the only new boy), Philips at Three (his third race), Burnell at Four (his third race), Balfour at Five (his second race), Carr at Six (his second race), Erskine-Crum at Seven (his fourth race), Gold at stroke (his second race) and Pechell the cox (his second race); a boat-load of experience.'

Edwards, Philip, Burnell, Carr, Gold and Pechell would win the 1898 race as well. Two of these fine oarsmen would stand out in the history of rowing: Charles 'Don' Burnell, who was called 'the strongest sweep in England' and who won an Olympic gold medal in the eights in 1908 (and who was the father of Dickie Burnell); and Harcourt 'Tarka' Gold, who after his active rowing career would become a very successful coach (Olympic gold medal in the eights in 1908 and 1912), Chairman of Management Committee of the Henley Royal Regatta and the first person to be knighted for his services to rowing (Steve Redgrave being the second one).

No, it did not come as a big surprise that the Light Blues lost the 1897 race. According to Gordon Ross, the bookmakers had the odds of 5 to 1 on Oxford.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Little Bit Of Blue

A Little Bit Of Blue

When the waves rise high and higher as they toss about together,

And the March-winds, loosed and angry, cut your chilly heart in two,
Here are eighteen gallant gentlemen who come to face the weather
All for valour and for honour and a little bit of blue!


Oh get hold of it and shove it!
It is labour, but you love it;
Let your stroke be long and mighty; keep your body on the swing;

While your pulses dance a measure

Full of pride and full of pleasure.

And the boat flies free and joyous like a swallow on the wing.

Isis blessed her noble youngsters as they left her; Father Camus
Sped his youths to fame and Putney from his grey and ancient Courts:--

"Keep," they said, "the old traditions, and we know you will not shame us

When you try the stormy tideway in your zephyrs and your shorts.

"For it's toil and tribulation till your roughnesses are polished,

And it's bitterness and sorrow till the work of oars is done;

But it's high delight and triumph when your faults are all abolished,
With yourself and seven brothers firmly welded into one."

So they stood the weary trial and the people poured to greet them,
Filled a cup with praise and welcome--it was theirs to take and quaff;
And they ranged their ships alongside, and the umpire came to meet them,
And they stripped themselves and waited till his pistol sent them off.

With a dash and spurt and rally; with a swing and drive and rattle,
Both the boats went flashing faster as they cleft the swelling stream;
And the old familiar places, scenes of many a sacred battle,
Just were seen for half a moment and went by them in a dream.

But at last the flag has fallen and the splendid fight is finished,

And the victory is blazoned on the record-roll of Fame.
They are spent and worn and broken, but their soul is undiminished;
There are winners now and losers, but their glory is the same!

Oh get hold of it and shove it! 
It is labour, but you love it;

Let your stroke be long and mighty; keep your body on the swing;
While your pulses dance a measure

Full of pride and full of pleasure,
And the boat flies free and joyous like a swallow on the wing.

R. C. Lehmann

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fours Head of the River Race, 2012

Good support from Hammersmith Bridge.

Tim Koch reports from London,

The 58th Fours Head took place on the 4 1/4 mile Mortlake to Putney course on the Thames yesterday, Saturday, 10 November. With a maximum entry of 520 boats (quad sculls and coxed and coxless fours) it is the largest such race in the UK and the event is always oversubscribed. The race website explains:

Although there are many more crews who would like to race each year, unfortunately considerations of tide and stream; length of river closure; November weather; space restrictions at the host clubs; and the simple logistics of marshalling over 500 crews on the water at once mean further expansion is not possible...

In 2007 an attempt to limit entries was made by the introduction of a British Rowing point minimum and events for the two lowest statuses are no longer offered.

It is thirty six years since events for women were introduced and today they make up 40% of the 3,500 rowers and scullers.

Tideway Scullers I - 2nd place. A. Aleksandrov, A. Campbell, L. Moon, T. Male.

In their pre-race press notes, the event organisers stress the high standard of the top crews:

Though many of the athletes who kept us glued to the TV with their performances at the 2012 Olympics are taking a well-deserved rest, there are a number of now familiar faces on show: Bronze Olympic Medallist Alan Campbell, starts in the number 2 crew for Tideway Scullers, while Silver Medallist Peter Chambers is rowing in the lightweight quads for Oxford Brookes University. Moe Sbihi, who won a bronze medal in the GB men’s eight, is rowing for his home club Molesey Boat Club and a number of the GB women’s eight and quad are also taking part.....   With an eye on Rio 2016, a large number of the 2012 Under 23 squad will be competing, along with just under half of the 2012 GB Junior squad and many of the UK’s top club, school and university rowers – all of whom will be hoping to win one of the 21 pennants on offer....

This year there was a larger than normal entry from the Oxford and Cambridge squads. As the Fours Head comes about five months before the University Boat Races it is a unique opportunity to test rowers in race conditions on the Tideway course. The Light Blues entered five men’s and five women’s crews and the Dark Blues put out five men’s and two women’s boats.

A pre-race press release from the Boat Race Team said:

For Oxford, Alex Woods, Will Zeng, Karl Hudspith and President Alex Davidson all return from the 2012 Blue Boat and are joined by 2011 Blue Constantine Louloudis, fresh from Olympic success in the GB Men’s Eight. Returning for Light Blues from the 2012 Race are Alexander Scharp, Steve Dudek, Niles Garratt, Mike Thorp, Alex Ross, Jack Lindeman and cox Ed Bosson. They have been rejoined by Olympic Bronze medallist and 2010 and 2011 Blue, President George Nash. Both the OUWBC and CUWBC crews feature returning Blues from The 2012 Newton Women’s Boat Race. For Oxford, their two are Mary Foord-Weston and Annika Malin Bruger. Returning to race in the CUWBC fours are three 2012 Blues: Fay Sandford, Holly Game and Caroline Reid.

The results by time order are here and results by event are here. The top eleven are listed below. I have chosen this odd number to include the two top coxed fours (Isis, i.e. Oxford, II and Cambridge I, five seconds apart) who did remarkably well to get this slow class of boat amongst the fastest class, the quads.

The winners: Leander 1

1 LEANDER I Elite 4x- 17:51.0 D. Richie, C. Cousins, P. Lambert, J. Collins

2 TIDEWAY SCULLERS I Elite 4x- 17:53.5 A. Aleksandrov, A. Campbell, L. Moon, T. Male

3 LEANDER II Elite 4x- 18:06.1 N. Middleton, A. Sinclair, J. Walton, D. Read

4 LEANDER III Elite Lwt 4x- 18:12.6 J. Clegg, J. Kirkwood, C. Boddy, M. Mottram

5 LEANDER IX IM1 4x- 18:16.2 J. Beaumont, T. Clark, T. Wilkinson, M. Gotrel

6 LONDON RC I Elite Lwt 4x- 18:18.5 R. Dunley, S. Heap, M. Aldred, M. Espin

7 ISIS II E4+ 18:26 A. Davidson, S. O Connor, C. Louloudis, M. Howard, K. Apfelbaum

8 RHWYFO CYMRU I Elite 4x- 18:29.4 J. Thomas, J. Bugajski, T. Barras, R. Massey

9 IMPERIAL COLL I Elite Lwt 4x- 18:30.3 W. Kimberley, T. Richards, J. Butler, M. Holborough

10 LEANDER V Elite Lwt 4x- 18:31.2 O. Morgan, B.Board, X Vela Maggi, M. Tymofijiw

11 CAMBRIDGE UNIV I Elite 4+ 18:31.2 A. Scharp, S. Dudek, G. Nash, N. Garrat, H. Fieldman

The fastest women's crew, Leander VII W Elite 4x, came in at 59 overall with a time of 19.25.3.

Fuller, Smith and Turner (whose 350 year old brewery is on the riverside half way along the course) have sponsored the Head Fours since 1979. They host the prize giving ceremony in December and, with their generous hospitality, an invitation to a party in a brewery is much sought after by thirsty rowers and officials alike.

The Veterans (Masters) Head of the River Fours is held today, Sunday, 11 November.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Danish Old Boat!

Greg Denieffe sent HTBS some breaking news from Denmark. An old boat has been found during an excavation at the Vordingborg Castle in the town of Vordingborg. The famous Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde posted some congratulations on Facebook and a picture. I can only agree with Greg, when he writes: ‘Looks like she needs a bit of work to get rowable!’

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wingfields on Cigarette Cards

With three entries about this year's Wingfield Sculls, 29 October, 4 November and 7 November, let's round up this rowing event by posting a cigarette card from 1902: Wills's Cigarettes "Wingfield Sculls" "Vanity Fair, 2nd Series No. 48". Easily recognised on this card is the famous oarsman, Guy Nickalls (1866-1935). He had won the Wingfields in 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1891 - and to this can be added twenty-two won events at Henley and an Olympic gold medal in the eights in 1908. The special pose shows how Nickalls was depicted by SPY in the magazine Vanity Fair in 1889.

While there is a lot of sportsmen (and others) from Vanity Fair shown on Wills's Cigarette, I am not sure how many of the sixty oarsmen who was published in Vanity Fair actually made it to a these particular cigarette cards.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt and ‘A Great And Permanent Amusement’

Tim Koch writes from London,

By the time you read this (but not at the time of writing) the man who will be President of the United States for the next four years should have been chosen – assuming there is no repeat of the ‘hanging chad’ election of 2000. In a long campaign, the candidates were very concerned with talking about the economy and foreign policy but, inexplicably, expressed no opinions on rowing. Possibly the last* U.S. President who had anything to say on the subject was the Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt (1858-1919) who was held office between 1901 and 1909. He was a sickly child who became a strong and athletic adult by wholeheartedly embracing ‘manly pursuits’. As well as the 26th President he was a soldier, boxer, hunter, naturalist, explorer and sportsman. He was also a ‘Progressive Republican’ (when such a thing was not, some would say, an oxymoron) and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. In more recent years some have looked beyond the caricature of the man and have held that he was one of the great U.S. Presidents.

As this picture here shows, by the time Teddy was a young Harvard sculler he had left his childhood weaknesses behind him. In his autobiography he had this to say about rowing:

'.... at Oyster Bay (his holiday home) our great and permanent amusements were rowing and sailing: I do not care for the latter and I am fond of the former. I suppose it sounds archaic, but I cannot help thinking that people with motor boats miss a great deal. If they would only keep to rowboats or canoes, and use oar or paddle themselves, they would get infinitely more benefit... But I rarely took exercise merely as exercise. Primarily I took it because I liked it...'

Roosevelt’s views on exercise and its benefit to the nation were summarised in a speech he gave in 1899 entitled ‘The Strenuous Life’.

Hail to the Chief!

 *G.R.B. comment: While Tim is probably right about Teddy Roosevelt being a President to have an opinion about rowing (and who could still actively row while he was in the White House), I believe, though, that it was Teddy's fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, 'FDR' (1882-1945), who was the last President of the United States (1933-1945) who could have an opinion on rowing. As a student, at Groton School in Massachusetts, FDR rowed. In a famous 1897 letter, the 15-year-old wrote home to his parents about a prominent visitor to the school: 'Mr. Lehmann, the English coach, gave us an informal talk on rowing... as you probably know, he is about the greatest authority on rowing in the world.' FDR continued to Harvard, but he did not row there. Instead, he became an avid sailor. His 25-foot sloop Vireo is now on display at Mystic Seaport. By the boat is a photograph showing FDR with family and friends sailing in Vireo. The day after this photograph was taken in 1921, FDR was stricken by polio and would never be able to sail again. However, he continued to be interested in rowing, and both his sons James and Franklin Jr., rowed at Groton School and at Harvard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Wingfield Sculls: A Truly Tough Trial by the Thames

Photograph: Tim Koch

To add to Tim Koch’s short report on the 2012 Wingfield Sculls – British Amateur Sculling Championship and Championship of the Thames on HTBS on Sunday, 4 November, here is a longer, more detailed report about the races by Oliver Wade Hall-Craggs, Hon. Secretary of the Wingfield Sculls. O.W. Hall-Craggs, winner of the Wingfields in 1993, writes.

With the withdrawal of Adam Freeman-Pask, who was ill after the Armada cup, and Mahe Drysdale, who was struck down with gastroenteritis on his return from Sri Lanka where he was promoting rowing, Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School) had a row over. The umpire, Sophie Hosking, asked all the competitors if they could switch the races around to give the women the faster water and wider river to accommodate them, land water and spring tides combined for a slow turn of the tide. She also warned them of the very obvious signs of the Olympic legacy with several junior crews out on the water.

Alan Campbell was unopposed in the men’s race, and sculled over to win the trophy. Photograph: Robert Treharne Jones

Alan Campbell set off at a great rate on his own despite some bumpy water on the start line, he was still at 40 at the boats and passed London RC still at 39, by the Black Buoy he smoothed out and reduced his rate to 34. After the Mile post, he dropped his rate and paddled over to claim the title Champion of the Thames for the fourth time, at 24.0. Here are his times at different stations: Mile Post 4.40; Hammersmith Bridge 8,47; (Chriswick Steps no time); Barnes Bridge 19.46; and Finish 24.00.

The morning sunshine gave way to hailstorms and a striking rainbow but that did not improve the water for the women, the spring tide against the wind and land water made for very uncomfortable water along the Putney reach. The new champion today was the most consistent performer in a wide variety of conditions, a champion of all the Thames could throw at her. None of the scullers got off at a very high rate, but Debbie Flood was most determined and got clear. Jess Eddie went for shelter under the Fulham wall and never recovered from that decision, whilst Imogen Walsh and Beth Rodford battled it out level all at 31 except Rodford at 27 along the boats. At the Black Buoy, Flood set off to join Eddie under Fulham and Rodford just got through Walsh.

Beth Rodford won the women’s race after overhauling Debbie Flood, the early leader. Photograph: Robert Treharne Jones

All the scullers were cheered on vigorously at Barn Elms by their juniors, Rodford at 25 was half a length up on Walsh at 29 while Flood led and Eddie began to come back into the stream. It was calm at the Mile post which Flood passed first. Rodford and Walsh were still very close but line astern. Rodford steered better past Harrods and closed on Flood so at Hammersmith Bridge Flood’s lead was much reduced but Walsh was still in touch. Conditions turned considerably worse after St Pauls which had favoured Flood earlier but as all the scullers tucked into the Surrey shore, Rodford drew level with Flood at the Ship, then led along the Eyot where Flood maintained contact. At Chiswick pier the water flattened out again and Rodford began to draw away at 26 to Flood’s 28 and Walsh’s 29. Both Rodford and Flood tried to hit the PLA’s navigation buoys at the crossover and after Barnes Bridge where once again the water picked up nastily. Rodford maintained her steady rate and Flood dropped back, Rodford winning at 23.32. Several of the scullers raced with poppies on their all-in-ones. The 2012 race will not be one they forget in a hurry. All of the scullers deserve credit for finishing a truly tough trial by the Thames.

The Wingfield Family Society continues to support the championships and were represented by Clare Morton, Henry Wingfield’s closest living relative. The silver sculls were presented by two of the committee’s Olympic Champions, Alan received the silver sculls and date bar for his medal from Sophie Hosking (Olympic champion in LW2x) and Beth Rodford received her silver sculls and medal from Mahe Drysdale (Olympic champion in M1x). The secretary thanked all the competitors and hoped those unable to race will return, and thanked Tideway Scullers School and London RC for their hospitality and above all Max for services beyond the call of duty flagging the markers recovering from a severe crash following Alan to return and flag all the female scullers.

Here are the women’s times at five stations: Mile Post, Hammersmith Bridge, Chiswick Steps, Barnes Bridge and the Finish.

Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC): 5.08; 8.51; 14.18; 19.15; 23.32
Debbie Flood (LC): 5.01; 8.49; 14.24; 19.22; 23.43
Imogen Walsh (LRC): 5.10; 8.54; 14.35; 19.33; 24.02
Jess Eddie (ULWBC): 5.16; 9.16; - ; - ; 25.30

Umpire Sophie Hosking (2008 and 2009 Champion)
Aligner Phil Rowley (TSS)

Record times Women
Mile post: 4.44 A Watkins, 2011
Hammersmith: 8.29 A. Watkins, 2011
Chriswick Steps: 13.30 A. Watkins, 2011
Barnes Bridge: 18.11 A. Watkins, 2011
Finish: 21.53 A. Watkins, 2011

Record times Men
Mile post: 4.12 M.W. Wells, 2005
Hammersmith Bridge: 7.32 M.W. Wells, 2005
Chriswick Steps: 12.06 A. Freeman-Pask, 2011
Barnes Bridge: 16.45 A. Freeman-Pask, 2011
Finish: 19.58 A. Freeman-Pask, 2011

HTBS would like to thank O.W. Hall-Craggs for this brilliant report and Robert Treharne Jones for allowing us to post his photographs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rowing Downunder: The 2012 Sydney-Melbourne Boat Races

Melbourne on left clearly leads Sydney to the finish for the Women’s Race.

The excitement for the boat race between The University of Sydney (challenger) and The University of Melbourne on Sunday, 4 November was huge and will be talked about by athletes and spectators for years to come, Louis Petrin reports from Downunder. He continues to writes:

The race was revived four years after a rest for well over 100 years. The race is modeled on the great Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, with the difference that the Australian race also has a women’s boat race challenge on the same day as the men’s race.

Ready for racing.

The four crews featured an incredible eight Olympians, seven of whom rowed for Australia at the recent London 2012 Olympic Games.

The day started with the Women’s race starting at 8.20 with fine weather. Visitors to Sydney will know it is a busy harbor with ferries transporting people along with working boats and pleasure craft and yachts. So the challenge was to shut down all traffic for this event.

Water was calm on top with crews feeling the undertows of the river. Melbourne had won the toss and chose the favoured North (bow side) station. After a brief wait the crews were off with Melbourne taking a slight lead racing towards a sweeping 20 degree bend about 200 meters from the start. Sydney was hard pressed to come around from the outside with Melbourne continuing to press their advantage. After 500 meters, it was Melbourne in the lead heading for the finish in another 4 km.

The spectators in ferries, water taxis and boats followed creating a huge wash which fortunately did not affect the race. Cheers were loud from supporters.

Melbourne Women continued their fine race, increasing their lead as they approached an old bridge to mark the last 100 meters of the race. Sydney Women pulled hard and upped their rate but all efforts were matched. The result, another win to Melbourne Women to take the Bella Guerin Trophy for the third time in a row. Melbourne covered the 4.3km in 16 min 54 sec, with Sydney finishing 23 seconds behind.

Melbourne University Women – winners 2012

The spectators turned their boats around and headed back to the start to watch the Men’s Race. This time, Sydney had won the coin toss and chose the same South (stroke side) station that the Sydney Women had started from, which surprising many. Once again the wait was not long and at 9.20 the race was on. Sydney came out rating over 40 and came around the Melbourne to take a lead of about a canvas. The cox from Sydney steered the boat so as to push the Melbourne crew to stroke side, away from the course. Oars clashed a number of times but neither crew had any fear of pressing on their course. The Umpire was quite busy flagging both crews away at various stages. Sydney continued to take the lead steering their boat across to stroke side, forcing Melbourne to fall in behind them. As they approached the finish the boats separated so as to take their lines through separate arches of the old Pyrmont Bridge.

Sydney leads Melbourne to the finish for the Men’s Race.

With about 400 meters to go, Sydney lowered their rate to 32 to take a brief rest and save what little was left in case they had to match Melbourne who made a huge push for the finish. In the end, two boats filled with crews who have just rowed 4.5 kilometers and given everything crossed the finish Sydney University taking the Edmund Barton Trophy in a time of 14min 0.2 sec, to win by 5.35 seconds. The result gave Sydney University Men’s a clean sweep of three wins.

Sydney University Men – winners 2012

The race returns to Melbourne’s home course, the Yarra River, in late 2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The HTBS Tie is Here!

Ever since HTBS posted the entry about Madeleine Johnson’s ‘rowing tie’ company Old College Ties, ‘Fancy Rowing Ties’, on 1 September this year, I have been dying to get this blog’s own unique tie. I consulted with my HTBS co-fellows, the gentlemen Greg Denieffe and Tim Koch, about their thoughts on a special HTBS tie. Of course, both of them being members of the Henley Stewards Enclosure, they do not mind at all to wear a necktie, so I did not have to convince them at all that a HTBS tie was a good idea; as a matter of fact, we all thought it was a brilliant idea.

The HTBS tie at the factory.
I contacted Madeleine Johnson, who, as the nice lady she is, immediately understood HTBS’s need to stand out in the blogging world. I mean, after all, how many blogs, rowing blogs and non-rowing blogs, can brag that they have their own unique tie to offer their readers?

So, not only can you be a reader of HTBS, you can be a handsome readers of HTBS. The HTBS tie, which is designed by Tim Koch, has a navy-coloured base with two horizontal stripes in light blue and yellow, which will go nicely with a white or a multi-coloured shirt, together with your blazer, or sport coat. The narrow part of the tie is in plain navy, and the tie has a grosgrain ribbon, in yellow with white dots, which stops it from sliding around under your collar.

Now, to truly make this a unique HTBS tie, it also has its own special HTBS label. To take advantage of having the Italian family-owned factory, which has produced knitted ties for international luxury brands for three generations, and which is hand-making the ties for Madeleine’s Old College Ties, the HTBS tie is in the finest quality of 100% cashmere wool with fine texture, and it is strong, light and very soft.

The luxury brands are selling their cashmere ties for prices starting at $125 and up. However, HTBS is not a business (yes, really, we are not!), so we are selling our unique tie for $75 (that’s £47) per tie. (Not including packing + postage, and we are not making any money on that either.)

The HTBS is truly a limited edition, though, we might consider ordering another batch from Madeleine if you readers go all crazy about them!

Send an e-mail to me at gbuckhorn –at– ; please write ‘HTBS tie’ in the subject line, and I will tell you how to pay me via Paypal or U.S. cheque (payment in US dollars, please).

HTBS Tie: $75 (£47) per tie.
USA $3.00
Canada $4.50
U.K. & Scandinavia (and most west European countries) $5.50
Australia & New Zealand $5.50
Other countries I have to get quotes from the post office.

Maybe you were so inspired by this that you want to order a unique tie for your rowing club, group or organisation? I can warmly recommend Madeleine and Old College Ties, contact her here. You will also find a link to Old College Ties under the list 'Buy Rowing Stuff' on the right.

Update 6 Nov. 2012: In an e-mail, Madeleine tells me that Paul Stuart is selling their cashmere ties from the same Italian factory that is making the HTBS tie for $198.00, so our tie is a real bargain!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wingfield Sculls 2012 Results

Alan Campbell who sculled over to win the 2012 Wingfield Sculls. This picture is of him passing the finish post in the 2010 race.

Tim Koch writes from London,

The 172nd Wingfield Sculls, previewed on HTBS on 29 October, was held on a windy and choppy Thames on 1 November. Unfortunately, the expected race between the Olympic Champion, Mahe Drysdale, and the Olympic Bronze Medalist, Alan Campbell, and the defending Wingfields Champion, Alan Freeman-Pask, did not take place as Drysdale and Freeman-Pask withdrew due to injury leaving Campbell to scull over for the title in a time of 24 minutes. The disappointed winner was quoted on the British Rowing website as saying ‘I know what’s it like – last year I suffered from an injury and it’s not a race you can take lightly. Physically it’s very tough’. He had beaten Drysdale when they met in the 2009 race.

2012 Women's Wingfields winner Beth Rodford sculling in the 2010 race. She is watched by the senior surviving Wingfields Champion, Doug Melvin who won in 1955 and 1958.

All four competitors made it to the start of the Women’s Race which turned out to be a hard fought event in tough conditions. Beth Rodford raced and lost in 2010 and 2011 but this year finally won in 23' 32''. She wrote on Twitter: ‘Wind & wash = survival rowing! Good race though’. Rodford was followed by Debbie Flood, 23' 43'', Imogen Walsh, 24' 02'' and Jess Eddie 25' 30''.

The prizes were presented by Mahe Drysdale and the umpire, Sophie Hosking (2008 and 2009 Wingfields Champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist).