Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 HRR: Tim's Henley Album

Olympic Gold Medallist and Henley Steward Ben Hunt-Davis dons appropriate headgear for Thursday’s humid conditions.

HTBS’s Tim Koch sends a photo album from Henley Royal Regatta – enjoy!

A man with two loyalties.

The ‘Geese Police’ from the ‘Swan Lifeline’ charity keep swains and geese off the course. In the past this was done by the ‘Goose Boy’ who was an old gentleman in a rowing boat.

Thursday: Temple Cup – University of Groningen, Holland, v. St. Petersburg University, Russia. The ‘1’ and the ‘2’ on the 1 Mile marker show the boats relative positions.

St. Petersburg pass the Progress Board which is ten strokes from the finish. The names of the crews on the board are moved according to the relative positions throughout the race. Two races may be on the course at one time.

St. Petersburg by the lovely Victorian boat houses past the finish line.

Thursday: Princes Elizabeth Challenge Cup – Laymer feel the pain.

Thursday: Temple Cup – University of Michigan after their defeat by fellow countrymen Brown University.

Thursday: Thames Cup – Potomac Boat Club, USA, narrowly beat Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, China. The house opposite flying the red, white and black of Thames RC must be the best address in England.

The Temple near the start. Hollywood could not do it better.

Umpire Richard Stanhope’s point of view.

Bookseller Selling Irish Rowing History Books

For those of you who are interested in Irish rowing history, I just came across a nice little collection of books and regatta programmes at a bookseller in Dublin. Listed at Dublin Bookbrowsers in Dublin are: Raymond Blake’s In Black and White: A History of Rowing at Trinity College Dublin (1991), Michael Johnston’s The Big Pot: The Story of the Irish Senior Rowing Championships 1912 – 1991 (1992), and T. F. Hall’s History of Boat-Racing in Ireland (1939).

This bookseller also has several different Irish rowing regatta programmes from the 1950s. And something I have never heard about, a programme on Third Annual Smoking Concert Four Courts Hotel, 13 March, 1908 published by Dublin Rowing Club.

If you would like to take a closer look, the list of these rowing books and regatta programmes can be found here (hurry up to take a look before they are all sold).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gently Down...

The 21st WoodenBoat Show started today at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. The weather is perfect and it’s said to continue that way for the whole weekend. More than one hundred wooden boats are on display, but there was one in particular, a row boat, that caught my eye. Her name was written on her stern, Gently Down, and she is just beautiful, I think. The boat builder has used eleven different types of wood and done an amazing job. All around her wonderful hull was some musical notes written. For those of you who do not read notes, it reads: “Row, row, row your boat…”, etc. Very clever, if I may say so…

Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream.

Exhibitionist At HRR

This lady has nothing to do with HRR.
Almost every year when the Henley Royal Regatta has begun, you come across an article in one of the British tabloids about a poor lady who has been stopped from entering the Stewards’ Enclosure because her dress did not have a hemline below the knee, or she broke the strict – some say ‘stuffy’ – dress code in another way. The ‘teary’ article always goes on saying that poor Chloe (or whatever her name is) had come all the way from ……… (you fill in a village name far away from Henley) and she had paid £xxx (you fill in a high amount, but not too high) for her dress, and not only that, she actually wore this very same dress (is that not a fashion faux pas?) at Ascots, and there she did not have any problem coming in….

So, this year it is the Daily Express which has an article about a lady who actually came in to the Stewards’ Enclosure it seems, but ‘shocked the rowing fraternity on the first day of the rowing meeting on the River Thames in the posh Oxfordshire town.’ Why, you might ask? Because she has tattoos – well, actually, her whole body seems to be covered from head to toe, ‘and fingers’ in ‘ink’. Excuse me, but if you have your whole entire body covered with flowers and birds and gardens and ships, obviously you are an exhibitionist and want people to stare at you! Read the terribly silly article here. And then watch this!

If you would like to read an article about ‘Henley fashion’, The Daily Mail actually had a nice article about that – here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012 HRR Day 1: Remenham, The Mound And The Roar

Tim with blades of Remenham Club.
HTBS's Tim Koch reports from Henley-on-Thames:

Yesterday, Wednesday, 27 June saw the start of the 2012 Henley Royal Regatta. Eighty-eight races, starting at 8.30 a.m. and ending at 7.40 p.m., took place in humid conditions with the occasional light shower. As is usual in the first couple of days of the Regatta, there were few close races and many ‘processional’ ones. Therefore, I felt little guilt in attending more to the social side of Henley. I was lucky enough to be invited into Remenham Club where I spent a very agreeable morning. Remenham is sometimes described as ‘a rowing club without boats’ but it is more accurate to call it, not a ‘rowing club’, but a ‘club for rowers’. As this letter shows, the club was founded in 1909 ‘with the definite object of strengthening the membership and resources of Metropolitan Clubs by consolidating their oarsmen and giving them a common meeting place at Henley’.

 The rules state:

The object of the Club shall be the provision of a Social Club in Remenham Lane, Henley-on-Thames or elsewhere for Members of the following Clubs known as “Founding Clubs”, viz.: London Rowing Club, Thames Rowing Club, Twickenham Rowing Club, Molesey Boat Club, Kingston Rowing Club, Staines Boat Club and Vesta Rowing Club.

The rules go onto say that full members must have ‘a proficiency in oarsmanship’.

The Mound at Remenham Club.
Remenham Club is sited halfway down the Henley course. There is a delightful permanent clubhouse, fronted by ‘the mound’, a raised piece of ground which allows members a good view of the racing and to look down (perhaps in more ways than one) on the crowds passing along the towpath. Sadly you cannot see the finish from Remenham but it does have advantages over the Stewards’ Enclosure. It sells alcohol at considerably cheaper prices and, unlike Stewards’, you can watch rowing and drink at the same time. Also unlike Stewards’, all of the members of Remenham have a genuine interest in, and connection with, rowing. This is best demonstrated by the ‘Remenham Roar’, which comes from the crowd on the mound when two of the founding clubs race past. The Roar is fiercest when arch rivals London and Thames are involved.

Wednesday's results are here.

Thoughts on the start from a member of Nereus, Holland, in the Temple Challenge Cup.

Thames Cup: City of Cambridge and Putney Town off the start.

Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup: Radley races Winchester.

Are they ahead?

The Auction Of Pearce's Rowing Memorabilia

As HTBS reported on 19 April, famous oarsman Bobby Pearce’s Olympic gold medals in the single sculls from Amsterdam in 1928 and Los Angles in 1932, and other rowing memorabilia which belonged to him, will be auctioned by Bonhams in London this summer, on 24 July. It is one lot, only, with a pre-sale estimate of £30,000-50,000 (€37,000-62,000 or US$47,000-78,000). This might seem to be a high price, but now when the lot has been officially opened to view, the winner of the auction will, indeed, get a lot of rowing ‘goodies’.

In the lot is for example, Pearce’s two Olympic gold medals from 1928 and 1932, and other championship medals; Olympic diplomas; prize certificates from the Australian championships 1927-1929 and the Sculling Championship of New South Wales, 1926/27, 1927/28, and 1928/29; framed photographs of Pearce; the 1931 Pineapple Trophy of the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta; a collection of scrap books and photograph albums from 1927-1939, dealing with the Amateur World Sculling Championships and Professional World Sculling Championships, the Olympic Games, Empire Games, and Henley Royal Regatta, and much, much more.

In the lot is also material related to Bobby Pearce's father, Harry Pearce, who was a professional sculling champion, who, in 1911, raced Richard Arnst for the World Sculling Championships (Arnst won).

View the entire lot here. Personally, I hope the lot goes to a museum or another institution which will put these wonderful medals, trophies, diplomas, etc of Bobby Pearce on display for the public to see.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Henley Royal Is On - The Radio!

Photo: Jan Servin
Today, Henley Royal Regatta started. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year’s regatta, which really is a shame. However, at times like these it is nice to have a friend like HTBS’s Greg Denieffe. He sent me a link to Regatta Radio, so I can follow the races although I am on the other side of the pond. If you are also unable to make it for this year’s Henley Royal, you will find a link to the radio station here.

Much appreciated, Greg ~ thanks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Political Activism At HRR (1913)

As we witnessed at this year’s Boat Race, the rowing sport is not spared from political activism and protests. The 99 year-old photograph above is showing a much milder political activity then the one shown on 7 April this spring. The two upper-class ladies are at the 1913 Henley Royal Regatta carrying around, or maybe even trying to sell, the Suffragette’s paper. The Suffragette movement worked hard and sometimes also aggressive to give women the right to vote.

It was said that the ‘sport-terrorist’ who interrupted and stopped this year’s race between Oxford and Cambridge, actually had the suffragette Emily Davison, who was a militant and violent campaigner, as a heroine. Davison died a couple of days after she on 4 June, 1913, had stepped out trying to grab King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby.

Here is a short, peaceful film about the Henley Royal in 1921 – in colour!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Be Prepared At HRR

Very soon the Henley Royal Regatta will be upon us. This year, the regatta is between Wednesday, 27 June, to Sunday, 1 July. I am not going this year, I am afraid. Last year's regatta was magnificent both when it came to the racing and the weather. This year's regatta looks promising with a lot of foreign crews competing, but the weather forecast for the regatta days could be better. But be prepared and everything will be fine, though. Do as the pretty ladies in the picture, bring your wellies just in case...

Here is a link to the weather forecast for Henley this coming week - Henley weather.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An Irish Rower

An Irish Rower

As he rowed,
Sunlight played with his imagination.
The surface of the river became
A canvas on which designs
Were drawn whenever his oars
Brushed the water.  In one design
He saw Patrick's chains change
Into a clover of three equal leaves;

In another the initial
From the title page of the Book of Kells.
He once saw what suggested
The intricately worked metal
Of the Garryduff Gold Bird.
And the swirls the paddles of his oars made appeared
Viking coins spilled atop the water.

These urged him forward
In his rough practices
To hone the ragged edges
Of his strokes.  Perfected?
No.  Never that.  For prefection meant
He had attained performance
That could go no further.
He desired, always,
To go further.

Philip Kuepper
(June 2012)

Friday, June 22, 2012

The British Stroke

Yesterday, HTBS received an e-mail from Conrad Brunner, executive producer at Atomized Entertaining. The company has produced a series of videos for the web called The Squad which are following the GB Rowing Team mens’ sweep squad through winter training as they aim to secure a seat for London 2012. About the latest one, ‘The British Stroke’ (above), Conrad writes,

“This feature is based on an interview with Martin Cross, whom we caught up with at Hampton School, London, (where the Searle brothers learnt to row). Martin represented the Great Britain Rowing Team from 1980 to 1992, winning a bronze medal at the 1980 games in Moscow (M4-), and a gold medal (M4+) alongside Steve Redgrave at Los Angeles in 1984. He is the author of Olympic Obsession: The Inside Story of Britain’s Most Successful Sport, covers rowing for BBC Radio 5 Live (his commentary on the eventful 2012 Boat Race was particularly memorable), and remains an active rower. You can follow Martin on twitter: @martcrossy – there are additional comments from Tom Ransley (GB M8+), David Tanner, Performance Director of GB Rowing Team, and Robert Treharne Jones of the Leander Club.”

The series are very well made and you can watch previous videos here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


A gentleman's socks!
The Daily Telegraph writes in an article that a new book, Gentlemen’s Pursuits, has been examining the pages of the British magazine Country Life to be able to present a new list of what makes a gentleman and how his interests have changed from what a 1912 gentleman was interested in. Personally, I think that there is a mix-up here between a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘celebrity’, which is a pity. In the 2012 list of gentlemen is for example David Beckham, for his good manners, but although Beckham maybe is a perfectly nice fellow, he is not a gentleman.

To compare the attributes of the 1912 gentleman to the 2012 gentleman, here are a few examples:

1912 / 2012
Rolls-Royce / Land Rover Discovery
Moustache / Clean-shaven
Cigarettes / Nicorette
Rudyard Kipling / Antony Beevor
Claret / New Zealand Pinot Noir
Scotland in August / Scotland in August
Manservant / No servant
Kedgeree / Muesli with blueberries
Dining room / Kitchen
Ironed newspaper / Today
English setter / Black labrador
Whist / BBC Ten O’Clock News
White tie / No tie
Catching lots of salmon in Scotland / Catching no salmon in Scotland

It made me happy to see that of the very few things that has not changed in these two lists, which is one hundred years apart, is Henley [Royal Regatta] - it's on both lists!

However, among the things that a 2012 gentleman would never do is take a Holiday in Florida (very understandable), but it also says that he would never wear pink socks! I beg your pardon? That would mean that a lot of the gentlemen at Leander Club are not... well, gentlemen. Preposterous, I say. It just shows that the 2012 list is humbug!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hammer Smith Fighting Dirty Business

Who is Hammer Smith?
Hammer Smith is at it again! ‘What?’, you say if you never heard of this hero, whose fight against injustice within the noble sport of rowing has been going on for decades. Rumour has it that he has sworn to devote parts of his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice in all their forms in rowing. No one knows who he is – it’s a assumed he’s a gentleman – but I might have met him once, at least, at the 1987 Rowing World Championships in Copenhagen. I believe that the poor Danes forever lost any chance to organise another really big international rowing regatta as the 1987 rowing show was so terribly unfair due to bad weather which led to every boat racing in lane 1 (or was it lane 6?) inevitably coming in dead last. It became a very unfair regatta, indeed. Now, I have to confess that it has slipped my mind if there ever was any hullaballoo in writing about these championships, but if there was, I am certain Hammer Smith wrote it.

For myself, I and some dear rowing friends from my Swedish rowing club witnessed a day’s races at these Championships from the comfortable area of the marvellous restaurant overseeing the regatta course. Now, the Danes know how to make a dinner last forever, as long as there is enough snaps – and there was at this occasion… When we finally found our way back to Sweden (I vaguely remember a trip with a ferry), it seems our club’s treasurer had bought the USA men’s eight, a Vespoli. I don’t know if the old boy purchased the Americans’ boat before or after the dinner at the restaurant.

But back to our hero Hammer Smith, on 17 June he had an interesting article published in the Rowing Voice. Read and enjoy Hammer Smith’s article about dirty rowing business in ‘Olympic watch: dirty deeds in the docks’.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not A Pretty Language

Some years back, the newspaper The New York Times stopped reporting about rowing regattas, not even the Yale-Harvard Regatta gets a couple of lines these days. It's really a pity. However, the other Sunday, the newspaper's magazine had a grand photograph of some eights and a text about the pain that the rowers suffer when they are racing. And then there was a little piece about Title IX, and crewing and erging - and comments on it all. I'm not going to repeat my thoughts about all to common use of 'doing crew' and 'doing erg', or 'erging' - it's not a pretty language... but here is the article.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rowing & Regatta Goes Digital

Maurice Phelps's book will soon be out.
The June/July issue of Rowing & Regatta arrived in the mail today, and editor Wendy Kewley and her contributors have done it again, managed to pack this double issue with loads of interesting and well-written articles - Bravo! Of course, it's a British rowing magazine, so a June/July issue of 2012 should be filled with previews of the regatta in Henley and the Olympic rowing regatta. But there is also interesting pieces about gig rowing (the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Scilly Isles), surfboat rowing, World Cup rowing, International Adaptive Regatta in Italy, an interview with Maureen Thomson, who was the team leader for the British women's squad at the Olympic Games in Moscow, questions & answers with Olympic champion Sir Steve, 'Skiffing', Master rowing, and .... well, the list goes on and on. For those interested in rowing history, R&R offers two well-written pieces about 'The Kettering Four' and the River and Rowing Museum's latest exhibit on historian Tom Weil's collection of rowing prizes, written by himself.

It was, however, a short little blurb about a soon to be published book that really caught my eye: Maurice Phelps's book on his famous family and ancestors, The Phelps Dynasty. The book is not out as of yet, but Tim Koch wrote about Maurice Phelps's hard work with his book already on 1 November, 2011. More about the book is to come in the August issue of R&R, Kewley promise. She also writes that R&R now is available online and that you as a British Rowing member can opt-in to a digital version of the magazine for only £3, non-members pay £24.99. Go to for more details.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Parallel Rowing

Parallel Rowing

As he rowed Mystic
River out to the Sound,
He rowed in his mind
The history of seafaring:

7000 BCE, Greeks sail
To Milos in their search
For obsidian;
3500 BCE, Sumerians build
Boats propelled by oars;
2000 BCE, sails appear
On boats of Phoenecians and Cretans;
1380 BCE, a canal is dug
To connect the Nile to the Red Sea;
327 BCE, Alexander's admiral Nearchus
Builds eight hundred vessels for plying
The Persian Gulf to Babylonia;
300 BCE, Carthaginians build and sail
Quinquiremes, ships of five oared levels;
250 BCE, the wondrous Pharos
Lighthouse rises at Alexandria,
That will guide ships for 1500 years;
101 BCE, the Chinese, using the compass,
Make landfall on India's coast;
48 BCE, oxen pull barges,
Laden with produce, up the Tiber,
From Ostia's port to Rome;
29 BCE, Greeks open the ancient
Trade routes from Egypt to India;
40 CE, Hippalus, a Greek merchant,
Uses the monsoon winds,
To shorten, by half, his voyage
From the Red Sea to India.

Here the rower, reaching the Sound,
Turned his shell and retraced his path
Up Mystic River, while in his mind
Rowed back to 7000 BCE,
Reciting dates and events in time
To the stroking of his oars,
Sound mind, sound body
The philosophy he rowed by.

Philip Kuepper
(April 2012)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tom Weil’s Rowing Prizes At RRM

RRM has a new exhibit on rowing prizes from the collection of famous rowing historian and collector Thomas E Weil.
The River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames has just opened a new exhibition: “The Art of the Prize – Rowing Prizes from the Thomas E Weil Collection”.

Thomas E Weil, living in Connecticut, USA, and a trustee of RRM, is a renown rowing historian and collector. Weil has donated multiple rowing objects and artefacts both to RRM and to the rowing exhibit located at the NRF’s National Rowing Hall of Fame, at this time located at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. From the exhibition at RRM, HTBS has picked the following information:

Tom Weil. Photo: Andy Price
“Trophies in their many varieties make up a substantial part of the Weil collection but he has also gifted the Museum an array of rowing memorabilia including paintings, postcards, photographs, books, films, posters, prints, cartoons, programmes, pamphlets, and coins. A small selection of these are displayed here to provide some idea of the collection’s scope and diversity.

“This exhibit presents a selection of the great variety of individual prize forms that have been essayed in British rowing history. From silver arm badges, wherries and oars, to the wooden water barrel or oar, to the array of chalices, goblets, mugs and tankards, to the metallic medal, no rowing nation has surpassed Britain in its imaginative search for forms of athletic recognition, and few could match the artistry and craftsmanship devoted to the production of these treasured artifacts. The objects displayed here are largely drawn from amateur rowing’s first century.

“A popular conceit regarding the character and domain of rowing in Britain is ‘toffs on the Thames’. While the two best known boat-racing fixtures, Henley Royal Regatta and the Boat Race, may be guilty of that characterization to some extent, and the Thames is undoubtedly the most rowed river in Britain, this display proffers abundant evidence of the spread and practice of the sport of rowing across the nation. Boat clubs and regattas flourished along the east, west and south coasts, and sprouted inland where rivers were found. The venues shown here are but a sample - for lack of space, a great many British rowing sites could not be represented.”

From Weil’s beautiful Beauty and the Boats – art & artistry in early British rowing (2005) the book’s author says

“The zealotry of which I am occasionally accused and probably guilty has never been a burden. I am continuously moved by the thrill of an acquisition, the pleasure of a discovery, the satisfaction of learning, the joy of sharing, and the honour of teaching in a field which has never had its own champion”.

Well, it is pretty clear to me that the Champion of Collecting Rowing Memorabilia is, and has been for quite some time: Thomas E Weil!

RRM also has some other interesting exhibits going on right now:

“The Perfect Rower – 100 years of racing for glory”: Find out what made the perfect rower in the previous London Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948 and what it takes to become an Olympic champion in 2012.

“John Piper (1903-1992) – The Gyselynck Collection”: A stunning private collection of Piper’s work exhibited for the first time in the UK.

“Triumphant Thames – The Thiess International River Prize”: A partnership exhibition with the Environment Agency celebrating the dramatic recovery of the River Thames from a biologically dead river in the 1950s to today’s thriving waterway.

“Oarsome – Paintings by Tonia Williams”: Vivid contemporary artwork by the former World Champion and Team GB lightweight oarswoman, Tonia Williams.

“The Best of Our Sporting Life”: This display brings together examples of the some of the best stories collected from around the country.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 Henley Royal Entries

The list of entries for the Henley Royal Regatta on 27 June – 1 July are in. Here is a ‘short’ list followed by a link with the complete list of entries.

The Grand Challenge Cup
(Holders: Ruder Club Hansa von 1898 e.V. Dortmund, Germany)
Total Entries: 7 (2011: 4)

The Ladies’ Challenge Plate
(Holders: Berliner Ruderclub and Olympische Ruder Club Rostock, Germany)
Total Entries: 6 (2011: 8)

The Thames Challenge Cup
(Holders: Upper Yarra Rowing Club, Australia)
Total Entries: 40 (2011: 49)

To be reduced to 32 entries by Qualifying Races

The Temple Challenge Cup
(Holders: University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A.)
Total Entries: 68 (2011: 64)

To be reduced to 32 entries by Qualifying Races

The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup
(Holders: Abingdon School)
Total Entries: 46 (2011: 37)

To be reduced to 32 entries by Qualifying Races

The Remenham Challenge Cup
(Holders: Princeton Training Center, U.S.A.)
Total Entries: 19 (2011: 14)

To be reduced to 10 entries by Qualifying Races

The Stewards’ Challenge Cup
(Holders: Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club)
Total Entries: 6 (2011: 8)

The Visitors’ Challenge Cup
(Holders: Leander Club and Imperial College London)
Total Entries: 18 (2011: 10)

To be reduced to 16 entries by Qualifying Races

The Wyfold Challenge Cup
(Holders: London Rowing Club ‘A’)
Total Entries: 46 (2011: 32)

To be reduced to 32 entries by Qualifying Races

The Queen Mother Challenge Cup
(Holders: Leander Club and Reading University)
Total Entries: 7 (2011: 5)

The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup
(Holders: Leander Club ‘A’)
Total Entries: 26 (2011: 23)

To be reduced to 16 entries by Qualifying Races

The Fawley Challenge Cup

(Holders: Sydney Rowing Club, Australia)
Total Entries: 41 (2011: 77)

To be reduced to 24 entries by Qualifying Races

The Princess Grace Challenge Cup
(Holders: Princeton Training Center ‘B’, U.S.A.)
Total Entries: 11 (2011: 12)

To be reduced to 8 entries by Qualifying Races

The Britannia Challenge Cup
(Holders: Banks Rowing Club, Australia)
Total Entries: 27 (2011: 28)

To be reduced to 16 entries by Qualifying Races

The Prince Albert Challenge Cup
(Holders: Harvard University ‘A’, U.S.A.)
Total Entries: 36 (2011: 35)

To be reduced to 16 entries by Qualifying Races

The Junior Women’s Quadruple Sculls
Total Entries: 15 (First year to be rowed)

To be reduced to 8 entries by Qualifying Races

The Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup
(Holders: P.K. Reed & A. Triggs Hodge, Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club)
Total Entries: 15 (2011: 21)

To be reduced to 12 entries by Qualifying Races

The Double Sculls Challenge Cup
(Holders: M.W. Wells & R.M. Bateman, Leander Club)
Total Entries: 17 (2011: 14)

To be reduced to 12 entries by Qualifying Races

The Diamond Challenge Sculls
(Holder: A.W. Campbell, The Tideway Scullers’ School)
Total Entries: 29 (2011: 27)

To be reduced to 12 entries by Qualifying Races

The Princess Royal Challenge Cup
(Holder: M. Knapkova, Czech Republic)
Total Entries: 19 (2011: 18)

To be reduced to 8 entries by Qualifying Races

Find full list with all crews here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Orison Of The Rower

The Orison of the Rower

As he went through
His warm-up
Exercises before his row,
He recited:

I will row with
All that I am.
I will row with
All I encounter,
With the shore,
With my shell, my oars.
I will row with the river,
With the wind I am given,
With the wildlife along my path.

I will row with the horizon,
Whether clear or hazed over.
I will anoint myself with the light.
I will inhale the air
That the air will become
One with my lungs,
One with the beat of my heart,
One with my will to row.

I will myself become
One with the soul of rowing.

Philip Kuepper
(January 2012)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Row And Be Happy!

To continue where we left off on Sunday, when HTBS posted a piece about the article in the ESPN Magazine on the Yale women and Title IX: another magazine also has a piece about rowing this month. It is the men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine Details, which is writing that rowing is the new spinning. Time to dust off the rowing machines (you know, what rowers call ergs), which are standing in the corners of the gyms, get your buttocks down on the seat (your ‘butt’ if you are in America) and start pulling. No, no, no, wait….

Now, when rowing on a machine (I would like to point out that I am not writing ‘erging’) is in a lifestyle American magazine and sort of moved into high-class, expensive gyms you have to take a special class from a ‘rowing instructor’ who will tell you, not so much about the right technique on the machine, but instead how happy you should be getting rid of all those extra calories. You will get the hang of it in the following video:

I cannot really remember my rowing coach ever looking that excited when we boys were laboring on the machines at my Swedish club...

Back to the magazine Details, the article gives you the addresses to some high-class gyms in Los Angeles, Hoboken (New Jersey), Chicago, Boston (Equinox has gyms all over the place), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Austin. It also describes the right rowing technique in quick three-step notes. If you would like to join a rowing club or programme, the magazine also lists six clubs in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia. (Although, one minus in my book is that the publication is calling rowing ‘crew’ and shows a fellow resting in a single scull.) But if you would like to do it on your own Details actually has some good useful tips from Bill Manning, associate head coach at Harvard. (One big plus in my book for that.)

Sorry, I cannot find the article in Details on the magazine's website. It might show up later, who knows...?

Monday, June 11, 2012

More On The Great Spectacle

The most popular blog posts on HTBS right now are the ones about the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. We do not want to stop when we have a good thing going so here are some more about The Great Spectacle.

The Henley Standard published a very nice article about some of the local rowers who took part in the River Pageant for Queen Elizabeth II. Mentioned in the article are the stroke pair in the royal barge Gloriana, Sir Steve and Sir Matthew, but also the former Olympian Guin Batten, and ‘a mixture of Olympians and Paralympians, watermen and injured former servicemen’. There where more than twenty boats from the Henley area that took part in the festivities on the Thames. Read the whole article here.

Earlier today, my fellow HTBS-arian Greg Denieffe also pointed out a marvellous 6-minute slide show about previous water celebrations on the Thames on BBC News Magazine. View it here. Of course, for those of you who has a special interest in the previous Royal River Pageants, in 1919 and in 1953, HTBS posted some film clips on those occasions on 30 May, 2012.

HTBS would also like to remind the readers in and around Henley-on-Thames that there is going to be another River Pageant on 25 June when Queen Elizabeth II visits the town.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

ESPN On Yale And Title IX

ESPN June 2012
On 8 February, 2012, HTBS’s Greg Denieffe wrote a nice article celebrating women’s rowing, Women in Rowing – Rocking the Boat. Among other things, Greg wrote about the film Hero for Daisy which features Chris Ernst, who together with her 1976 crew mates at Yale, did a spectacular protest at the Yale athletic department because of the unfairness the women felt, referring to the now famous Title IX.

Lo and behold, in the June issue of the ESPN Magazine, Steve Wulf has a well-written history article about the Yale women crew and Title IX, and, writes the magazine, it's time to set the record straight what actually happened. According to Wulf, Senator John Kerry once called Chris Ernst the Rosa Parks of Title IX. Read this great article here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sir Matt: “It’s a bit rich”

Sir Matt
On 3 June, HTBS posted a silly little piece about complaints from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and USA about the unfairness of Great Britain’s rowers’ advantage of staying closer to the Olympic rowing course at Lake Dorney, while all the rowers from the other nations have to live in the Olympic village and travel back and forth to the course.

On Sir Matthew Pinsent now has left some comments about the criticism. He said: “It’s a bit rich for Australia to complain about the home advantage, to be honest. During the 2000 Games in Sydney, our team had to use a bus service to get around while the Australian athletes did not.

“It isn’t the sort of thing you allow to bother you when you are focused on what you are trying to accomplish.”

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

'Bert' Proud Torch Runner

Matt Smith as Bert Bushnell
The Olympic torch is right now being taken around Great Britain. One of the lucky ‘torch runners’ was actor Matt Smith, who is mostly known for playing Doctor Who. Of course, for the readers of HTBS, I am sure he will be remembered for his role as Bert Bushnell in the upcoming BBC One film Bert & Dickie (or as the film is called on BBC America, Going for Gold – The ’48 Games). Bert Bushnell’s daughter, Sue, kindly sent me a link to the film on BBC One, but as of now there is not a premier date for the film in the U.K., while there actually is one for the USA, which is on 25 July.

BBC One – click on the characters in the film, descriptions that I found entertaining, i.e. Bert, Dickie, Jack Beresford, Don Burnell (Dickie’s father), Rosalind Burnell (Dickie’s wife), Margaret Campbell (Bert’s fiancé, late wife), and Jack Kelly (Jnr., or ‘Kell’, son of Jack Kelly, Snr).

BBC America

If you would like to see Smith with the torch, click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

(To Say Nothing Of The Dog)

Is it 'J', Harris, George, and Montmorency sculling during the River Pageant?
One of the great things with running HTBS is the contact with you readers. It might be a comment for one of the blog posts, or just a short e-mail with a question or even a pat on the shoulder. Yesterday, Fraser from England sent an e-mail saying that in a nice photograph by Tim K., in his coverage of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant (posted on 4 June), Fraser found his own skiff. While the good Tim sent Fraser a photograph of his boat, Tim noticed another skiff on the port side of Fraser’s with a cute dog (see above).

I do not know if the terrier’s name is Montmorency, but at least Fraser informed me that the crew in the skiff is from Vesta Rowing Club and that ‘the terrier has his own bowl in the club bar’. See, I have always thought that the English were such dog lovers!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Special Outing

Ocean rower and adventurer Ben Fogle (second from left) joined Atlantic rower Olly Hicks, Amazon kayaker Helen Skelton, and Oxford cox Zoe De Toledo on a treble skiff outing at the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. Read his very patriotic article in the Daily Telegraph here. The newspaper also offers a video with the highlights of the River Pageant, view it here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

The 'Gloriana' with Sir Steve at stroke on starboard side and Sir Matthew at stroke on port.
HTBS’s Royal Correspondent Tim Koch reports from the River Thames in London:

In the last few months HTBS has posted several items about the Thames Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, the 1,000 plus Amerada of small craft planned to be one of the highlights of this summer’s celebrations to mark the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Yesterday, Sunday 3 June, two years of planning came together. The main interest for HTBS were the ‘manpowered’ boats, those that were rowed, sculled or paddled. These led the flotilla and at the head of this section was the Gloriana, rowed by Steven Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and sixteen others. The BBC has a nice online report, here.

HM The Queen (in white) arriving by launch. The Queen's Watermen are in red. The Waterman on the starboard side is the Queen's Bargemaster.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh boarded a small launch at Chelsea Harbour and this took them to the Royal Barge which was to take them from Cadagon Pier to Tower Bridge. Usually a ‘Royal Barge’ is something more like the Gloriana, that is a craft rowed by the Queen’s Watermen. However it was felt this was not a practical or secure type of boat for this particular event and the privately-owned charter vessel, The Spirit of Charwell was converted for the occasion. However, even though the Royal Party was not rowed at any stage, they were still accompanied by Queens Watermen. Enough text, with an event like this the pictures speak for themselves.

The Queen's Bargemaster, Paul Ludwig.
The Queen's Watermen in the bow of the Royal Barge. The Royal Standard flies from the bow staff.
Manpowered boats.
More manpowered boats.
And some more manpowered boats.
Even more manpowered boats.
Australian Surf Boats
18-oared gondola
(Photograph & copyright: Tim Koch)