Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rowing Film: Symphony of Motion

Symphony of Motion (original movie) from Ken Santucci on Vimeo.

You have probably read or heard this saying by one of the true legends of American rowing, George Pocock,

It’s a great art, is rowing.

It’s the finest art there is.

It’s a symphony of motion.

And when you’re rowing well

Why it’s nearing perfection –

And when you reach perfection

You’re touching the Divine.

It touches the you of you’s

Which is your soul.

As you can read above, not only did Pocock have a way of building boats, he also had a way with words. In the 1970s, a rowing movie was made which borrowed its title from Pocock’s ‘symphony of motion’. In this film we meet George Pocock, and also his son, Stan, and other legends in American rowing, Bill Tytus, Harry Parker, Ted Nash, Hart Perry and others.

The quality of the film might not be the best, but just listen to what they are all saying, true words of wisdom…

Special thanks to Mrs. B. who found this film in cyberspace!


  1. A very nice little film. As Göran notes, the technical quality is poor which is a shame as clearly it was originally professionally shot and edited on 16mm film. Unfortunately I think it was crudely transferred to VHS (or similar) by projecting it onto a wall and taping the picture with an early domestic video camera (also, the resulting tape may be a multi generation copy). Probably a crisp original film print exists somewhere. I can just make out from the credits that the production company was 'Docufilms' and it was released in 1973. It was interesting to hear that, after 62 years in North America, the 82 year old George Pocock had not lost his English accent. He learned to row and build boats in England at the Eton Rafts where his father was the Eton School boat builder. More about 'Rafts' from me soon.

    Tim Koch.

  2. Much respect and love to all rowers. #rowhard